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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    Best Way To Use Coupon Codes
    I'd like to get some ideas as to how other merchants are using coupon codes.

    In the past, we gave affiliates coupon codes. One problem was they didn't have expiration dates. We're changing that.

    But the bigger problem was that people were posting these "discount codes" on their web pages, and the pages were indexed by Google. So potential customers would "google" for the discount codes. We don't want that to happen.

    So what are you doing with such codes?
    Do your affiliates post them as "images" or use some code to prevent the ability to search for them? etc, etc.

    Just trying to get some ideas as to what the general consensus is.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    "But the bigger problem was that people were posting these "discount codes" on their web pages, and the pages were indexed by Google. So potential customers would "google" for the discount codes. We don't want that to happen."

    Unless you break their arms or take away their computers or some other way, don't see how you can stop customers searching for coupons.

    And if you have coupons for affiliates, why would it be a problem if they post them, that's what they're supposed to do.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    If you are using coupons, they they should be available for use.

    There has been lots of discussions about customers searching for codes and leaving the orginal site. I'm not sure there is any real solution.

    Howver, some merchants have created custom coupons for specific affiliates and if used that affiliate gets credit for the sale, regardless of what site the customer ended up at (say via a google search).

    Hope this little bit of information is helpful.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "But the bigger problem was that people were posting these "discount codes" on their web pages, and the pages were indexed by Google. So potential customers would "google" for the discount codes. We don't want that to happen."

    Unless you break their arms or take away their computers or some other way, don't see how you can stop customers searching for coupons.

    And if you have coupons for affiliates, why would it be a problem if they post them, that's what they're supposed to do.
    If you post the coupons as "images" rather than text, the coupon code won't get indexed (as it would if the page had it in text like, "use discount code XYZ"

    I see a potential problem with people "googling" for those codes. Some affiliates would gain an advantage if their coupon code was indexed higher in the search results. Now I don't know if that's "fair" or not.

  5. #5
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    I've never heard of a thing, somebody wanting affiliates to post codes as images rather than text.

    Nothing wrong with the coupon codes getting indexed.

    "Some affiliates would gain an advantage if their coupon code was indexed higher in the search results. Now I don't know if that's "fair" or not."

    Right, that's competition. Nothing wrong with that either. You could also have products which affiliates can use and one affiliate can rank higher for that product than another and on down the line. That's fine as well. We can't all rank the same.

    And also having the coupon as an image doesn't do anything. People don't search on specific coupons, they search on Merchant X coupons, so those pages will still show up whether the code is an image or text.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    If you are using coupons, they they should be available for use.

    There has been lots of discussions about customers searching for codes and leaving the orginal site. I'm not sure there is any real solution.

    Howver, some merchants have created custom coupons for specific affiliates and if used that affiliate gets credit for the sale, regardless of what site the customer ended up at (say via a google search).

    Hope this little bit of information is helpful.
    I believe THAT is the concern. Let's say someone clicks through "John's" link, but John hasn't posted the coupon code on his web site. Now customer leaves our site and searches for "our product discount codes". They see a bunch of results, and click on the first result. Now they are at "Mary's site". They clickthrough back to our site and place order with the coupon code.

    Well, John is now out of luck as his cookie is overwritten with Mary's. So I guess it comes down to the fact that John wasn't on the ball by keeping up with the coupons on his site and that's why he lost the sale. Do you agree?

    I guess this WOULD be the most likely scenario when people would google for those codes anyway - AFTER visiting our web site.

    Thanks. (BTW, I'm just talking hypothetically here to get a consensus)

  7. #7
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    On the topic of exclusive coupon codes, one of my best merchants wanted to issue an exclusive coupon for my site, but decided against it as other sites would post the code. Not necessarily affiliate sites... it could include discussion forums, digg, etc.

    I don't disagree that customers have the right to search for coupons, but affiliates aren't necessarily eligible for commission in every case.

    Using my own example, if a coupon was issued to my site, and the merchant tried to play fair by giving my site credit every time it was used (even tho it appeared on other sites), it overstates the commission payable on their side.

    Now I'm all for affiliates getting their dues, but in this case, I had to agree. A coupon code "out there" doesn't mean my site has earned commission. I'm not sure if this is the issue you are trying to deal with.

    Not an easy answer on the merchant side.

  8. #8
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    John was lazy, Mary wasn't. And it's always been like that. If you're an affiliate with merchants that have coupons available, just post them. Because if it's the type of merchant that has a coupon box at checkout and you didn't provide it to them as an affiliate, there is a good chance they'll go out looking for one and there's that chance your cookie will be overwritten.

    Check out the coupon forum and really go thru it - http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13

    This is a topic that's been talked about many times so there should be some helpful threads there.

  9. #9
    Super Cool Affiliate Manager IanBookMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone

    Using my own example, if a coupon was issued to my site, and the merchant tried to play fair by giving my site credit every time it was used (even tho it appeared on other sites), it overstates the commission payable on their side.

    Now I'm all for affiliates getting their dues, but in this case, I had to agree. A coupon code "out there" doesn't mean my site has earned commission. I'm not sure if this is the issue you are trying to deal with.

    Not an easy answer on the merchant side.
    We've been toying with this idea and discussed a possible option of still rewarding that affiliate who "owns" the exclusive code a small % referral if the commision ended up going to another affiliate.

    Although it sounds fair, we couldn't grasp a way to make sure the affiliate didn't perhaps have two (or more) accounts and then do we also take away anything from the affiliate that gets the commision?

    Example, say we offer 13% commision - affilate B uses affiliate A's coupon, do we give Affiliate B 10% and Affiliae A 3%?

    Something to pursue or too complicated?

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