For some it may sound like an old school trick, but for many, couponing is a form of budget saving technique that allows people to purchase more things at a lesser price. This frugality trend is making a comeback and sending many people scouring the internet for daily discounts.
That is a sign of an active niche and if you are someone who is into it, you’ll surely be interested to learn how to make money with coupons and even cash back.
The Industry At A Glance
Before getting into the details, let’s have a bigger picture on what’s going on in the US couponing industry.
- 2 out of 5 retail companies offer coupons to customers.
- The most popular product category for coupons are 28% foods, 18% health care, 16% household, 14% personal care, 11% beverages, 9% pet care, 3% entertainment and 1% others.
- Online coupons and mobile coupons (coupon delivered to a mobile phone) have a much higher redemption rate than newspaper coupons.
- With all channels combined, the industry is worth over $100 million dollars.
Traditionally, coupons are paper cutouts that we get from the stores, pamphlets or in printed format. As more people shop online, digital coupons in the form of discount codes are becoming a preferred choice due to its convenience. These codes can usually be obtained from coupon site aggregators or directly from the retailers themselves.
A slightly different budget saving method is called cashback and while it is often linked to purchases made with credit cards, there are now mobile apps that do the same thing.
Often times, you just need to upload a photo of the receipt and a small amount of cash is added to your shopping account. This cash reward can later be transferred to a PayPal or a bank saving account.
Who Are Your Audience
When we think about shopping savings, who are the people that are most likely to come to our mind? I am guessing moms, college students or anyone who’s interested in a bulk purchase. They probably haven’t used many of the online coupons or even try them before so the benefits would definitely appeal to them. Practically speaking, budget savers is one segment of the audience that you can target.
The other way of looking at things is to figure out what type of niche you are in and the product range that can be promoted to that set of audience. For example, if you are into the topics of food, then highlighting food related coupons would make sense. If you are into the beauty stuff, then beauty related coupons should attract your viewers as well and so on.
The focus here however is NOT to create another coupon site because that’s a very competitive niche to penetrate. If you were to do so, your site will look ‘very thin’ and it will not rank well on Google.
Instead, promoting coupon/cashback should be tied to content that can help viewers make the best purchasing decision online. They could be the primary recommendation or add-ons; either way, there must be a good reason for people to sign up for the coupon offers and nothing does that better than informative content.
How Does The Monetization Work
Through affiliate marketing, you can partner with coupon sites, retailers and cashback apps to promote their offers on your website or blog. When customers use the coupons/cashback in real time, you’ll earn a small incentive.
I want to emphasize on this because the profit margin for coupons is relatively minimal when compared to the sales of physical or digital products. That’s another reason why you shouldn’t just focus on promoting coupons alone.
Take this successful coupon website as an example, the owner actually writes about saving tips and create videos to educate consumers about all kinds of deals. Now, let’s see what affiliate programs are associated with these offers.
Coupon Sites and Retailers Affiliate Programs
- Coupons.com – Direct application through the site. Available in print, online coupons, cash back and loyalty cards.
- Savings.com – Direct application through the site. Available in print and online coupons.
- Couponsurfer.com – Earn $0.20 for every new referral and $0.20 for any member that links a debit/credit card to their reward program. Available in prints and cash back. Sign up via ShareASale affiliate network.
- Entertainment.com – Mainly on travel and attraction deals throughout North America. Available in prints and app. Earn 15% in revenue share. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- ShoppersVoice.com – More of a survey site that rewards you with coupons and free samples. Earn $1.00 per lead for US and $2.00 for Canada.
- Red Plum.com – Available in prints and app. Earn $0.01 to $0.07 when a customer prints a coupon. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Walgreens – Earn between 4-8% in commissions. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Target – Earn up to 8% commissions. Available in prints, app and membership loyalty. Sign up via Impact Radius.
- Sears – Earn up to 7% in revenue share. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Walmart (US and Canada) – Earn up to 4% in commissions. Available in prints and app. Sign up via Rakuten Linkshare network.
- Groupon.com – Mainly on local deals, earn up to 10% commission, sign up via Rakuten Linkshare.
- Living Social.com – Also another local deal site. Earn up to 6% commission. Sign up via Commission Junction.
Cashback Referral Programs
- Ebates – Purely a cash back site. Pays $25 for every new referral who makes a total purchase of $25 or more.
- Mr Rebates – Make $1.00 per registered email address on the website. Sign up via ShareASale.
- Ibotta – Get $5 cash for every new referral that sign up for the app. A new referral will receive a $10 welcome bonus.
- Checkout 51 Mobile (app only) – Earn $1.00 commission per lead. Sign up via ShareASale.
- TopCashBack – Get a $10 bonus for every referral purchase. Sign up via Affiliate Window.
- Be Frugal – Earn $10 for every new referral.
- Jet.com – Get $10 to $15 for every new referral. New customers get $10 off their first order over $50.
- Berry Cart – Focus on organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO food deals. Offers $2 for every new referral.
- Amikash Canada – Earn $1.00 per lead. New customers get $6 welcome bonus. Sign up via ShareASale.
The Coupon Industry Moving Forward
Do you know that 60% of consumers are actively seeking coupons for grocery products each month? That’s because fresh deals are always available and retailers are constantly offering opportunities for us to use discounts during checkout.
For many people, this shopping practice has become a second nature and since eCommerce is a booming industry, I think there will always be a place for the coupon niche to thrive. Think about this, manufacturers will always want to sell more and consumers are always interested in savings, so what’s there to lose with couponing, right?
But the industry will require another key player, that’s you, to disseminate relevant and up-to-date information to the consumers. With a well established website, you can do exactly just that while making money with coupons and cashback.
I trust you’ve found value in reading this article. If you like to learn more about starting an online business with affiliate marketing, please visit my recommended training platform for more details.
Question – Are you a coupon/cashback user? What is your experience like so far? Please share in the comment section below so that we can get some discussion going.
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Wilona Blue says
This was a pretty interesting read. I’ve always been curious to find out more about couponing and its perks. I had no idea about the wealth of the industry. It is shocking that 60% of consumers are actively seeking coupons for grocery products each month but then again the state of the economy heavily affects certain parts of the population.
I wonder if that number changes in Canada where, I am from. Maybe I am not paying enough attention, but I hardly see people using coupons here whereas there are shows about it in the US.
Cash back and coupons are really nice way of earning money. Unfortunately, I am from Eastern Europe and most of the networks related to this niche operate either in USA, Canada or Western Europe. Could you recommend me some sites that I can participate and earn from my home country?
Hi Strahinja, I see your difficulty as there aren’t many cashback sites with affiliate programs for your location. Maybe because I am also searching in English so there’s some limitation. I think it may be a better idea to approach through merchants that you want to partner with and see if they have any coupon deals that you can take advantage of. Sorry that I couldn’t provide you a better answer.
Derek Marshall says
This article has triggered a nice little idea to run across my mind and I wish to run this past you. Despite not recommended to enter the couponing market sector as an affiliate as it is fairly saturated, what are your thoughts in regards to entering that sector, niching down and getting more specific by focusing on one specific area of couponing such as entertainment, food or pet care?
That can certainly be done, Derek if it’s part of the ‘pet care affiliate program’ commission structure. Some merchants pay commissions through sales as well as coupons – albeit rare. If you still want to monetize from coupons on the side widgets, for example, I don’t see why you can’t be affiliated to a couponing retailer while being relevant to your niche.