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Best Practices for Merchant Promotions
With the online coupon market valued at approximately $4 billion per year (USA Today), and the CMO Council reporting 71% of US internet user purchases are influenced by coupons and discounts, it appears promotions are here to stay.
As an affiliate program manager or merchant, you may wonder how to make the most of your coupons and provide the best deals to publishers. At FMTC, we aggregate thousands of deals for publishers each day, so we’ve identified best practices to boost the effectiveness of your offers.
Here are some quick and simple tips you can use.
Be Clear & Concise
I ask publishers what they like to see in promotions, and the recurring suggestion is having clear and concise descriptions of offers. Don’t have too much fluff in your deals, but include relevant information. A while back I came up with a formula for the perfect deal, and it goes as follows:
Item(s) on Sale + Discount + Dates + Code = Perfect Deal.
For example, “40% off select Women’s Dresses with code 40OFF. Valid 9/1 12am – 9/2 11:59pm EST”.
Always List Terms & Restrictions
Simply stating “Exclusions may apply” in your deal information can be sufficient. Then, you can list out your exclusions on the landing page or link to an exclusions page
Bonus Tip: Promotions that require shoppers to reach a particular retail value before the savings apply will increase AOV (Average Order Value).
Tricia Meyer from Sunshine Rewards mentions, “The best and easiest coupons to post are ones that are concise but contain everything the customer needs in one place–start and end date, coupon code, and restrictions. Too much detail makes them hard to promote on social media. Too little detail leaves the customer confused.”
Don’t Forget Dates
It may seem tedious, but it’s always beneficial to list the dates, times, and time zones of when your offer is valid. Incorrect or missing dates and times can cause affiliates to promote your deals before or after their expiration. Sometimes, we receive offers ending on a particular date with no time noted, such as 8/1, not knowing it ends at 12 am rather than 11:59 pm may cause publishers to promote your offer for a full day after it expires.
Bonus Tip: Create a sense of urgency with your expiration date. Deals that end sooner receive more attention. You can always extend the offer, but creating a non-expiring deal lessens the benefit.
Jason South from Ebates reiterates these points, “[We like] coupons with clear, concise, and compelling marketing messaging, accurate start and end dates, and coupon codes that work as advertised.”
According to Valassis, 55% of consumers spend more than 2 hours each week looking for deals, so be sure your offers are adequate and appealing.
By incorporating these best practices, publishers will have all the information they need to promote your offers and customers will thank you for a positive experience.
Larissa is FMTC’s Merchant & OPM Liaison and chairs the PMA’s Coupons & Deals Council.
This article first appeared in issue 39 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2017.