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COUPONS IN SHAREASALE
BY THE APOGEE TEAM
Adding coupons in ShareASale is a simple procedure, but if not done properly, affiliates will not be able to receive them through coupon feeds. One of the key points merchants aren’t taught is that coupons and deals should not be added as mere text links in the Creative section. They have their home in the Coupons and Deals Database.
The Coupons and Deals Database
Log into your merchant account and in the My Creatives tab, find Post Coupons and Deals. You should be presented with a form to enter a new coupon or deal. If not, click Upload New Deal.
The “Start Date” is the coupon publish date—the day that your affiliates will see the coupon go live. The default duration for a coupon or deal is 30 days. For a coupon with no expiration date, type Never in the “End/Expiration Date” box. “Title” can be just a few words; a long description is not necessary. “Coupon Code” is, well, the coupon code. If your deal requires the user to type a code, enter that code here.
If the page to which you want traffic directed for this deal is different from the default landing page in your account, enter its address in the “URL” box. For deals requiring them, the “Big Image” and “Thumbnail Image” fields will take URLs of relevant images.
“HTML” and “Description” can be the same information, formatted slightly differently. This is the promotion description that will show on the affiliate site. It’s important to add the name of the merchant in your description as well as the code and ending date of promotion. The “HTML” field will take HTML markup, but don’t get too fancy; remember that this code will be slotted into an affiliate site, and you’ll want it to play nicely with a variety of layouts and styles.
The “Restrictions” field should be used to tell affiliates how they may not use this coupon or deal if any such restrictions exist. Keywords should be added to the “Keywords” field to get the coupon noticed by affiliates. Keywords are for use inside ShareASale only.
Is the coupon for all affiliates or is it private for one or more affiliates only? The “Available To” option controls access. Leave the selection at Public where appropriate, or choose Private to build a list of allowed affiliates. The list may be populated with choices from three dropdowns: your complete list of individual affiliates, your list of defined affiliate groups, and your list of defined affiliate tags.
“Category” is important. If you want this to show up in coupons and deals, you must type that in the box. If it’s a Black Friday or Christmas or other category promotion, you can type that in the box and it will show up in that category.
The final two options, “Special Commission” and “Require Coupon Use for Special Commission” are used to pay out special (surprise!) commissions on the deal or coupon. The first of the two fields sets the rate while the second controls for actual coupon usage. Select ‘No’ in the dropdown and the special commission will be applied whenever the affiliate link containing the deal code is clicked and a transaction takes place. Select ‘Yes’ and the special commission will only be applied when the coupon code is used in the transaction. How can you know when a code is used in a transaction? Advanced tracking.
Advanced Tracking and Actual Code Usage
Load your Banner Performance report and choose “Coupon/Deal” in the Creative Type dropdown. Refresh the report and you’ll get a list of all the times a coupon (or deal) has been used in an affiliate link. Every affiliate link is constructed basically the same way. The base URL, shareasale.com, has a number of parameters appended to it. A coupon or deal affiliate link contains the “d” parameter. You might see, for example, &d=123456 in the affiliate link for a coupon with the ID 123456.
Why is this important to note? Your coupon codes are set up in the Coupons and Deals Database, but without ShareASale’s Advanced Tracking pixel, you will not know if the coupon was used. It is certainly likely that if a visitor was shown a coupon that was part of a clicked affiliate link that the coupon was subsequently used in the transaction. But you don’t know.
The Advanced Tracking pixel will tell you what coupon codes were used in a transaction. Pair that information with the Banner Performance report to learn which promotions work. In the Generation 6 version of the ShareASale website, the only way to access the data on which codes were used in a transaction is via the Transaction Detail report, either the CSV version or the API version.