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Thread: Challenges with coupons?

  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Smile Challenges with coupons?
    Hi All

    Firstly I hope everyone is well!

    I wanted to start getting some early thoughts from the experts on the challenges you face with coupons and merchants who offer them.

    I see the need for us to have a solid product in this area.

    Is there an ideal soution in the market today?

    What would you look for in a coupon related product from a network if you could get it?

    Best

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

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  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Configurable datafeed of coupon/deals data that we can customize for our needs and then easily grab from the network, manually or in an automated cronjob fashion. See what Avantlink and SAS have done for us, do that in your own way and be receptive to input make it competitive with those platforms.

    Then provide coaching (or make resources available) to the merchants on what works best for couponers to help them achive their goals. Make sure the place they enter the coupon data has full details of how to properly enter their deals and coupons. Read through the stickied (yellow) posts here for that info:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Obviously am not an expert lol and don't understand all of Donuts post but agree that I love how AvantLink handles the coupons. Not quite sure exactly what you are asking but know in a perfect affiliate world would like any coupons that are supposed to be exclusive coupons...not to get stolen by other bad guy affiliates.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feeback Donuts/Purple

    So is coupon theft an issue amongst affiliates or do the two existing solutions take care of that?

    Best

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  5. #5
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    Coupon theft?

  6. #6
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    Hey Trust

    I was referring to Purples comment on affiliates using codes belonging to another affiliate.

    Just looking to be more enlightened on this area really - early stage thinking so want to get a good handle from the community on any issues facing this area left undressed that we could look to solve with a product at some stage

    Best

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  7. #7
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    Oh exclusives. For me that might be 2%-3% of the merchants I have on my site that I have exclusives for. And they're usually codes that could easily be copied and pasted or submitted by users to one of those sites that have them all. I have a few that are text link exclusive coupons** and I've never seen those on other sites. So that would pretty much handle that.

    **no actual code but a landing page showing the discount. One I have is something like:

    Welcome Mysite.com shoppers. 10% discount will automatically be applied at checkout, etc.etc. kind of deal.

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The system you build to distribute coupons to publishers can't stop them from visiting sites (manually or with a crawler) to steal exclusives, you've just got to police abuses. Mainly, this means two things - have a policy that prohibits using anything but coupons / deals / discounts issued to the individual specific affiliate through the system (which then, in addition to prohibiting theft of exclusives provided to specific affiliates, also excludes the affs from taking non-affiliate channel coupons the merchant doesn't want affs to use) -and- when an existing aff reports their exclusive coupons are being used by someone else, to police that with the bad acting affiliate.

    Discussion does bring up a good point - in your system, enable the merchant to publsih affiliate coupons to "all affiliates" as well as allow then to enter coupons / deals for specific affiliates they can pick from a list (the affs in their program).

    Also, make it easy for the affiliate manager / OPM to manage the expiration dates of the coupons. It's common for coupons to be extended or renewed, both ones that apply to all affiliates and those issued exclusively for specific affiliates - so make provisions in the system to allow the merchant to easily edit the existing deals in the database, including editing the current expiration date.

    Now, since the affiliates download the database in many ways (depends on frequency they run updates and how the backend of their site's design works), make sure you include a field in the download that is a "last edited" date and time. This way, affiliates can grab the download, easily see what's new and what's changed as well. So your "add new" and "edit existing" routines for the merchant, both need to add an updated date/time stamp to each deal as it's added / edited. This will make it easy for the different types of affiliates (manually adjusting things or auto-scripting their site updates) to keep things as current as possible.

    Lastly, distribution methods... some affs like to grab rss feeds, some like a text file, some like tab-delimited / pipe-delimited data file... make sure the affs can grab the data in several, configurable ways to get greater coverage and more rapid updating over the affiliate population. One example of configurable is the date time - allow the affiliate to choose the format - some will like Unix dates, some will like just the date, some will like the date/time in mm/dd/yyyy hr:min:sec format, others may use other formats. Build a shell around the distribution that goves the affiliates some choices that will make it configurable, and therefore easiest and fastest for them to keep things updated.

    You also may want to figure ways to pipe your available coupon data into third party systems like GoldenCAN, PopShops and ForMeToCoupon, giving the merchants the choice then to pipe their data to these systems, again, for maximum distribution in a way that fosters convenient, accurate updated publishing of their deals as well.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hey Donuts

    Many thanks for this thought out reply - plenty of good detail there that we can work with.

    I'm thinking there must be a technical solution to enable exclusive to mean just that. If such a system were in place it would mean that if an exclusive code was used on another site the commission generated from any sales would go to the origional affiliate. I would imagine a sharp decline in the practice if this were the case.

    Definitley agree that increasing the distro by being able to deliver into GC would be a great idea.

    Thanks again for taking the time to give us so much feedback I really appreciate it

    Best

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
    Advertising.com's buy.at affiliate network
    malcolm.cowley@buy.at
    buyat.com

    Ticketmaster has Beta launched their affiliate program with buy.at - be one of the first to join now!

  10. #10
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Maybe I am not getting excatly what you are trying to do but since our publisher id is already embeded in every link we generate wouldnt making the user id the coupon code work.

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