What You’re Missing When You’re Not Making Coupon & Deal Sites a Part of your Affiliates Strategy

May 6, 2019

Coupon and deal sites – there are a lot of preconceived notions about what it means to work with them. In fact, we often find ourselves in situations where we are working to educate clients on the value of these types of affiliates.

Marketers might think, “These sites are driving sales that we surely would have gotten anyway,” or, “In working with coupon sites, we run the risk of cheapening our brand or appearing too promotional.” The list goes on. However, Google’s recent study with ComScore helps prove that there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to working with coupon and deal sites.

Google’s study measured the impact of exposure to affiliate online coupons using ComScore’s 2M+ consumer panel and the results were astonishing, to say the least. They found that a whopping 94% of the consumers who used coupons were in fact not already on the retailer’s site. And even for those consumers already on the retailer’s site, these people are two times more likely to convert when they have a coupon. What’s more, coupons lead to more repeat customers, with 86% of coupon users completing two or more transactions. All of this, in addition to the fact that, simply put, coupon users spend more – about 5% more on purchases than general shoppers over a six-month period, as found in the study. Ultimately, after being introduced to the brand by a coupon, they are 375% more likely to keep the brand top of mind for future purchases.

Given these strong numbers, it’s hard not to be persuaded that it’s worth incorporating coupon and deals sites into your affiliate program. We have a few recommendations on strategy for these partnerships to help you in your own program planning.

Make sure that you DO:

  • run affiliate only codes for the entire channel to help increase engagement on a holistic level.
  • make exclusive coupons a key part of your overall strategy. You’re more likely to receive additional exposure in exchange, versus creating a code for all affiliates to use. Always choose a trusted partner for these exclusive codes, and talk to the affiliate in question to optimize with what price points work best with their audience.
  • integrate new customer coupons into your strategy to easily increase new-to-file rates.
  • give affiliate partners best of web pricing on deal sites to ensure the best features on their site.
  • consider testing a mix of site-wide and product-focused deals – you can analyze the top performing products from the sitewide promotions to in turn come up with discounts on top-selling products.
  • consider integrating paid search coupon affiliates into your strategy. There are key deal sites in the space who specialize running TM+ campaigns on a CPA basis to promote your brand’s coupons.

It would be wise NOT to:

  • simply create a coupon with the intention of selling through inventory. If it didn’t sell on your own site, then it is unlikely to sell at any higher a rate on an affiliate site, unless you’re willing to offer a steep discount – think 75% off range – above the original price.
  • run a stronger, non-affiliate approved code during the same time you’re running an affiliate-wide promotion or an exclusive coupon. This will only create competition that will hurt your affiliate-exclusive promotions.
  • assume affiliates know what they could offer you in exchange for an exclusive – a majority of the time, it depends on what the specific offer details of the exclusive would be before an affiliate can offer appropriate opportunities.
  • rule out mid-tier affiliates for exclusive codes. Exclusive deals can turn a mid-tier affiliate into a long-term top performing partner.
  • rule out International Deal sites – if you ship to that country, utilize these affiliates to expand your business abroad by offering something as simple as “Free Shipping” promotions.
  • think that coupons are cheapening your brand – even high-end brands like Alexander Wang and Dior Beauty are beginning to test exclusive coupons with their top affiliates. If you’re concerned, remember that you always have control over the coupon details and how deep you’d like to discount.

Here’s to new coupon and deal partnerships for your program!

And Rachel Mishner
Follow ForwardPMX

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