Archive for the ‘Daily Deals’ Category

Let’s Make a Deal on Daily Deals

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

In this article, you’ll learn…
• Best-practices for sending daily deals offers to subscribers
• Examples of daily deals strategies that work (and those that flop)

The popularity of daily deals—emails or mobile notifications that offer a discounted local service or product—shows no signs of abating.

According to BIA/Kelsey, US spending on daily deals, instant deals, and flash sales is expected to hit $2 billion in 2012 and continue to grow to more than $4.2 billion in 2015.

Since Groupon’s launch in 2008, many lessons have been learned—by the retailers offering the deals and the consumers purchasing them. As the number of daily deal-style offerings grows, the “dealers” (e.g., Groupon, Living Social) have to tread carefully or they’ll risk alienating subscribers, upon whom their entire business model relies.
In the spirit of deal-making, let’s look at best-practices for reaching out to your subscriber base. Consider the following five scenarios. Will your email list make a deal, or will your strategies get you zonked?

1. Increased Communications

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I will increase the frequency of my communications to my subscribers in hopes that they’ll find the perfect gift among the multiple offers I send!

ZONK!

Though subscribers have explicitly given you permission to communicate with them, they expect those communications to be kept to a minimum. If you’re a deal-a-day site, sending more than one offer per day may make subscribers feel as though they’re being spammed. And you’ll be risking more than your reputation with subscribers.
Subscribers’ Internet service providers (ISPs) may start considering your messages junk or spam, and your future campaigns will never reach the inboxes of potential customers.

To make a deal, be careful not to overwhelm your subscribers, and keep an eye on your inbox placement. If you notice a dip in your placement rate with a specific ISP, work with your email service provider on ways to restore your sender reputation.

2. Exclusive Offers
The hottest restaurant in town is ready to offer a 60%-off lunch special… but only 50 coupons are available. Since I know they will sell out in seconds, I’m going to reserve sending the offer to my highest-spending and most-engaged subscribers.

DEAL!

Just because your subscribers are looking for bargains doesn’t mean they don’t like to feel exclusive. Consider making periodic “privileged” offers for your best and most-engaged subscribers—akin to a loyalty program. Sending a super-special offer every once in a while will keep subscribers interested and coming back for more.

3. Trimming the Fat
I’ve just received a report of subscribers who purchased only once. Seems a waste to keep spending money sending emails to them… so I’ll just delete them from my list.

ZONK!

If a subscriber purchased once, perhaps she simply needs a little enticement to purchase again. Instead of getting rid of her, try to engage her.
A similar segment that should be given special care is the group of prospects who have never purchased, yet periodically engage. Send those prospects an offer with a little something extra (free delivery or a special discount offer). Use your subject line to your advantage: If subscribers are getting a special offer as a way to woo them back, let them know!

4. One Size Fits All?
Wow! A dozen gourmet cupcakes for $12? Who doesn’t want that? I’ll send that deal to my entire list!

ZONK!

You might love cupcakes, but—and I know this may be hard to believe—not everyone does. In fact, no single deal is so amazing that everyone on your list would want to know about it. The only thing you’ll likely grow with a “blast everyone” strategy is your complaint rate, and you’ll be more likely to lose subscribers than gain sales.

When you’re considering which deals should be sent to which subscribers, data is your best friend. Consumers have habits, and if you use a robust online relationship marketing provider, you should have access to enough data on previous behaviors and transactions to determine which subscribers are “cupcakers” and which are “fitness classers.”
The level of analysis possible via email is what makes the channel such a high return on investment (ROI) marketing vehicle.

For example:
• You can easily determine what your subscribers’ interests are by looking at which links they click.
• You can determine the best time to send your campaigns by observing when subscribers open your messages.
• You can be more certain that you’re sending the right messages to the right audience at the right time by keeping a close eye on transactional and behavioral data.

5. Spreading the Word
My subscribers seem to love our spa service offerings. I bet their friends would, too. I’ll display a sharing link prominently in my email.

DEAL!

Many daily deal businesses rely on volume, so if you limit your reach to your subscriber base, you’re missing a huge opportunity. You’ll gain the ability to make more sales and tap into a pool of potential subscribers by making it easy for subscribers to share your messages. And those subscribers who are frequent “sharers” are, essentially, your ambassadors. They should be identified and rewarded with special offers or premium access for their heightened level of engagement.

In the deal-a-day game, the business that takes home the grand prize is the one that has the most knowledge about its subscribers and the one that caters everything about its outreach to meet those subscribers’ needs. A data-driven strategy for delivering highly relevant, targeted communications leads to…
• Lower unsubscribe and complaint rates
• Better e-reputation
• Greater response rates
• More sales
• More business opportunities
• Increased engagement with the best buyers

Foursquare Will Enter The Deals Market Soon, Google Maps Already There

Friday, May 11th, 2012

There’s an interesting process that happens over the online deal industry recently- While the traditional daily deal service providers are slowly declining, real-time and location based offers services are gaining momentum, signaling on a major change in consumers’ expectations and behavior.

I already reported that Facebook is entering the deals arena with the gradual roll out of Offers and that the Groupon Now! product might be the (only) future of the leading daily deal company, but lately, two more services have demonstrated their intention to join the new real-time and social offers age- Foursquare and Google Maps.

Foursquare: Coupon Ads In July
In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Foursquare’s founder and CEO Dennis Crowley, revealed that the location-based social networking company intends to implement new type of special promotions ads into the next version of the company’s mobile app, which will launch in July.

This statement also aligns with the prior reports that Foursquare will introduce its own advertising platform in June and it will most likely to include coupons, special offers and a promotion features for the service’s more than 750,000 businesses and over 20 million users.

Today, Foursquare already giving businesses the opportunity to promote their special offers on their venue pages for free. However, the new coupon ads will provide businesses the possibility to target customers by themselves based on their current location and check-in history.

So far, Foursquare has been struggling with efficient monetization method of its relatively big community. Coupon ads based on location certainly strikes like a good way to finally generate some significant revenue for the company.

Google Maps: Discover Nearby Offers
Google announced that it is adding to its popular Maps service for Android a new offers feature on the service’s 6.7 release update, which will allow users in the U.S. to discover nearby deals. The deals feature will be powered by the company’s deals service, Google Offers.

The two products integration appears to have a big potential to grow together (in theory at least). Many users are already using Google Maps and they probably won’t miss the chance to score some promotion or special offer while using it. For merchants, it can turn into a great opportunity to allure customers to their businesses.

Finding offers on Google Maps is pretty simple- On the top dropdown menu click on Offers and you would see all the available deals near your current location. It is also possible to receive push notification or email whenever a business is offering some deal nearby.

MasterCard Plans to Enter the Daily Deal Arena – The Look on Groupon’s Face – Priceless

Friday, April 20th, 2012

MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE ticker symbol: MA) has decided it wants a slice of that daily dealing pie. The company plans on enhancing their business to business partnerships by offering its bank and merchant clients a way to deliver targeted deal offers to consumers. Wouldn’t that be ironic if at some point in time that consumers, instead of using a MasterCard to pay for a Groupon; would be using a MasterCard to pay for a MasterVoucher?

For months now we at Daily Deal Media have reiterated our beliefs as well as the beliefs of others regarding the simplicity in duplicating the daily deal platform. Common sense dictates that an industry that has multi-billion dollar potential will have a plethora of new and existing businesses clamoring to get a share of the action. MasterCard is a tad late to the party as American Express Company (NYSE ticker symbol AXP) has already partnered with social media networking sites like Foursquare and Twitter. Those partnerships allow cardholders to load deals directly to their card accounts.

MasterCard will be serving as the connection between daily dealers, deal aggregators and those banks that issue MasterCards. The company’s goal is to provide additional value to the cardholder. The company has forged partnerships of its own with Local Offer Network and others. The MasterCard enhanced service is expected to deliver “relevant and geo-targeted offers” and be available by the end of the second quarter.

MasterCard and its larger competitor Visa Incorporated (NYSE ticker symbol: V) have continued to expand in the face of a brutal U.S. and global economy. Shares of MA are currently trading at $437 up a whopping 70% from the $256 low established during the past 52 weeks. Both companies are pushing more consumer credit and debit cards as well as trying to get more merchants to accept them.

If the U.S. does fall into another economic situation whether those events are triggered on our own soil or are based on some of the snafus going on over in Europe, the house of credit and debit cards will come tumbling down. I can safely bet that very few of MasterCard’s customers have seen their paychecks appreciate 70% in the past year. I also doubt that the Americans making those monthly credit card payments (with interest) will appreciate the bonuses that the MasterCard and Visa management team will receive at their (the consumers) expense.

Source: MarketWatch

Digital Coupons Rival Print Counterparts in Effectiveness

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Deals spur PC users to perform product research, make purchases

The battered US economy has driven price-conscious consumers online to do research before making a purchase, and eMarketer estimates that there will be 92.5 million online coupon users by the end of 2012. Those savings-savvy consumers will no doubt be helped by electronic circulars, which now rival their print counterparts in penetration, according to a November 2011 study of US internet users by Yahoo! and Ipsos.
The poll found that 27% of respondents preferred receiving digital coupons and deals as opposed to getting them offline, compared with 33% who still preferred print versions. Of those that favored digital, eight in 10 said the convenience of digital deals made them preferable, especially their direct delivery to email inboxes. Seven in 10 liked the ease of management that digital deals offered, saying they facilitated comparison shopping and were easy to share.

According to the research, email was the most powerful digital channel for coupons and deals—64% of respondents subscribed to at least one regularly delivered discount email newsletter. And of those who received newsletters, about half checked them at least once a day.

The study also found that compared to their mobile and tablet counterparts, PC users were more likely to be motivated by digital circulars to conduct product research after receiving a discount promotion. Almost half of PC users said they would do more research on a product after receiving a deal email, while only one in five of those on smartphones or tablets had a similar response.

Additionally, 37% of US PC users responded to a digital circular by making a purchase based on an offer contained within, well more than the 13% of mobile users and 17% of tablet users who did so.
As digital deals catch on, marketers should make sure to assess customer usage and engagement patterns to stay on top of consumer demand.

Amazon’s 164 Million Paying Customers Provide Edge over Groupon

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

AmazonLocal, Amazon’ website, is now ranked fourth in terms of size in the US. This has been possible because of Amazon’s large global subscriber base of over 164 million paying customers. Merchants who are aware of this are more willing to feature their deals on AmazonLocal.

“There’s lots of competitors in this space, and we all want attention from the merchants. By far and away, they [merchants] answer the phone and want to hear what we have to say. We have relationships with millions of merchants around the world, and 164 million customers worldwide. We know how to work with merchants and connect with customers — it’s unique to Amazon.com,” said Mark Eamer, a director of product at AmazonLocal.

Amazon has tied up with LivingSocial to launch local deals in 90 markets across the US. While so far it has been relying on LivingSocial to source deals it has now launched a sales force to obtain deals from merchants.
Yet another move by Amazon to increase its subscriber base is the offer of discounted Amazon gift cards. A ploy used by almost all group buying sites to increase subscriber base, Amazon will be offering $10 gift cards for $5 for a day.

Currently, Amazon only targets deals based on geographical area. However, future plans include targeting of deals using other criteria as well.

“One of our key tenets is delivering the right deal to the right person at the right time … Our targeting is limited by geography, but we’ll be working on some things in 2012,” added Eamer.

Amazon’s success in the group buying space is likely to benefit consumers because the company uses offers to provide hardware at a discount. For instance a Kindle Touch that carries advertisements and offers is priced at $99 against the ad-free version of $139. This sort of subsidy will help Amazon compete more effectively against the Apple’s iPad and similar products.

Couponing: 125 Years Old, American as Apple Pie

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Americans still love couponing—now a 125-year-old tradition in the US: Fully 70% of surveyed women say saving money with coupons is as American as apple pie, according to a survey conducted by Valpak.

Moreover, 49% of women say if they don’t have a coupon in hand, they would not buy dinner out; also, 33% wouldn’t have their carpets cleaned, and 32% wouldn’t buy a gallon of milk, the study found.

Below, other findings from Valpak’s 125th Birthday of the Coupons Survey of female consumers in the US.
Results were also broken out by political party affiliation: Republicans were slightly more likely than Democrats to view couponing as American as apple pie (78.2% vs. 70.7%):

Regardless of party lines, nearly 70% of women reported they “love saving money and getting great discounts,” with many saying the coupon craze is trendy and more socially acceptable among their peers.
Americans Use Both Paper and Digital
More than eight in ten women (84%) say they use coupons received via mail, such as Valpak, and those found in newspapers.
However, digital couponing is gaining momentum; among surveyed women:
• 65% use online coupons from retailer websites.
• 55% use coupon websites.
• 34% use coupons from social networks such as Facebook.
• 25% use deal-site coupons.
• 19% use mobile/SMS coupons.

Couponing Gaining Even More Popularity

Nearly six in ten women (58%) say they have increased their coupon habits over the past few years.
Democrats were slightly more likely than Republican to say they had increased couponing over the past several years (63% vs. 57%).
Asked why they are couponing more, both Republicans and Democrats cite saving money (75.9% and 76.7%, respectively). However, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to cite a bad economy as a reason for couponing more (65.5% vs. 54.4%), whereas Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they just wanted a deal (63.1% vs. 51.7%).

Social Acceptance

Asked how they feel about a man’s using a coupon on a date or special occasion, 60% of women said “That’s my kind of man.”
Republicans were more likely than Democrats to adore a savvy couponing man (72.3% vs. 61.4%).

Only 9% of Republicans and Democrats were opposed to a man’s using coupons on a date.
Moreover, that sentiment spoke to all generations: 70% of women age 41-50 said “yes” to their partner paying for a special date with a coupon, as did 58% of women age 21-30.

Some key findings among surveyed women:
• 85% would give coupons or deals as gifts.
• 50% of women agreed with the statement “I love using coupons with friends and family to save money on the things we like to do.”
• 30% agree they would likely spend an extra $1,000 or more a year if the coupon had never been introduced.
The nation’s first coupon was issued in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1887 by a businessman offering discounts on his new product—samples of cola—according to Valpak.

About the data: The 125th Birthday of the Coupon Poll is based on a survey of 500 US women conducted via social networks, January 23-27, 2012.