Slickdeals is all about community drive bargain hunting with thousands of free discounts, promo codes, review and price comparisons. They achieve this mission by providing users with a forum for communication and various shopping tools.
Why and when was Slickdeals created?
Founded in 1999 by a scrappy college student in his dorm room who wanted to share his wealth of knowledge in finding great deals, Slickdeals began as a bootstrapped operation and has blossomed into a Top 100 site in the US with a dedicated following and the best deals to be found on the web.
Slickdeals originated as a blog, primarily visited by friends and family, so they could share and tap into the great deals that were being created as incentives to drive users during the Web 1.0 era.
Over time, the online shopping space evolved, and so did Slickdeals. A major milestone for the site happened in 2011, when HP decided to discontinue their HP Touchpads and slashed prices down to $99. The deal generated a massive traffic surge that was equal to that seen around Black Friday; and to date, is one of the highest trafficked deal threads on the site, with more than 284K replies.
Today, Slickdeals is the leading crowdsourced shopping platform, where 11 million users interact to share the most up-to-date information on online shopping deals and coupons. Through the power of crowdsourcing, Slickdeals has saved its users more than $6 billion by providing a forum for communication, as well as shopping tools such as its free Android or iOS apps.
In 2018, Slickdeals partnered with West Street Capital Partners VII, a fund managed by the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, and Hearst.
In what way does Slickdeals utilize Affiliate Marketing?
Slickdeals generates over 1 billion visits per year, consistently ranking as a top 100 site in the U.S. per Alexa. We are a top promotional marketing partner for most of the major retailers and brands who want to access our premium audience that over-indexes on higher education, higher income and social influence. We work with the various digital marketing departments and budgets of our merchant partners, but the primary relationships are via their affiliate or performance marketing professionals. Through our social commerce platform, we can help drive incremental sales and customers at scale. We have different models for how we promote our retailer and brand partners’ deals, coupons and brands, and our team can make recommendations for the best options on how to work with us.
Performance or affiliate marketing continues to gain adoption and we have helped turbo boost performance at retailers and brands across multiple categories including retail (electronics, apparel, health & beauty, etc.), personal finance, travel, automotive, restaurants and consumer packaged goods.
What kinds of products and deals resonate with your audience?
Slickdeals curates the best deals on the web by leveraging the wisdom of crowds and we have seen every type of product and service promoted and succeed on our site, ranging from paper towels to Rolex watches. The common criterion being that it’s a slick deal, defined as the best-of-the-best deals as voted by the masses. Historic pricing is one of the major factors our community evaluates when voting on a deal. Top performing categories include electronics, video games, subscription services, household goods, apparels & shoes, personal finance, travel, restaurants and consumer-packaged goods.
How does Slickdeals differentiate itself from competitors in the affiliate space?
We combine value & discovery - the utility of Amazon with the addictiveness of Instagram. The result is a level of engagement that is unparalleled in commerce.
Why are we so addictive? Shoppers can find deals and things that really cannot be found anywhere else, thanks to the wisdom of the community. The experience also provides social validation - shoppers can see/share the excitement of a markdown. This gets people to want to come back and pull the trigger and many of our users visit daily by direct navigating to our site and/or app (80%+ of our 1+ billions visits comes direct).
What this means from our retailer and brand partner perspectives is that we are generating top of funnel purchase demand and generating incremental sales and customers at massive scale. That’s why our partners lean-in and continue to invest heavily into the Slickdeals partnership. The 3 S’s for paid marketing for any commerce advertiser are “Search” (Google), “Social” (Facebook) and “Shopping destinations.” Slickdeals is the leading, independent shopping destination in the US and is the best partner for that 3rd S of “Shopping destinations.”
What are the key factors in determining which programs to join and what do you look for in an advertiser partner?
Slickdeals is open to partnering with any retailer, service provider or brand, whether an established or new company, large or small. We have seen success with many different types of partners and have helped them scale significantly and build their brands. The key ingredients for success are that the partner offers a high quality product or service at a great value (slick deal); they can do so at scale (i.e., large inventory counts); and do it on a recurring cadence (i.e., not necessarily every day/week/month, but can recur).
What are benefits for advertisers working with Slickdeals?
The main benefit is the opportunity to tap into Slickdeals’ premium audience of 11 million monthly shoppers (~20 million during the holidays) to generate incremental sales and customers at scale, on a pay-for-performance basis. We help affiliate marketers crush their goals and look like heroes in their organizations.
Our team is able to make data-driven recommendations to our advertisers and affiliate network partners. Depending on a partner’s needs, we can provide detailed reports that offer a deep level of transparency.
What is the best way that an advertiser can help support their partnership with you?
What works on other sites won’t necessarily work on Slickdeals. As such, it requires a bit more time and attention versus other partners, but the ROI is well-worth it. Crafting deals for our audience and developing impactful marketing campaigns can include some back-and-forth, but the incremental sales and customers at scale, more than offset the incremental cost of time and resources. We see more and more partners devoting the types of resources to Slickdeals that they do for Google and Facebook.
Why did you join the Awin and ShareASale networks, and what features do you enjoy?
Awin and ShareASale not only have a great portfolio of merchants, but are also market leaders in innovation. Awin was first to market with cross-device tracking and they have great variable commission models such as Commission-by-Assist. Real time tracking reports are very helpful for the team; and are easy and clear to use.
Do you have any upcoming promotions, new launches, or exciting news you would like to share?
Slickdeals has always been the destination to find the best-of-the-best deals in the U.S. While many of our users find value in scanning the variety of deals that are available at any given time, sometimes the deals and coupons that we surface on our site, or include in emails and push notifications, may not resonate with all users, all the time. In order to improve the user experience, and increase yield for our retailer and brand partners, we are making a significant investment in our personalization efforts. Stay tuned.
Has there been a pivotal shift or turning point in your affiliate activities within the last 12 months? If so, what was it?
In recent years, more and more of our Slickdeals audience has been driven by mobile as opposed to desktop. In a multi-year effort, Slickdeals used internal tools and Adobe to transform itself from a desktop business, into a cross-channel business. Our app installs on iOS and Android are now greater than 5MM; and our ability to target via email, push notifications and more, drives a significant portion of our business. We’ve worked closely with our merchant partners to ensure that merchant partner growth would remain on par with that of the desktop-driven audience.
Interested in partnering with Slickdeals? Please contact our publisher management team.