Headache turned Panic turned #winning for all affiliates in the Flirty Aprons program.
Yesterday, we tried to "control" a promotion by handpicking 6 affiliates to work with over the next month. Within hours, more bloggers picked up the deal because they read each others blogs. One affiliate had a free shipping code that was quickly scraped by dozens of coupon sites. Then the mommy bloggers found the free shipping code. By midnight, half the inventory was gone and several of the affiliates that had the exclusive hadn't even gotten active yet.
So here we are 30 hours later and almost ready to sell out. I've sent a newsletter to all affiliates saying its open season and we apologized to several affiliates who were asked to stop promoting the deal late last night.
Last year it took two months to sell out the irregular aprons. This year the viral monster grabbed us, shook us off and said do not try to control this!!!
What a ride. Lessons learned.
I have stated that the coupon scraping at warp speed was a problem. I'll be evaluating our coupon strategy for every client and finding partners that add true value from now on.