SignPost, Local Offer Network, Boomtime, Analog Analytics and Second Street Media now incorporate a range of local offer formats. These can include deals, coupons, gift certificates and contests. So is San Diego-based Deal Current, which is specifically focusing on coupons to move beyond deals: both traditional, flat rate coupons, and performance-based coupons.
While deals remain attractive for their games- like excitement – especially in high margin categories — coupons are preferable to deals in many instances. They don’t churn as much and aren’t as time pressured – coupon customers tend to stick with the channel for years on end, and tend to add to their budgets as results are proven. They also work everywhere, unlike mobile-limited channels such as Groupon Now; and they don’t require businesses to share revenue.
Deal Current’s innovation with coupons is offering a performance-based option. It enables publishers to work with advertisers with no upfront costs. As President Patrick Dillon notes, “It is like AdSense, but better because you don’t pre-fund the account.”
Dillon notes that a performance-based model incentivizes publishers to circulate the coupons around the Web with SEO and aggregators. A performance based coupon, in fact, might look and perform like a text ad, but will cost 40 percent less than comparable online ad choices.