Groupon Debuts Its Own Affiliate Marketing Platform

Self-service and analytics for deals blogs

In recent years, Groupon's been teaming up with 100,000 deals and coupon bloggers to run commission-based ads on their sites. Today, the Chicago-based company announced Groupon Partner Network (GPN), a self-serve affiliate marketing platform for bloggers and other publishers that want to make cash pitching deals to their readers.

The GPN platform, for the past few weeks, has been in the pilot stage but is now available globally. In a limited-time introductory offer, the deals giant will give participating bloggers 12 percent commissions (normally 10 percent) for Groupon Local and 8 percent for both Groupon Getaways (normally 6 percent) and Groupon Goods (normally 5 percent).

The platform lets bloggers establish an account, sign in, grab finished display ads and place the promos on their sites. When viewers buy an advertised Groupon offer, the bloggers' GPN accounts receive a commission.

There's an analytics dashboard, too. It breaks out daily sales volume, impressions and click-through rates, and the data can be exported into an Excel spreadsheet. Location-based and retargeting tools for their Groupon ads are also available.

Popular blogs or deals sites already on board to use GPN include Ebates, Dealnews, Fat Wallet and, per Groupon.

While the brunt of Groupon's sales derive from its massive email list, a company rep said e-commerce behemoths like his employer generally make anywhere between 1 and 5 percent of their cash from these kinds of affliliate plays.

Six months following the exit of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, the company remains in expansion mode under new chief exec Eric Lefkofsky's stewardship. In addition to GPN, Groupon unveiled a feature last month that combines an OpenTable-like service with restaurant discounts.