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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
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    Post Do coupon sites really help merchats or do more harm?
    Merchants usually fall into a dilemma: Can they accept coupon sites as affiliates? Or do they just steal some profit without too much effort?

    However, people love coupons.

  2. #2
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    This issue has been discussed many many times before on ABW. The answer is, "it depends." Try searching past discussion threads. Note that many folks have strong opinions, and some have "knee-jerk" reflexive responses; the issue is actually quite complex.

    Of course merchants can benefit from coupon sites, in multiple ways. Yes, there are some affiliates who will seek to find ways to "poach" credit for transactions they did not influence. Yes, offering coupons (at all) has significant pricing and profit-margin consequences, as well as significant "consumer perception" (psychology, expectation, attitude) consequences. Yes, there are a huge range of coupon options and technical options.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    It just so happens that I just wrote an article on this issue yesterday on one of my blogs. (Please note this isnt some cheap plugin)

    I strongly feel that coupon sites and coupons/offers can really be used to acquire new customers and can be very beneficial if they are strategically implemented with proper planning and foresight.

    One of the most common issues I come accross when talking to a merchant about coupon sites or coupons in general, is that they really don't know how to use them and leverage them in their business. I think they can promote brand awareness, help acquire new users, bring tremendous benefit to their online business.
    Emilio Yepez
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  4. #4
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by affiliateaholic
    Merchants usually fall into a dilemma: Can they accept coupon sites as affiliates?

    You have to realize that coupon sites can fall into different categories:
    1. User Submitted or Non user submitted
    2. Those who drive their own traffic vs. those who don't

    You have to look at who is ranking for your name + coupon. It might be that you already have coupon sites bringing you traffic, this isn't then incremental - you'd get the traffic anyway.

    It would be a VERY good idea to do a thorough analysis of coupon benefits - down to the individual site level - before you make your decision. I wish I had...it would have saved me a lot of trouble.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    One question, is your competition doing it?

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    One question, is your competition doing it?
    Very good question. Just keep in mind, your compeition might not always be right.

  7. #7
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    Great point Sarah -

    Also keep in mind what is right for your competitors may not be right for you.

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    We did a whole panel on this at ASW10: http://www.affiliatesummit.com/10w-agenda/ Not sure when the video will be available but will link back if possible.

  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    We did a whole panel on this at ASW10: http://www.affiliatesummit.com/10w-agenda/ Not sure when the video will be available but will link back if possible.
    The video will only be available to Gold and Platinum pass holders, it won't be free to the public.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Then Shawn and Missy should sell another level of pass so anyone who can not attend can benefit.

  11. #11
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    Coupon Hesitation, Coupon Conditioning
    I don't think I've written about this before, so let me share my perspective about the "consumer psychology" of coupons.

    Last week, my mother-in-law found a beautiful dress in a store where my wife doesn't normally shop, and they went to the store together. My wife loved the dress and wanted to buy it -- but then suffered from "coupon hesitation." Her immediate thought was, "is there a coupon?" (because she and her mom so often use coupons they get in the mail from store chains they regularly visit).

    After the store clerk told her, "we don't ever have coupons," my wife's immediate thought was to leave the store so she could later check for coupons, but instead she stepped aside and pulled out her iPhone to search, and couldn't find any genuine reference to coupons for this store.

    Only then did she think about it -- and realized that the price of the dress was significantly lower than the "discounted" or "after-coupon" price for a comparable dress at other stores where she shops. She bought the dress, and loves it.

    When my wife shops at Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics, she knows that these stores almost always have 30% off or 40% coupons "for one item only" and so she consciously adapts her shopping habits to usually buy just one qualified item at a time, or brings someone along to use a second coupon.

    There is no "coupon hesitation" when I shop at Wal-Mart: I know that Wal-Mart doesn't have store coupons (and I don't bother with manufacturer's coupons, which I used to clip and collect but almost never used).

    A small-restaurant-owner friend of mine once explained that when you open a new "dinner" restaurant (where most of your revenue comes between 6-11pm), you really have just two options: offer coupons and increase all your prices accordingly, or don't offer coupons at all. If you offer coupons and then discontinue them, your "coupon-conditioned" customers will simply not return, because they always believe they'll find another coupon they can use "next time." He chose not to offer any coupons, and charges very reasonable prices. (Of course, restaurant coupons can vary, ranging from "2-for-1" to "50% second meal" to "free beverage" or "free dessert" offers.)

    Online, of course, there's an extra complication in the form of the "coupon prompt," but I've talked about that "problem" in other discussion threads so I won't talk about the "recapture" issue here.

  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Coupon Cabin wrote a significant white paper on what coupons did to influence sales on their site. They had 4.3 million visitors last month: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/couponcabin.com/ Contact them for a copy they are in all the networks.

    Mark, good analogy on Wal-Mart. Took my wife several years to convince me that they have the lowest prices. I check there first and it they don' t carry what I am looking for such as hardware or auto part them I go to the specialty chain. So if you are a merchant who feels they have the lowest pricing on your product niche then you probably don't need to coupon.

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    When I get back from vacation, I hope to post some of the research we did for the ASW10 panel. Coupon sites can provide great value to merchants, if they utilize them properly. There are many pitfalls to avoid, but there are solutions to all of them.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Coupon Cabin wrote a significant white paper on what coupons did to influence sales on their site. They had 4.3 million visitors last month: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/couponcabin.com/ Contact them for a copy they are in all the networks.

    Mark, good analogy on Wal-Mart. Took my wife several years to convince me that they have the lowest prices. I check there first and it they don' t carry what I am looking for such as hardware or auto part them I go to the specialty chain. So if you are a merchant who feels they have the lowest pricing on your product niche then you probably don't need to coupon.
    +1 to the coupon cabin whitepaper!
    Matt McWilliams
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  15. #15
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Then Shawn and Missy should sell another level of pass so anyone who can not attend can benefit.
    Thanks for the suggestion, but we record the sessions as a perk for attendees registered for the sessions.

    We don't have plans to expand into selling DVDs.
    Affiliate Summit - Las Vegas on January 10-12, 2016

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liuda View Post
    Thanks, I also want to find some coupons.
    You can also find coupons here on Consumer Promotions on a month basis.
    "[COLOR="Red"][I][B]Enthusiasm[/B][/I][/COLOR] is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action."

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