Voucher campaigns are a favourite sport for many e-commerce players. In a survey conducted by Bonago und die Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in 2016, it was found that 92% of respondents plan to conduct voucher campaigns. It’s easy to imagine that this is on a rising trend.

In Germany, 82% of consumers search for coupons or offers before or during their online shopping process. But hang on – does that sound like you’re just reducing your profits by having vouchers in place?

Well, not exactly. More than a third search for vouchers even before they know what they’re going to buy. And 57% of voucher redeemers would have abandoned the basket, had they not found a voucher code.

So the question begs: How do I create a successful voucher campaign?


#1: Consider the goals of your voucher campaign

What do you want to achieve?

This is the same first step for every marketing campaign. Do you want to attract new customers? Or encourage loyalty through recurring purchases? Do you wish to promote a new product? Or reduce basket abandonment rate by fickle online consumers?

These are important questions to answer, as your answers determine the type of voucher you will be managing.

What type of voucher fits your goals best?

As a rule of thumb, the most popular type of offers that consumers were looking for was a straightforward discount, cited by 41% of respondents. This is followed by a percentage discount (25%) and free shipping (20%). But popularity aside, which type fits your goals best?

Should it be a discount for all products, a discount for specific products, free shipping or a freebie on top? Should this discount value be a percentage or a fixed amount?

And should this voucher be available for new customers only, or should there be a minimum purchase order required?

Often, many make use of fixed discount value as a simple bait to attract new customers. On the other hand, many use percentage discounts based on a minimum purchase order to encourage recurring purchases.


#2: Define the boundaries of your voucher campaign

Let’s say you have decided on your goal and type of voucher campaign. Next, decide on the operational details of how this should work.

  • Timeframe
    Define a timeframe during which the vouchers are valid. Is this a seasonal campaign? Do you expect that the voucher will be shared around? How will the potential customers redeem this voucher? Of course, this could be an unlimited voucher campaign, but this could harm the perception of the usual prices you have in your store, and reduce the uptake of your vouchers (since it’s always there).
  • Placement
    Define where the vouchers should appear. Is it just your website or also that of your marketing partners? If your marketing partners are included, how many voucher codes should they have, and which of their ad spaces would be well aligned with this? It could also be useful to think about whether they should be rewarded based on a different commission model for the voucher campaign.
  • Attribution rules
    If your customers would have purchased at your store anyway, and they typically search for a final discount after they have added items to the basket, you may wish to consider the use of Basket Freeze and ignore the voucher in your attribution, since the voucher had no influence on your sale. But if your customers tend to abandon the cart and only return with vouchers, then they do have a considerable influence on your sale.


#3: Be prepared for voucher fraud

Voucher fraud occurs when a publisher places a voucher on his site to increase sales and his commissions, even though he was not supposed to. In today’s day and age, this unauthorized use of voucher is a common occurrence. The real question is: What happens after? Should you:

(A) reward him with commission for generated sales, because you just want more sales and don’t mind which partner uses it, or

(B) reward him with no commission, because he was unauthorized, or

(C) reward the original owner of the voucher?


Data, data, data

The golden rule to investing in real estate is location, location, location. The golden rule for marketing is data, data, data.

The best way to make your decisions for a voucher campaign is to base it on previous experience – what do your past voucher campaigns tell you? Look up the effectiveness of past campaigns and tweak them according to your current needs.

And don’t forget to look up your marketing technology to see if you have the flexibility to decide on the above factors.