The coronavirus pandemic has not been easy for the online publishing industry. Despite impressive traffic growth, many publishers are facing urgent revenue challenges as programmatic ad rates plummet, big retailers file for bankruptcy, and advertisers slash budgets, preferring to avoid appearing alongside coronavirus-related content – and, in some cases, leaving the door open for subpar advertisers to slip in through the cracks in the open marketplace.

But amidst all the doom and gloom, some publishers are capitalizing on the surge in online traffic by turning to performance-based solutions to diversify their revenue streams and come out of this crisis ahead of the pack. Publishers who seize the moment will find that they can build lucrative new revenue streams tapping into the influx of consumers searching for deals and promo codes from the largest brands and online stores.


One publisher, a popular North American media website known for providing technology news and reviews, had already established a strong base of referred e-commerce revenue with its high-quality product recommendations and comparison content far before the pandemic began. Still, executives knew there was more that could be pursued to increase this revenue stream and insulate themselves further from any disruptions to traditional ad or programmatic ad revenue. In hindsight, this turned out to be the perfect course of action.

The publisher sought out an innovative service provider who could consult and proactively suggest new integrations or other commerce-based solutions where they could increase their commerce content offering for users while generating additional risk-free revenue. The service provider would need to help the publisher generate incremental commerce-based revenue on top of their existing commerce content business, tapping into the expected rise in organic search traffic among those looking for deals and promo codes as part of their online shopping journey.


The publisher turned to Webgears GmbH, a leading commerce content service provider, to craft a performance-based solution in the form of a custom deal and promo code platform integrated directly into their website and appearing native to their millions of daily users, who already trust and enjoy browsing the domain.

Understanding that the custom platform had to enhance – rather than infringe upon – the publisher’s extremely valuable domain, brand and reputation, Webgears put site performance front and center: overall page speed needed to be fast, the user experience flawless and the general layout aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow.

Most important of all, with the understanding that numerous other media and deal publishers provided similar offerings to their readers, the publisher needed assurance that their new custom platform would source and publish every high-quality deal available so that readers would not need to turn elsewhere to save money on their eventual purchase.


Shortly after launch, the custom deal and promo code platform was deemed a success. Not only had the platform begun generating incremental revenue in addition to their existing commerce content efforts as was originally intended, but with the COVID-19 pandemic devastating the economy and shuttering many physical storefronts, online searches for deal-related content and population of online shoppers skyrocketed.

Within six months of launch, the platform reached the milestone of over one million unique visitors per month, and as part of the partnership’s revenue share agreement, the publisher began earning six figures per month. This rapid scaling of performance did not go unnoticed within the affiliate marketing industry, as large-scale advertisers and agencies took note. Many began reaching out to Webgears about the backstory of how the platform on such a prominent media publisher was established, as well as future opportunities to be featured or added to the platform.

Due to the platform’s substantial performance and response from users, the media publisher is now discussing additional collaboration opportunities with Webgears to further integrate feed-style deals and coupons into other high-traffic areas of its main domain, as well as other commerce-based tech solutions in time for the highly anticipated annual Q4 shopping peak.