7 Best Practices for your Affiliate Coupon Strategy

May 21, 2014
Devices and coffee

Coupons are a great addition to your affiliate toolbox. They act as a reward to loyal customers and provide an enticing path for new customers to make a purchase. However, if brands release coupons without a well-thought-out strategy, they can create behaviors in customers that end up adversely impacting your bottom line.

Below is a list of 7 coupon best practices to help this tool contribute to the success of your affiliate program:

 1. Avoid releasing coupons in any sort of regular rhythm. For new customers, this is less of an issue, since you want them making that first purchase as soon as possible. However, existing customers tend to pick up on when regular discounts occur and will make this a part of their buying patterns. That means less revenue.

2. Coupons make a great tool to remain competitive within your vertical. Studies show that when given a discount, consumers search for competing offers far less and convert to purchase much sooner.

 3. To gain a leg up in the search engine game, provide coupons to search engine marketing partners bidding on TM+ terms. This will increase your overall presence and boost conversion rates.

4. When possible, provide a vanity code in place of or in addition to a generic code. Vanity codes convert better than generic codes. Providing a vanity code helps build a stronger relationship between an advertiser and publisher and can be exchanged for optimized exposure on the publisher’s site. Consumers also trust vanity codes more than a long, impersonal alphanumeric string, especially when the consumer is particularly loyal to the given publisher’s site.

5. When creating a code specific to the affiliate channel, don’t display the coupon box at checkout unless the shopper came through an affiliate link. Leaving the coupon box available to all will send savvy shoppers searching for a code elsewhere on the Internet to save a few bucks and may possibly interfere with channel attribution.

6. Test your campaigns. Tirelessly. At some price “X percentage off!” becomes more compelling than “Y dollars off!” Be sure you know that inflection point.

 7. When done properly, coupons can provide great value to your affiliate marketing program without cutting into margins or affecting attribution. Studies show that having a code available compared to providing a discount in the cart converts much quicker and at a much higher rate.

In summary: Coupons are a great addition to your marketing strategy, though if done incorrectly they can create problems that may impact your bottom line. So you can use coupons, but use them wisely. The Affiliate Team here at ROI·DNA would love to help your business see if affiliate coupons are right for your business. Reach out to us with any questions!

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