How to Start a Coupon Website

How to Start a Coupon Website? (That Earns Money)

Coupon websites are a great way for businesses to attract new customers and increase sales. They are also a great way for affiliate marketers to earn a passive income, as long as you know how to start, build and optimise your own coupon site.

If you’re new to afilliate marketing you can also have a look at our article on how to start in affiliate marketing.

In this article, we will outline the steps involved in setting up a successful coupon website. We will:

  • Discuss various methods for generating coupon codes
  • Explain the benefits of integrating affiliate marketing with your coupon website
  • Describe different tactics used to drive traffic and optimise conversions
    Discuss the value of incentivizing affiliates
    Analyse best practices for creating effective campaigns
  • Provide a step-by-step guide to tracking conversions.

In other words: after reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need to start a successful coupon website that is all set for bringing in those affiliate earnings.

How to Start a Coupon Website Overview

What is a coupon website?

A coupon website is a website dedicated to posting coupons, discount vouchers, codes and other discounts. These discounts are redeemable on another website: the coupon website simply lists a variety of coupons and codes but doesn’t sell the actual stuff.

Visitors of a coupon website can usually get access to the vouchers and codes in exchange for their personal information, but this doesn’t have to be the case. This is because the monetization of a coupon website is in the handing out of coupons itself. It’s in the best interest of the owner of the website to hand out as many vouchers as possible.

Why is a coupon website interesting for affiliates?

As you know, affiliate marketing is all about earning a passive income. The idea is that, as an affiliate marketer, you attract an audience to your website. By promoting other businesses’ products or services to that audience, you earn a commission. Tracking your audience, if and when they make a purchase by a site that you’re promoting, is therefore essential.

Visitors of your website usually copy or download a code that can be redeemed at the site you’re promoting, which makes every purchase that originated with your audience traceable via an affiliate network.

What’s more, the audience for coupons is very far in the customer journey. These are usually people who are already ready to make a purchase, but are now in the act of searching for the best deal. They usually need just a little nudge to buy, which is good news for your conversion rates.

The same principle makes these websites attractive to the affiliate partners that you will be promoting. Webshops and other businesses that sell their products online usually want to be featured because this means they will be showcased to a triggerhappy audience.

Setting up a coupon website

The first step in setting up a successful coupon website is to research the market and identify your target audience. This will help you understand:

  • What type of coupons and promotions will be most appealing to your target audience
  • How to best reach them (social media campaigns leading back to your website, for example)
  • What message is going to catch their attention
  • Which content (video’s, helpful tips) you could create to share on social media to build on audience
  • The problems your audience is trying to solve, so you can write how-to articles and posts answering these questions and attract them via SEO

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can begin creating your website.

To create your website, you will need:

  • A domain name (the “address” for your website)
  • Hosting (where your website and the associated data will live)
  • Platform (also known as a content management system, or CMS)
  • Optional: If you choose wordpress you’ll have to purchase a wordpress theme for affiliate marketing websites

There are several different platforms available, such as WordPress, Shopify, and Magento. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose one that best suits your needs.

Once your website is set up, you can begin creating content and promoting your coupons and promotions.

Examples of successful coupon websites

Here are some examples of successful coupon websites across different industries, to help you get a better understanding of what you’re working towards:

RetailMeNot.com (Retail)

RetailMeNot coupon website

This website provides coupons and deals for a wide range of retailers. They use affiliate marketing as their top monetization method, earning commissions from sales made through their product links.

Cotter Cunningham

RetailMeNot was founded in 2006 by Cotter Cunningham. It was the first coupon website where consumers could share, cast a vote, and comment on coupons.

The company connects consumers to 70,000+ brands, helping consumers save money while giving brands more exposure and sales.

RetailMeNot has a long and colorful history as a prominent and leading coupon website.

In 2010, WhaleShark Media acquired RetailMeNot for an undisclosed amount and rebranded the entire company to RetailMeNot before going public on the Nasdaq in 2013, raising $191 million in its initial public offering.

In 2017, Harland Clarke Holdings (HCH) acquired RetailMeNot for $630 million in equity – HCH rebranded itself as Vericast in February 2020.

Vericast sold RetailMeNot in September 2020 to J2 Global for a reported $420 million. On August 17, 2021, J2 Global announced it would change its name to Ziff Davis, the current owner of RetailMeNot.

According to Similarweb, RetailMeNot.com gets more than 20 million monthly visits.

Coupons.com (Grocery)

Coupons.com website

This website provides printable coupons for groceries and household items and gives you cash back for uploading your receipts for some purchases – the company also has an app you can download (Shopmium app).

Steven Boal founder of Coupons dot com
Steven Boal

Coupons.com was founded in 1998 by Steven Boal.

By 2011, it had a billion-dollar valuation after closing a $200 million round of financing from institutional investors.

Coupons.com debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: COUP) in 2014, raising $168 million in its IPO, giving the company a market cap of $2.2 billion.

In 2015, the name changed from Coupons.com to Quotient Technology in recognition of the broader portfolio of brands in the group, but Coupons.com remains the group’s flagship consumer savings asset.

According to Similarweb, Coupons.com gets about 3.7 million monthly visits.

Groupon.com (Local deals)

Groupon coupon website

This website provides deals on local activities, products, and services.

Groupon has over one million merchants who use Groupon to find new customers, expand their brand awareness, and boost profits with no upfront costs.

Andrew Mason

In 2007, Andrew Mason helped found The Point – a website dedicated to getting people together to accomplish a goal. And the following year, in 2008, Groupon was born as a site for local businesses in Chicago, Illinois, to advertise special time-sensitive deals.

Businesses across the city quickly caught on. Soon Groupon started expanding to other cities, and by the end of 2009, Groupon was active in 28 cities across the U.S.

By the following year, in 2010, Groupon reached other countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Belgium.

On June 2, 2011, Groupon filed to go public. The company went public on November 4, 2011 (Nasdaq: GRPN). It was the biggest IPO by an Internet company since Google in 2004, with a market cap of $17.8 billion.

However, Groupon has had a bumpy ride, falling short of expectations that could justify a multi-billion dollar market cap. And at the time of writing this, Groupon’s market cap is a mere $148 million.

In 2012, Groupon offered merchants the opportunity to sell on Groupon by providing them with the necessary tools and resources.

According to Similarweb, Groupon.com gets roughly 25.8 million monthly visits.

Honey (eCommerce)

This browser extension provides coupons and deals for online shoppers.

"Honey has helped more than 17 million people find more than $1 billion in available savings, and a big part of that success comes from the relationship we have with our members."

Ryan Hudson co-founder of Honey
Ryan Hudson
George Ruan co-founder of Honey
George Ruan

PayPal Honey (or Honey as it’s still referred to) was founded in 2012 by Ryan Hudson and George Ruan, and by 2014 the company had more than 900,000 users.

The company raised $26 million in funding in March 2017. And by January 2018, it had secured $40.8 million.

PayPal announced on November 20, 2019 that it acquired Honey Science Corporation for approximately $4 billion, and it completed the acquisition on January 6, 2020.

"The addition of Honey to our platform enables a significant step forward in our commitment to provide powerful services and tools for merchants and consumers, move beyond our core checkout proposition and significantly enhance the shopping experience for our 300 million consumers and merchants."

These coupon websites are successful because they provide a valuable service to their target audience by making it easy for them to find deals and discounts on products and services their audience is looking for. They also have a clear monetization strategy and use tactics such as SEO and social media marketing to drive traffic to their site. By studying these examples, you can get an idea of what a successful coupon website looks like and learn from their strategies.

5 steps for skyrocketing your coupon website

Once you’ve got the technical details out of the way and your coupon website is in the air, it’s time to get the ball rolling. This means making sure the coupon infrastructure is in place and building up an ecosystem that is really scalable.

Here are five steps that will help you to build your site for success.

How to find coupon codes

Coupon websites that generate coupons typically have partnerships with various brands and generate exclusive discount codes for their users. These codes are often unique and can only be found on the coupon website. Users can then use the coupon code during checkout to receive a discount on their purchase.

Other coupon websites search for coupons on partner websites and list them all in one place for users to find easily. These websites often have partnerships with many different brands and affiliate networks, making it easy for users to find a variety of discounts and offers in one place.

Finally, some coupon websites allow users to submit their own coupons. Users can share their own discount codes, deals, or offers with the coupon website, which then verifies the code and adds it to their list of available coupons. This allows users to help each other save money and discover new deals.

Additionally, coupon websites often have partnerships with various affiliate networks and can find coupons on those platforms as well. This means that users can find a wide variety of coupons and deals, including exclusive offers that may only be available through the affiliate network.

Integrating affiliate marketing

Integrating affiliate marketing with your coupon website can be a great way to increase revenue and drive traffic to your site. As you know, affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses to promote their products or services in exchange for a commission. And this can work both ways.

The most obvious way to leverage affiliate marketing for boosting your coupon website, is by partnering up with businesses that are already leveraging affiliate marketing. To set up affiliate partnerships, you can join an affiliate network or contact businesses directly. Once you have established partnerships, you can begin promoting affiliate products on your coupon website as you would with any other affiliate website. Only instead of promoting your partner’s products or services by linking to them, you will promote a coupon code offering a special discount and urge people to use that code when they’re making a purchase, so that your partner will know that you sent them.

Get affiliates to promote for you as well

You could also set up an affiliate marketing campaign to promote your own website and the products you’re offering: the discount codes and actions. Flash sale websites such as LatestDeals have built a strong brand around having the latest and best sales and offers. And as long as you have a coupon website with something valuable to offer, you could work with influencers.

An influencer with the right kind of audience might be an excellent affiliate partner to reach new people and grow your own audience. You might for example agree on a fee based on the number of people that sign up for your mailing list via the influencer, or even on the number of coupon downloads they provided for you.

To set up a referral program, you can use a plugin or software that allows you to track and reward affiliates. This can be an effective way to build long-term relationships with affiliates and increase revenue over time.

Driving traffic and optimising conversions

Driving traffic to your coupon website is essential for its success. There are several tactics that can be used to drive traffic, including SEO and social media marketing.

SEO, or search engine optimization, involves optimising your website for search engines, such as Google and Bing. This can be done by creating engaging and informative content, using keywords, and building backlinks.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, involves promoting your website on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This can be done by creating engaging content, running ads, and building a following. We wrote a guide on affiliate marketing on instagram that you can have a look and take some inspiration from.

We’ve already discussed how influencers could drive traffic to your website. However, since it’s such a powerful way to quickly reach a big audience, we’ve put this traffic source here again.

Getting traffic is just the first part however. Visitors alone won’t pay your bills: you need to convert those visitors. Or in other words: get them to take a certain action that is valuable to you, like subscribing to your mailing list or downloading a coupon code.

To optimise conversions, it’s important to create a user-friendly website with a clear and simple design. This will make it easy for users to navigate your site and find the coupons they are looking for. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your website loads quickly and is optimised for mobile devices.

Affiliate conversion tracking for coupons websites

Conversion tracking and attribution for affiliate marketing efforts on coupon websites are a crucial step to properly set up your coupon website. With advanced tracking and attribution features, businesses can dive deep into their data to understand which coupons are generating revenue, which traffic sources are the most profitable, and more.

One way to achieve this is through the use of affiliate conversion tracking and attribution provided by third-party services like wecantrack. This is done by automatically tracking every time a user clicks on one of the affiliate links or uses a coupon code on the coupon website. A unique click ID is placed every time a click or coupon usage happens, and with that ID, once the sale is fetched from the affiliate network, the system can automatically attribute and track the sale to the correct session and user.

The affiliate conversion data can then be integrated into a variety of tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more. By integrating your conversion and sales data into these tools, you can gain valuable insights into your marketing efforts, such as which coupons are performing the best and where you should focus your efforts to maximize ROI.

Furthermore, you can use this data to optimize your affiliate marketing campaigns by testing different coupon formats, layouts, and creative to know which one of them is the most converting. This can help you to get even more revenue from the same traffic.

Overall, the use of affiliate conversion tracking and attribution features can greatly enhance your marketing efforts on coupon websites by providing valuable data and insights, allowing you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your campaigns to achieve maximum profitability.

Conclusion

Starting a coupon website can be a great way for businesses to attract new customers and increase sales, or for affiliate marketers to earn an income. By understanding the steps involved in setting up a website, generating coupon codes, integrating affiliate marketing, driving traffic and optimising conversions, incentivizing affiliates, and tracking conversions, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, it’s important to research the market and identify your target audience, have a clear monetization strategy, and use tactics such as SEO, social media marketing and affiliate marketing to drive traffic to your site.

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