My how internet time flies. In a few short years, Groupon went from being one of the fastest growing internet businesses to one of the biggest internet business disasters. Small businesses blamed the company for roping them into deals that hurt rather than helped, stock prices dropped 89%, then CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason was fired fueling the rumors that Groupon was going down.
Now, Groupon is fighting back with the formation of the shiny, new Groupon Partner Network.
Groupon already has affiliate deals in place with, I’m guessing, 1,000′s of partners, but they were always run through a third party such as Commission Junction. With this new program, Groupon is taking control of everything from the banners to the stats to the payouts.
According to InternetRetailer, Groupon desperately needs more marketing channels because direct email marketing is only bringing in 40% of the business. This is down from 45% in Q1 2013.
They are having good luck with their mobile app. The company stated that nearly half of the transactions in June came through mobile and that’s way up over last year.
The hope is that this new affiliate program will spark sales because of the ability to tightly target consumers. I hear the new widgets will allow publishers to deep link to more relevant deals and that’s always better than just slapping up a generic banner.
To encourage sign-ups, Groupon is offering higher commissions to those who join before September 30. 10%-12% for Groupon Local deals, 6%-8% for Groupon Getaways, and 5%-8% percent for Groupon Goods. After that date, commissions will drop to 10% for Local deals, 6% for Groupon Getaways deals and 5% for Groupon Goods.
And while I’m sure they’d be happy to have the big coupon sites as affiliates, their sales text pushes the fact that small affiliates are just as welcome.
When someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn 2-10% commission based on the product you sell, whether you refer a new or existing customer, and your overall sales volume.
They’re even offering dedicated live affiliate support: training guides, and webinars. Wow, they’re really serious about getting this program off the ground.
I was tempted to sign up, but the application process is odd. It asks for company information but there’s no place to put a URL. Are they going to judge my ability to promote their product based solely on my name? They also ask for my bank routing info and social security before I’ve even been accepted into the program. That’s strange, isn’t it?
I’ll pass. If you give it a try, come back and tell us about it. I’m curious to learn more about the process. Just not curious enough to give up my bank account and social security number.