Advertisers: Learn how to create coupon offers and leverage affiliate partnerships to create a personalized shopping experience for your customers in this blog post.
Personalization isn’t a new concept in marketing, but it is one that’s becoming more important. A report from Accenture and cited on 360sociable noted that 73% of consumers prefer to do business with a company that makes their experienced personalized. Trends, such as the rise of the millennial consumer, have fueled the need for marketers to make the path to purchase more personal.
Affiliate marketers have many opportunities to capitalize on personalization. One avenue is through the use of coupons. In this blog post, we’ll explore why coupons are so relevant to today’s consumer, how personalization fits into coupons, and what you as an affiliate advertiser can do to optimize your partnerships to create a more personalized experience for your customers.
Coupon Critical: The Value of Coupons
In a landscape shifting towards the importance of personalization, the first question any advertiser might find themselves asking is “are coupons still important to the customer?”
The answer is a resounding yes!
Studies and research on coupon usage from eMarketer show the following:
- Coupons account for 71% influencing a purchase decision. The decision could come from any number of variables, such as compelling a consumer to buy a product earlier, choose one brand over another, or choosing where they purchase the product from, but the fact remains that coupons are a big part of influencing the path to purchase for a consumer.
- While paper coupons still reign supreme, don’t think that digital coupons are dragging far behind. Surveys show that 47% of consumers use digital coupons when making their purchases, and 25% use mobile coupons.
- Coupons aren’t just a delight for consumers, they’re sought after deals. During the holiday season, 30% of holiday shoppers said they’ll sometimes search for coupons before finishing their purchase online, 27% said they’ll search for coupons most of the time, and 17% of consumers said they search for a coupon before every purchase they make online.
- Coupons aren’t restricted to income levels either, as any consumer – no matter how affluent – will use coupons to some capacity. While income may influence how much they choose to seek out and use coupons, the numbers show that 57% of well-to-do shoppers are always on the lookout for special offers, 54% will shop around to take advantage of specials or bargains, and 30.8% said that they’d be driven to shop at a store they normally wouldn’t patronize because of a coupon.
- Coupon usage isn’t going away anytime soon, in fact, it’s growing. eMarketer trends show that a projected 133 million digital shoppers (60.5%) will be using a digital coupon this year, up 3.8% from 2016. That number is projected to increase year over year by at least 2.1% annually through 2020.
The data speaks for itself: coupons are critical to consumers. People are taking advantage of coupon deals every way they can, and in the affiliate industry that’s great news for the advertiser. However, it opens up a new question: how do we achieve personalization through coupon offers? We know that personalization is important, and we know that it’s a challenge, so how do we get it done?
Keeping it Personal: The Importance of Personalization
Personalization may not be new to marketing, but it’s becoming more critical seemingly by the day. Millennials, for example, no longer want to feel like they’re getting the same copy they can read on the back of a box or in a product description – they want to know what the product or brand will do for them as an individual, and expect those questions answered early in the path to purchase.
This raises a question: how does the affiliate channel help?
With the affiliate channel, the answer is ‘through your publishers’. Your publishers understand what your customers are looking at, what they value, and how your product might work for them. Publisher models offer various forms of personalized experiences, for example:
- Coupon Malls may take advantage of geolocation tracking through mobile apps to push relevant offers to customers who are by specific stores.
- Influencers might be able to reach niche audiences and explain why your product is beneficial to them.
- Loyalty and reward publishers are able to identify what customers are valuing and provide them with additional offers to help find extra savings on products they search for.
- Content publishers create blogs, videos, podcasts and more with their audience in mind.
Within every publisher model, there’s the opportunity to provide a more personalized, focused experience for the customer. Your job as the advertiser is to provide them with the resources to give the customer something personal. We know coupons are highly effective for consumers, and we know that publishers have many different ways of providing a personalized experience – now it’s time to connect the two to help optimize your affiliate strategy.
Building Personalization Through Coupon Offers
Making strategic partnerships is an essential in affiliate marketing, and as an advertiser, you can leverage your publisher partnerships to achieve levels of personalization that your customers will value. Creating a personalized experience for your customers relies on making sure you’re creating more personalized efforts with your publishers, regardless of their publishing model, so they can pass that experience onto their visitors.
If you’re looking to get started with personalization through coupon offers, here are some strategies to consider:
- Offer Exclusive Deals to Partners: One way to personalize your coupon offer to consumers is to make sure they’re getting something they can’t get anywhere else by offering your publishers an exclusive deal. The exclusive deal will be something the publisher is likely to promote to their visitors as an offer they won’t find anywhere else, making their visitors feel they’re getting a more personal, focused experience.
- Give the Coupon a “Theme”: With the increase in quirky and “fun” holidays, there is more opportunity than ever before for advertisers to reach customers interested in very specific, niche topics. Giving your “10% off” coupon a flair in honor of a fun, made-up holiday can reach a demographic that otherwise may not have thought to look at your brand or considered buying a product at that time, but now that they’re seeing a special offer on a day they’re celebrating to show their uniqueness they may be compelled to start shopping! Content publishers and influencers are a great way to reach these types of customers.
- Look to Loyalty for Your Dedicated Customers: If you want to give a personalized offer to some of your loyal customers, look no further than your loyalty and rewards publisher partners. Similar to using exclusive offers with certain publishers, offering exclusive deals to your customers who leverage loyalty and rewards programs can be a great way to say you care about their business and want to give them something extra – as well as support your loyalty and rewards publishers!
- Reach the Niche Through Influencers: There’s no secret that influencers are a big deal, especially when it comes to marketing personalization. Using coupons and offers specific for influencers to offer their followers, you’re tying the ability to personalize your coupon offer with an influencer partnership. You’ll be able to track influencer sales and performance through the influencer-specific coupon as well.