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Written By Chris Boud
5 minute read

It’s clear that affiliate marketing is an effective way to deliver promotional incentives. By partnering with credible affiliates, companies are tapping into valuable new customer bases, and accessing new revenue streams. No wonder it’s a growing industry that’s expected to reach $15.7 billion in 2024.

However, while the affiliate marketing model may appear simple at first, and offers huge possibilities, it isn’t necessarily a low-effort strategy. One particular challenge for many companies is to find a way to accurately measure the success of their campaigns. 

Without the ability to gather useful information, the wheels of affiliate programs cannot run smoothly. Inaccurate, or gap-ridden data, not only impacts relationships with affiliate partners, but hinders efforts to improve future campaigns.

In this post, we’ll examine the challenges traditional tracking methods increasingly face to measure affiliate success, and discuss how promotional codes can help you overcome many of these problems. 

Suggested reading: Download a copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Using Promo Codes” to discover how promotional codes can help you target the right people, at the right time. 

Difficulties in assessing the success of promotional campaigns

Many brands find it difficult to manage the vast amounts of data they collect. In fact, 1 in 4 product marketing leaders say their companies don’t have the right systems in place to track customer data across touchpoints. 

Affiliate marketing is a stand-out example. Although affiliate marketing is often one of the most profitable marketing channels, it’s difficult to directly demonstrate this to business leaders. Nearly 30% of US marketing executives revealed they are unaware of how affiliate marketing is affecting their revenue. However, companies that can show this link have been able to increase affiliate marketing budgets and grow.  

Traditional methods of affiliate campaign measurement also allow errors to creep in, making it difficult to understand whether promotional incentives are truly working or not.

Limitations of traditional tracking methods

Cookie-based tracking software is often used to track affiliate link performance, however this method is subject to a number of limitations: 


1. Third party cookie rejection

A recent study revealed that 75% of marketers still rely on third party cookies. Affiliate networks that use them are putting themselves at risk of losing data, for a number of reasons: 

  • It’s relatively easy for users to block third-party cookies, on all types of browsers, by adjusting settings to “Do not Track”. Many consumers take this action to avoid being followed online.
  • Users can also use private browsing, or incognito mode, to help protect their privacy. When in private mode, the browser doesn’t store tracking cookies, or a user’s browsing history, after they close the session. 
  • Many internet users erase cookies from their browsers on a regular basis, which limits the ability to track their online activities. Cookies also have a limited shelf life, and expire naturally after a certain period of time.  

Cookie-led tracking can, therefore, lead to inconsistencies in collecting tracking data, and make it difficult to accurately attribute conversions to the appropriate affiliate partners.


2. Third party cookie deprecation

Third-party cookies are, in any case, going away for good. Mozilla and Apple already provide general defaults that block them, and Google has now started phasing out third-party cookies, with the aim of eliminating them entirely by the end of 2024.

To adapt to the forthcoming changes, it’s essential to consider adopting different tracking methods. 


3. VPN usage 

VPNs and Proxies are tunneled connections that can easily disguise a person’s online identity. A VPN encrypts a user’s internet connection, and routes it via a server, masking a user’s IP address, thus making it difficult for websites to track their activities. 

When affiliate marketers use VPNs to conceal their locations, it can create problems for attribution. So some affiliate programs don’t allow VPNs to be used, limiting the number of programs an affiliate marketer can participate in. This means advertisers may miss out on being able to partner with otherwise “good-fit” affiliates. 


4. Ad blockers 

There are several privacy-based browser extensions and add-ons that can block or manage cookies. They often come with extra features, like cookie-tracking prevention, third-party cookie-blocking, and protection against online tracking. This also creates the potential for gaps, or inaccurate data, when measuring affiliate performance.

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Promotional codes vs traditional tracking links for affiliate performance measurement

Promotional codes provide you with a way to track affiliate campaigns, and gauge performance, without the use of cookies. 

By deploying unique voucher codes, you can trace and measure your affiliates’ success more accurately than when using link-based tracking. This is because promotional codes avoid the problems associated with cookie rejection, ad blocking, and VPN usage.

Unique coupon codes in particular provide you with a robust alternative to using third-party cookies, are simple to implement, and provide a cost-effective way to manage affiliate campaigns. 

Affiliate fraud is booming, with fraudulent clicks accounting for 17% of 2022’s affiliate traffic. So keeping your affiliate program safe from fraudsters is one of the biggest challenges for marketers and companies alike. 

Unique promotional codes that can only be used once, provide you with a robust way to combat coupon fraud. Since they can be used for just a single transaction, by their intended audience, these codes cannot be used fraudulently, or leaked to other channels. And this also enables more accurate attribution. 

Case study: OVO Energy - Enhancing customer acquisitions

Challenge: OVO Energy faced significant hurdles in customer acquisition due to the absence of a promo code field on their website. Additionally, they lacked an effective method to leverage their social media channels to attract new customers, making it difficult to offer incentives without a promo code system in place.

Implementation: To overcome these challenges, Uniqodo stepped in to enhance OVO Energy's promotional strategy. Recognising the need for a promo code system, Uniqodo integrated a code field into specific sign-up flows on the OVO Energy site. This allowed OVO Energy to offer incentives for new sign-ups and renewals, directly addressing the initial challenge. Furthermore, Uniqodo implemented a targeted deployment of the promo code field, accessible via specific URLs. This ensured that the right audiences were reached through carefully chosen channels. To complete the customer journey, once a customer redeemed their code and commenced their energy supply, a bill credit or discount was automatically applied to their account, using their order ID as a reference. This ensured that the incentive was not only a promise but a tangible benefit to the customer.

Results: The introduction of a promo code field and the strategic use of social media channels for promotion transformed OVO Energy's customer acquisition strategy. By offering exclusive offers through a seamless onsite experience, OVO Energy was able to attract new customers effectively. This approach not only solved the initial challenge but also positioned OVO Energy as a forward-thinking company capable of leveraging technology to enhance customer satisfaction and drive growth.

Elevating your affiliate marketing strategy with Uniqodo

Measuring the success of your affiliate marketing campaigns is critical to maximising your ROI, and growing your business. And the more affiliates you have, the harder it is to keep track of performance and sales. 

By opting to use Uniqodo’s unique coupon codes, you can measure and monitor your affiliate marketing campaigns with ease, without encountering any common cookie- tracking issues. 

Uniqodo’s advanced promotions technology can help you streamline your performance measurement, and effortlessly scale your affiliate marketing activities. Our powerful platform is able to measure the success of every promotion, and track data at each step in the promotional journey. This allows you to make adjustments in real-time, and remain on trend with market demand.

With advanced tracking features to help you dive into valuable data insights, you’ll be able to nurture your affiliate relationships, and unlock the true potential of affiliate marketing. 

To find out how Uniqodo’s innovative promotion experience platform can help you eliminate the guesswork, and tell you exactly how well your promotions incentives are working, book a demo today.























1. The State of Affiliate Marketing: Benchmark Report (2023)

2. Unlocking Business Flexibility with Agile Customer Data Platforms

3. 6 Stats Every Affiliate Marketer needs to Know

4. 75% of Marketers still rely Heavily on Third-Party Cookies

5. Click Fraud Statistics 2024: Affiliate Fraud Statistics

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