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  1. #1
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    Which one is better, a coupon with long period of validity or short?
    Hello every one, I have a question to ask here for advises. We frequently launch affiliates' promotions, like offering discounted coupon codes to affiliates. But i have no idea what kind of coupon do affiliates prefer, one with long period of validity (e.g. without expiration) or short period (e.g. valid for only one month, and create new ones next month, etc)? seems like some affiliates don't like to change the coupon code on their sites frequently.
    can any one here help?
    thank

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    The best thing to do is: Poll or ask them

    A lot of it has to do with how you process coupons and the technical differences in systems. For instance, we do a set %/$ off first month's invoice that affiliates hand out to their audiences (everyone has the same percentage as to avoid affiliates continually asking for discounts to dilute the value of our products and services). Our system has the ability to create custom coupons for affiliates (i.e. "Taylor15off") per affiliate that don't expire. Therefore, we don't have to run into expiration dates and the worry that affiliates have to take action to change them (plus, affiliates like the ability to "brand" these coupons- it aids in their promotion and relationship with our company).


    Let me know a little bit more about how you have it setup and I can probably provide more insight. Thanks!
    Taylor H. Barr
    Arbiter of Affiliates (and Partnerships)
    Skype: ASOTaylor
    [URL="mailto:taylor@asmallorange.com"]Taylor@asmallorange.com[/URL]

  3. #3
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Trusted partners get long term coupons of a decent percentage off. Maybe 10%.

    Each month we change our general coupon. Last month 15% off. Maybe 20% this month.

    If we have to get rid of inventory, we'll do a deep discount. 40% this weekend only on product x.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  5. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You need to offer the following:
    Generic code for all affiliates good to the end of the year.
    Exclusive codes co-branded to the bigger producers, they will ask.
    Frequent promotional codes for a week, weekend or a seasonal sale.

    I have several merchants that do well when they have a Sale then drop down to 1-2 sales a day when the Sale is off.

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  7. #5
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    You need to offer the following:
    Generic code for all affiliates good to the end of the year.
    Exclusive codes co-branded to the bigger producers, they will ask.
    Frequent promotional codes for a week, weekend or a seasonal sale.

    I have several merchants that do well when they have a Sale then drop down to 1-2 sales a day when the Sale is off.
    Didn't I just say that?
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

  8. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Think no coupon, unless a vanity coupon, should go longer than the end of the month.

    Warn affiliates who leave outdated coupons online - terminate those that ignore you and repeat offenders.

    Just me...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  9. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Didn't I just say that?
    Not to that extent but then again I never did get what you were saying!!!!

    Warn affiliates who leave outdated coupons online - terminate those that ignore you and repeat offenders.
    Doing that, major pain too.

  10. #8
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Chuck needs
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  12. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Chuck needs glasses and needed more sleep. Drove 15 hours Sunday on a last minute road trip!

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  14. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    As a consumer, I always appreciate it when a merchant gives a grace period on a couple that is slightly expired.

    Good way for a merchant to build up good will, IMO.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  16. #11
    Shimmy Shimmy Bang Bang shimmy's Avatar
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    short answer: long period

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  18. #12
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound View Post
    As a consumer, I always appreciate it when a merchant gives a grace period on a couple that is slightly expired.

    Good way for a merchant to build up good will, IMO.
    I've never heard that.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

  19. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    When possible I let a code run an extra day so affiliates can get it removed so it doesn't cause a problem with customer service. Depends on the merchant.

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  21. #14
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    with customers being in different time zones I normally add a day onto the published expiration date, you just don't need to put up with all the grief of a east coast server expiring a coupon at midnight and someone in Hawaii (8 hours later) typing to use the coupon.

    External sites (affiliates..) that don't list expiration dates (or in some cases a compete description of the product the coupon applies to) are really not helping, they create a bad impression for the customer and a mess for customer service, (how many times have you seen coupons that expired years ago on a site..), then the customer calls the customer service number complaining about the coupon code not working.

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  23. #15
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCBerries View Post
    with customers being in different time zones I normally add a day onto the published expiration date, you just don't need to put up with all the grief of a east coast server expiring a coupon at midnight and someone in Hawaii (8 hours later) typing to use the coupon.

    External sites (affiliates..) that don't list expiration dates (or in some cases a compete description of the product the coupon applies to) are really not helping, they create a bad impression for the customer and a mess for customer service, (how many times have you seen coupons that expired years ago on a site..), then the customer calls the customer service number complaining about the coupon code not working.
    Merchants need to provide the time/time zone to their expirations (in their newsletters and elsewhere). We added a function this past year where we can set the expiration to the hour, ie: Midnight EST...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  24. #16
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Merchants need to provide the time/time zone to their expirations (in their newsletters and elsewhere). We added a function this past year where we can set the expiration to the hour, ie: Midnight EST...
    With only a limited amount of space in the various descriptions it clutters up the the short descriptions.. and I've yet to see a site that posts the full long description without editing(from SAS)

    One affiliate having the time zone capability is good, but the merchant needs to set things up so it can be handled by everyone, a little padding helps with that and when the customer starts the order one day and finishes it the next.

    I've yet to have an affiliate ask what time of the day our coupons expire, but with the one day padding it really does not matter.

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  26. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCBerries View Post
    With only a limited amount of space in the various descriptions it clutters up the the short descriptions.. and I've yet to see a site that posts the full long description without editing(from SAS)

    One affiliate having the time zone capability is good, but the merchant needs to set things up so it can be handled by everyone, a little padding helps with that and when the customer starts the order one day and finishes it the next.

    I've yet to have an affiliate ask what time of the day our coupons expire, but with the one day padding it really does not matter.
    Same problem with our society, seriously. Set everything to the lowest common denominator so there's no need for improvement.

    Time for the status quo to change - so the industry, networks, affiliates, and merchants will change - for the better...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  27. #18
    Shimmy Shimmy Bang Bang shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCBerries View Post
    I've yet to have an affiliate ask what time of the day our coupons expire, but with the one day padding it really does not matter.
    I never knew merchants did padding. Very smart move.

  28. #19
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimmy View Post
    I never knew merchants did padding. Very smart move.
    For me it's really a matter of looking at what causes problems, what just is not working or takes too much time for the payback: you fix it or get rid of it.

    There are exceptions to the one day padding, if I have a special landing page for a flash or countdown sale I control all the content and in that case I list the actual times with the EST.

    That being said I'm trying something new right now, instead of having the customers searching off site for coupons I'm using the field to allow them to select a charity to donate to instead. The field has been renamed "Charity/Coupon Code" . If the customers have a coupon from an external site the field still works as normal.

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  30. #20
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    Thanks all of you for your kindly suggestions! I left for a couple of days due to some personal affairs.

    Let me know a little bit more about how you have it setup and I can probably provide more insight. Thanks!
    This year I tried to setup one coupon code per month. But I found that most of my affiliates still use the same old coupons. I thought maybe they didn't like to change the coupons on their sites so frequent.

    You need to offer the following:
    Generic code for all affiliates good to the end of the year.
    Exclusive codes co-branded to the bigger producers, they will ask.
    Frequent promotional codes for a week, weekend or a seasonal sale.

    I have several merchants that do well when they have a Sale then drop down to 1-2 sales a day when the Sale is off.
    they are very useful. btw, i also hav some affiliates like yours who sell well during the promotional period then drop down when the promotion is off. How did you solve this?

    also, i like your guys suggestions on setting up an extra day to the expiration date. i'll take it.

  31. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    they are very useful. btw, i also hav some affiliates like yours who sell well during the promotional period then drop down when the promotion is off. How did you solve this?
    You should send weekly promotions, figure them as ad units, you expire an ad unit and their is no ad. If you ran an ad in a national paper would you expect it to continue when the ad was pulled from the paper?

    You can also make promotions from products on your site that are sold for less than MSRP, use direct language. Also Free Shipping is the highest sought affiliate promotion and if you do that for a certain level of sales then create text links like "Free Shipping on order over $50"!

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  33. #22
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Long period. Too short and many affiliates will never get it posted. My favorite thing in the world is when ALL current coupon codes are listed on every email/newsletter and recently expired are listed as expired. It is very helpful. My least favorite promotions/code are those that are run for one day during a 5 hour sale (for example).
    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.

  34. #23
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    thank you both leeann and chuck.

  35. #24
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    As you can see there's a different preference for each affiliate...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  37. #25
    Affiliate Manager chris9771's Avatar
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    I think that coupons are really an interesting animal in the affiliate space.

    Its a tough mix, you want to keep your name in front of the affiliate, but not so much that you are annoying them with requests to post new coupons and remove old coupons. then you become annoying and not helpful. I think those 24 hour "flash" sales are really difficult to gain much traction in affiliate space, just because of the nature of having to post and remove coupons. (Caveat, if affiliate has a coupon feed service, it does alleviate some of their site admin headaches).

    Monthly coupons seem to be pretty standard for many programs. But if everyone is doing them, then its difficult to stand out from the crowd when an affiliate gets 200 emails at the end of every month.

    I think two week coupons are a good idea, this way your offers don't get stale. and I really like the suggestions above to list out the expiring codes when you do send out the affiliate communications, as well as to add in a cushion with your merchant to allow the codes to be redeemed a day or so past expiration. As noted, thats a great goodwill move for the merchant.
    Sorry, that got long winded pretty quickly!

    short answer - I personally think 2 week coupons are a happy medium.
    -
    Chris Cooper
    MGECOM.com

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