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  1. #1
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    Does anybody know if Office Max gives special coupons to some sites. I've seen of a few sites have coupons for $30 off $150, not with a coupon code but by following a link, but i search LS for the link and dont find any.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Those coupons and other specials that are autoloaded by the affiliate networks to the parasite Duperaffiliates are what make us normal affiliates go broke. If the merchants stopped loading coupons all the hijacking our links and commissions would cease. Those people who push FREEBEEs and coupons are toast since these autotron super affiliates will interlope on your traffic to make sure you earn zip from affiliate marketing.

    Coupons -incent deals and FREEBEEs are so 1990's and have nothing to do with pay-per-performance marketing ...only pure play advertising gimmicks used by direct marketers for years. The sorry group of Clovers even have to face the fact that successful e-tailers have to show low prices without incent deals to get steady business and bookmarks. Surfers have been ripped off by every conceivable "incent" site whose whole followup marketing plan is spamming to the perloined e-mail addresses.

  3. #3
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    Mike,

    There is a difference in Coupon marketing and Incentive marketing. You can not simply treat them on the same basis. These two marketing strategies are fundamentally different, set-up in totally different ways and aimed at different goals.

    All of the sucessful business you talk about, have successfully used and are still using coupon marketing. It is really a full lecture to discuss this issue but there are many benefits to businesses to offer coupons to specific target audience and it does make a lot of business sense.

    Incentive deals are, on the other hand, set up in a way to fool consumers for a goal that has nothing to do with "generating business right away". Incentive marketing is often used by list brokers and spam manufacturers in order to collect or update their marketing data.

    "Free cell phone booster foy your pesonal info", can not possibly be compared to "10% off your first purchase at our store".

    On the Office Max issue, yes OfficeMax gives coupons to some of their strategic partners, who may or may not be able to bring a lot of business marketing these coupons, but there are politics and business issues that gives American Express the $30 off coupon for AMEX holders and my customers will have to click thru American Express link to get that deal.

    I talked to OfficeMax people at last years LS symposium and they did not seem to give a damn about the rest of their affiliates.

    On another note, cost of coupon marketing is partially built into the pricing process. For example, Staples.com sells certain printer for $200 while everywhere else it is for $175. If I don't have $40 coupon for that, I wouldn't buy it from Staples.com, hence, there is a $40 coupon for people like me to buy it from Staples to save a few bucks.

    There are many constraints and considerations within coupon marketing, though, makes it quite ineffective for many businesses who try it without the proper setup and knowledge.

    -BluesX

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    In my past experience, sometimes coupons are given to some sites to promote as a reward for reaching a certain level of sales.
    This is a good incentive for affiliates to push the merchants, if you promote them enough, bring in enough sales, they usually are happy to give you a coupon to use.

    Why should they supply coupons or special offers to every tom, dick or harry affiliate site? It is not just the parasidic sites that get the deals, it is also the hard working affiliate who spends lots of time promoting their merchants and their sites and are able to bring in the sales.

  5. #5
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    Connie, welcome to these boards!!!! You are someone who has been an inspiration to me.

    Regards from Canada,

    Elisabeth Archambault

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Connie,

    A big HI and Welcome!<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/smilies/welcome.gif> Great, to have you with us [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Haiko

  7. #7
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    The whole office category has suffered from excessive couponing, even though, as suggested by BluesX, some prices may have coupons built into them. However, it's not always the case. Retailers can't build in discounts to all prices, because 1) not everyone finds these coupons, and thus prices would seem outrageous to the casual observer browsing through thesite, and 2) results on price comparison sites would greatly suffer. Both of these reasons explain why coupons aren't always built into prices across the board by retailers.

    Staples went on a rampant coupon-using-affiliate expulsion last year, eliminating any affiliate promoting "unauthorized" coupon codes. It resulted in not being able to find Staples coupons on almost any site unless they didn't have affiliate links -- in which case, what's the motivation to post them?

    OfficeDepot has had coupon banners on ad buys across the web on sites like MSNBC.com that, when clicked, told you that the offer no longer existed. This went on for months, but it looks like their RON ad buys have run out, because I'm not seeing them as much.

    In general margins are so tough in this category, especially since they all offer free shipping on orders over $50, that I doubt you'll see any mass-couponing again in this category.

    Instead, try focusing on specific product related discounts in hot categories like CD burners. All of these category players have new featured deals each week. Staples has an auto-merchandiser link that rotates all featured items. I don't think the other guys do, but request something similar, and show them your prominently placed Staples auto-merchandiser link to motivate them.

    ----

    PS to EcomCity: perloined -- purloined

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Coupons are incentives. Coupons links without auto merchandising updates are a worthless waste of a webmasters time. All coupons or specials offers I've seen appear on the merchants pages. Truthfully tell us uninformed why a $25.00 off coupon, that applies to a specific product as a manufacturer spiff, can't be tied into a individual product page link. Coupon offer popups and when it expires it no longer shows but the product links still keeps selling. This would require no real expertise to accomplish. But cccoupons are designed to feed the parasites ...not normal affiliates. I puke every time a affiliate manager thinks she/he can equate conversions to ccoupons deals when 95% of the clicks get generated by the Duperaffiliates.

    I hate those hundreds of expired link notices due to coupons. Me and every web shopper would not like to jump through hoops and wait months for rebate checks ( if they ever come) when the damn 299.95 box can be purchased for 214.00 at 10 other web sites. It will be a cold day in Hell before any coupon will match the NET delivered price at OverStock.

    Get it through your heads we are not getting paid to advertise next weeks special manufacturer rebate. We are not in the advertising business we are in the sales business. All the companies mentioned above have affiliate managers who work for their advertising departments. To them affiliates, other than the DuperAffiliates with plenty of eyeballs, are by themselves undeserving of any efforts to boost conversions by serious landing pages. Prove me wrong. It takes at least 1000 click throughs to generate a sale to any of them.

    The internet is supposed to brand consumers, show instore specials to drive them into the local stores! Bet someone 100.00 not one of the office outfitters or any major Mass retailer like JC Penny or Walmart will publish their EPC across the network results. They just don't think sales ..they think branding, advertising reach and followup e-mail marketing campaigns. Coupons play right into their mindset.

  9. #9
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    The problem with all this stuff is that people are trying to figure a way to do value added business in a commoditized world.

    They have to use incentives because if they do not they lose sales and if they lower the price straight out, they would be hard pressed to RAISE the price.

    With coupons and the like they can hold the wholesale price and use coupons to better manage the sales.

    In these days there is not much that really sells at more than a 25% profit margin.

    I personally think that brand manufacturer's would make more PROFIT having their own Sam's Club where they sell at say wholesale plus say $x per item but charge the buyers an annual membership fee.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Good points raised as to why coupons work for some webmaster sites. Without coupons Morpheus -ShopNow -eBates and Gator would be history. They get autoloaded with all the CJ -BeFree and Linkshare latest coupons every night as we sleep.

    I did notice that OfficeMax coupons that auto rotate do have a product landing page. The coupon is a instant apply type so the immediate purchase price is lowered at checkout time. They are an experience retailers and like Red Tag sales stickers they use coupons to move excess goods. If one of these -OfficeMax- Office Depot- Staples- were to seperate themselves from the pack it won't be by coupons. It will be the one who adopts TigerDirects approach to increase online sales by 800%.

    BluesX could get rich if he spent all day everyday finding items at OverStock lower priced elsewhere. The have a price guarantee and you can live well on premium they pay if you find a better price on 10,000 items with a price guarantee tag.

  11. #11
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    Coupons. Well my site used to be a freebies site, and the revenue was so pethetic that I believe in order to boost business you gotta offer bargains have a little description to compare it too. The trick in order to get sales is too update your content frequently. Like amazing-bargains.com and or freebiesforever.com. I believe in order to get your visitors to actually buy products you gotta offer them some kind of coupon and/or incentive, Because without a incentive why would anyone want to buy from your site? unless it was really good deals. Like a lot of merchants( not naming names) end up ripping off the customer. Like lets say you can buy a mp3 player for $80 as an example, and somewhere else you can buy it for $75. It's all on competition and giving your visitors a free gift card or gifts for shopping at your site. I offer my visitors a chance to win a $50 gift once our site accumulates $100 in sales. I would like others feedback on this.

    Jason

    freebiesforever.com

  12. #12
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    Connie,
    Welcome! Its nice to see you here.

    Mike,
    You really need to get out more. (Out on the web..)

    Nuff said.
    j

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