Essential “Need to Knows” for Affiliate Coupon Management

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to listen to Todd Crawford speak about coupon affiliate management at the Online Marketing Summit. He made some really great points. Here are my immediate takeaways:

 

A Few Top Coupon / Loyalty Affiliates:

  • Offers.com
  • Shopathome.com
  • Cheapsally.com
  • Bradsdeals.com
  • Clickdeals.com
  • Dealtaker.com
  • Couponsurfer.com
  • Mrrebates.com
  • Deals.com
  • Savings.com
  • CouponCabin.com
  • Amazing-Bargains.com
  • RetailMeNot.com

 

Two Types of Buyers on Coupon Sites:

  1. “Penny Pinchers” – can only afford to buy if they get a discount
  2. “Deal Seekers” – will buy (and up their order volume) only if there is a deal on

 

Challenges with Working with Coupon / Deal Sites:

  1. Margin Erosion
  2. Increased media cost (pay for affiliate plus ppc)
  3. Brand dilution
  4. Poor customer satisfaction (the coupon doesn’t work)
  5. Loss of control (once you let it loose where do you go? It gets out of control)
  6. Inaccurate analytics
    1. – how do you measure the effectiveness of one particular coupon on one particular site when it gets let loose and picked up everywhere?

 

 Alternatives to Giving a Discount Coupon

  1. Free shipping
  2. Minimum purchase amount
  3. Product, Brand or Category Specific
  4. Deal of the Day
  5. Limited Quantity
  6. Bundling
  7. Gift with Purchase
  8. Clearance
  9. Seasonal Sales

 

Marketing Goals of Working with Coupons (and you should be measuring these):

  1. Increased AOV
  2. Acquire new customers
  3. Re-engaging existing customers
  4. Limit Exposure
  5. Control media costs
  6. Extend Brand

 

How to Manage your Coupons Properly:

  1. Test with select groups of partners – try a coupon with only one or two affiliates first and see how they work.
  2. Use exclusives / vanity code
  3. Negotiate for premium placement
  4. Limit use to channel or partners
  5. Determine the right metrics to measure before you start

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