3 Tips to Leverage Coupon & Loyalty Sites – By Bryan Flanaghan

by Colleen on April 20, 2015

If you’re going to allow coupon and loyalty sites into your affiliate program, here are three tips to help you maximize their profit opportunity.

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Speak with Your Coupon & Loyalty Reps Directly

It’s important to take your affiliate program off auto-pilot and speak directly to representatives from coupon and loyalty sites. Working with these types of sites on certain promotions can vastly improve your sales.

Rather than assuming that they ‘steal’ sales that would have already occurred via different channels, merchants need to start looking at the opportunity presented by these sites. Many coupon and loyalty sites can drive higher conversion rates from consumers that are debating a purchase or would have gone to a competitor instead.

Regularly speak with your contacts at these sites to see what additional services they offer. Do they send out weekly newsletters or do they advertise products on their social pages? Can you boost your pay-per-click strategy by working together on certain campaigns? Do they have special placements on their site or promote certain products via retargeting?

Consider Site-Specific or Unique Vanity Codes

Working on an e-commerce website can often mean juggling traffic from a number of different areas. Website managers or product owners routinely run channel-specific promotions that get picked up by your affiliates, even if it is against your program terms. Rather than punish an affiliate for being vigilant about your product, you should alter your strategy to ensure that these discounts are profitable for both of you.

On one of our websites, our team noticed that a few affiliates had begun advertising an exclusive discount that had been offered via our weekly newsletter. Instead of demanding that they remove the discount or rejecting those sales, our affiliate coordinators worked together with these websites to offer vanity codes specific to their site. We were able to maintain profitability on those sales, the consumer was able to benefit from the discount, and our affiliates had an exclusive offer that drove additional traffic.

Monitor Success on a Daily Basis

I’ve seen merchants advertise several discounts to coupon or loyalty websites, hoping that one of them is successful. Within our own industry, we see individuals run promotional campaigns for weeks or months, only waiting to measure success upon completion. It is imperative to track your growth on a daily basis so your team can anticipate fluctuations before they happen.

As an affiliate manager, you should be regularly tracking traffic and conversions on these sites and modifying your strategy based on the data you collect. If a ‘Free Shipping’ coupon is driving 50% of your sales, but the average order value is low, you may want to consider raising the cart threshold for the coupon.

Conversely, if your 5% discount has only had two conversions in the past three weeks, maybe it’s time to up the stakes for the consumer and try to garner a few more sales with a richer discount.

Never wait till it’s too late to alter a promotion to meet your needs.

Bryan Flanaghan is the affiliate manager for TicketNetwork and Ticket Liquidator.

This article appeared in issue 30 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2015.http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-30

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