Finding a Smarter Way to Market Discounts

To marketers, offering daily deals on their products and services to customers via email may seem like a great way to gain leads and increase sales.

But on the consumer side, these emails can be intrusive and annoying, and the opposite intended outcome could happen: Customers may become frustrated and shy away from doing business with a company.

Like many people who sign up for Daily DealsBusiness 2 Community‘s Jessica Doban said that she actually took advantage of a very small percentage of what she was emailed. Out of 1,300 chances to purchase something, she only took action three times.

Doban argues that coupons may get customers in the doors once, and that listing a business on a daily deals site might just be a quick fix.

“A healthy amount of research about your actual customers may provide more valuable opportunities for you to get them back through your doors,” she says. “Strategy is the key to properly allocating your resources. After all, a coupon may bring people to your business once, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll ever be back.”

Customers on these daily deal lists are “price sensitive” and are customers of the sites, not the businesses on it, says Get Busy Media‘s Mike Loiacono. He also mentions that businesses face being understaffed and overwhelmed with the new influx of customers coming through the door for a daily deal–an instance that isn’t uncommon.

A study by Rice University reported on by USA Today, 44 percent of restaurants earned money by using daily deal sites like Living Social and Groupon, while 56 percent of businesses in general gained revenue.

As Doban pointed out, businesses should work smarter when targeting new or returning customers with coupons. Marketers need to nurture their already existing fan base or new subscribers by giving out coupons via email. The customer knows what they signed up for, and willingly wants to receive information from the business.

The same goes for social media sites. Look at Dell, which created  Twitter account @DellOutlet to alert customers to deals on its merchandise and has 1.5 million followers. Targeted marketing is always the key to a successful campaign.

Image courtesy of Bruce Clay, Inc/flickr

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