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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Getting Good Real Estate as a New/Small Merchant
    Based on this post, I had to draw the assumption that most big coupon affiliates rely very heavily on the power of brand to drive traffic. They don't do pre-selling, they aren't customer review driven, so they bank on: "It's Wal-Mart, and it's 10% off".

    That being said, how does the new or small merchant go about getting visible real estate on important affiliate sites?

    Is it a matter of site conversion rate coupled with increased commissions?

    (Note: This is not a How Do I recruit good affiliates discussion... This is how do I better partner with the ones I have...)
    Last edited by MichaelColey; July 19th, 2007 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Fixed Broken Link
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    Brand recognition is big, but good promotions (coupled with good commissions and a site optimized for improving conversions) can offset things for smaller merchants. I can think of several small merchants that frequently offer some tremendous coupons and get good exposure and sales.

    Good coupon sites have depth. Front page exposure will only come to those merchants who can produce good results with general traffic. (As with any site... Just look at the offers featured on Yahoo's home page or even the front page of Yahoo Shopping -- you won't find Joe Bob's Snowblower Store.) But many people come to coupon sites and drill down to specific categories, and that's where the smaller, more specialized merchants can shine.

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Toronto, Ont, Canada
    Hi there,

    Being an OPM for a small biz retailer of specialty, niche products, I've found that many coupon sites are more than happy to promote us, and some of them do quite well. The ones who do best are the ones who take the time to create a profile page which outlines who we are, what we offer, and what our key selling points are aka the benefits of shopping with us vs. the competitors. Most of them are coupon guys I have worked w/ on a previous program in the past - there is an established rapport there and a level of trust between us - they know I'll make good on the promise to pay, so they don't mind giving us the exposure.

    And yes, a good site conversion coupled w/ a strong program offering definitely helps encourage any skeptical affiliates to give you a shot. Reassure them that all they have to do is try your offer - if it isn't for them after listing you for a few months, they can always opt out down the road. The key is to get them to give you a shot. If your program truly is worth their time and effort, they'll experience that for themselves and want to keep you on board past the 3 month "probationary" period.

    And while not every product is homepage material, I've gotten great exposure as a featured product in our respected category on various virtual mall and coupon/bargain/deal type sites... or during seasonal campaigns where it makes sense to place us in higher traffic sections of the site... of course each webmaster is a bit different and some prefer to only list highly recognized retail brands i.e. your Walmart example, but I find many coupon sites just want to offer their shoppers as much variety in the way of offers as possible - and if you have a code or a special deal, and take the time to talk to them about it and it isn't a scam, they'll usually get your offer up.

    Having said that, some of my other top affs in working w/ a small biz with not a lot of brand awareness/recognition just yet, are those who specialize in niche/content sites - they build/develop relevant, added-value type page content around what we offer and use a balance of good SEO and SEM/PPC to get targeted traffic to their pages for best results.

    Hope that helps.

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