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May 4th, 2007, 10:20 AM #1Coupons/Specials - Opinions Please
I started messing around with adding our current specials to SAS this morning, but not being a coupon affiliate myself, and never having really worked with them in programs I've managed in the past, I'm curious what sparks your interest/what makes an offer fit your working criteria? Does a coupon graphic matter much or is the offer itself the important part? I guess long story short I'm wondering what criteria pushes one deal to the top of your promo list over another?
I think our "Free Detector Headphones with Detector Purchase" offer would appeal to affiliates, but that's just a stab in the dark. Metal detectors are a bit more broad appeal than most of our products, offer a hefty commission (10% base on $249.95) and the free headphones are a $29.95 value. I think it should be an appealing offer, but like I said I'm not really clued in on the bargain side of affiliate marketing.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
May 4th, 2007, 10:55 AM #2
In order of preference, from my experience:
1) Dollar Off Coupons (i.e. "$10 off a $50 order") good on any item.
2) Percent Off Coupons (i.e. "10% off any order") good on any item.
3) Free Shipping Coupons (i.e. "Free Shipping with a $50 order").
4) Dollar of Percent Off a specific group or category of items (i.e. "10% off Tents").
5) Dollar or Percent Off a specific item.
6) Free item with the purchase of another specific item.
There's a huge difference from top to bottom in the list. Dollar Off coupons usually perform much better than Percent Off (althrough there are exceptions). Free Shipping coupons are nowhere near as appealing as free shipping offers that can be combined with a coupon. And then once you start getting more specific, it's less appealing (and often totally useless) to a more general audience.
May 4th, 2007, 11:12 AM #3
Thanks, Michael! Great advice, and all perfectly logical the way you present it.
Sounds like we need to move up that list a bit with our future offers...
May 4th, 2007, 11:14 AM #4
I concur with Coley completely!
May 4th, 2007, 11:50 AM #5
Well stated, Michael. I would add that some shopper preferences depend on your demographics or the nature of the products. I've seen free shipping be a strong converter, especially when shipping tends to be expensive. High shipping charges lead to high cart abandonment even if prices are low otherwise.
So I think a clever strategy could be to make your free shipping threshold slightly higher than your average order size to encourage shoppers to reach that minimum. You can then add a $ off coupon that's a bit higher than that to encourage them to reach a new minimum. The results are often very satisfied customers who spent more than they would have otherwise and brag about the deal they got at your store. You benefit from a coupon strategy that doesn't cannibalize your existing average order size base but extends it.
Example (assuming a $75 average order size):
Free Shipping on $85+ orders automatically (especially compelling if shipping costs something like $6.95 otherwise -- I can now spend just $3.05 more but get $10 more in value!)
Offer $10 off $95+ orders with coupon code X.
Especially with affiliates pointing this out, many people will add $20 worth of products to get free shipping AND the $10 off coupon. After coupon discount, your order size remains $10 higher than average. Basically you split the difference with your customers (you each are $10 better off than without the coupon).Mike Allen | <a href="https://twitter.com/mta1">@mta1</a>
<a href="http://www.businesswright.com">Businesswright Consulting</a> | <a href="http://www.shopping-bargains.com">Shopping-Bargains</a>
May 4th, 2007, 12:08 PM #6
I definitely agree about a free shipping offer being important. That's even more powerful than a dollar off coupon. My point, though, was that there's a big difference between a free shipping offer (that can be combined with a coupon) and a free shipping coupon. The free shipping coupon is nowhere near as effective. Frugal consumers are used to being able to combined free shipping offers and coupons, so they often feel like free shipping coupons "waste" the coupon.
The trifecta, however, is combining a free shipping offer, a dollar off coupon, and sale prices. That's where companies like Overstock.com shine. The always have cheap shipping ($2.95), frequently have cheaper shipping ($1) and sometimes have free shipping. They always have several coupons (often dollar off ones) to choose from. And they have a tremendous value proposition on their products. They're hitting every important area.
May 4th, 2007, 12:28 PM #7
I must admit, I've had some experience with free shipping offers and I totally agree. My only concern is that "free" with our product line might end up being a disaster.
Most of our orders ship for under $10, but quite a few go well over, some into the $50+ range, not to mention additional insurance, etc, and unfortunately, the cost isn't always in direct correlation with the dollar value...
A lot of this stuff is just plain heavy. They buy online because they'd often have to drive hours, sometimes crossing several state lines to find it in a shop. I have a feeling I'd lose money on a lot of orders, even having the free threshold set pretty high. I suppose the Amazon "qualifies for super saver shipping" model could work, but that might also qualify for Michael's list of coupon don'ts.
Anyway, great feedback so far - much appreciated!
May 4th, 2007, 12:34 PM #8
Mike Allen touched on it a bit, but every business is different and every consumer is different. These are just general guidelines. You have to understand your customer demographics and your own limitations.
May 4th, 2007, 04:12 PM #9
Looking at it from buying online, I look for
$ off and % off are good because I can use them on anything.
A "free" something doesn't have as much value to me unless it is something I need. Anything I need that is cheap enough to be given away, I already have.
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