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  1. #1
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Is Anti-coupon Sentiment Increasing?
    Lately it seem that more AvantLink merchants are sending out vibes indicating that they are getting more uncertain as to the value of coupons in their programs.

    Some have dropped me because they see me as a coupon affiliate and others are leaving me hanging to see what happens. One sent this today.
    Over the coming months we will be culling some of our coupon-only affiliates. We’ve thought long and hard about this, and talked with both coupon and non-coupon affiliates about our concerns.
    I'm not sure how carefully they will look at what "coupon-only" means.

    One merchant I had done well with a while back was going to drop my commission real low on all my sales. I got them to agree to just let me take the coupons off the coupon site. Now I have to remember that they are the only ones that have coupons available that can't be included in my AvantLink coupon feed.

    Looks like many of them are torn and want to have some coupons, but want to really throttle back on the affiliate channel. They can't seem to quit cold turkey.

    Many merchants don't have any real coupons in their feed. Just something saying "Click Here for great prices" or similar with an expire of 2035. These same folks say they have coupons in the interface at AvantLink, but not really.

    Is it just me or is it getting tougher to promote coupons with AvantLink merchants.


  2. #2
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    John,

    Yes to be honest over the last year (or more) we have seen an increase in the number of merchants either eliminating coupon sites altogether, or paying them less than content/niche oriented sites... but I didn't think this was an AvantLink only issue.

    It's gotten to the point where we have a standard packaged response for merchants on this issues, and it advocates for keeping coupon/deal sites because we do believe they hold value and can in fact close the purchase/seal the deal with the savvy demographic of web shoppers who won't purchase from a merchant otherwise.

    I started a discussion on our Facebook fan page recently to try and bring some light to this issue. It resulted in an excellent discussion...Since there are no permalinks for wall posts at FB, I re-purposed the content to our blog. Here is the link for the purpose of the ensuing discussion here:

    Value of Coupon Sites Discussion

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    cannot reach, secret page ?

    http://www.facebook.com/AvantLink

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    My idea to merchants is if they don't like coupon promotion, just don't issue any affiliate coupons, but still allow all websites to promote them.

    If they like coupon promotion, then issue affiliate coupons, allow all websites to promote, whether the affiliate sites utilize available/approved affiliate coupons or not.

  5. #5
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan View Post
    cannot reach, secret page ?

    http://www.facebook.com/AvantLink
    Well, not secret to FB users That's part of the reason I posted this to the blog for further discussion...

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I agree totally with Gary. It's a growing point of view by merchants that I've seen brewing for at least 3 years (maybe longer). And I don't see it as restricted to AvantLink at all.

    There are many posts here on ABW where it's raised it's head in different ways.

    I do think that affiliates who promote coupons can do a better educating merchants to the value of coupons. IMO, the view by many merchants is based on misinformation (because it benefits someone else) or truly not understanding fully.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    This isn't just AvantLink merchants, this topic comes up with every new client we get. We discuss the pros and cons and I finish by asking them what are their competitors doing? Until someone comes up with a better way to handle coupons this topic will continue to come up.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would have to say that there's been a minor shift against coupon sites (and it's industry-wide, not just on AvantLink), likely because of the economy. The first time I saw a shift against us, was after the dot com bust in 2000/2001. With the economy over the past 2-3 years, many companies are tightening their belts again and coupon affiliates are a pretty easy target. Some of the bad players in the coupon space (and some trademark poachers that masquerade as coupon affiliates) give coupon affiliates a black eye, too.

    The overwhelming majority of merchants still see value in coupons and coupon affiliates. Properly designed, a good coupon strategy can drive a lot of sales, increase conversions, increase average order size and bring in new customers.

    Education is key. I have some really good content that I put together for the Coupon Panel at Affiliate Summit West 2010 that I still need to share in the Couponer's Corner. (Adding it to my To Do List. )
    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

  9. #9
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Sorry if I gave the impression that the issue was more prevalent with AvantLink merchants. It's not. I had just seen quite a few from AvantLink openly turning lately and posted here. This could be moved if someone thinks it would be better. Surely don't want it to look like I'm picking on my favorite network.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan
    My idea to merchants is if they don't like coupon promotion, just don't issue any affiliate coupons, but still allow all websites to promote them.
    I'm seeing merchants that think they have no coupons using coupon feeds with their deals like "free shipping'. This really send mixed signals to affiliates.


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