How To Stop Coupon Poachers From Ruining Your Affiliate Program with Alex Heckmann
Michael's Thoughts On This Chat
The dark reality of DTC affiliate programs is that they revolve around coupon affiliates. We've pushed for merchants to learn when coupon affiliates are stealing credit vs adding new shoppers: https://bit.ly/3t1FeUk
Rather than setting up coupon defenses, a brand might choose just to not work with coupon affiliates at all.
It won't save them from being damaged by coupons.
That was my main takeaway from chatting with Alexander Heckmann of clean.io. Their cleanCART product was built to stop coupon extensions from injecting coupons during the purchase process. This happens to all brands, not just the ones working with the extensions as affiliates.
Clean.io proves their value by doing a 50-50 split of traffic, with 50% of users having their extensions blocked.
The amount of money saved by blocking these extensions is crazy: AOV improved by 11%, Cart Completion Rate by 1.5%, and site speed by over 10%.
When it comes to affiliate programs, these coupon extensions are even more toxic. These extensions are top affiliates in the marketplace of many affiliate networks by offering last second coupons (and firing off their affiliate link at the same time). Most affiliate networks charge a % of payouts to affiliates, so they are highly incentivized to push you to add these coupon extensions as affiliates; because, the extensions will receive massive amounts of payouts by taking credit from all of your channels and affiliates.
Even if you don't work with the extensions directly, they can still end up a sub-affiliate under one of your other affiliates. Without granular reporting or click-to-conversion time reports, it's near impossible to catch this shady blending of traffic.
One more way these mess up your partner program: The extensions will scrape every code that gets used on your website. If you want to work with influencers through coupon codes, those codes could wind up on these extensions, and now you're paying the influencer every time the extension offers their code.
I was personally convinced by Alexander Heckmann of how serious the threat is from these coupon extensions, and how much damage they can wreak on businesses.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your brand: Test out the value of Clean's tool, build out a smart strategy for managing coupons, and use reports and automation around click-to-conversion times to stop this last second coupon poaching.
If you have a DTC affiliate program and don't solve the many dangers from coupons, you'll never be able to grow it as fast as you should.
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