There are a number of advantages to marketing with coupons. Here are a few key points.
1. You get to capture the ‘last minute’ sale. Many people have had the experience of buying a product online. You probably have too. Imagine this scenario, you are just about to buy a product when an idea suddenly hits you. At the last minute, just before you are about to hit the ‘pay’ or ‘buy’ button, you wonder if you might save a little money. Why not? If you can get the same exact product for less, so much the better!
You begin to search for a coupon. You perform a Google search for a coupon for the specific product that you want and you find a nice 10% savings on the product you were about to buy anyway.
Does this sound familiar to you? I know I have looked for a money saving coupon on numerous occasions. I am very confident that I am not the only one.
Now, imagine what this scenario would mean to two different affiliates. The first one does not have a coupon to offer. The second one does.
Of the two affiliates that were competing for this sale, would you rather be the original affiliate that brought the customer to the merchant’s site? Or, would you rather be the second affiliate, the one who’s link they clicked through last in order to save a few dollars via a coupon.
2. Exclusive coupons take the above scenario a step further. You might be able to work with your affiliate manager to get an exclusive coupon. This means that when the customer checks out using your coupon, you will get the credit for the sale regardless of who the last affiliate was that obtained the customer’s click.
I have personal experience with exclusive coupons and they are very helpful. The reason this situation came about for me is because I had been given some specific coupons to use. We discovered that other affiliates were using the same coupons to draw traffic to their sites. They were in fact, using my coupons for their sales.
The affiliate manager was able to make my coupons exclusive. When other affiliates ‘hijacked’ the coupons I was using it was no longer to their benefit. I would get the credit for the sale.
3. Have you noticed the popularity of coupon sites? If you do a simple Google search for ‘coupon sites’ you will find that many of them have very good Alexa rankings.
Even though Alexa rankings are only an estimate of traffic, these numbers show that coupon specific sites as well as ‘deal’ sites are generally seeing a lot of traffic. This high amount of traffic probably means that they are making a lot of sales. They are providing extra value to search engine customers and the search engines seem to favor these sites.
4. There are a significant number of people who actively seek out deals and coupons. There are even people who will typically NOT buy something unless they can find a coupon for it or a special deal on it. This may be why sites like Overstock and eBay are so popular. People want to save.
Sometimes, you will run across an extreme statement like the one I saw on a blog the other day. This person wrote: “I have vowed to never pay full retail for any product again.”
If you can’t offer this type of customer a coupon, you could miss out on a significant portion of available sales.
5. People love coupons. Sometimes you can sway someone into making a purchase simply because there is a coupon available. For example, have you ever, as a customer been pushed over the edge to buy simply because their WAS a coupon being offered?
If you are like me or most people, the answer is yes. Coupons are powerful motivators. Consider the popular Groupon site. They have grown into a billion dollar company through the psychological and practical power of coupons.
6. This last point will be very interesting to you as an affiliate. I can not guarantee that you will have the same experience on this point, because it involves the whims of a third party. You know this company well. It is called, Google.
Everyone knows that Google makes it very hard to advertise affiliate offers with Google Adwords. Google has been pretty hard on affiliates over the last several years.
I can personally attest that I have an affiliate coupon site that is working from AdWords today. In fact, I have noticed that a lot of coupon sites are redirecting customers through their affiliate links to merchant sites. Often times when you see a “click to use this coupon” button or link, it is an affiliate link they are sending you through.
Google seems to allow this type of affiliate site in their AdWords program simply because they are adding significant and often times unique value for those searching for coupons. If you do a little investigation through your favorite keyword research tool, you will find that there are many coupon related searches all over the Internet.
My personal experience with utilizing coupons in my marketing tends to validate that coupon marketing is beneficial. In addition, my experience is from a unique perspective because my company enjoys both affiliate revenue as well merchant revenue. In short, I have seen the power of coupons from both the affiliate side as well as the merchant side.
There are people who will tend not to buy unless they can get a discount of some kind. A significant number of shoppers will look for coupons before they buy.
I have watched my affiliate revenues grow from coupons. My very first coupon was a product specific one. It worked great. There did come a day when we had to modify the coupon terms because it was too much of a good deal, but the sales continued even after that. Without a coupon we would have just been another affiliate who offered nothing but a review. Adding the coupon made a significant difference in sales for us.
From a merchant perspective, I have seen one of my best affiliates make sales by advertising a coupon for our site on Google. In fact, I have noticed that a lot of affiliates have coupon sites or deal sites of their own.
Coupon Marketing Is Powerful
I hope that I have convinced you that coupons are powerful or reinforced the concept if you already were aware of this fact. Many affiliates throughout the world are cashing in on the stable and long lasting phenomenon known as coupons.
Now it is your turn to take advantage of the natural psychological state of buyers and utilize it for your own benefit. If you are not currently marketing with coupons, you might want to start right away.
Note from Luke