Note from Geno Prussakov: This is a guest blog post from Eric Nagel:
Coupons are a necessary component for most e-commerce sites:
- The online coupon market is worth about $4 billion a year
- Majority of US Internet Users Will Redeem Digital Coupons
So now that you’ve seen how important it is to offer your shoppers coupons for your e-commerce site, how do you get them listed on the big coupon sites?
If you have an affiliate program…
… sites will typically list your coupons for free, provided they are an affiliate (or publisher) of yours. This is because when a shopper uses the coupon (typically via “click-to-reveal” in which the shopper clicks a button to reveal the coupon code, at the same time setting the affiliate tracking cookie on their computer), the publisher earns a commission of the sale.
Many of the bigger sites automatically download your coupons from the affiliate networks or coupon feed service providers. Once the coupon is listed in your program and the publisher has joined, there’s nothing more for you to do. But before this happens, you need to add the coupon to your affiliate program.
Submit your coupon to the affiliate network on which your program is hosted. This step varies per network, but here are some tutorials on how to do this on some of the major networks:
If your affiliate program is on another network, search their help or support section for instructions on how to add coupons, deals or offers to your program.
Some coupon sites, such as eBates and DealCrunch, use a coupon aggregator such as FMTC. FMTC takes the deals listed with the affiliate networks, aggregates, cleans and verifies the data and then redistributes it via a single feed.
Affiliate Example: Groupon
Groupon’s coupon section has been gaining steam, now listing 70,054 free coupons at 11,059 stores (as of Oct 5, 2016):
Chief Executive Officer Rich Williams has been transforming the company from a daily deal e-mail provider to an online destination for people looking for bargains. About 1.1 million new active customers from North America used the site last quarter, bringing the total to 27.9 million.
Groupon’s online coupons (once known as Groupon Freebies) is fed from coupons in the affiliate networks. Simply add your coupon to your affiliate program and invite Groupon to join your program and your coupons should be listed in their coupon site.
If you don’t have an affiliate program…
…you may have to pay to have your coupon listed. Coupon sites need to make money, and if you do not have an affiliate program the sites are not being paid a commission so expect to pay a listing fee.
Non-Affiliate Example: RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot has had over 688 million visits in the past 12 months. While I’m listing them as a “non-affiliate example” because they do accept non-affiliate stores and coupons, they also collect coupons from sources like affiliate networks. Combined, RetailMeNot has over 600,000 offers from 70,000 retailers and brands. RetailMeNot facilitated $4.8 billion in global sales last year alone.
If you have an affiliate program, start at help.retailmenot.com to add your program then RetailMeNot will pick up your coupon from the affiliate network.
But if you do not have an affiliate program and want to submit your coupon to RetailMeNot, again start at help.retailmenot.com to add your program then go to www.retailmenot.com/submit to add your coupon.
Other Non-Affiliate Sites
You can find other sites to submit your coupon to by doing some Google searches, such as “submit a coupon” or “submit coupon codes“. This can be labor intensive so it might be best to have a template with the deal specifics:
- coupon code
- start and end date
- terms & restrictions
and outsource this to a contractor.
Adding your deals to the big coupon sites first depends if you (as a merchant or advertiser) have an affiliate program or not. If so, add your deal to your listing with the affiliate network and invite the coupon sites to join your program. If you do not have an affiliate program, keep in mind that coupon sites need to make money so you may be required to pay to have your deals listed. But a quick Google search can reveal thousands of sites to submit your deals.