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  1. #1
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    Question A Lot Of Coupon Related Affiliates Joining Program
    I just joined SAS and I've been seeing a lot of "coupon" sites joining my program. These sites don't seem to be highly ranked or highly traffic sites; so I don't see them as being good affiliates for my program.

    Are there other higher quality affiliates on SAS that can drive traffic to my site, or do a majority of SAS affiliates just run "coupon" sites?

    I'm hoping by running a "Featured Program" promotion to gain higher quality affiliates, but not sure if this will just end up bringing me more "coupon" affiliate sites.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Recommended reading (this is a common scenario) from our Client Services Director Sarah Beeskow.

    Instead of typing it all out, it's on our blog at The Coupon Application Tidal Wave | ShareASale Blog

    Bottom line, if you don't see value in a potential partnership, don't enter into that partnership. Affiliate Marketing takes time to grow and I wouldn't worry about how the first few weeks go in general.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    It's normal on any network, actually less so on ShareASale than other big networks. Was in your shoes not too long ago, and wrote a (hopefully helpful) article about it here.

    Do not recommend working with all coupon sites, be very selective. Valuable coupon sites have their own traffic and promote specific products to their subscriber/follower base. They also tend to create helpful content for their user-base.

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  5. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Try contacting them before approving and get a dialogue going. I find that many sign up for every merchant on a network but seldom get active. If you can get them to create a store page its an organically ranked listing for your merchant so worth something.

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  7. #5
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    It make sense, coupons site owners are promoting hundreds if not thousand of advertisers.

    If you looking for websites that focus on one or two offers, your offer got to be really competitive.

  8. #6
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    If you offer coupons - coupon affiliates can be a tremendous value to you. If you don't, don't bring them into your program. A general statement knocking coupon sites is naive. They've put a lot of online retailers on the map and kept them there. It all depends on what you sell on your site. If you have competitive pricing, coupon sites can help bring the customers to your door. Each site is different, as is each coupon site.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  9. #7
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    the same from other side, if merchant doesn't offer coupons I don't join

  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    Look for established affiliates, ones that have been around a few years instead of ones that have put a site up yesterday. Some of us get high converting targeted customers, not from paid ads or even Google directly.
    Hosting Discounts from Professional Rates Hosts - Deals and Coupons on Domain Names from GoDadday, Namecheap, Domain.com and more top registers.

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  12. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    i have nothing against coupon sites BUT I do decline ones that are nothing but copies or template coupon sites.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  13. #10
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    If you have a "Promo Code" box in your check out path; customers will leave your site and look up a coupon.

    The Google Search "ExampleStore Coupon" can be a very lucrative keyword combination, and all the coupon stores want it.

  14. #11
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Coupons can and do help close a sale - maybe not for every shopper but certainly for a lot of them. We have a merchant site with a coupon available right on the site. We are also about to launch an affiliate program that will will not accept coupon sites. We want to ensure that a referring content affiliate will not have their tracking cookie overwritten by a couponer. (Watch for a program ad here on ABW very soon).
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  16. #12
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Bill, that is offensive. Coupon sites do not "snip" sales. They offer a service to customers looking for extra savings. That line is just so negative.

    Does the Sunday newspaper coupon insert "snip" sales from a grocery store? Savvy retailers know that using coupons in syndicated newspapers (and as well as online and mobile) is a tried and true way to attract customers to their products.

    Just look at the JC Penney fiasco if you have any doubt. The last CEO didn't want his profit margin "snipped" by offering coupons and the company almost went broke.
    He totally alienated the JC Penney customer. Now the new CEO (who was the old CEO before the genius stepped in) has made a point to get word out that JC Penney will be offering coupons, and a lot of them. Funny how suddenly the online coupon sites don't look so bad to JCP, now. Maybe he'll win back the customer or maybe he won't. Word has it, a lot of them rediscovered Target.

    Speaking of Target -- (#3 in Top 100 Retailers) -- has a very aggressive coupon strategy and definitely utilizes affiliates to help (snip) or rather spread the word.

    Walmart -- (#1 in Top 100 Retailers) has no problem partnering with coupon sites and they rarely offer a coupon, but they do promote low prices which is another service coupon sites offer to retailers. They (snip) promote their competitive prices.

    Macy's (#16) is another one that has no problem with coupon affiliates joining up. They are right under Amazon (#15) (who also allows coupon sites to "snip" sales)
    and the list goes on.

    Did I mention Walgreen's? They are #4 and they love coupon sites.

    But I guess you know something that they don't.

    (Oh and if you meant "snip" as in "a cut or notch made" then it is "snipped" where as "sniped" means "to shoot at exposed individuals.")
    Last edited by leeann; July 17th, 2013 at 10:45 PM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  17. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    on this point i agree with Bill;
    to many affiliates lose their rightful commission when a customer goes to look for a coupon elsewhere after finding what he wants on a merchants site thru an affiliate referral.

    For this reason i ask/ recommend, all my merchants post a visible coupon code on their site
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso


  18. #14
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Sorry, leeann, I did not mean to be offensive. I fully agree with you that coupon sites can add value to a merchant program. I am also aware of the examples you cited where coupon marketing is an important sales channel.

    However, Chris hit the target with what I meant to say (hopefully with less offensive wording). Content affiliates who do not promote coupons lose many sales to people who are ready to buy when they click to a merchant from (whatever they read or saw on) the content affiliate's site. Many (but not all) will then go "out" looking for a coupon to see if they can save a few bucks. Most of the time when they click on a coupon - real or bogus - the original referral cookie is overwritten by the coupon site's cookie. (I suppose I should have said "cookie overwriting" rather than "sniping.")

    While it is true that a shared attribution model may better allocate commissions among multiple referrers in the sales path - I don't believe they always work fairly. They cannot judge the intent, or decision-making process, of the shopper.

    We're betting that some content affiliates will be interested in a program that eliminates that type of (last minute coupon-hunting) cookie overwriting. More simply, "Don't eat my cookies."
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  20. #15
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I see your point Bill. I guess I'm sensitive to all the negative stuff out there about coupon sites and the word snip or snipe just ughh...'d me the wrong way. I feel like we get a lot of bad press and believe me, it isn't an easy gig. It could be a lot easier if merchants all used a universal datafeed, but we know THAT will never happen. And believe me... coupon sites also get their cookies gobbled up by..well.. we all know who... no reason to type the name.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  21. #16
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I'm glad you understand, leeann. I feel like I've known you (via the web) for a long time and certainly don't want to offend someone I've respected for many years.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  22. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    So in your opinion, what is a fair split between a first adopter like a content site, price comparison, loyalty program or affiliate email and the couponer site that closes the sale? I ask because I anticipate testing this with a program shortly and want to be fair to all parties.

  23. #18
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    My opinion is that stores should remove the "promo code" box from the checkout path.

    When buyers encounter "promo code" boxes in the check out, they leave the site looking for a promo code. That is bad for both the store and original click affiliate.

    If you have a promo, then create a different path for the promo. People who use coupons don't mind having to jump through hoops to use a coupon. Coupon users like doing something extra to get a deal.

    Having people leave the checkout page to search for coupons to fill in a "promo code" box is simply a bad design.

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  25. #19
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Here is a problem we regularly encounter with coupon code removal from the cart. We can do this by adding the code to a referrer in the affiliate link and make it private to that affiliate. We actually push the code to the cart which results in higher conversion for the merchant (and affiliate). Problem is that many coupon sites use a standard link even though we emphasis using the coupon code link and they show the coupon code on a popup. So rather than no coupon code available now they see that and go searching for a better code.

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  27. #20
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Hesitate to say this since know there's been a lot of talk about "coupon sites" everyone has their own opinion on them and definitely don't want to offend anyone. Everyone has their own thoughts on how they should run their sites. Personally I don't think any site if a coupon or content site (that will list a coupon as well) should force a visitor to click to see any coupon (while that cookie is set from them doing so) Especially when I know some do this when there is no coupon even available. Am behaving myself and not going on and on about this subject or a certain site I won't name but those familiar with me will know who I'm talking about lol To me that's just wrong, but again is just my opinion and not all agree with me.

    Guess this falls into my category of can't for the life of me figure out why lol

    *olimits7
    "These sites don't seem to be highly ranked or highly traffic sites; so I don't see them as being good affiliates for my program."

    Ummm again will not names and am counting to 10 so I behave myself but uhhhhhh some of those "highly traffic sites or highly ranked sites" in my opinion are not really sites in all cases that you should be excited about having in your program. Some of those sites will rank high for merchant so and so coupon (where if you have coupons you should rank higher than them for your own site) Some of those sites will also not be the most ethical of sites. Just because they rank high in search results doesn't mean they are good sites or maybe a better way for me to word it is doesn't mean they are sites that conduct their business the way you would like to see them do it.

    As long as an affiliate is an ethical affiliate it shouldn't matter to you where they are in search results or their traffic levels. They are giving your program free exposure by having your links on their site. That should make you happy. You should spend your time looking for ethical affiliates and working with them to improve your program. If you have a good program it will attract good affiliates

    Please do not make general statements about "coupon affiliates" there are good "coupon affiliates" and bad. Same as content, there are good and bad. Look for good affiliates, don't worry about what type of site they have.

    In my ideal world all merchants if they have coupons would have those coupons on their sites. (would probably lol even have them say this is as good a coupon as you're gonna get. lol Some people probably go looking for the best coupon, not just a coupon. I do that.

    Anyway, just my opinion. Is your program and you can accept whatever type of affiliate you want in your program.

  28. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Personally I don't think any site if a coupon or content site (that will list a coupon as well) should force a visitor to click to see any coupon (while that cookie is set from them doing so) Especially when I know some do this when there is no coupon even available.
    I agree and we spend a lot of time screening them, first time they get a warning and we verify that non-coupon links are removed. If they continue we boot them from all of out programs.

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  30. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO View Post
    For this reason i ask/ recommend, all my merchants post a visible coupon code on their site
    Quote Originally Posted by yintercept View Post
    My opinion is that stores should remove the "promo code" box from the checkout path.

    When buyers encounter "promo code" boxes in the check out, they leave the site looking for a promo code. That is bad for both the store and original click affiliate.
    Couldn't agree more!

    If the customer is in the shopping cart, he/she is ready to check out. Why any merchant in their right mind will want to send the customer away? That just the dumbest thing to do, IMHO.

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  32. #23
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    So in your opinion, what is a fair split between a first adopter like a content site, price comparison, loyalty program or affiliate email and the couponer site that closes the sale?......
    Difficult to say. From my post, in my opinion: They (shared attribution models) cannot judge the intent, or decision-making process, of the shopper. One shopper may think, "I really need to buy this - but lemme see if I can find a coupon." While another may think, "I don't really need this but might buy if I can find a decent sale price."

    With one the first referrer closed the sale. With the second the coupon site may have closed the sale but the original referrer introduced the item and put the shopper in a buying frame of mind. So, as I also stated, in my opinion, I don't believe the shared attribution model always works fairly. Our new program, while not perfect, will eliminate that speculation.

    I like mayfly's sig: "Who stole my cookies?"
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
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  33. #24
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    So, as I also stated, in my opinion, I don't believe the shared attribution model always works fairly. Our new program, while not perfect, will eliminate that speculation.
    Your new program will always credit the introducer/adopter?

  34. #25
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Your new program will always credit the introducer/adopter?
    No coupon, cash-back or loyalty sites will be in the program.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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