Online Coupons And Deals: How To Find Them
Everyone's in the game these days, even Google announced in August that they would be offering online coupons. If anyone has used a search engine to look for coupons or discounts on products they know how daunting a practice it can be. With monthly search queries in the millions, coupons and discounts (and variations on these terms) might some day exceed Paris Hilton in the search rankings. When searching "coupons" or a similar keyword on Google, Yahoo or any other search engines you quickly discover hundreds of results but perhaps not exactly what you're looking for.
Typically your results fall into these categories of websites: incentive reward programs, printable national brand coupons, local shopping websites, directories/portals and online discount aggregators.
Incentive Reward Programs - These sites leverage their affiliate commissions as incentives to consumers. For example if a consumer visits their website they are presented with a 15% discount offer from a leading computer manufacturer, if the consumer clicks on the link and purchases the computer the website is paid a commission of which a portion is credited to the consumer. Many times this is disguised as a member rewards program or points club.
Printable National Brand Coupons - These websites compile national brand coupons and offer instant print capabilities once you download their proprietary print software. Most of these websites force the user to register in the process of downloading the print software. The leaders in this category have evolved from traditional direct mailers or large newspaper conglomerates that can source a pool of coupons from national brands found in your Sunday paper.
Local Shopping Websites - These websites tend to be very geographic specific in their content and are usually smaller in overall user visits though they usually do a great job of promoting local businesses such as pizza restaurants and specialty shops. Many times local radio and TV station websites work this way adding additional exposure for their advertisers.
Directories/Portals - Yes the phone companies are in the game. As a matter of fact the phone companies are probably one of the best suited for this market since the greatest challenge is sourcing the relevant content (coupons). Lucky for them they already have a national advertising sales network that they use to sell advertising in their phone books.
Local & National Savings Aggregators - These are the sites that pull all of the above content together under one website with the hopes of making online discount searching an easier and more successful endeavor.
As more and more advertisers embrace the Internet expect to see the extinction of coupons and discount ads as you know them. Perhaps the piles of Yellow Pages on the curb are a telling sign.