Merchants can promote healthier economies in their programs by providing clearer regulations. With more comprehensive guidelines, affiliates will be less tempted to cheat—and will have fewer bad examples to follow. We recommend including clauses that address the following issues:
Given the sophistication of the online coupon industry—and the ease with which such codes can be distributed—it’s essential for merchants to proactively monitor their codes. Early detection offers many advantages over prolonged exposure: lower payout of unearned commissions, more precise targeting of coupon promotions, higher customer satisfaction, and better relationships with productive affiliates.
We recommend starting with manual search. Do a quick investigation into your most recently released codes. Are unauthorized sites posting the codes? Are they affiliate or non-affiliate sites? Have any fake codes appeared, or have expired codes shown up on the sites? Then, after that initial evaluation, it might make sense to start ramping up your monitoring with Twitter Alerts and Google Alerts. These can cut down the daily time investment of tracking your codes.
If you need a more comprehensive solution, BrandVerity’s Coupon Code Monitoring service can reduce the noise and investigation workload of other methods. Automatically crawling all sites that meet the user’s criteria, the service includes sophisticated tools for whitelisting authorized sites, identifying affiliate relationships with the sites that post your codes, and ensuring actionable steps toward compliance.