Thursday, 18 March 2010

Innovative Technology at Red Letter Days Levels the Playing Field

Innovative Technology at Red Letter Days Levels the Playing Field

We’re extremely proud today to launch innovative new technology at Red Letter Days that we believe represents a huge step forward in the way that advertisers deliver special offers to affiliates.

Over the past year there’s been a lot of discussion in the industry about the value added by each type of affiliate at each stage of the buying cycle, and whether some affiliates are advantaged over others due to their position in that cycle and the incentives they can offer to customers.

From listening to these discussions, we resolved to respond to these concerns by developing a fairer system that would enable every affiliate to provide compelling and exclusive deals, without disadvantaging any particular affiliate type.

So what’s the solution?

Red Letter Days has developed a system which either hides or displays the voucher code entry box based on the referring URL, which removes the potential issue of sales leakage for non-voucher code sites in the final stages of the purchasing process. This enables the box to be shown for traffic from sites which have a code, but hidden for those who don’t.

However, we knew that alone would not be enough to truly empower all affiliates to deliver compelling offers to customers. So we’ve added an extra parameter in the affiliate inbound URL that enables a ‘deal ID’ to be passed in. This deal ID is recognised by our website in combination with the affiliate ID, and agreed special offer/s are then displayed throughout the entire customer journey.

The system offers a range of powerful benefits to affiliates:

  • Deal IDs are exclusive to individual affiliates and must be used in combination with the affiliate’s ID, so there is no risk that another affiliate can hijack an exclusive deal.

  • Special offers can be set site-wide, at category or sub-category level, and even at individual product level. A minimum spend can also be applied before a discount can be used, providing a mechanism to encourage higher average order values.

  • Affiliates can promote a range of deals at the same time. For example, a driving days affiliate could promote a link which offers a specific driving product at half price alongside a link which offers 15% off all other driving experiences.

  • Multiple affiliates can offer different deals on the same product. For example, one could offer 10% off a Pamper Spa Day, while the other has £10 off the same Pamper Spa Day.

  • The offers displayed are session-based, giving affiliates a strong call to action – ‘You must click on this link to see these special deals’.

  • Voucher code affiliates have a much more secure method of offering discounts as exclusive codes cannot be republished.

  • The customer experience once a visitor clicks through to the Red Letter Days site is seamless and easy to understand. For the life of their session, any relevant deals will display (including the discounted price/s) throughout the entire customer journey from browsing to completing a purchase.

What does it look like?

The screenshots below show how deals appear for customers on the Red Letter Days site:

Want to try it for yourself?

Simply follow the links below to see the system in action.

Scenario 1: Show or hide the voucher code entry box

If the referring affiliate has a discount code running with Red Letter Days, we will show the voucher code entry box on the checkout page:

However, if a consumer clicked through from an affiliate site without a code, the box will not appear:

Scenario 2: Bespoke onsite offers for specific products

In this scenario we’ve created a deal for a specific product (deals can also be applied site-wide or for particular categories or sub-categories). The deal in this instance is £20 off our Ferrari Driving Thrill, which can only be obtained by going through the relevant affiliate’s links:

Affilinet Example:

Affiliate Window Example:

If you clear your cookies or close your session and start again you will see that the Ferrari Driving Thrill returns to full price on the website:

If another affiliate tries to use the deal ID, it doesn’t work, as our website recognises that an incorrect affiliate ID is being used in conjunction with the deal ID.

Affilinet Example:

Affiliate Window Example:

Scenario 3: Applying a discount site-wide, without the need for a code to be entered

This piece of functionality allows the discount code to be applied automatically throughout the customer journey and omits the use of a ‘physical’ code which the user must enter at the checkout. The examples below show a 10% discount being applied across the site:

Affilinet Example

Affiliate Window Example:

Scenario 4: Applying different offers to the same product for multiple affiliates

This scenario allows us to create different offers for multiple affiliates for the same product. The below example shows 2 separate offers for a Pamper Spa Day:

10% off Pamper Spa Day:

Affilinet Example:

Affiliate Window Example:

£10 off Pamper Spa Day:

Affilinet Example:

Affiliate Window Example:

*Please note: the above links are from affiliate test accounts and will drop cookies as per usual. All deal demos will expire on 26.03.10.

How will we implement this?

On Affiliate Window we can add individual click-appends to affiliate IDs. These click-appends trigger the logic and change the site depending on what Red Letter Days have set up for that specific affiliate. On Affilinet we simply add a click append with the deal ID to the existing tracking code. Together the affiliate ID and the Deal ID will trigger the deal to show on the Red Letter Days website. This means that once the offers are set up, there’s no extra work required for affiliates!


We’ve been testing the new functionality with a number of affiliates and the feedback has been incredibly positive:

“These innovations from Red Letter Days open up a new world of possibilities as well as redefining current standards in the affiliate industry. They can be the foundations of future internal developments and should be considered as a new standard within affiliate marketing which all merchants should aim to reach.”
- David Fiske, Director, DBFCS

“It's not often that Affiliate Managers listen to affiliates and THEN go and implement those requests. But that is exactly what the Red Letter Days team has gone and done. “
- Peter Anderson, Director,

“Red Letter Days is one of the most innovative merchants in the affiliate space at the moment. We love working with them because it's clear that they really value affiliates as partners to the success of their brand and understand the importance of applying technological advances to grow their affiliate programme.”
- Evelyn Mackinnon, Senior Partnerships Executive,

Available to use now!

This is live on our systems and available for affiliates to start getting exclusive deals for their sites. If you would like to set up a deal, require further information or have any feedback, please get in touch with me at

I also plan to run a couple of demonstration sessions at both the Affiliate Window and Affilinet offices. Let me know if you are interested in coming along and seeing a more in-depth demonstration of how this all works.