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How to Use Referral Codes in Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Last Modified: February 3, 2023

If you’re running an affiliate marketing program, then you’re no doubt aware of the importance of referral codes. Learning best practices for them can help you ensure that they are a solid revenue stream for your business.

Here’s everything you need to know about adding referral codes to your affiliate marketing program strategy with Refersion.

How to Create a Referral Code for Your Program

There are two steps to creating a referral code for your program: creating the code conceptually, then adding it to your affiliate marketing program.

First of all, decide what type of discount you want the code to be. Most companies will offer a 10-15% discount with a referral code. The tried-and-true method of NAME10 or NAME15 is the most common format for these codes.

When it comes to adding the code to your affiliate marketing program, it’s best to follow the Refersion guide to the process. You’ll need to create the coupon code in Refersion, select the affiliate it’s associated with, and set it up in your ecommerce store. If your ecommerce store runs through Shopify or BigCommerce, then Refersion can automatically send your coupon codes to your store.

Implementing Referral Codes Into an Affiliate Program

You can implement referral codes either on a code-by-code basis or by uploading codes in bulk. That means it’s easy to create both a singular referral code that each affiliate uses regularly and limited-time codes and special affiliate codes.

  • Single code for each affiliate

If you want to create a single code that works for each affiliate, then follow the Refersion guide to allowing affiliates to suggest their own coupon codes. This guide allows potential affiliates to create their own coupon code when they apply to your affiliate program. When you approve them as an affiliate, the coupon will automatically populate within your Refersion account, and Shopify users can even have the coupon code populated automatically within the ecommerce store.

  • New codes and limited-time offers

If you’re looking to send out an email blast with a special limited-time offer for your affiliates, but you still want to track these limited-time referrals for each affiliate, then follow the guide to bulk-uploading conversion triggers. All you have to do is populate a spreadsheet with your affiliates and their unique limited-time codes. Upload that CSV file to create a massive number of referral codes at once. 

Best Practices for Using Referral Codes

Now that you know how to implement referral codes into your affiliate marketing program, how can you make sure you’re getting the best return on your investment? Here are four tips that can help you use referral codes more effectively.

  1. Tailor your preferences for each affiliate

First of all, it’s best to make sure you’re using the right option for each individual affiliate. Some affiliates may have a better return with referral codes, while some might use referral links more effectively. Oftentimes, this has to do with the exact type of content they’re publishing. Keep an eye on what works best for different affiliates, then send out coupon codes and affiliate links as applicable.

  1. Allow affiliates to personalize their coupon codes

Personalized coupon codes carry a special touch for each affiliate. Not only are personalized referral codes easier for your affiliates to remember, but they also remind each affiliate that you have an actual connection with them. It can help you develop a real relationship with your affiliates, which can be a critical component of building long-term affiliate relationships.

  1. Always stay in touch with affiliates regarding coupon codes

The more you talk to your affiliates about their coupon codes, the more likely they’ll be to send them out to people. Remind affiliates about these codes in email newsletters, solicit active responses about your codes and how well they’re working, and always send out email information every time you release any limited-edition codes. Your affiliates may not use these codes if you don’t remind them to.

  1. Give your affiliates a head start by suggesting code uses

Finally, as with many parts of your affiliate program, you want to make participation as easy as possible for your affiliates. By giving your affiliates some ideas regarding code uses, you can help them use them more frequently, which is good for both of you. Recommend options like creating social media posts with the referral link, creating content where they’re enjoying your product, or doing a “Pros and Cons”-type post about your product. All of these are great ways to steer traffic your way.

The Bottom Line

Referral codes can be a stellar way to create a new opportunity for your affiliate marketing program to grow with different types of referral traffic. With Refersion, it’s easy for you to track the traffic coming from both links and codes.

With that tracking data, you can also offer more referral codes to the affiliates who are best at directing traffic to your site with these codes. Sign up today to create this new opportunity more effectively.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey