What are Affiliate-Exclusive Coupon Codes?

A merchant has emailed me:

A newly-joined affiliate is asking if we can offer them exclusive coupon codes. He says these are extremely popular and convert especially well for them. What exactly are exclusive codes? [underlining mine]

The technique of enticing coupon affiliates with exclusive codes is a widely-spread one. In simple language, it entails offering an affiliate a coupon code (or a few) that would be available exclusively through his/her website. So, for example if you already have a $10 off deal available for all affiliates to market, but offering a couple extra bucks off still makes economic sense to you, putting together an exclusive coupon for $12 off and making it available through one (or limited number of) promising affiliate(s) would be a good move.

If, however, you cannot offer any better discount that the already-existing ones, you can still put together special affiliate-specific coupon codes (not as powerful, but certainly more personalized).

I recommend that the very code reflects the name of the affiliate’s site (good co-branding opportunity that benefits both sides). Let’s say their website is called CouponDaddy.com, and you want to have them offer a $12 off coupon. I’d name that code CPNDAD12 then.*

It is a really simple concept, which frequently yields good results.

* Flee from use of zeros (which may be misread for letter O), capital letter “I” (which may be misread for number 1), and any other confusing characters

2 thoughts on “What are Affiliate-Exclusive Coupon Codes?”

  1. Great write-up, Geno. As a coupon affiliate, what gets me is when merchants have monthly coupons, but wait until the 2nd or 3rd of the month to release that month’s coupons – that’s 1-3 days where I don’t have anything to give the user, and they leave disappointed. If I had an exclusive and put a rolling expiration date on it (so I show the coupon expires in 2 days, although it really never expires) it makes my site more user-friendly and the merchant captures those sales the first few days of the month.

  2. Eric, thank you for chiming in, and glad you liked the post.

    Yes, the problem of delayed coupons (just as the problem of lack of advance notices, by the way) is very common, as you’ve pointed out. It is also good for a merchant to have a dynamic coupon at all times — one that they would refresh/renew as soon as the previous one expires, and do this on their end only, and in such a way that it self-updates on the affiliate side.

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