Managing Advertiser Voucher Codes

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Managing Advertiser Voucher Codes


Releasing Codes

There are three types of Voucher Code; bespoke, exclusive or generic codes. Only publish the generic codes through the Discount Voucher distributor in your Advertiser account.

Your marketing campaign is decided and you plan to release a discount code that is for all accepted Publishers to promote. You will need to distribute these through the Awin Discount Voucher channel.

Once the voucher code has been uploaded into your Advertiser account it will be ready for Publishers to access, from the dates which you have specified. If you are unsure of how to upload a Discount Voucher into your Advertiser account, please click here.

The voucher code can be accessed by Publishers from their account by saving a CSV file as well as an Excel Workbook (97-2003) for their use. Note that Publishers will only be able to access Advertiser voucher codes if they are accepted onto their program.

Implementing Strategies

Although there are three types of codes (exclusive, bespoke & generic) there are also other considerations to make. What exactly will your code offer? What do you hope to achieve from it? Can you afford to cut your margins? Some of the key strategic codes are explained below:

Stretch & Save: ‘Spend £60 and save £5’ You might want to use this if a Publisher has an average order value of around £50, by driving up the average order by £10, you are incentivising the user to spend a little bit more but at the same time making a bit more profit.

Free Delivery: This might be particularly useful if you feel your products are as price competitive as possible, it is a way for you to make use of the large user bases that these code sites tend to have.

Generic: ‘Save 10% off all products’ These are particularly useful if you want to drum up interest during a specific trading period. They also tend to help with new customer acquisition as they tend to be very strong selling points.

Range Specific: ‘Get £5 off the last year’s top product’ These kinds of codes can help you clear stock levels of a product that isn’t selling as well as you had hoped or if it is now out of season.

Bespoke Codes: ‘Save 10% with the code “Tiscali” entered at the checkout’ Offering bespoke codes encourages Users to engage with the Publisher in question and promotes that there is a solid relationship in place between the Publisher and Advertiser.

New Customers Codes: ‘£10 off First Orders Over £20 at La Redoute’ which encourages new Users rather than repeat customers.

Incentivised: 'Buy any product using this code and get an entry into our competition/get a free gift' These types of codes help you to engage with voucher code Publishers even if you are unable to offer money off your products.

Lower Commission: You may decide that in order to offer codes, you lower your commission. There can be pitfalls surrounding this, you need to be clear whether it applies to all Publishers that offer codes or just voucher code directories. Similarly you need to make it clear to Publishers exactly how you will implement tracking or commission tiers to monitor this.

Most importantly, test and monitor the performance of voucher code Publishers to really tune in to what works for you and what works for them.

Tracking Tag

The voucher code tracking allows you to see if a voucher code was used against a transaction in your marketing campaign.

Policing IAB

In Summary “Awin is a member of the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC), a body that is working to improve industry communication and transparency between publishers, networks, agencies and advertisers.” (Kevin Edwards, Strategy Director Awin) All parties have worked together to established a code of best practice for the use of online voucher codes and the most up-to-date version can be found here on the IAB’s site. IAB Code of Best Practice.


The code of best practice came into affect 01.01.2009 it set’s out best practice in four main areas:

1.Using 'Click to Reveal' when there is no valid or current code present is not permitted of Publishers including using 'Click to Reveal' to show any deals/offers/sales instead of vouchers.

2.Voucher code Publishers must clearly detail the voucher offer that will be revealed by the click.

3.A valid code is defined as a code that has been legitimately issued by an Advertiser for use online. This code will have an activation date and where necessary a deactivation date.

4.Voucher code directories must contain clear categorization and separation between deals/offers/sales and discount codes.

The networks signing up to this code are: Awin, Affilinet, Commission Junction UK, DGM-UK, LinkShare UK, TradeDoubler, Platform-A’s, Premier Affiliate Network, Webgains and Zanox.


The choice on whether or not to work with Publishers who list themselves as Voucher code Directories should be a consideration of Branding and Commercials.


If you do not want to be seen as a discount/bargain based Advertiser you would avoid promotion on the majority of Voucher Code Directories. As Evelyn from says:

‘This is a bargain hunting audience out to get the very best deal they can. They are not shoppers that may usually search on premium sites but, if given the extra push of a voucher code or if they are alerted to a key sale, might.’ (Evelyn Mackinnon -Website Editor- does work with a selection of high end Advertisers such as my-wardrobe, but these Voucher Code Directories are only allowed to promote the sale. Please see here


Your code must consider seasonality and promotion before it is revealed to the Voucher Code Directories vast number of Users. Voucher Code Directories usually communicate weekly via their newsletters, which could provide incremental value by reaching a new market of Users. It is best to speak to your contact for how to gain coverage and uplift from each individual Voucher Code Publisher.

Fashion Sector Analysis of Voucher Code Publishers

Fashion brands perform consistently well with our Users and as well as codes, updates on sales and new collections are particularly sought after. In an effort to try and make sure we provide a fitting representation of these sales and collection launches, have taken the time to develop a unique blog within the voucher code space which is entirely editorially driven. [1] acts as a showcase for the most talked about brands at any point as well as an opportunity for ourselves to introduce a new brand to our Users. From a luxury brand perspective, I appreciate that there is a desire to create a distance from the ‘discount’ niche. I think this is the area where voucher codes offer a really strong opportunity. By offering a voucher code an Advertiser can maintain their own editorial credentials whilst still meeting their financial targets. Rather than branding pages as ‘REDUCED’ or ‘SALE’ on their own site, an Advertiser can release a code to a site like ours where we can display it to an audience of particularly savvy shoppers. In this sense, their own site can still maintain its glossy finish and premium look and they can also meet their quarterly targets. Over the last few months we’ve had similar feedback from a few premium brands seeking to protect their image. In these instances I have encouraged Advertisers to take a further analysis of voucher code sites individually rather than grouping them together. As a result of their analysis of our site we have been included in several ‘closed publisher groups’ as either the only voucher code site. We’ve always made an effort to position ourselves as the ‘ethical site’ out to represent our Advertisers in a fair and honest manner. In an effort to boost the control Advertisers have on the site, we also offer an ‘advertisers platform’ whereby content can be added or removed by the Advertisers directly. This approach has proved incredibly successful and last month we were awarded Winner of the Best Retail Publisher at the PerformanceIN Awards – recognition the position we’ve created for ourselves within the industry. Evelyn at Econversions


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