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  1. #1
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    Coupon Posting Trends
    seems like more and more coupon websites are allowing coupon codes to be posted by their members, site visitors.

    I also realize some merchants frown upon this practice. I'm assuming there are also some that don't mind.

    generally speaking, in years to come, starting next year....do you all see merchants having stricter coupon posting policies? that is, do you all see merchants allowing coupon sites to post only coupon codes that are launched within the affiliate channels only?

    any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    My two cents worth..
    I also realize some merchants frown upon this practice. I'm assuming there are also some that don't mind
    I think it's more the case that some merchants are unaware. There are term & conditions to every program, and this type of coupon site needs to have a mechanism in place to disallow the posting of unauthorized coupons for each merchant (whether they do or not is a whole different thread!)
    do you all see merchants having stricter coupon posting policies
    I would say yes. Some might argue that the tough economic times will cause them to be more leniant. On the one hand, merchants are looking for increased sales.. but .. and this is the kicker.. from an accounting standpoint, affiliate commissions appear to be classified on the income statement as an advertising expense (rather than a "net of sales" amount, which we affiliates would assume).

    As a result, a thriving affiliate program can be perceived as a large expense - and we know companies want to reduce their expenses! Where they spend their advertising dollars will be under constant review.

    My view is that affiliates may be subject to more scrutiny in 2009.. coupon sites, or otherwise. I like to think Haiko's analysis of parasitic toolbars will play an important role as well.

    There's a saying in the investment biz that during any economic downturn or time of uncertainty, there is a "flight to quality". This could be applied to affiliate marketing... some sites may be deemed too risky as a partner.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I think the coupon sector will be devalued.

    You"ll have content sites posting coupon codes in order to compete with the coupon sites.
    Then you have other sites that post (or their members post) all kinds of coupons ...affiliate or not, working or not, they may not even be in the affiliate program. Hard for a (traditional?) coupon site to compete with that.

    do you all see merchants having stricter coupon posting policies
    yes, but the policing of the policy is what matters

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    It depends on the merchant and the affiliate manager. I have a merchant who emails coupons but will not let the affiliate use them unless we want to promote them for free. They do have a site-wide coupon that we can offer to affiliates.

  5. #5
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    Drives me CRAZY!
    I hate it when affiliates post coupons that are not through our affiliate channel. Right now that is the only way we can track how successful a campaign is. When an affiliate posts the coupon it skews the results.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    When dealing with my coupon sites, my policy is that if it is on your site, you are responsible for it.
    When confronted, I often get the excuse, "Well, I didn't know it was on there. We didn't post it."
    Funny, if it was something really objectionable, like a link to porn or something, it would be removed.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  7. #7
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    ah, ok. i guess the consensus is coupons that people post to websites, forums, etc. will be a thing of the past..and merchants frown upon this practice. thank you for your input, everyone!

    any more thoughts, please feel free to post.

  8. #8
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    I'm trying to get a handle on what you're describing. Is it that coupon sites, who are affiliates, are posting (or allowing people to post) coupons on their site that were not distributed to the affiliate channel? As a merchant, I can see how that would put a crimp in tracking how campaigns are working. We haven't seen any of that with ours yet, though.

    Also, does it work to post similar coupons to the affiliate channel and to other channels at the same time? Or should the coupons be exclusive?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    The internet is... by design, all about sharing information, so merchants should not be surprised that the coupons they post, or send by email- get shared all around the web.

    And how many merchants are able to offer exclusive coupons that work with only one site?

    I actually talked on the phone to the AM of a well known co. this year. I asked if they could offer me exclusive coupons, he said sure, you just log in & get them from the CJ interface.

  10. #10
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    Coupon sites like many websites want users to interact with the site to create stickiness. In general the longer the user spends on the site, the happier the site owners will be, especially if they are creating content.

    So on one side they run the risk of upsetting the merchants and on the other side they run risk of upsetting users if they don't upload the coupons code they have submitted.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Give me a break, they aren't "allowing coupons to be posted by members" that is just their cover for posting coupons they aren't supposed to. It has become a free for all. Any merchant that believes them member story when it is so rampant on a site is a fool.

  12. #12
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    I can understand the appeal of the model to shoppers and some site owners but a major problem with the model is it automatically lends itself to violating merchant agreements. Each merchant is different with the rules but some have it where you're only supposed to post certain coupons/affiliate only offers and when you have users just upload whatever, you're then in violation. I would drop those affiliates and enjoy the free traffic.

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