I’ve stumbled upon a New Trend.
Lately I’ve been noticing some amazing articles on business sites like Entrepreneur.com and Business.com that are telling regular people about the new secret ‘can’t lose’ way of adding value for your customers: free promo codes.
They aren’t talking about coupon sites like CouponGo.org or Retailmenot.com. They are talking about regular blogs, as in travel websites like Tripadvisor.com offering up promo codes next to their articles.
Why is this the new hot trend?
There is one clear reason: coupons are free.
And the second main reason? People love coupons. Tripadvisor attracts millions of visitors everyday. Some of those people are no doubt looking to buy vacation packages. What’s the harm in giving them a promo code to incentivize them to buy their travel package while they are on your site?
For sites like Tripadvisor: there is no downside. Adding coupons to the site is completely free. And you will get business from all those website visitors that tend to decide to buy something based on a review on your website, but then visit a coupon site to try and get a discount (thereby taking the business you built).
The losers in this are merchants…but they won’t lose anymore than they already have. Merchants offer affiliate commissions to coupon sites, who in essence enable their customers to spend even less than they would have. So in a way, merchants lose twice.
Of course merchants are aware of this: they take one of two actions when it comes to coupons:
- Lower Affiliate Commissions for Coupon Vendors – coupon sites don’t really add value, in some merchants’ eyes, so they cut them a smaller commission rate.
- Or They Do Nothing – Having cost-conscious customers spend less on your business is better than them spending their small amount of money on some other business. Plus, if you build up brand loyalty, these customers (who presumably will make more money in the future) may retain your business out of habit.
Regardless of the value of coupons (this argument has been going on for centuries), you should expect to see promo code lists in the sidebars of many of your major websites in the near future. It may help blogging become a more viable business model for smaller and mid-level blogs.
What do you think?