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