A Closer Look at Coupon & Deal Publishers

Sep 21, 2020
Written by Martina Young

Coupon and deal publishers make up a large proportion of the affiliate space, but the label comes with some baggage—a common misconception is that coupon and deal publishers only drive sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and exclusively with the use of coupons.

You may think that you need to offer coupons to partner with these publishers (spoiler alert: you don't!), but if you take a closer look at one of the network’s highest revenue-driving promotional methods, you’ll find that there’s a whole wide world beyond the coupon.


How Do Coupon and Deal Publishers Work?

This group of publishers offers coupons and deals for savvy shoppers to redeem online and maybe even in-store. Because this promotional model features a wide variety of publishers and audiences, they’re able to help brands in a number of ways:

  • Increased reach via additional channels such as email, social media, and mobile app
  • Higher AOV
  • Increased conversion rate
  • Wide assortment of demographics

Types of Coupon and Deal Sites

Within the coupon and deal promotional realm, there are tons of different types of sites and ways that publishers communicate deals, discounts, and promotions. Here’s the full list:

  • Coupon – Sites that are focused on serving up coupons and offers across a wide variety of categories.
  • Deal – Sites that share the best prices with or without coupons.
  • Product-Specific – Fully realized websites with product-specific discounts and deals, such as VPN deals, laptop deals, etc.
  • Category-Specific - These websites take the best of coupon/deal and product-specific websites and build a site specifically for a category, such as travel or beauty.
  • CPG and Grocery - These sites focus on grocery and supermarket deals rather than other online stores.
  • Daily Deal – Similar to product-specific websites, daily deal websites focus on 1 -10 product-level deals only. Content changes daily to weekly and is focused on discount and clearance items.
  • Freebies, Sweepstakes, and Free Trial Sites – Focused on consumers getting something for free such as trials, samples, BOGO discounts, etc.
  • Local/Regional – Deals around a specific region, can use national discounts, but discounts around geo-targeted offers have the highest potential for conversion.
  • Employee and Member Perk Portals – Focus on companies that can provide exclusive or semi-exclusive offers. Only members of a specific group or employee base have access to this type of portal through a login.
  • Mobile App – Some coupon and deal publishers have an app but no website. They’re the best fit for advertisers who have been Mobile Certified and Cross-Device enabled.
  • Offline Deals – These sites share coupons that can be redeemed in-store. From time to time they may provide buy online pick up in store (BOPUS) opportunities.
  • Post Transaction Marketing – Occasionally, some advertisers share a coupon for other products and services on their thank you page after a consumer has completed a purchase. If you’re a CJ advertiser interested in becoming a publisher for the purpose of post-transaction marketing, please email for more information.
  • Student, Senior, Teacher, First Responder, and Military Discounts – Sites that offer deals to current students, teachers, first responders, or active/retired military and family. Most sites are open access but require proof of status.
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday – Sites that are popular during Q4 only.
  • Blog / Mommy Bloggers – There are blogs focused specifically on online coupons and deals. The deals are presented in an article or content about the brand, offer, or coupon (rather than lists like traditional coupon sites).
  • Free Shipping – These sites list free shipping offers for a variety of brands in one place.
  • Content-Adjacent Coupon Portal – Whitelabeled platforms that allow advertisers to be featured on multiple content websites. Content websites usually feature a separate tab on their sites for coupons and deals and content-adjacent coupon portals populate them on their behalf.
  • TM+ (Trademark Plus)TM+ publishers bid on a brand’s trademarked name (without outbidding the advertiser) plus other terms such as “coupon” or “discount,” appearing in paid search.
  • Browser Extension – Add-on extension to a browser that alerts shoppers about coupons and deals.

Types of Coupon and Deal Offers

What if you’re an advertiser that doesn’t offer coupons? Fortunately, you don’t have to have a coupon or a discount code to showcase your brand on a coupon or deal site. Something as small as free shipping can warrant inclusion. As Google’s recent study on the “messy middle” shows, there’s power in simply being present in moments of consumer deliberation.

If you can provide the following types of offers, reach out to publishers and let them know:

  • Percentage off
  • Dollar amount off
  • New customers
  • Free gift with purchase
  • Free and or flat-rate shipping
  • Traditional or non-traditional sale events, such as a Memorial Day sale, Friends & Family sale, etc.
  • Product deals
  • BOGO
  • Clearance sections

Best Practices for Brands Partnering with Coupon and Deal Publishers

  • Create promotional links and make sure to audit current promotional links to make sure they’re up to date.
  • Include the regular and sale price fields in your product catalogs so that publishers know which products are on sale.
  • Reach out to your publishers to discuss demographic and geographic information about their users.
  • Look in the Placements Marketplace to find opportunities from these publishers in additional distribution channels, such as email and social, or increased home page placement to give your brand additional reach on their site.

Many of these models aren't found in other marketing channels—they're available only through affiliate. By partnering with the CJ network and affiliate publishers, you have the opportunity to be included on these unique websites and platforms and be present where the consumers are.

Mobile Certification

Mobile Certified advertisers have verified CJ tracking on mobile devices. Publishers can search for Advertisers who are Mobile Certified when searching for new partnerships in the CJ Account Manager.

Placements Marketplace

The Placements Marketplace provides publishers a user-friendly tool to post and promote inventory, and advertisers can easily discover new placement opportunities, as well as review, purchase, and track results in a single spot.


CJ’s Cross-Device solution allows advertisers and publishers to recognize growth and efficiency by identifying partnerships that engage their target audiences. By unlocking and uncovering performance that is occurring in multi-device customer journeys, affiliate marketers can now begin to better understand what influences different customers during the path to purchase.
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