How long should your codes last to achieve your marketing goals?
Our dedicated code site, in common with others, has an admin back-end which makes it easy to add and remove codes which last anything from a few hours to many years.
Drip feeding affiliates with new codes periodically means extra coverage on dedicated code sites where new codes cycle through the home page but this can be at the expense of coverage on more content rich sites.
On our content sites, which do feature some codes, we generally don't add short term codes (codes which run for less than a month) because it's too much admin to add/remove them unless you're a blue chip merchant which we know converts well with a code.
Long running codes will attract the most coverage but after the initial burst of visitors from dedicated code sites they tend to "go stale" and you're left with residual sales from contextual placement - which may be exactly what you're looking for.
"Code flooding" can be counter-productive! For example when we get a batch of new codes for one merchant we're not going to list them all on the home page (although some code sites do) so their impact is reduced.
Confronted by a dozen new codes for one merchant or one code each from a dozen different merchants guess which ones we're going to add first?
We have even been known to ignore merchants which flood us with codes, especially if that merchant doesn't convert very well.
Issue Your Codes Intelligently
We've been running codes for over seven years which means we're more experienced than almost all the affiliate marketing network staff or marketing agencies when it comes to codes yet only a few merchants have ever asked our advice.
Codes can be an extremely powerful marketing tool or a costly mistake if you get it wrong so don't issue a code until you have a clear idea what you're trying to achieve. Are you looking to generate a higher average basket value, clear some stock, raise awareness of your brand, etc.
A good general strategy would be to issue both short and long term codes which run concurrently. As we've already explained there are pros and cons to bear in mind.
Consider issuing a long running code so affiliates always have a "base offer" to promote. Once we have created a merchant page and added your code it is going to rank on the search engines so we're going to have to put something on that page even when there are no codes available. A good base offer could be as simple as free delivery.
Top up the base offer with seasonal, monthly, weekly or irregular codes designed to support your carefully considered marketing goals - which leads me to merchant tip #3:
Product specific codes versus generic codes