Stepping Up Your Promo Code Game - CAKE Google+
Request a Demo

Integrated Solutions to Grow with Your Business

CAKE's powerful performance marketing software will bring clarity to your marketing campaigns and empower you with the insights to make intelligent marketing decisions.

Affiliate Marketing

Manage and measure partner performance with precision for improved profit margins.

Learn More

Lead Generation

Collect, validate and distribute leads in real-time for maximum profitability.

Learn More

MultiChannel Marketing

Measure channel performance using multitouch attribution, for ROAS optimization.

Learn More

Readily integrate with 3rd-party systems or access 24/7 support.

Integrations Support

Stepping Up Your Promo Code Game: The Power of the Right Affiliate Marketing Technology

What is a promo code

Promo codes are an essential component of a successful affiliate marketing strategy. They have the potential to boost profitability and average order values, as well as drive customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, brands often fail to gain these benefits due to a lack of control of, and visibility into, their promo code usage and performance.

This is when an in-house affiliate marketing solution makes all the difference. Whether a brand is providing their affiliates with promo codes or deploying promo codes to website visitors, the right technology solution is essential.

Let’s discuss the pitfalls to avoid when leveraging promo codes. Then we’ll dive into the must-have features a performance marketing solution requires to improve promo code performance and ultimately increase revenue.


What is a promo code?

A promo code is a string of characters (oftentimes a combination of letters and numbers) given to consumers to apply to their online shopping cart that results in a discount. Brands can encourage additional sales through promo codes while easily tracking the total sales attributed to that code.

Some of the many uses of promo codes include the ability to: Encourage consumers to experiment with a new product, try a different brand, lower shopping cart abandonment, and incentivize shoppers to add more items to their cart.


Pitfalls that arise from clouded visibility into promo codes

In the absence of an in-house affiliate solution, a brand’s lack of control over their promo codes can snowball into challenging situations that leave profit margins disrupted, or worse, a brand’s reputation tarnished.


Promo code leakage

Promo code leakage is when coupon-sharing websites scrape the web to find promo codes and share them with their user base. This can prevent the intended audience from being able to redeem the code and is also one of the fastest ways to shatter a brand’s profit margins.

This is especially significant considering that 74 percent of online consumers leverage social media to find coupon glitches. Plus 17 percent of shoppers install “coupon-finding” browser extensions that proactively search for and apply promo codes to orders in real-time.

Leaked promo codes are even more detrimental when they affect the brand’s existing customers. Here’s why. One of the most notable benefits of leveraging promo codes is the ability to influence customer loyalty which directly impacts a company’s profitability. If a company can retain slightly more than 5 percent of their existing customers, they can increase profitability by more than 75 percent. So when a customer finds a promo code and it has been deactivated by the brand due to overuse, some serious revenue is on the line.


Malfunctioning promo codes

When brands entrust their affiliates with a promo code to get traffic, consumers expect it to work. But what happens when it doesn’t? Consumers blame the brand, not the affiliate.

Consequently, the brand’s reputation, integrity, and potential sales are now at stake. U.S. consumers collectively spend 13 million hours each week finding online codes, even though many of the codes are expired or invalid. On top of this, 36 percent of promo code users will take their business elsewhere if they do not have a code available.


What to look for in performance marketing software

Here are the top four capabilities your affiliate marketing solution should offer to maximize your promo code performance.


Deactivate codes and adjust affiliate commissions

In the event that a promo code is leaked beyond the intended audience, having the ability to deactivate codes and modify commissions is imperative. This is especially significant if the leaked promo code is assigned to an affiliate who will be owed a commission each time the code is used.

If however, the brand is comfortable with the quality of the organic traffic an affiliate’s leaked promo code is generating, the brand can simply lower or zero out the affiliate commission for that specific promo code. They can then create a new promo code for the affiliate to actively drive traffic to and earn their original, higher commission. This approach provides an added layer of protection for brands to determine how to handle traffic from leaked codes while continuing to nurture and grow their affiliate relationships.


Access real-time data and attribution

Attribution equips brands with clarity into their best (and worst) performing promo codes and the affiliates promoting them by tracking the number of sales attributed to that code. Real-time insights into attribution offers brands the ability to determine where to invest more marketing spend and where to pull back on spend in order to maximize performance.

As the brand, you also need to be able to configure automated attribution settings that determine if you pay the affiliate that drove the initial click, the affiliate that promoted the promo code, or alternatively manually reconcile who should receive credit on a case-by-case basis.


Set expiration dates and caps

To avoid abuse or overuse of a promo code, brands should set caps that define the maximum amount of uses the code will work for. For example, a cap could indicate that the first 1,000 users can apply the code and once that number is reached, the promo code will no longer work.

In addition, assigning an expiration date to a promo code is a best practice. Expiration dates are especially important during the holiday season when brands provide high-ticket promo codes to their own audience and distribute them to their affiliate partners to drive additional sales.


Auto assign promo codes

To enhance their reach and traffic, brands should be able to upload a pool of promo codes into an affiliate portal. This self-service approach provides affiliates with the ability to access a code for their campaigns in real-time.

In addition, it also ensures that each promo code is auto assigned to the affiliate that leverages the code in order to maintain accurate tracking and attribution.


Have questions about promo codes? We’re here to help.

Need assistance understanding the best ways to track, manage, and measure promo codes? Our team is well-versed in how to use them to increase revenue and encourage customer loyalty. Reach out to us here. We’d love to help!


Additional content you might be interested in: