How To Make Your Own Online Coupon Business In A Profitable Niche
Ready to learn how to create your own online coupon business?
In this chapter, we'll look inside the profitable online coupon business and how there's a lot of opportunities for you to create your own in a smaller, niche, market where they have yet to take off.
Outside of the obvious markets and big retailers, there are very few worthwhile coupon sites meaning you can really dominate these markets.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...
Introduction To The Online Coupon Businesses
I have to admit I wasn't really that familiar with online coupon businesses and their business model until I read the “How To Build A Billion Dollar SEO Empire” post over at ViperChill recently.
The funny thing was after reading it I was about to buy web hosting with WP-Engine and I checked RetailMeNot and managed to get a huge discount using one of their codes. :D
Instantly I started thinking about how to make your own online coupon business and the potential it has.
In case you aren't aware, either coupon sites offer discount codes you can use when buying products and services online, everything from household goods to technology to flights to web hosting and beyond.
They make their money by showing you the discount code than getting you to click on their affiliate link to go over to the retailer and use it.
Or in some cases when you 'unlock' the code, a new window automatically pops up with the retailer setting the cookie in your browser.
70% of online shoppers use coupons totaling 96.8 million people in 2013 (Source).
90% of coupon traffic is BUYING traffic as people tend to only search for coupons just before the make a purchase or when on the checkout and they see the 'discount' or 'coupon' code box.
There's debate whether coupon sites really provide any value to the retailers or not.
Find less obvious markets where the $485BN discount business model hasn't penetrated and make your mark.
If someone is Googling “Amazon coupon” it's obvious they are about to buy something from Amazon pretty soon so Amazon was going to get the sale anyway.
Now they still get the sale but the customer is paying less AND they have to give the coupon site a commission so there's less money to be made by Amazon.
Though from the customer's point of view if they are finding a discount they would consider themselves to have gotten real value from the coupon site.
So as your focus with affiliate marketing should always be to offer your audience value you definitely are doing that by giving them a discount.
So as you can see, this is BIG business. A multi-billion dollar affiliate industry.
Super affiliate Zac Johnson refers to it as a 'cash cow'.
The thing is, much like price comparison sites, whilst the big players have a monopoly on the market there are still lots of niche opportunities outside the obvious markets.
Most sites mainly offer coupons on technology, fashion, travel, and beauty leaving a ton of untapped markets ripe for the picking so you can use for your online coupon business.
Think along the lines of hobbies, parenting, business, web hosting, WordPress themes, cooking, sports, etc.
"How easy is it to save an instant 15% or get free shipping when you buy something online? Just head over to Google, type in your favorite shopping site, and the word “coupon”. It happens millions of times daily.
The only thing better than getting some free money-saving coupons is to actually have and run one of these big coupon sites.
For nearly every person that visits their site, grabs the code and clicks through to buy, they are generating a commission" - Zac Johnson @ ZacJohnson.com
- Not heavy on the content so if you don't like writing blog posts or copy then this is a good mode
- Provides value to the end-user in the form of discount codes so they will be happy.
- Endless online retailers and niches this model can be applied to.
- Outside of the main retailers and industries (fashion, travel, technology etc), there's lots of room for niche coupon sites.
- A multi-billion dollar industry so there's a lot of room and money in the space that you can tap into.
- If you can come up with creative ways to get links from popular websites you'll rank well as most coupon sites have junk links.
- Lots of competition in the big markets so they are saturated but if you niche down it's not a problem as there seem to be few niche coupon sites around.
- Very reliant on SEO traffic. RetailMeNot gets 63% of it's traffic from search engines through “discount code for X” type searches and as a niche player in the business, you can't rely on Google's unpredictable algorithms.
- Getting traffic from other sources could prove tricky as people tend to only seek out coupon codes just before purchase so building a community and being inventive with traffic generation is a must.
- Would need to develop additional features, content, and a community i.e. blogs, interviews, features.
Think of creative ways to get traffic and links and build your own community so that you're not reliant on search traffic.
(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Academy)
How Online Coupon Businesses Deliver Value
Simply by giving the customer a genuine discount offer on a product they are about to buy.
There's not much more value than that.
Your audience loves you if you save them money.
As Nader has said before, it's important to be able to solve your audience's problems or you'll have problems growing your business.
That's why it's essential to always include the best deal for them even if the best deal for your customer isn't the one that pays you the most commission.
They will repay you by using your site EVERY time they plan to shop so think long term for your online coupon business.
On top of just discounts, you need to provide value by giving them additional information and interaction.
Allowing them to rate deals, leave comments, post their own deals, get involved with the community through the forum, and so on.
Examples of Successful Major Online Coupon Businesses:
- RetailMeNot (Worth $1.8 Billion)
- Coupons.com (Worth $1 Billion)
- TechBargians (Estimated worth: $369,000)
- FatWallet (Revenue of $12 million + yearly)
- Slickdeals (Value Unknown)
- Brads Deals (Value Unknown)
Examples of Niche Coupon Sites
- Lozo.com (Groceries)
- Holidayers.com (Travel / Holidays)
- Wpbeginner.com/deals (Wordpress & Hosting)
- TravelCoupons.com (Same day travel deals)
- HotelCoupons.com (Hotel Deals)
As you can see most of these online coupon businesses are pretty dreadful looking, badly designed, and unorganized – a smart marketer like yourself could clean up in something more niche.
Here's a screenshot of WPbeginner coupons...
How To Make Your Own Online Coupon Business
Firstly you'll have to pick your niche.
There's no point in trying to compete with the billion-dollar companies who have the main markets dominated.
Think of something smaller that's in high demand and pricey enough that people look to get a promo code for.
It could be web hosting, hobby-related, sports and activities, web hosting or themes, food-related, hotels, etc.
Then make sure you can find affiliate programs that allow you to generate discount codes.
You're going to have to come up with a creative traffic strategy as the bulk of coupon code traffic comes from SEO in RetailMeNot's case (63%) and you're not going to rank instantly.
Facebook Ads targeted at niche fan pages could work well here. Sharing codes on classified ad sites like Gumtree and Yelp as well as offline classified ads.
Creating a blog and engaging in a content marketing strategy of posting high-quality posts relevant to your niche, interviewing and featuring major players, linking out, and sharing other bloggers' content.
Having a social media presence will be key and being active on related forums will work too.
Like RetailMeNot you'll want to build a community and get people interacting with the site – rating deals, leaving feedback and comments, and even getting your own forum up and running.
Don't forget to build an email list as this will help bring in repeat traffic.
Send out daily deals, blog content, email exclusives, news about the niche to keep people opening your emails.
You'll have to have your affiliate agreements in place and coupon codes from the beginning – it would help if you already have agreements with a lot of the companies you plan to work with.
Take advantage of our 101 Affiliate Hacks report.
What You'll Need To Get Started For Your Online Coupon Business
- A decent host that can handle traffic – I use WPEngine and I recommend you should too.
- A catchy domain that relates to your niche – NameCheap is my domain registrar of choice.
- This Wordpress coupon theme which will allow you to easily set up your own site
- Aweber to build your email list so you can send out your daily deals is essential – it's available for special promo offer at $1 here.
- A list of the best coupons deals to be featured on your online coupon business even if you don't get a commission or have a relationship with that retailer yet – this will make your customers happy and return visitors.
- Content-wise you don't need much for the coupon section it's self though it must be interactive so write some blog posts related to the niche to entice people to the site.
- A promotional plan to get traffic through Facebook, classified sites, content marketing, and SEO.
Even if the discount code doesn't net you a commission but is the best saving for your visitor display it - this creates huge value!
How To Make Your Own Coupon Website Summary
Online coupon business sites are a VERY lucrative industry, worth over $480 billion in fact, yet aside from a few mainstream sites haven't really trickled down into the niche markets yet.
There's huge potential for you to get involved in one of the less competitive markets and carve out your own piece of this billion-dollar pie.
Pick a niche that's not too obvious but where people regularly spend money online and the purchase price is enough to warrant seeking out promo codes.
Use copywriting if you're writing product reviews as James shows here.
Be creative with your traffic generation as SEO traffic may not come instantly for your online coupon business.
Go about gaining traffic, links, and social shares through blogs, forums, social media in your niche.
Always offer the best discount codes first even if they make you less commission or no commission at all as this will build up trust with your audience and provide real value to them.
Through this value and trust, they'll revisit your online coupon business.
Be aggressive about building your email list from the beginning to help with repeat traffic.
If you pick the right niche and efficiently drive traffic to your site this will be very lucrative as people searching for coupon codes are in buying mode meaning a high conversion rate into sales.
So that, my friends, is how to make your own coupon website in a niche market.
This post is chapter 4 of "5 Ways To Create A Profitable Affiliate Site".