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Groupon Gets into the Affiliate Marketing Game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Groupon has unveiled the Groupon Partner Network, a global affiliate program to help its deals get in front of more eyeballs. Think of it as the company’s twist on Google AdWords or Yahoo’s Bing Network — bloggers can sign up to get access to Groupon’s ads for offers. If you’re a food blogger, you could write about restaurants as you do anyway and then, say, slap an ad on there for folks who may be poised to go out to eat.

    "This is an alternative for publishers to better monetize their site,” said Sean Smyth, Groupon’s vice president of global partner marketing and business development. "When it comes to transactional marketing, this has proven to be the best way to pay for media -- where we see the instant return. If a third party publisher is promoting a deal, they only get paid if someone buys something.”

    It’s a good point. Just because someone, say, signs up for a mailing list doesn’t mean they will necessarily snatch anything up on it. I mean, do you buy everything sent to your inbox?

    The partner network is currently available in more than 30 countries, and there is an introductory promotion in effect until Sept. 30: Groupon is increasing potential commission for partners for purchases through their ads from 10 to 12 percent for Groupon Local, 6 to 8 percent for Groupon Getaways and 5 to 8 percent for Groupon Goods.

    Honestly, I think no matter how you slice it, it’s a good idea and an interesting strategy. How better to reach customers than to go through folks who are closer to them?

    Groupon’s stock currently is $9.51.

    David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as IFC’s comedy, film, and TV blogger, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.