Surviving the shift – How the industry has changed for deal and coupon affiliates

Surviving the shift - How the industry has changed for deal and coupon affiliates

From time to time The Canadian Deals Association will invite guests to write articles and blog posts pertaining to the Deals industry. Our goal is to provide the Canadian industry with a cross section of points of view from various parties within the industry….not just our point of view.

As such, I would like to introduce the founder of one of Canada’s most successful series of Deal Blogs. By successful, I mean reaching a large audience and actually driving consistent and good revenue. He has solid relationships across the industry with most Deal Providers and has been blogging about deals for over 3 years now. His name is Raymond Lau and he operates deal blogs across Canada, including some for Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, EdmontonMontreal, Ottawa and several other cities. His sites promote daily deals, coupons, flash sales and other local deals.

Expect ongoing articles and blog posts from Raymond discussing his point of view on the deals industry, on affiliate marketing, on consumer deal search and on operating a successful set of deal sites across the country.

Here is Raymond’s first article for our audience:


Affiliate marketing in the deal industry is pretty simple – affiliates like myself refer customers to deal websites and as a result, affiliates get rewarded, typically in the form of a commission. This is definitely not the reason why I started Canada Deal Blogs, but I’d be lying if there wasn’t a benefit of the work I put into running them.

Affiliate marketing has been around with most big retailers using affiliate marketing to drive traffic to their site. However, this has evolved with deal sites in two ways that has become very compelling for affiliates: 1) daily deal sites offer much more compensation to affiliates than what big retailers typically offer and 2) it’s much easier to sell something that is already discounted heavily.

Initially, when the deals industry was brand new and it was the hottest phenomenon, being an affiliate was very rewarding. More and more deal sites were jumping on the bandwagon and of course, profitability in the industry is all about quantity and how many deals were purchased. The sites needed market share and they were willing to pay to get it in the form of higher commission rates.

Affiliates became a primary source of driving traffic to deal sites and as a result, we were compensated two to five times more than big retailers for our delivery of consumers. However, over time this has changed dramatically. The large deal sites have been able to stick it through the fierce competition and because they are now well-known, deal bloggers and affiliate marketers that promote deals have had to adjust their expectations and commission expectations. Essentially, commissions have been significantly reduced.

Commissions are now based on a tiered system – the more traffic you drive, the higher percentage of commission you’ll receive as an affiliate. Luckily, with the amount of consumers that find value from our deal sites, I’ve been one of the affiliates that has survived. But it hasn’t been so lucky for many others.

Just like deal sites, a number of deal affiliates have also come and gone.

If you’re interested in becoming a deal affiliate, do your research and understand the revenue expectations. Being prepared is the best defense for change.