The “Overnight Success” That Took Us Five Months To AchieveSeptember 19, 2023
From Cash Cow to Cash Cannibal: The Evolution of Coupons in Affiliate Marketing
The Golden Age of Coupons
There was a time when affiliate marketing and coupon sites were synonymous. Brands flocked to these platforms, eager to tap into their vast audiences, and for a while, it seemed like a match made in heaven. Coupons were the cash cows, driving significant net new revenue and attracting throngs of bargain-hungry consumers.
The Oversaturation Dilemma
Fast forward to today, and the landscape has shifted dramatically. Coupons and cashback offers have become so ubiquitous that their once-magnetic allure has somewhat dimmed. The market is saturated with thousands of low-quality sites, and consumers now expect discounts as a given rather than a delightful surprise. Recent research paints a concerning picture: Most coupon sites cannibalize revenue by dropping cookies on customers without adding any true value. Only a handful of these partners are trusted by the Apogee team to deliver true discounts and upsells in the funnel. We also pay these partners lower commissions so they do not eat into profit margins.
The Role of Coupons for Established Brands
This isn't to say that coupon sites have lost all their value. For established brands with a significant market presence, these platforms can still serve as important levers. They can help clear out inventory, attract price-sensitive segments of the market, or combat competitors' promotions. However, their role in the affiliate marketing playbook has undoubtedly changed.
The New Frontier: Content-Driven Affiliate Marketing
For budding businesses and those looking to grow their customer base genuinely, the focus needs to shift. Enter content-driven affiliate marketing. In this model, the emphasis is on quality over quantity, authenticity over broad appeal.
Content, as they say, is king. But not just any content. Content that is genuine, relatable, and crafted by creators genuinely invested in the product or service they're promoting. When these creators are given a performance incentive, the results can be nothing short of magical. They're motivated to produce content that doesn't just attract views but drives conversions.
Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Affiliate Marketing
The evolution of affiliate marketing is a testament to the ever-changing nature of the digital landscape. While coupons and cashback offers will always have their place, brands looking for sustainable growth need to look beyond these traditional methods. By partnering with content creators who are aligned with their brand values and incentivized by performance, businesses can tap into a goldmine of authentic engagement and genuine growth.