The answer to how do coupon code sites make money is actually just a single word – “affiliation”.
Basically, one of the many marketing tools that is open to online shops is to run an affiliate scheme. Some run this directly with their teams of affiliates, but most programs these days go through third party affiliate scheme websites. There are plenty about – TradeDoubler, Affiliate Window, Share A Sale, Commission Junction and many more.
Affiliate links mean payments
What then happens is that when the bioptimizers coupon code website displays the all important discount details, it also provides a link to the merchant’s website. But, rather than this being a plain link it is actually an affiliate link. So when a visitor views the code details and then clicks the link, usually a tracking cookie is placed onto their website.
This means that if the visitor then goes on to make a purchase on the merchant’s website, the merchant ‘knows’ that the visit was through an affiliate link. So the affiliate’s account is then credited with a commission (the affiliate’s ‘share’ of the sale) and this is the income from the site.
How can you ensure visitors use affiliate links?
That does bring in a whole pile of questions, such as how do you make sure that visitors actually click that affiliate link? One method that is popular in the sense that it is often used, but unpopular as it is seen to be ‘devious’, is the click to reveal trick. Here the visitor has to click on a button, which does 2 things at the same time.
The first is the important piece of code which displays the actual discount information. At least, that’s the important part to the visitor. At the same time it will usually open the merchant’s site in another window, planting the tracking code at the same time.
Finding merchants to sign up to
So, where do you find affiliate merchants to sign up? Well as they schemes are very country dependent, apart from a couple of big schemes, the best thing to do is to find an affiliate forum for your country and then look around and see which big merchant directories they recommend and use often. Each one you sign up to could give you access to literally hundreds of different merchants!
Get the feeds of the latest discounts information
The other advantage of affiliate schemes is that the merchants will want to keep their affiliate informed about the latest voucher codes and make it easy for affiliates to use them. A good directory may also provide the voucher codes as a feed, quite often as CSV or XLS, which makes it very easy for you to upload the codes to a database if you so wish to.