Yesterday as I was adding new coupons for a ShareASale-based affiliate program I have noticed a little (but a very significant) addition to one of the fields you can fill out when adding a coupon/deal to the network. They now have a field for special commission to be applied on coupon/deal transactions. The fine print (and an important rule) may have been up there for some time, but I certainly don’t remember seeing it a couple of years ago. Under the special commission field it says (highlighting mine):
So “this commission amount cannot be less than your advertised global commission rate for public offers” and “for private offers, it must not be lower than your designated commission rate for that specific affiliate.” Very important rule!
I couldn’t help but recall Todd Farmer’s “ShareASale is My Network of Choice” post. For affiliates it is extremely important to have such an understanding mediator between them and the merchants.
It isn’t unusual for merchants (including some of the largest online brands) to offer lower commission rates on coupons (or to coupon affiliates). I like what I see ShareASale doing above. If the merchant doesn’t want to offer coupons through affiliates, that’s fine. Institute such a policy, and have your affiliate manager police it. If, however, you do choose to use the affiliate channel to distribute coupons, factor in the commission affiliates will receive into the discount you’re offering, and still pay the full affiliate commission. Kudos to ShareASale for supporting affiliates there.