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  1. #1
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    Merchants Consider Offering Both Long And Short Term Coupons
    You can do both. Most do monthly coupons which is fine. Some do very short durations which is fine. I like to see more longer term coupons too, months or for the whole year. Give affiliates the option, let them choose which ones work best for them. Some affiliates who don't do coupons primarily might try them (which will help conversions) if they had longer terms so they wouldn't have to switch them out so often. There are some who don't keep up with them well, this will help. I don't see any downsides to this, only positives.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I like to see more longer term coupons too...
    I'm currently running coupons in three categories: 7-day, 14-day, and Lifetime.

    I run the 7/14 mix always starting on a Monday to avoid the 1st of the month rush.

    This has me thinking about Monthly and Quarterly (perhaps Annually?) as new categories.

    How appealing are these categories (current and proposed)?

    I also like the non-1st-of-the-month dates, does everyone else?

  3. #3
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    I just checked and don't see any lifetime coupons. The ones where you have dollar off or percent off with code are 12/1 - 12/10 and then 12/1 - 12/17. Clearance section, deal of day, normal free shipping is what I see for lifetime but that's not coupons.

    For example you have one 10% off any order SAVETEN for 10 days. I think as an option have something like that but for a longer period. And for those that want to use the shorter duration coupons, it's there for them. For those that want to use longer duration, have that as an option too.

    I bet if merchants who usually offer coupons to their affiliates (or new ones), did this, emailed their affiliates about the options. They would get their offers on more sites, have more sales.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Everybody gets behind and misses things. A long term coupon prevents you from being listed everywhere as "our database has run dry". When that happens to my site a few times, I'll drop you. It's just because showing that blank page to my visitors makes it look like I'm the one not keeping up. And when it comes to seo crawls, i get indexed as blank too. Put in a $2 coupon that lasts a year or something... then go nuts with changing stuff up all the time, no problem.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Clearance section, deal of day, normal free shipping is what I see for lifetime but that's not coupons.
    Good point, I didn't really think of that. I am planning to add some 'real' lifetime coupons, but that's kind of an un-reversible move so I'm waiting to learn a little more first before I'm comitted.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I think as an option have something like that but for a longer period.
    It sounds like longer-term coupons have better affiliate appeal. I'm I reading this correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    A long term coupon prevents you from being listed everywhere as "our database has run dry".
    Again, sounds like longer term is the way to go. I can see the 'maintenance' requirement of these short-term coupons could definitely be a pain for affs.

    So, long term is the way to go?

    And many thanks to both of you for the insights, I'm getting an education today.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Great suggestions! This is some of the stuff I recommend as well.

    Some of my suggestions (which overlap with those above):

    1) Make sure to run coupons for various different time frames. Long-term coupons (30 days or longer) are great for non-coupon affiliates. Even for coupon sites, one really long-term (1 year or never expiring) coupon will ensure that you're always listed. Most coupon sites have some sort of "we don't have an coupons for them" message, but some of us just make the merchant disappear if they have nothing. (Why list a merchant with no coupons on a coupon site?)

    2) The shorter a coupon is, the better it should be. If you're running a 10% off coupon all year, running a 5% off coupon this weekend is just stupid (yet merchants do it). Don't overdo it with really short (1-2 days or less) coupons, as only your top affiliates will take the effort to promote them.

    3) Make sure you hit a variety of price points with your coupons. The most important price points are the ones near or above your average order size.

    4) If you rotate out coupons on a regular basis, keep a banner dynamically updated with the coupon details. This will be useful to non-coupon affiliates who want to easily promote your coupons.

    5) Keep your coupons short, simple, ALL CAPS, and not ambiguous. People are much more likely to get "AB10" right than "10%lFk983FJ5S_SD123456" (yet some merchants continue to use coupons like this).

    6) Expire coupons at midnight (or 11:59pm), not 12:01am, 6am, 6:30am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, etc. Make sure you give affiliates the day it EXPIRES, not the day after. If it expires at 11:59pm on 12/15, the expiration date is 12/15, not 12/16 (yet some merchants still can't figure this out). Never expire a coupon on the first day of the month, as most of us will assume that you meant the previous day (and that you don't understand what an expiration date really is).

    7) If you have lots of restrictions and requirements, make a landing page (and provide an affiliate link to it). An affiliate usually isn't going to list the 27 different manufacturers and variety of other things that are excluded, but we will like to a landing page with the full details. The more complicated something is, the more important this is.

    8) Staggering start and end dates can be effective. EVERYONE has coupons that start 12/1 and end on 12/31, so you can easily get lost in the crowd. Anything near the first of the month is busy. Mondays can be busy too. Any other day is great, and you'll probably get a little more attention and stand out a little more. With many coupon sites, you'll get the best exposure on the first and last few days of a coupon/promotion, so if you stagger and overlap 3-4 coupons per month you can hit 6-8 different 2-3 day periods, getting prime exposure half of the month. Contrast that with 3-4 coupons that start on 12/1 and end on 12/31, where you would get a little exposure (with lots of competition) for just a few days. Make sure you vary the details of the coupons. Many merchants just run the exact same coupon(s) every month or week, which is a waste of time.

    9) Use the Coupon/Deal Database on SAS, Offer Management on BeFree, or whatever other methods are available to let people know about your coupons.

    10) Use whole dollar amounts. I hate coupons that are $4.99 off a $49 order. Make it $5 off a $50 order.

    11) Make sure you give all the details, especially the expiration date. Don't just say "free shipping" if it's "free shipping with a $50 order". If your percent off coupons have a maximum discount, make sure to let us know. If coupons don't apply to sale or clearance items, or something let us know. Make it very clear if it's only valid for new customers.

    I could go on and on (and I guess I did), but this is a good start.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Since we're talking about coupon tips, general coupons are better than specific ones. I'd rather promote $20 off $100 of anything, (so I can pick which things my users might like). Instead of $20 off a movado xd150 watch.

    And if you give exclusive coupons, put the site name in it, or the landing page, so it doesn't get copied everywhere.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Lately i've seen some merchants post coupons like ($15 off Purchases over $50)

    But they give no clue as to exp. date.
    They include no coupon code.
    The coupon re-directs to the home page that gives no 'reaffirmation' of the deal.

    So as a customer I'm supposed to dig around the site for all the things I want, then Hope the discount gets applied on the checkout page before I hit the submit button? If I was a customer I would likely bypass those deals.

  9. #9
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    There is a great coupon tips thread that Michael started that was stickied on this forum:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=6215

    All good tips in that thread and the few here.

    As far as long term coupons:

    "It sounds like longer-term coupons have better affiliate appeal. I'm I reading this correctly?"

    They're all good, just want to see more merchants offering the longer term coupons. Provide different options, let affiliates decide what's best for their business, what they can handle. You'll get on more sites, sites that might not normally post them, won't have as many problems with expired coupons, etc.

    See this is good:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...565#post638565

    That's good for almost 4 months. Longer ones like that, half year, for the year. And in the meantime you can still offer up shorter ones. Using Village Hat as an example, what I just linked too. A few days ago they had a 12hr coupon. Now some affiliates that might get some good traffic for them, they might put that up. For others it's not worth it for just 12 hours but the 4 month one they might put up.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    There is a great coupon tips thread that Michael started
    Thanks to Michael for his detailed post! I had used his 'tips thread' as a guideline previously and this new post provided even more insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    They're all good, just want to see more merchants offering the longer term coupons.
    I hear this loud and clear. I'm working on these long-term coupons right now and will have them live tomorrow.

    Learning more and more everyday, I really appreciate everyone's input.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Adambha, always put them in the SAS Deals Database, which makes it much easier for me to download and post to my site, and I'll join your program.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Adambha, always put them in the SAS Deals Database, which makes it much easier for me to download and post to my site, and I'll join your program.
    Donuts, indeed I do always put everything in the SAS Deals Database, all current coupons are there now and I'll be adding more this afternoon.

    And I'd love to be working with you. PM or email me if you sign-up so I can give you the ABW commission bump.

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adambha
    PM or email me if you sign-up so I can give you the ABW commission bump.
    Will do.

  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Thanks all, I need to write a datafeed and coupon feed spec for one of our new launches and this give me the inside scoop. You saved me hours looking this up and I always follow Michael's advice on coupons.

    Donuts, you got me thinking, if I can get leverage on coupons I will look at launching another program in SAS if the coupon feeds there work that well.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The coupon feed systems at ShareASale and AvantLink are my favorites. Any programs there get my attention and if you're managing it Chuck, I can't imagine not being in it.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adambha
    I'll be adding more this afternoon.
    Done.

    A couple of 'real' lifetime coupons, a yearly, and a monthly ending on a non-last-day Thursday.

    Excellent feedback from everyone, thanks again!

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager jonlevine's Avatar
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    I've got a quick question regarding the subject. I've just recently (within the last week) started adding products that have mail-in rebates to my coupon feed, both in SaS's Coupon and Deals database and our RSS feed. They seem to be well received, but I am curious to know if there's an opinion regarding mixing coupons with mail-ins.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
    Member Mike Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    6) Expire coupons at midnight (or 11:59pm), not 12:01am, 6am, 6:30am, noon, 1pm, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, etc. Make sure you give affiliates the day it EXPIRES, not the day after. If it expires at 11:59pm on 12/15, the expiration date is 12/15, not 12/16 (yet some merchants still can't figure this out). Never expire a coupon on the first day of the month, as most of us will assume that you meant the previous day (and that you don't understand what an expiration date really is).
    Great point. One thing to add. Specify the start date/time and the expiration/date time based on the time zone it is relevant to. There's 3 hours difference between Eastern and Pacific time. A lot of West Coast shoppers can get irritated shopping after 9:00 p.m. if the coupon is already expired without telling them of the midnight est or 9:00 p.m. pst, etc. expiration date/time.
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