Do you offer coupons and if so, how do they impact your conversions? This is something that every retailer needs to know and plan for as part of their online marketing. Over the past decade, coupon sites have become more and more popular with affiliates offering a variety of ways to buy something for less money. This can be a good thing when you work with affiliates that have high traffic counts and excellent SEO. After all, the coupons offered on their website can drive more traffic and conversions on yours. The challenge becomes managing the process correctly.

In online marketing, it is easy to set a promotion and forget it. For example, creating a specific coupon code for affiliates that expires after Christmas or a spring promotion that is supposed to end in May. These coupons need to be monitored so that you don’t end up with a frustrated consumer trying to use a coupon that isn’t working. It is best to have someone on your team that is tasked with managing all of your coupon codes to ensure that everything on the web is working. After all, it is better to offer a discount than miss out on the sale entirely.

In our online marketing plan, be sure to consider how you want to work with your affiliates to ensure that when you do use them to promote coupons, you are not giving up commissions unnecessarily. For example, if someone is in your shopping cart and decides to open a new tab to find a coupon code, the affiliate can track that as a sale using cookies. You will in turn pay a commission, even though the person was on your website first. With that in mind, have your web developer create landing pages and separate URL’s that affiliates can direct traffic to. This will help to keep some of your customers separate. In fact, if you have separate landing pages, you may be able to remove the coupon code section entirely from your main shopping cart. This way the shoppers looking for a discount can come from a coupon site while your regular customers can happily continue paying full price.

One way to successfully use coupons is to create promotions on social media. Your Facebook page, for example, is an excellent place to create a graphic with a coupon code or let everyone know that your new inventory is in and the first fifty customers get a discount. With social media, you can drive conversions because these are people that are already familiar with your brand and want to hear from you. People performing a local search are likely to find your website or your social media page, so this is an excellent way to capture business from that traffic as well.

We also suggest that you create various events to help drive conversions. This can be used in conjunction with local search by optimizing the content on your website. For example, you could have a trunk sale twice a year and incorporate a breadth of content regarding the issue on your website. That way when users search for one in your local area, your website comes up. Next, promote the trunk sale through social media so that your existing customers can participate. Online promotions and events should be fun and creative so keep that in mind and adjust as needed to drive more conversions.