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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager DrMarie's Avatar
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    Should I offer a coupon?
    As most of you know, my site is now a part of SAS. I have had a good number of affiliates sign up so far. I've noticed that a lot of my affiliates are coupon sites.

    Would it be a good idea for me to offer a coupon?

    I currently have an option of $65 for monthly unlimited email conversation (as opposed to having me answer a single question). I was thinking of offering a $15 or $20 off coupon.

    Any advice before I go ahead?
    Dr. Marie runs an [URL="http://www.askavetquestion.com"]online vet advice[/URL] site which offers [COLOR=RED]25% commission[/COLOR] to all affiliates.

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    It depends.
    Some merchant will never issue a coupon. It is associated with discounting your product and associating your company with a coupon site. I do not imagine that companies that associate themselves with quality or prestige will issue any coupons. i.e. Hyatt or the Grand Hilton, etc. I have work at companies where this is the case.

    There is also a camp which think, couponers does not add value to any program. ie. the sale already happened. i.e. Eric decides to go to XYZ merchant, at the checkout, he sees "ADD COUPON", me being a smart alex will go to Google and type in XYX COUPON and sees the coupon. BAM, I get $15 off $65!

    On the flip side:
    Coupon does drive traffic. With a challenging environment, everybody is looking for a deal. It creates a buzz and if you use it wisely on SAS, from the SAS deal feed to other things, you can see a lift in #s. Can you afford to not offer a coupon if your competitors are? Do you have a multimillion dollar brand to protect?

  3. #3
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    "I do not imagine that companies that associate themselves with quality or prestige will issue any coupons. i.e. Hyatt or the Grand Hilton, etc. I have work at companies where this is the case."

    That's not really case I don't think. Hyatt has coupons. Saks 5th Avenue, Nieman Marcus etc. have coupons.

  4. #4
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I take it back about Hyatt.

    I know for a fact that companies like Saks 5th Avenue is coming up with a different strategy to protect their brand and also not isolate those who are willing to pay a premium.
    Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH http://www.saksincorporated.com/ourstores/off5th.asp

    Maybe my example isn't that that exclusive. Ladies, help? Prada, Gucci?

  5. #5
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    Personally, if I had a good brand, I would never offer coupons. It just seems to cheapen the brand.

    It is a necessity though for a lot of different merchants. Coupon sites are massive, and there are lots of them, all promoting merchants that obviously offer coupons.

    Do some research, and then decide if you want retailmenot promoting your business

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The way coupons are handled in PayPal Checkout (which is what you use), I don't think you're going to get many people who find your site and then search for a coupon when they're checking out. That mainly happens with sites that have a very prominent "Coupon Code" field during checkout, and PayPal doesn't make it overly obvious.

    Personally, I think your prices are reasonable and don't need to be discounted. You're offering a fairly unique service at a reasonable price.

    On the other hand, having a coupon code to offer to your coupon affiliates will definitely get you more exposure with them, and may be useful to your other affiliates as well.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Coupons for merchants are great but are not for everyone. If you don't want to offer a coupon you can always offer a custom landing page for your affiliates that has a special offer available to your customers.
    [URL="http://www.manageaffiliatelinks.com/"][COLOR="Red"][B]Manage Affiliate Links[/B][/COLOR][/URL] - Redirect Dead, Expired, or Broken Links

    [URL="http://www.wpcoupon.com/"][COLOR="Blue"][B]WP Coupon[/B][/COLOR][/URL] - Turn Wordpress into a Coupon Site!

  8. #8
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    With the kind of service you offer... little or no big-brand/well-known competition, I think it would be silly and digressive to pursue the kind of promo angles that are commonly used to tip the decision scale in verticals where the customer has dozens or hundreds of other vendors to choose from.

    IMO you would only be offering a coupon for the sake of offering a coupon; just about anybody who is going to purchase your service is going to do it anyway. A coupon code field in your order form would be more an obstacle than an aid.
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  9. #9
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    Perhaps you can offer coupon on some of your offerings ... monthly unlimited or instant service ... Offering a coupon may help a one time questioner consider and upgrade to monthly .. thus increasing your revenues ...!

    Also consider your competition. They may not be as savvy as you are in offering affiliate programs, but I did find vets online who offer free or unlimited questions/answers for a month for $20 or lower. The "Ask a Vet Question" space seems to be filled with competitors based on what I am seeing with a simple search on google!. If your margins allow, you should consider offering coupons and really take advantage of your unique affiliate program in the space.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager DrMarie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great feedback guys! There is indeed competition for my niche. Most of it is not well SEO'd. I really only have one competitor that I would consider major.

    My reasons for offering a coupon would be to draw some traffic from the coupon sites and also to attract coupon sites to offer my product.

    I'm still undecided so I'll likely wait for now.
    Dr. Marie runs an [URL="http://www.askavetquestion.com"]online vet advice[/URL] site which offers [COLOR=RED]25% commission[/COLOR] to all affiliates.

  11. #11
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    Perhaps instead of trying to attract coupon sites, you should be trying to attract niche affiliates.

    Coupon sites may have high traffic, but that is spread over thousands of merchants in most cases.

    However, niche sites focus on 1 merchant (or one vertical), and can get you some major traffic if you have a good program.

  12. #12
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    What Julian said lol.

    For some reason I wind up saying that a lot :P
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  13. #13
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    And the "coupon sites" tend to pick up the customer AFTER they have already been referred to your site and clicked through to the shopping cart. The customer steps away to search for a coupon. The affiliate who worked so hard to find and bring the customer to you in the first place winds up with nothing in return for what they have produced.
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager DrMarie's Avatar
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    Perhaps instead of trying to attract coupon sites, you should be trying to attract niche affiliates.
    Good point. Thanks guys! You guys give good advice here.
    Dr. Marie runs an [URL="http://www.askavetquestion.com"]online vet advice[/URL] site which offers [COLOR=RED]25% commission[/COLOR] to all affiliates.

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Coupon sites are part of the affiliate marketing mix. Without a coupon or deal it is doubtful they will deploy you. With one you can get on 100-400 sites. If your cart shows a slot for a code the consumer will go looking. If your competitor has a coupon code and you don't they will go to the consumer. Some consumers will not purchase without a coupon code just like my wife goes to Wal-mart and if they don't have it loos elsewhere.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager DrMarie's Avatar
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    My thought was, if I was offering a coupon for just this one high end product (the $65 subscription) was that I would make a custom landing page for the affiliates. The landing page would tell the user that their $10 or $15 coupon was activated. Then, they would go to a paypal button that was set for that amount.

    That way I wouldn't have to have a coupon code.
    Dr. Marie runs an [URL="http://www.askavetquestion.com"]online vet advice[/URL] site which offers [COLOR=RED]25% commission[/COLOR] to all affiliates.

  17. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    DrMarie, that is what Overstock does to increase conversion and consumer confidence. There are advantages for having the physical code but recommend starting with this and testing a code later.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMarie View Post
    My thought was, if I was offering a coupon for just this one high end product (the $65 subscription) was that I would make a custom landing page for the affiliates. The landing page would tell the user that their $10 or $15 coupon was activated. Then, they would go to a paypal button that was set for that amount.

    That way I wouldn't have to have a coupon code.
    That's the way to do it and one I've recommended all these years. One thread on it - http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showt...xplaining+deal

    Links are much better for some of the reasons I outlined in that thread:

    **Prevent scraping
    **Prevent customers from just coming and copying codes off of coupon sites and those sites getting 0
    **Easier for customers, they just have to click the link.
    **Higher conversions, fact

    And what you said about the landing page explaining the deal or telling the customer the deal was activated, just like:

    http://www.lampsplus.com/index.aspx?...ons-_-40off450

    or

    http://www.buy.com/retail/coupon.asp?prid=82955137

  19. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Good point Trust and worthy of its own discussion. Most merchants don't use triggered coupon links because they take extra work. But, they do get around the situation. Also, big couponers have been used to asking for physical coupon codes that are co-branded (exclusive) because they feel it influences the sale. Need a hybrid model.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, I think it's what you said. It takes extra work, making those landing pages. But it's one of those things that's good for everybody. Forgot to mention how it can be good for a merchant. Sometimes they have codes meant for specific channels but if it's in code form, it's just going to get out there, it's the internet. Codes are easy to pass around.

    As far as exclusives codes, mid to upper 90% are probably in code form but my favorite exclusives is when a merchant has made a landing page just for me, when someone clicks a coupon link and the landing page says Welcome MySite.com Shopper. Good for branding and also, those type of exclusives won't be spread around the internet as well. We have threads just on that, sites using other sites Exclusive Codes. In link form, that pretty much eliminates that problem.

  21. #21
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    Good points Trust.

  22. #22
    Full Member Lindy Rig's Avatar
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    Good point Trust. But I'm surprised no one in here suggested some A/B. What WE think ultimately doesn't matter. Does it work? is the standard.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager DrMarie's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no one in here suggested some A/B
    Sorry, but what is A/B?
    Dr. Marie runs an [URL="http://www.askavetquestion.com"]online vet advice[/URL] site which offers [COLOR=RED]25% commission[/COLOR] to all affiliates.

  24. #24
    Full Member Lindy Rig's Avatar
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    A/B testing. Here's a good resource
    http://www.marketingexperiments.com/...t-testing.html

  25. #25
    Full Member Lindy Rig's Avatar
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    Ooops. Michael, I've seen that site in the URL in previous post listed by some other people on here as a resource. I hope it's ok to post it.

    Lindy

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