Printable Coupons: A Bridge to Affiliate Marketing

Peter Hamilton

In yesterday’s Google Trends I noticed something pretty interesting.  Two coupon related keyword phrases were listed as top hot searches.  “Printable coupons,” and “extreme couponing” are listed as the tenth and fifteenth most popular hot search queries on Google respectively.  That’s incredible.  I can’t even image what that long tail traffic looks like.  I mean, I knew coupon searching is big, and I guess particularly so on a Sunday, but beating searches like “hope solo” (ranked 11) and listed among search queries like “breaking bad,” “world cup final,” and “scotland yard”??

Looks like this age old money-saving practice your mama used to do is more popular than ever.  You’ll even find thousands of sites devoted to extreme couponing where shoppers are saving 60%-80% on regular trips to the grocery store.  “Change the way you shop forever,” says Jill Cataldo, extreme couponer and founder of, and there are thousands of others like her, preaching the secrets to saving money in-store.  I have to admit I spent nearly five minutes watching the video on her site, fascinated by intense love for coupons, ha!

What we have here is a population of dedicated, organized, and captivated buyers who are bridging the world of online advertising to offline purchasing with printable coupons.  I quick spin around offer directories like OfferVault and oDigger turns up a few thousand coupon related offers and feeds from various networks, but very few of these offers actually connect the end user to in-store purchases.  Most offers simply credit the affiliate for a lead when coupons are downloaded, printed, or viewed.  Judging by the size of this user base, it would make sense for big brand advertisers to connect in-store coupon purchases to their online affiliates rather than simply pay out leads without a purchase.  I wonder what those conversion rates might look like.

So why aren’t advertisers connecting printable coupons to their online affiliates?  The funny part is that they already connect coupons to their mainstream offline publishers like newspapers and magazines, but they are not providing dynamic bar codes that include the online affiliates ID or another tracking ID.  There needs to be a simple way for advertisers to generate printable coupons that tie back to their online promoters.

You might remember a post I wrote a few months ago about a startup that used QR codes to take affiliate links to the offline world.  Doing the same for printable coupons shouldn’t be much more of a stretch and would provide incredible data to the advertiser.

What are you doing with Coupons?

As much as I searched, I could not find a single example of a company that is doing this.  Do you happen to know of one?  Please let me know in the comments below!

If you’re a HasOffers customer, are you working with more coupon sites and offers in general?  Let us know what you’re doing, if you’re working with printable coupons, and how you’d like to see that tracking functionality work.

Peter Hamilton

A digital marketer by background, Peter is the former CEO of TUNE, the enterprise platform for partner marketing. In 2018, he sold TUNE’s mobile measurement product to Branch, unifying measurement and user experience. He led TUNE’s efforts to bring better management technology and automation to marketing partnerships, across affiliates, influencers, networks, and business development relationships. Follow @peterhamilton