Affiliate coupons are a gold mine for affiliate marketers. When a reader clicks a typical affiliate link, they’re taken to a product page that often features the product’s regular price that everyone pays regardless if they use your link or not.
Your marketing strategy needs to be up to par because of this. If your pitch for the affiliated product isn’t strong enough, you may not receive any commissions.
An affiliate coupon offers the reader an incentive for using your affiliate link. They’re typically generated exclusively for affiliates. In some cases, if your reputation or the relationship you have with the company you’re affiliated with is strong enough, you may receive an exclusive coupon only available to you and a few other affiliates.
As is the case with typical affiliate links, which you can insert on your site with plugins like Pretty Links and ThirstyAffiliates, affiliate coupons have inspired a few WordPress plugins of their own.
This includes Affiliate Coupons, which we’ll be taking a look at today.
About Affiliate Coupons
Affiliate Coupons is an affiliate marketing WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create and showcase well-designed coupons for affiliated products on your site. It offers a lot of features in its free version, which you can extend by purchasing a license for the premium version.
You can also visit the developer’s demo page to get a clear idea of how this plugin works on the frontend.
Put simply, you essentially add vendors on the backend and use them to create coupons. The functionalities and design options you can configure from there depend on whether or not you have the premium extension installed.
- Predefined Vendors and Affiliate Links – Create vendors out of the products/companies you’re affiliated with, and assign default affiliate links to them.
- Coupons – Use predefined vendors and affiliate links to create coupons with ease.
- Images – Add logos or promotional images to vendors.
- Display Coupons Sitewide – Display all or individual coupons anywhere on your site with shortcodes. Widgets are included for sidebar display.
- Display Options – Use various display and filter options to control how groups of coupons are displayed on your site.
- Display Templates – Choose from four different templates, including list and grid views.
- Custom Templates (PRO) – Create your own templates for displaying coupons.
- Additional Styles (PRO) – Choose from light and dark styles.
- Click to Reveal (PRO) – Hide coupon codes until the user interacts with them.
- Prioritize Coupons (PRO) – Set individual coupons to be featured at the top of coupon lists and/or set them apart visually with highlights.
- Detailed Coupons (PRO) – Dedicate entire pages to individual coupons with detailed coupon pages.
- Tracking & Statistics (PRO) – Track events through Google or Matomo (formerly Piwik), and view stats on views, clicks and copies.
Now that you know a little more about this plugin, let’s kickoff this review. We’ll start with the configuration process.
Installation & Setup
Installing Affiliate Coupons works the same as any other plugin, except the premium version acts as an extension of the free version. This means you’ll need to install the free version in order for the extension to work.
The plugin is located in the official WordPress plugin directory, so you can install it from the backend of your WordPress site.
To install the premium extension, you’ll need to purchase it, then download your copy of the ZIP folder, and upload it as you would any other premium plugin. You can also unzip the folder and upload the inner plugin folder directly to your Plugins folder.
Once you activate the premium extension, you can activate your license key on the Settings page with ease. We’ll talk about the other options available on this page throughout this review.
Creating Affiliate Coupons for Your Site
Each coupon needs to be assigned a vendor, so you’ll need to create a vendor before you create a coupon. Affiliate Coupons has its own sub-menu in the admin menu that contains the following menu items:
- All Coupons
- Add Coupons
You can add vendors by clicking the Add New button on the Vendors page, which acts just like the Posts, Pages and Plugins sections of the WordPress admin.
Fields for vendor's name and your primary affiliate link are available for each vendor.
You can also add an image and short description. Fortunately, the developers provide a note telling you its recommended image size, which is 480 x 270 px.
You can add your first coupon after that.
Adding Your First Affiliate Coupon
You’ll start by assigning a vendor to your coupon. It uses the image, affiliate link, description and title you gave the vendor by default, which makes things much more efficient for you. However, if you have multiple coupons to add for a particular vendor, you can override these default settings by entering new values on this page.
You can also activate a duration for your coupon if it has an expiration date. Unfortunately, you can’t add new vendors to your site from this page.
Please note the screenshots seen in this review were taken with the premium extension activated, so you won’t see the same settings if you only have the free version activated.
Assigning Taxonomies to Your Coupon
Affiliate Coupons provides two ways for you to organize your coupons:
Similar to the tags and categories you assign to WordPress posts, you can use these taxonomies in any way you please. For instance, you could use the Types taxonomy to label coupons based on the type of deal they offer, as in percentage, a certain dollar amount off, etc.
You could then use the Categories taxonomy to add additional labels to coupons based on the types of products they are. For a blog dedicated to the WordPress niche, a few example categories would be WordPress Plugin, WordPress Theme, Theme Club, Hosting, Service, etc.
Showcasing Affiliate Coupons on Your Site
Affiliate Coupons offers multiple ways for you to showcase the coupons you create on your site. In fact, the first tab of the Settings page has a Quickstart Guide that features multiple shortcodes you can use to showcase coupons throughout your site.
Here’s a quick round-up of the three primary ways you can showcase affiliate coupons on your site:
- All Coupons – Display every coupon you’ve created. Display limit also available.
- Single Coupons – Showcase individual coupons by using their assigned shortcode ID’s. You can also use this shortcode to display multiple select coupons by inserting each one of their ID’s in the same shortcode.
- Filtered Coupons – Add a shortcode that controls which coupons are displayed based on their assigned vendors, types or categories.
You can add multiple shortcodes to any text editor on WordPress, allowing you to get creative with how your coupons are displayed.
Additional Display Options
You can also use shortcodes to show/hide expired coupons and specify the way coupons are sorted. You do this by adding additional parameters to the shortcode options mentioned above.
The sorting options you can apply to shortcodes are ascending/descending ordering and ordering based on the following:
- Valid from Date
- Valid to Date
Using Templates and Styles
Currently, Affiliate Coupons offers four templates you can use to display coupons, three of which are:
There’s also the Widget template you can add to widget areas.
You can apply templates to shortcodes by inserting the template name in the shortcode as per the guidelines in the Quickstart Guide. The guide also contains information on how to customize certain templates. For example, you can change how many items get displayed per row in the grid template.
Lastly, you can choose different styles for coupons to use. They are:
Let’s talk about the settings you can configure for all of these settings.
Configuring Default Settings, Styles and Behavior
The General tab of the Settings page is where you can configure a few default settings, customize styles and choose the behavior your coupons use.
As you can see, you can choose default options for the plugin’s sorting, template and style functionalities. While you can certainly add these to each individual shortcode you create to customize them, these default options ensure you don’t have to.
You can also customize the colors, text and icons your coupons use. A field for custom CSS is available as well.
Most Popular Affiliate Coupons Pro Features
The free Affiliate Coupons plugin already comes with a number of different features and options, but there are two features the premium plugin offers we want to highlight.
Click-to-Reveal Discount Codes
The free version of Affiliate Coupons comes with two behavior options, which we’ve listed below. The premium version offers a third, very interesting feature:
- Show – Displays each code in a box above each coupon’s button.
- Hide – Removes the aforementioned code box as well as the space for it.
- Click-to-Reveal (PRO) – Hides the majority of the code box, leaving only a corner of it displayed as a teaser until the user clicks on it. When they do, they’ll be redirected to the affiliate link associated with the button and the coupon code will be revealed in a new tab.
The click-to-reveal behavior is one of Affiliate Coupons’ most popular features. It starts with the majority of the coupon box hidden to the user, as stated above. Only a small part of the code gets revealed when the user hovers over the coupon button.
Finally, when the user clicks the button to reveal the code, they’re redirected to the URL you link to the coupon. A new tab featuring the complete coupon code ready for them to copy is also opened.
This feature is designed to intrigue the user and boost engagement. Instead of simply showcasing a list of coupons, you’re presenting coupons in a format that requires the user to pay more attention and interact with each one.
It’s also a great way to encourage users to use your affiliate links as opposed to grabbing codes and running off. They’re redirected to the site as soon as they click the coupon button, and the coupon itself has a button you can use to encourage them to visit the site even further. This is especially useful for blogs that don’t have their own branded coupons to offer.
Tracking & Statistics
Another key feature of Affiliate Coupons Pro is tracking and statistics. You can enable event tracking for Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Matomo (formerly Piwik).
This feature allows you to optimize campaigns by giving you the ability to track button clicks, affiliate link uses and more. You can pinpoint popular coupons and identify underperforming coupon code placements. It also gives you the opportunity to experiment with different discounts, coupon code placements, styles and behaviors.
You can also disable tracking altogether if you experience issues or have no need for it.
Pricing & Support
There are two ways to use Affiliate Coupons, as stated before. You can use the free version, which comes with all the basic features you need to display coupons on your website. This version also comes with comes with different templates and widgets.
If you want to extend the features the free version offers, purchase a premium license, and enjoy additional features, including the above mentioned click-to-reveal behavior, tracking and statistics, and detailed coupon pages.
Pricing for Affiliate Coupons Pro starts at $39 for a single site license. You’re given access to every premium feature at this price. The only exception is WordPress multisite, which requires a Plus license or higher.
You’ll be given updates and support for one year and can renew them at a 50% discount.
Support is available via a ticket system, and all plans are backed by a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
Overall, Affiliate Coupons is a fantastic affiliate marketing WordPress plugin that’ll become a valuable tool in your overall marketing strategy. It provides an aesthetically-pleasing way to showcase coupons on your site, giving your readers more incentive to actually click on affiliate links and use them.
It’s also incredibly easy to use, easy enough to be picked up by any marketer. There were a few downsides here and there, some of which we mentioned in this review, but none severe enough to deter you from using this plugin.
If you want to give it a go to see how it works yourself, install the free version, and when you’re ready, purchase the premium extension.