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Written By Julius Somoye
4 minute read

The Christmas season isn’t yet upon us. But if you are in retail, it’s already past time to start planning. Increasingly, voucher marketing campaigns play a critical role in seasonal sprints, and retail sales of all kinds. Realistically, there is no better time than seasonal celebrations to reach out to your customers and offer them a gift — particularly if that gift helps your bottom line. 

2019 was a year of ecommerce growth, and 2020 will be the same. Coupons, vouchers and promo codes are a great way to stand out in an increasingly busy digital shopping space. But bog-standard promo codes simply won’t deliver like the used to. 54% of shoppers not only expect discounts, they expect personalised discounts within 24 hours of identifying themselves to a brand.   

Voucher marketing is fast evolving. The high volumes and steep competition in retail makes jumping on new trends all the more powerful. Here, we are going to layout the cutting edge of voucher marketing technology and techniques — getting you ready for the holiday season and beyond!


Unique promo codes are the future

While 93% of shoppers are liable to use promotion codes across 2019-20, 75% will only engage with discounts tailored to them. That means personalisation. You need to make sure messaging, context and offers speak directly to the interests of the recipient. 

Personalised promotions can only go so far using generic codes. You will be able to personalise the messaging, but if you want to personalise the offer, you will need single use, unique codes. This is particularly critical for campaigns focused on creating customer loyalty within an existing customer base. 

As well as tailoring offers, unique codes provide a level of safety that you don’t get with other voucher marketing strategies, especially against code misuse. You can control who uses codes, when they are used, and trace attribution much more easily — creating a secure data feedback loop that will help you sculpt and improve campaigns.  

Automation is essential to single-use

If you’re looking to single-use promotions, automation is vital. Effective personalisation methods rely primarily on CRM integration for code generation across platforms. Expecting your team to take care of that would be long-winded and not particularly cost-effective. If you’re serious about single-use codes, then automation is the only way forward.

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Provide a seasonal greeting — your discounts need a reason

While 53% of shoppers admit that vouchers often influence their purchasing decisions, widespread discounts could also damage your brand. This usually happens for two main reasons: 

  1. Customers assume you overcharge at your standard rates
  2. Basic ‘money off’ promotions suggest your products are faulty or otherwise poor quality

Targeting voucher marketing strategies around seasonal greetings with events like Christmas in mind can eliminate these issues. If you have a reason to provide your promotion, that lingering questions about ”why am I getting a discount?” is answered. Never pass up a promo opportunity. This can go a long way towards keeping your reputation intact and even increasing conversions. 


Turbo-charging your conversions

Seasonal and directed promotions might help to keep discount negativity at bay, but the battle doesn’t stop there. If you want to see the best results from your promo codes over the festive season and beyond, you need to take full advantage of the flexibility offered by unique codes. Those critical “conversion creators” include: 

  • Always personalise: Unique and personalised codes make sure that you’re always offering something you know your customers want. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that targeted promotions like these can lead to much higher conversion rates.
  • Create urgency through scarcity: People are far more liable to click ‘buy’ on a product with a ticking clock like diminishing discounts attached. Even better, this ensures customers don’t have time to change their minds, leading you to conversion central.
  • Gamification and mystery: Gamification discounts such as ‘Spend £15 on shoes today, and you could be in with a chance to win £100,’ can also increase engagement and conversions. These are even more effective when paired with mystery methods, e.g. ‘Spend £30 on stationary and win a mystery prize.’ You’d be amazed how many people will convert for these seemingly simple temptations. 

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Target shopping cart abandonment

As well as creating conversions, a well-planned voucher marketing strategy can tackle widespread issues like shopping cart abandonment. Average abandonment cart rates are currently at around 75%. While reasons for this vary, an astounding 61% of abandonments happen because customers are unhappy with overall costs. This is perhaps the bain of ecommerce retail, and ongoing failure to convert is sure to take its toll into 2020.

Luckily, this is an issue you can tackle using the methods mentioned above, specifically unique promotion codes. The best option here would be to send unique automated email promotions to shoppers within 24-hours of shopping cart abandonment. 

Studies already show that retargeting emails after abandonment alone can recover up to 12% of lost customers, with an impressive 39% open rate and a 33% conversion rate. Those are figures you can grow even further by offering a scarcity deal for ‘free shipping’ or something similar. 

One thing’s for sure, using any of the voucher marketing strategies we’ve discussed to retarget shopping cart abandonment could lead to far more completions.


Become an influencer and target influencers

Influencing and influencers should also play a massive part in your voucher strategies this Christmas and beyond. Despite your best efforts elsewhere, 90% of consumers trust personal recommendations compared with the 33% that trust straight-up ads. What’s more, 40% of millennials believe their favourite YouTuber understands them better than their friends. The facts speak for themselves; influencer promotions and advertisements are fundamental. 

This is hardly surprising when you consider that influencers both allow you to tap into an existing audience and provide that all-important personal recommendation. That’s why 75% of marketers are already using these methods. Join them by reaching out to influencers who have some relevance to your retail brand. You can do this through the use of hashtags of keywords during research, guaranteeing you’re always reaching a relevant audience. Once you’ve found them, provide these influencers with a personalised promotion code. This allows them to direct traffic straight to you. It also ensures that you can track the progress of your influencer efforts. 


Reward loyalty and create evangelists

The customers you already have onside are often your best influencers, especially in the competitive Christmas market. Nothing quite beats word of mouth marketing for developing increased interest, after all. 64% of marketing executives go as far as to say that this is the most effective marketing method of all. This technique certainly allows you to enjoy the 90% of consumers who trust personal recommendations above all. 

Your best option here is to use targeted promotion techniques to create evangelists who are guaranteed to spread the word. Emailing returning customers with gamification promotions like ‘Recommend three friends and win…’ could soon see business booming this Christmas and into 2020. Even better, it provides an incentive and rewards to make sure your evangelists keep buying from you, too.


Technology enables creativity

Creative voucher marketing strategies are always essential in retail at Christmas. Competition at this time of year is fiercer than ever, and unique promotions are your best chance to stand apart from the crowd. By embracing automated promotion technology, you make sure that you’re able to get creative this festive season without once adding to your workload. That could lead to a great deal more conversions at the time when you need them most, and should prove the value of personalised vouchers moving into 2020, too. 

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