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Wrapping up the Sunday sessions I attended at Affiliate Summit East was
The Future of Coupons in Affiliate Marketing with Connie Arnold of Flamingo World, Carolyn Kmet of Groupon, Carrie Rocha (Pocket Your Dollars) and Kim Rowley (Key Internet Marketing). The session was moderated by Trisha Lyn Fawver of For Me to Coupon & host of Affiliate Marketing Fanatics.
I’m a big fan of focusing on coupons in affiliate marketing, because of the strong intent to buy at that stage. If someone is searching for
how to prevent fleas, they’re looking for solutions. If they’re searching for
pet care choice coupon, the product is already in their shopping cart and they’re checking out (odds are, the credit card is propped up on the keyboard, too). This is why with coupons, you can easily see 30% conversation rates.
Mobile coupons was the first topic, but I don’t think anyone really has a grasp on how affiliates can take advantage of this. There will probably be a service soon (maybe coupons.com will have a mobile app (maybe they already do?)). During this discussion, tracking printed coupons offline was discussed, and someone on Twitter mentioned RevTrax. Two years ago Jonathan Treiber, CEO of RevTrax, talked about this in his session, Offline Affiliate Marketing.
Extreme couponing was up next, and talks about taking this method of daisy-chaining savings to the online world. Some examples were given, but merchants today have pretty much figured out how to stop this practice.
Coupon sites, as a group, receive bad press, and one coupon site that breaks the rules can get all of them banned from a merchant program. Merchants need to understand that there are some coupon sites out there that can actually add value to your program.
However, it’s not always the affiliates that cause problems with coupons. Some merchants are known to increase product pricing if the visitor comes to the site via an affiliate link!
Where’s the opportunity for affiliates that want to get started with coupons? The panelists agree it’s with niche sites. Create sites that feature camping coupons, or golf coupons. Don’t crank out another cookie-cutter site, that everyone else has.