Affiliate Marketing – Beyond Voucher Codes

What’s the easiest way to quickly get affiliates on board or boost affiliate sales?

Easy, promote some strong voucher codes. Exclusive ones for big voucher code affiliates and generic ones available to all. Then watch your signups and sales quickly increase – along with increasing commission payouts and decreasing margins.

OK, so how about if I don’t want to rely heavily on voucher code sites, product discounting and high commissions?

Easy again, you need to build a clever affiliate strategy that both suits your budget and attracts affiliates that don’t just rely on big discounts. Here are some suggestions to help you on your way…

Content and Blog Affiliates

Content affiliates base their sites around good, sticky content encouraging repeat visitors (and therefore affiliate clickthroughs) by offering interesting information on a subject specific to their customer base.

These affiliates handpick information that they know will interest their target market. If you’re smart, you will ensure you’re giving these affiliates exactly what they need:

  • Let them know your bestsellers, new collections, where you’ve featured in magazines.
  • Contact them and ask if there’s anything specific you can help them with.
  • Let them know they can come to you if they’re looking for information.
  • Invite them to your PR days to give them a full idea of your brand and build relationships
  • Create an image bank of marketing images for them to use as they wish

Giving these affiliates access to as much information as possible will allow them to cherry pick what they know will interest their visitors and encourage conversions. And, if they know it’s easy to hand for your brand, they’ll promote you over your competitors.

A good example of a content affiliate is So Sensational ( They handpick a wide range of content specific to their target market of 45+ women for example they have a blog for latest collections, interesting products, fashion news, a handpicked selection of products they think their readers will love and a selection of offers on relevant products.

Tip: These affiliates love unique content. Something that makes them stand out amongst the throng of other content based websites. So, if you’re able, and this is often difficult to achieve, offer to write exclusive, relevant and unique content for your best affiliates.

Product Feed Affiliates

There are many product feed sites out there. Some are specific to one industry (,, some are more generic ( In order to get a presence on these sites, you first need to create a product feed.

A product feed is, put simply, a regularly updated list of all your products with prices, categories, links, images and other relevant information which is fed into your affiliate network. Affiliates then pick this up (taking just the information they want) and promote your products on their sites.

Many people use these affiliates’ sites (and sometimes only these sites) to compare products and prices amongst different retailers. If you’re not present on these sites, you may be missing out on an entire customer group.

Tip: If you or your IT team are not able to create a feed there are some companies out there that can do it all for you – without needing any IT help. They simply go onto your website and “scrape” your site picking up product names, prices, categories, colours and formatting it into exactly the format an affiliates needs. 2 examples are GoldenFeeds ( and FusePump (

Cashback Affiliates

In the economic position we’re currently living in, consumers are becoming very savvy at getting as much as they can for their money. Cashback sites (TopCashback, QuidCo etc) are therefore becoming more and more popular. Consumers can buy what they’re looking for and get a percentage cashback on the sale.

Often you will be able to get on board with these affiliates using your standard offering. The main priority is building up a relationship with them to make sure you get good exposure on their sites. Make sure they’re up to date with special offers, discuss extra commission opportunities with them.

Tip: These affiliates like to promote as high as possible levels of cashback to their customers so when looking for extra exposure (although they are still interested in voucher codes) look at commission increases as an incentive – maybe double commission for 2 weeks in return for newsletter exposure.

Voucher code affiliates

Ok, so this article is titled “Beyond Voucher Codes” but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Voucher Code sites. Voucher code affiliates will list your brand even if you haven’t got a specific code to offer them. Let them know when you’re having online sales or promotions on specific products. You may not get fantastic exposure but you will get some. And, if your offers and conversions are good, you may find you get better exposure next time around – all without having actual voucher codes.

Tip: Find out if there is an individual contact that you can send an email to each week to update them with all your current and upcoming offers.

So in conclusion…

…how can you build an affiliate prgoramme without relying heavily on voucher codes? Make sure you look at all the affiliates out there, talk to them, know what they want and start to build a strong relationship.