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Coupon Problem Solving Clinic

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Merchants, bring your questions about coupons and coupon affiliates and let this panel of industry experts show you the best practices to resolve your concerns and meet your goals using this channel.

Merchants, bring your questions about coupons and coupon affiliates and let this panel of industry experts show you the best practices to resolve your concerns and meet your goals using this channel.


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  • 1. Affiliate Summit West 2010 Coupon Problem Solving Clinic (Moderator) Todd Crawford, Co-Founder, Impact Radius Michael Coley, Founder, Amazing-Bargains.com Connie Berg, CEO, FlamingoWorld.com Chuck Hamrick, Affiliate Manager, AffiliateCrew.com Melissa Canepa Murphy, Owner, Crazy For Bargains
  • 2. The Purpose Of This Panel
    • To answer questions that merchants have about coupons and working with coupon affiliates.
    • To propose solutions to problems that merchants experience with coupons or coupon affiliates.
    • To share best practices on coupons and working with coupon affiliates.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 3. The Composition Of This Panel
    • The members of this panel was carefully chosen to include experts with experience in every aspect of the industry:
    • Coupon Affiliates: Michael and Connie
    • Affiliate Managers and OPMs: Melissa and Chuck
    • Affiliate Networks: Todd (formerly with CJ)
    • Tool Providers: Connie (ForMeToCoupon.com)
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 4. What questions do you have? Questions we anticipated: Questions we didn’t anticipate: Coupon Problem Solving Clinic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ? >>
  • 5. 1. Why should I run coupons? Coupons can help you: 1) Acquire new customers. 2) Close the sale. Everyone loves a deal. Providing the customer with a small discount may be the difference between a conversion and an abandoned shopping cart. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 6. 2. What about customers who see the coupon code box and search for a coupon? Solution 1: Remove the coupon code box. Solution 2: Name the coupon code box something else. Solution 3: Give the customer some default coupons so they don’t have to leave your site to search for some. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 7. 2. What about customers who see the coupon code box and search for a coupon? Solution 1: Remove the coupon code box. This solution is impractical in many cases. If you use coupon codes in other marketing channels, those customers will need to have a coupon code box. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 8. 2. What about customers who see the coupon code box and search for a coupon? Solution 2: Name the coupon code box something else. For example, ACLens.com uses the “Special Comments or Instructions” section of their checkout process. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 9. 2. What about customers who see the coupon code box and search for a coupon? Solution 3: Give the customer some default coupons so they don’t have to leave your site to search for some. Next to the coupon code box, place a “Need a Coupon?” link that provides several generic coupons. These coupons don’t need to be (and probably shouldn’t be) the best coupons you have available. People are lazy. Give them what they want on your site and they won’t go searching elsewhere. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 10. 3. What can I do about affiliates who steal exclusive coupons?
    • Make sure your T&Cs are clear about this.
    • Inform the offending affiliate of the complaint.
    • Request immediate removal of the code.
    • Failure to comply will result in removal from your program and possible commission reversals.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 11. 3. What can I do about affiliates who steal exclusive coupons?
    • Suggestion: Two strikes and you’re out!
    • If you’re an OPM, remove repeat offenders from all programs.
    • File a network compliance complaint.
    • Notify other Affiliate Managers and OPMs.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 12. 4. What if I don’t want my brand to be associated with discounts? Except for true luxury brands, most brands and retailers today offer some types of sales or promotions. Even with high-end luxury brands, you can offer free (and/or expedited) shipping or bonus items without lowering the perceived value of your brand. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 13. 5. Which is a bigger motivator: % off, $ off or Free Shipping? Free Shipping is usually the most effective motivator. Dollar Off Coupons can also be very effective. The combination of the two (at different price points) can have a very positive impact on conversion ratios and average order size. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 14. 6. How should we deal with coupon affiliates with user-submitted content? First, understand how consumers utilize the site. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 15. 6. How should we deal with coupon affiliates with user-submitted content? Second, sign up for new coupon alerts. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 16. 7. How do we keep inaccurate coupon details from being spread around? Reiterate the coupon details when the consumer enters the coupon code. Cooking.com is a good example: Coupon Problem Solving Clinic
  • 17. 7. How do we keep inaccurate coupon details from being spread around? Another best practice: If a consumer enters a coupon code that has expired, tell them when the coupon code expired and give them a current coupon code to use instead. Most consumers would be very receptive to a message like: That coupon code expired on 12/31/09. Our current coupon code is “SAVE10” for $10 off a $100 order. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 18. 8. How can I generate more sales through coupon sites without sacrificing margin?
    • Offer new customer only coupons. A large percentage of coupon use is from new or lapsed customers.
    • Coupons bring new consumers to your brand, thereby impacting the business of your competition.
    • Choosing a strategic minimum order amount on your coupons and free shipping offers can help increase your average order size.
    • Run some really good short-term bargains or Deals of the Day on products you want to clear out.
    • Consider excluding low margin categories or brands.
    • Always include an expiration date for coupons.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 19. 9. Besides offering discounts what else does a coupon site provide?
    • Just by being in the coupon section of a shopping site, you can influence consumers who may be looking to do their research on brands prior to making their decisions.
    • Many coupon sites also offer product promotion or banner placements for brand awareness.
    • Many consumers are checking coupon sites and you want to make sure your brand is there whether you offer a discount or not. Many coupon sites will list your categories and have some description or your brand.
    • The best coupon sites have many loyal shoppers.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 20. 10. What can I do about affiliates who post unauthorized coupons?
    • Monitor with Google Alerts.
    • Warn, Remove, Reverse, Complaint, Broadcast
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 21. 11. How effective are exclusive coupon codes? Exclusive coupon codes are a very good incentive for high potential affiliates. They also give you very good insight into the sales generated indirectly by your top affiliates. One best practice is to code exclusive coupons so that they automatically credit to the affiliate that the exclusive coupon was created for. This also greatly reduces exclusive coupon code theft. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 22. 12. What can I do about affiliates who don’t remove expired coupons? If these affiliates are creating customer service issues by not removing expired coupons, it might be necessary to remove them. If a consumer enters a coupon code that has expired, tell them when the coupon code expired and give them a current coupon code to use instead. Most consumers would be very receptive to a message like: That coupon code expired on 12/31/09. Our current coupon code is “SAVE10” for $10 off a $100 order. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 23. 13. How can I best keep my coupon affiliates updated?
    • Participate in network and third party coupon feeds.
    • Make sure your offers are clearly marked in the network as a coupon so they are easy to find.
    • Have clear start and end dates on coupons.
    • If you send an email make sure all information is included including affiliate links and terms of offers.
    • Communicate regularly but only when you have a new promotion or important information. If you send too many emails without helpful information affiliates tend to
    • ignore your emails.
    Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 24. 14. How can I easily make my coupons available to other affiliates? Non-coupon affiliates typically don’t want to have to keep track of the most recent coupons, but many would still like to promote coupons. This is best handled dynamically. Merchants can create banners that they change out on their end (without affiliates having to change anything) which always show the most recent coupon or promotion. Coupon feeds, widgets, or other dynamic technologies are also good alternatives. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 25. We hadn’t thought of that question! With this group of experts, though, that shouldn’t be a problem. Since we weren’t expecting this question, we don’t have specific examples of solutions or supporting materials. If you would like to follow up on this question further, feel free to contact any of us after the session. Coupon Problem Solving Clinic <<
  • 26. Now, we have a question for you! Do you plan to use coupons and promotions more or less in 2010 compared to 2009? Coupon Problem Solving Clinic