RevLifter, the award-winning tech publisher, recently released its eCommerce Offer Copy Report.

The study takes a granular look at the keywords to use when writing copy for deals, discounts and offers to better understand which ones are most effective for consumers. The results show that fretting over these words is far from being pedantic. Using the right ones in the right ways could significantly boost revenue, and using the wrong ones in the wrong ways could completely turn shoppers off from your site.

We’ve collated four key takeaways from the report that we believe are essential reading heading into the Q4 frenzy.

What do you call a discount?

According to research, the vast majority (80%) of customers will try a new brand if there’s an offer involved. New customers are what everyone wants and it’s great news for affiliate marketers that offers are a powerful means. But how can you best communicate offers to ensure you get the most out of them?

A good place to begin is what to actually call them. RevLifter focused on three of the most popular terms for framing a deal – ‘extra’ (e.g. ‘25% extra free’), ‘discount’ (‘exclusive discount’), and ‘save’ (buy now and save 10%) – to learn which one is the most influential for consumers.

Everyone put their bets in?

It turns out that ‘discount’ trumps all with regard to click-through (CTR) and conversion rates (CVR). The CVR, in particular, for this term towers over that for ‘save’ and ‘extra’.

However, it’s not all roses, as the average order value (AOV) with this term ($95) is significantly lower than the other two – $134 with ‘extra’, and $214 with save.

The conclusion? Discount is probably the better choice when targeting new customers simply because of its high conversion rate. But when targeting returning customers, consider using ‘extra’ or ‘save’ to increase the size of the baskets.

Dollars vs. percentages

Another critical comparison is whether to use ‘$ off’ or ‘% off’ in your copy.

RevLifter compared these discounts across values from 5 to 25.

Generally, ‘$ off’ outperforms ‘% off’ when it comes to CTR, CVR, and AOV – at least amongst the lower values. For example, a $15 discount is much more profitable than a 15% discount, boasting an AOV of $218 as opposed to $181.

Still, dollars don’t take the entire cake with this round. Once we reach the 25-mark, it becomes exceptionally more profitable to use 25% instead of $25, with a difference of $110.

But if it’s a high CTR you’re after, stick to the dollars, as they beat percentages every time.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Week

Over the past decade, both of these events have ascended to become crucial days in the calendar of any brand or marketer. Retailers aiming to leverage the most out of Q4 should absolutely concentrate on these two events, but is there one, in particular, to focus on more?

Evidently, the prestige of Black Friday still holds a lot of power and this translates to better sales. CVRs and AOVs are higher on Black Friday than on Cyber Week. For example, Black Friday has an AOV of $98 compared to $75 for Cyber Week.

But that’s not to say Cyber Week is a write-off. It matches Black Friday’s CTR and earns a respectable CVR too. If anything, it may be worth putting more attention into leveraging more out of Cyber Week, since Black Friday practically sells itself. 

Daily deals drive highest CTR by miles

Driving urgency is a tried-and-true strategy for improving the performance of a discount. But what words are especially effective at doing so?

RevLifter analysed the efficacy of four common terms for this approach: ‘today’ (e.g. ‘10% off today only’), ‘now’ (‘buy now for 10% off your order’), ‘save’ (‘save 25% on your order’), and ‘flash’ (‘flash sale’).

‘Today’ beats the other terms on CTR and CVR by a long way and ‘flash’ comes in second.

Why? There’s a perceivable structure to the ‘today’ sale that is somewhat lacking in the others. ‘Now’ is a tad too abstract to really drive a sense of urgency. 

When looking at how to frame your deals, the ‘daily’ time limit will be your best friend.

Q4, here we come!

RevLifter’s findings are going to be worth taking note of as we plan for a busy holiday season ahead. 

When building your copy for discounts and offers, make sure to take note of the terms you use, it could save you a sizeable amount of revenue.

For example, a mailer or pop-up that reads ‘Today only: Exclusive 25% discount’ has a higher likelihood of performing better than one that reads ‘Save $25 on your order when you buy now’.

Let’s harness this data for an even bigger and better holiday season in 2023!

RevLifter's Offer Copy Report is now available to download.

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