Step #1: Monitor and Stop Coupon Poaching

The 7 Steps To Upgrade Your AffilIate Program for 2021 series features insider insights designed to give you actionable strategies for building a stronger program using advanced features. The first of these steps features how you can be proactive with identifying and avoiding coupon poaching, which can really damage your affiliates’ capabilities for driving results.
Tony Cohn
March 29, 2023

This post is the start of the 7 Steps To Upgrade Your AffilIate Program for 2021 series, featuring actionable strategies for building a stronger affiliate program using your affiliate platform.

Check out the rest of the steps in the series:

It Seems So Simple…

Through countless cold emails, dozens of warm LinkedIn DMs, and endless scalding-hot Nespresso, you’re successfully routing a steady flow of new affiliates into your programs each day. Mission accomplished, right? Not yet. If your program is fundamentally broken, the value of new affiliates quickly sputters and burns out.

Thousands of brands and affiliate networks are gunning for those same affiliates. Even more troubling, your own coupon affiliates are swooping in to steal conversions from your otherwise deserving partners via coupon poaching.

What on Earth is Coupon Poaching, and How Does it Damage My Affiliate Program?

Coupon poaching happens when a customer nearly completes their purchase and then does a last-second search for a coupon code, finds a coupon on a coupon affiliate site and then completes the purchase. The affiliate that provided that last-second coupon receives credit for driving that sale, which is effectively poaching it from the affiliate or channel that should have been attributed with driving the sale.

How Coupon Poaching Steals Millions of Dollars Annually from Deserving Affiliates:

Coupon Poaching Overview

Coupon poaching isn’t going away. Understanding the important role that coupon affiliates play in your program and setting up proper sales attribution to mitigate coupon poaching, allows coupon affiliates to remain strong revenue generators for your program.

Coupon Affiliates Are Still Valuable Members of Your Program

Before we dive into strategies to prevent coupon poaching, it’s important to note that coupon affiliates are often welcome additions to your program. They receive large amounts of high-intent traffic and have very loyal regular members, which they can drive to find your products and make purchases.

Customers are always on the hunt for a deal, too. According to Statista, 92% of shoppers in 2020 searched for coupons or offers before buying online. This interest in saving money on online purchases is only getting stronger, with digital coupon redemption projected to surpass $90 billion by 2022.

Coupon affiliates can definitely provide real value for your program. However, in the context of coupon poaching, knowing when those coupon affiliates deliver value requires simple, clear data on how the user purchased from your website or app.

How to Fight Back Against Coupon Poaching:

Higher payouts, faster payments, private offers and other perks are no match for a consumer who wants to save cash. Therefore, the best defense against coupon poaching is to ensure that your affiliates are credited properly for all sales that they drive for your brand. Thankfully, this process is relatively simple via most Partner Marketing platforms.

Using Platform Tech to Monitor and Stop Coupon Poaching:

Smart Partner Marketing platforms are key in helping identify and prevent potential coupon poaching activities. For example, with Everflow, you can utilize the Click to Conversion Time Report and platform automations to ensure that the proper affiliate receives commission.

These customizable features arm you with the ability to gauge how quickly conversions occur on each of your offers. You can then use this data to ensure the right affiliates receive credit.

We’ve learned that conversions that occur in thirty seconds or less (immediately before purchase) are likely due to the usage of a coupon code. Once you run a Click to Conversion Time Report, you can choose to set a minimum conversion time window to prevent a sale being poached by one of your coupon affiliates (e.g. less than thirty seconds), or you can set up a maximum conversion time window to allow for crediting affiliates.

Everflow Click to Conversion Time Report
Behold Our Click to Conversion Time Reports!

Once you’re monitoring Click to Conversion Time Reports, and automatically preventing unwanted conversions, you’ll notice a major difference in affiliates who are credited properly for their loyalty traffic vs. last minute conversions that may be unwarranted.

BTW, we’re more than happy to show you how to set up all of the features discussed in this post. Book a demo today and we’ll walk you through it.

Additionally, you can learn more about preventing coupon poaching in your program via our recent chat with Alex from below:

Ready for Your Next Step in Upgrading Your Affiliate Program?

Check out step #2: Using First Click Attribution for Content Publishers.

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