7 Common Affiliate Coupon Mistakes Merchants Make

Not too long ago I wrote about the common mistakes merchants make while creating affiliate banners. Today I would like to outline the 7 most common mistakes that merchants make while putting together affiliate coupons.

1. No Landing Pages

Coupon landing pages are commonly overlooked by merchants. When the traffic (from a very targeted coupon ad) is directed to the homepage, the effectiveness of the coupon campaign suffers. You want to have a dedicated landing page for every coupon. Each landing page should reinforce the offer, and reiterate the procedure of getting the discount. Make it easy for the end user. This is directly tied to the conversion you will see.

2. No Creatives

Having a 125 x 125 pixel banner to go with every coupon is a must. If possible, create two creatives for each coupon: a 88×31 button, and a 125×125 square banner.

2. Irregular Coupons

Just as it is with any marketing campaign, you want to have a structured and smoothly flowing coupon one. Episodic offerings of affiliate coupons are inconvenient in many ways. It is good to offer (a) short-term aggressive discounts, (b) longer term coupon offers, and (c) seasonal coupons and deals at all times.

3. Not Keeping Affiliates Informed

When new coupons are made available, you want to let affiliates know about them. Many merchants either forget to keep affiliates informed about them altogether, or announce them to affiliates literally on the day the coupons go live (not a good practice).

4. Problematic Coupon Codes

Avoid using zeros (it is hard for the end user to tell whether it is a zero or letter O), lower-case letter L (which can be mistaken for number 1), special characters (e.g.: $, %, _, #, &, and alike), and anything that can make your coupon code confusing. Additionally, make sure that the coupon code works whether it is entered in lower-case or upper-case letters.

6. Frequently Repeated Coupons

Even if you are offering an extremely great bargain during one month, do not offer it repeatedly over a long period of time. This builds expectation on the part of the customer/consumer, and the promo loses its effectiveness.

7. “Less-Than” Coupons for Affiliates

If besides the affiliate channel you are also offering coupons directly to your customers (current or prospective ones), make sure that the coupons provided for affiliates to market are at least as attractive (and preferably, even more motivating!) as the coupons you offer to customers directly.

I hope merchants will find this list of help. If you have read this, and haven’t found a mistake worth noting, feel free to post your observation below.

4 thoughts on “7 Common Affiliate Coupon Mistakes Merchants Make”

  1. Another addition to mistake number 3 is that when affiliates are not updated on the expiry date of the coupon offers. if a coupon is expiring, affiliates should be informed in advance so they can take the links off their site!

  2. Are you talking about reminding affiliates about expiring coupons, Kunal? I am asking, because affiliates should be made aware of the expiration date when the coupon is first announced.

  3. Sometimes affiliates are not made aware of the expiration date when the coupon is launched and in other instances they might have forgotten to update their site. I think it’s better to inform them through an affiliate newsletter stating that the coupon is expiring and that their sites should be updated accordingly.

    I’ve just had this feedback from a lot of affiliate friends of mine talking about different affiliate programs.

  4. I certainly agree with you, Kunal.

    Failing to communicate any important piece of information does no good to the relationship. Another important bit of information that merchants often fail to communicate to their affiliates when publishing/distributing a coupon is whether there are any restrictions (such as: one coupon per customer, or coupons cannot be combined with other promotions, etc) that affiliates (and people they market to) should be aware of.

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