What types of client promotions work for affiliate programs?

When deciding on what kind of promotions to offer to affiliates, a few things need to be taken into consideration. First and foremost, a merchant must examing margins to determine what kind of wiggle room they have for offering promtions.


Second, you must do a competitive analysis to see what kind of promotions your compeitors are offering. It is very important to match or beat competitor offerings to get the most traction out of the promotions you offer.


For example, if a merchant examines margins and determines they can comfortably offer a 20% off coupon, they will want to check with their competitors to see what kind of coupons they are offering.

If competitors are offering an average of 10%, the merchant might want to go with 12% or 15%, which is better than the nearest competitors, but less than they were willing to offer. If the merchant only has margins of 8% to work with, then they will be forced to go with that 8%. Ultimately, it will make them less appealing,  but anything is better than nothing, as many shoppers will not complete a purchase without a competitive discount.


The types of promotions which can be offered vary. Some of them include:

Buy one Get one deals ( either free or half price is standard)
% off any purchase
% off specific item (s) or categories
$ off any purchase
$ off specific item (s) or categories
Free Shipping on select amount
Free Shipping on any order
Free gift with purchase

The most popular promotions to offer are:
% off any purchase
$ off any purchase
Free Shipping on any order

The reason the last three are the most popular and effective are that they allow consumers to purchase whatever they like,  without restrictions. When you start putting restrictions on promotions, you start limiting your sales. That being said though, you need to carefully think out the impact of using the most popular promotions, because there are always consumers that will take advantage, because everyone wants to get the best deal. For example, if you offer free shipping on every order, and you have some $5 items, you can rest assured someone who wants to send out 10 Christmas gifts will buy 10 $5 items on your site, so do think out various scenerios before offering unlimited coupons. 

Overall, some promotions are better than none, and the more the merrier for affiliates and customers, but smart merchants keep a close eye on margins, and competitor offerings before choosing the promotions they'd like to offer. 

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