The Importance of Coupon Sites in Affiliate Marketing

If the word “couponing” raises images of your grandma cutting newspaper squares at the kitchen table, or reminds you of the hoarding couponers from TLC’s, Extreme Couponing, then you have a dated look on it. The world of couponing has gone digital; it can be expansive and baffling, but couponing is an extremely large opportunity within an affiliate marketing program.

Eighty-five percent of US shoppers look for coupons prior to shopping and 53 percent of consumers use daily-deal sites such as Groupon or Retail Me Not. Below are the top couponing sites and their total number of unique monthly users:

Digital Couponing sites offer savings to the customer in a percentage or dollar amount off their purchase, promotional codes, free shipping or other incentives that encourage customers to purchase. Here are some strategies to consider when developing coupon sites into an affiliate marketing program.

  1. Choose wisely! There are a ton of coupon sites out there; you do not have to work with every one of them. Before approving a coupon partner into your program, reach out to them and ensure you will have a direct contact who will help you implement the brand’s goals. To get things rolling, scheduling a phone call to discuss opportunities with the affiliate is helpful. Topics such as commission increases, site exposure and merchant pages are discussed.
  2. Create promotions that fit your goal. To best hit your marketing goals, create exclusive offers for affiliates to promote. For example, if the goal of the client is to drive new customers, promotion codes work great. Typically, a new customer will look for promo codes, as they would want to test the brand first before paying full price. Whether you offer free shipping on the total order, or free shipping on orders above a certain cost, these types of deals incentivize consumers to make a first-time purchase.
  3. Establish a commission structure. It’s beneficial to create a commission structure that fits with the value of each consumer. Not every sale has the same value. In the affiliate channel, commissions can fluctuate based on new versus existing customers, product purchase or even the coupon code used at checkout. Based on the tracking platform being used, there are different ways to commission affiliates by looking at clicks or sales.

These are just a few of the many optimizations that can be made to allow coupon sites to boost sales in a way that fits the overall marketing goals. In a world that has become more digital, it’s important to analyze each relationship to fit the overall brand’s strategy.


Alexandra Grasso
Media Analyst