Cashing in on Coupons: Digital Discount Tips, Tools, Trends

Michelle Megna

Updated · Sep 09, 2008

The online coupon site just launched its Merchant Portal, allowing online stores to add their store information and coupons.

Coupon codes are similar to traditional grocery coupons but for online stores and give customers instant discounts on their purchases, and can be used to accomplish certain marketing goals.

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For example, Web shop owners aiming to find new customers can issue coupons that are only valid for first time buyers. Or, to increase their average order size, stores can issue coupons that apply only to orders over a certain amount. This encourages customers to “up-size” their order to qualify for the discount. Additionally, adding an expiration date to coupons creates a sense of urgency and helps reel in those customers that are waiting to buy.

By tailoring their coupons to meet their business objectives, merchants are able to create targeted marketing promotions through the use of coupon codes.

After crafting their promotions, e-tailers need to get the word out to the right consumers about their coupon codes. To help, developed a Merchant Portal. This new self-serve portal gives any merchant the ability to add their coupons and store information to the coupon directory. Doing so gives the store free exposure to the quarter million people that visit monthly, according to the company. Sites that complete their listing by providing an exclusive coupon and placing a badge on their site are featured on the homepage for a limited time and receive premium exposure on an ongoing basis.

E-tailer simply log on and enter their user name and e-mail address with their online store URL. Listings may include a screenshot and show in the related store section of other stores in the same category.

The site also has a Coupon Widget allowing bloggers and site owners to display coupons for online stores. Every time a visitors clicks on a coupon and makes a purchase, the blogger or site owner will receive a commission from this sale.

Tjoos sources their coupons directly from the online stores as well as from their coupon-sharing community on their Web site. Commission tracking is handled through Commission Junction. To receive their commissions, bloggers setup an account directly with Commission Junction. Clicks through the widget register directly in Commission Junction, who also handles the commission tracking and payouts.

The widget can be customized by following this link and one-click installations for Blogspot and TypePad are provided. For other installations the widget HTML is available.

Tips and Directories for E-Coupons

In other coupon news, Ann Smarty, in a blog post at, offers tips for making the most of your coupon directory listings, such as making sure you include your brand name and main keywords in your listing title. She also links to a comprehensive list of both free and paid coupon directories.

Get Social With Your Coupons

Finally, a cool site,, combines coupons with social community. Online shoppers rate whether or not deals worked out for them, helping other visitors find the best discounts. “Every single coupon is rated and ordered by its usefulness, and every store is categorized and ordered by its popularity within that category,” according to the site.

E-tailers can gain access to this untapped pool of shoppers by submitting coupons to the site in a simple process involving entering their store name, the type of coupon, the coupon code and a description about the discount. Since anyone can submit a coupon, you can also encourage your customers to pass them on to RetailMeNot.

Michelle Megna is managing editor of

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