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  1. #1
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    Question for couponers - the update process
    Just a question while I spend my Sat afternoon updating coupons..

    I run a content site, and have built my own little (unique) database of coupons, just to keep readers informed of the latest store promotions. I have no intention of growing this section beyond its current purpose.

    As a result, I now monitor email announcements, have subscribed to network emails, CJ weekly file, etc.. but still find I have to manually log in the networks to review the latest links posted by the merchant.

    I have noticed some merchants don't always send out updates for all coupons/promotions - found 3 today that weren't listed anywhere else but in the network interface.

    Is this the norm..?

    This isn't a criticism of merchants/networks - I'm just curious if this extra manual review is standard for other affiliates who manage coupons.

  2. #2
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    I've noticed that too sometimes. Every now and then I'll go thru a merchant's links and find coupons that they've never made mention of and many times don't see on other sites. A good AM would email their affiliates any new coupons and promotions and also keep them informed of ongoing ones etc.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    You might want to do a CJ daily file as weekly is much too long for staying up to date with coupons. Could be that the deals were added after your feed was generated.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    I actually assumed that affiliates are checking the Shareasale Deals Database via the RSS feed, Viator posts deals pretty much every week (having said that there won't be any for a couple of weeks). One of my other merchants has a variety of sales and I usually wait a day or two in case they create more and email those affiliates once/twice a week.

    If affiliates want to be contacted more often I would be glad too, but didn't want to "overdo" with almost daily updates at some times.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
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    Loxly, I wouldn't expect to receive all coupons via email either, I just meant that I review the emails more thoroughly now (used to just be a cursory look!)

    The ones I found were from merchants under GAN & CJ, and I do receive Link Subscriptions emails.

    This is a fairly new process that I have undertaken, and it's taking me a while to discover all the available mechanisms in place across all the networks. My question was general.. this manual step ensures I don't miss anything, and I was wondering if it was just me!

    That Shareasale feed is great, by the way, one of my new sites will show a number of their merchants.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I have to pick and choose the coupons I feature based on the type of coupon. I'm a member of about 500 affiliate programs and I find it hard to stay on top of everything. My approach is mostly manual, unfortunately. I would like to figure out how to automate, but haven't seen it as a priority. There are too many variables in play, like coupon brand restrictions. So here's what I do:

    1) Every 5-7 days, scan my affiliate e-mail backlog for coupons
    2) Go to ShareASale and look at the deals database
    3) Go to GAN and CJ and look at newly added links, filtered by coupon

    LinkShare, if it doesn't come in an e-mail, I don't see it. I think my entire process takes about 3-4 hours, but it could probably be a lot quicker if it wasn't so, so boring....
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  7. #7
    Member
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    Be careful with CJ promo links - just because the expiration date field is blank doesn't mean the coupon is ongoing. Many CJ promo links (as in the thousands) only have the expiration date noted in the name or description, while the expiration date field is blank.

  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Many CJ promo links (as in the thousands) only have the expiration date noted in the name or description, while the expiration date field is blank.
    I hate that. How hard can it be to put expire in the correct field.


  9. #9
    Newbie Blair MacGregor's Avatar
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    I'm using the ForMeToCoupon service and have been very happy with it for the most part. That said, I still have to manually update the raw datafeed files in order to integrate everything properly, delete the occasional expired coupons that make their way into the feed or merchants that haven't accepted me yet, etc. I'm also peppering the site with other offers I see that might not be included in the feed, as well as offers from some of the CPA networks etc.

    I would assume this is the same way for those using GoldenCAN or some other datafeed solution; you're never going to find a true "plug-and-play" system even if you're using a feed.s There's always going to be some manual editing involved on the content side.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    >> I still have to manually update the raw datafeed files in order to integrate everything properly, delete the occasional expired coupons that make their way into the feed or merchants that haven't accepted me yet,


    sounds like lots of work still after you paid for their service

    >> this is the same way for those using GoldenCAN

    i think Goldencan is a set it and forget it type

    except

    - their service will down for a while sometimes
    - slow loading time(my webpage and banners always load faster)

    but i like their traffic sharing concept

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Yes, this is normal. I wish merchants would be better at this but I know they already have enough things to worry about.

  12. #12
    Member vicjg's Avatar
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    CJ & Linkshare both offer programming APIs for link & coupons that can be called daily. LS has a daily coupon feed available as well.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicjg
    CJ & Linkshare both offer programming APIs for link & coupons that can be called daily. LS has a daily coupon feed available as well.
    Where can I find the APIs in LS and CJ?

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Member vicjg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmWilliam
    That was pretty quick, but yeah, what he said

  16. #16
    Member talentcn's Avatar
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    How to use the CJ API? what kind of data can we pull?

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Read the API FAQ here: http://webservices.cj.com/resources/faq.html

    It should answer all your questions.

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan
    sounds like lots of work still after you paid for their service
    To clarify, we offer different levels of service. Some levels have access to only coupons while others have access to more general sales, deals, and holiday sales. Not every level gets access to every deal. The premium level of service has access to all 3800+ merchants and their 17000+ deals.

    We do offer a free trial for anyone who wishes to examine the data offered on their own and evaluate how well the feed will work for their needs. Depending on how you’ve structured your site, it may work better for some affiliates than others. Once you do subscribe it’s a month-to-month subscription with no long term contract, and you’re free to upgrade or downgrade the service levels at any time to suit your needs.

    We’re really responsive to feedback; of course we want to make sure everyone can integrate with ease so feedback helps. Occasionally coupons expire early, and we do our best to edit them out as soon as possible. We do alert clients when coupons expire.

    Anyone can let me know if they’d like a free trial or have feedback.
    Trisha Lyn Fawver

    @TrishaLyn | My Managed Merchants

  19. #19
    Big Brother
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    Fully automatic and tested
    Thanks, Trisha!!

    I realize this thread is pretty old, but we wanted to make sure we addressed all concerns.

    Our service is designed to be 100% automatic as far as the data goes. If something on our side prevents this, we would like to figure out what we could do to help. Most if not all of our clients automate it completely (at least as far as the data itself). Essentially, you sync the data locally. Updates will have the same deal ID. The logic is designed to be simple.

    So absolutely, we strive to be set-it-and-forget-it with respect to all deals data.

    Errors are rare to my knowledge. If anyone brings an error to our attention it is fixed right away. We test the deals before the go out, with experienced data entry people in the US. We also keep the data, including expiration date, updated with any known changes. The system is updated constantly, so you can pull updates every 5-15 minutes if you like. There is some dead time in the middle of the night, but we do data entry on holidays and weekends, which is often a busy time for deals.

    If you found expiration dates that were not accurate in our system, we would love to know as soon as possible so that we could fix it right away, and address any underlying problem. Also, if you turn on a particular option, each deal has a unique link to an error report page, so you can plug that directly into your backend interface.

    We have clients with many, many users, so we have to have a feed that’s less than the highest possible quality.

    Mike Allen of ShoppingBargains.com has used our feed for years and can give you his feedback.

    We welcome people take advantage of the free trial so they can satisfy their questions with no risk. It does not require a CC, and we don't ask for any commitments.

    Thanks for your consideration,

    Forrest Schaaf
    For Me To Coupon
    Last edited by forrestschaaf; February 24th, 2010 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Forgot thank you

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
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