Perhaps most networks and merchants think the only people that use discount codes are code affiliates? Perhaps they're right to put all their efforts and perhaps, eggs, on one basket?
I take the contrary view. I take the view that content affiliates are the affiliates that are the engine of the affiliate industry as we inform and educate buyers. We SEO for relevant generic terms, inform the user as to a certain product's suitability for them and highlight which merchants they can buy from. We'll add value and discus delivery options, gift wrapping etc. Then off trotts "our" consumer into the merchant site and gets to the payment section where (s)he says "Add your discount code", people being who they are then go off and search for a discount code and whether they find one, get one that is expired, or get a cookie landed on their machine when no code is available, I lose the commission.
Now you could say this is "survival of the fittest", or I should change my business model and every affiliate should have a code and/or cashback site meaning that there'll be over 5,000 of them.
I can I take the "third way". Networks, and some merchants have taken great strides in recent years with reducing the effect of spyware (I hope they're still on top of this) and creating loads of widgets for affiliates to drop into their sites. These are fantastic (in varying degrees). However, I see the next great land rush for networks is to help content affiliates work with codes more effectively.
Yes, there have been movements in this area with 3 networks (as far as I can see) offering fairly useful discount code tools. But I'd like them to go further. I'd like to see them offering "discount code widgets".
This way the affiliate does some work. The other way is the true contextual stuff (I see Webgains doing this) but just adds the codes into it.
All this would help content affiliates keep in the game, give them greater returns for their efforts and keep informing users.
I'm sure there's many content affiliates, blogging affiliates that would love to reduce the wastage to code sites. It's nothing against them, I've got some good friends that run those types of sites. However, I'd lose less sales to them - to be perfectly blunt!
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