Special promotions

Write ad copy that works: Don’t say “sale”

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Who would have thought that the word “sale” wasn’t always a sure-fire customer-grabber? Certainly not me.

Yet a new report from Buddy Media shows that people relate to the word with below-average engagement in social media.

According to the report, written up in MarketingVOX, “[t]he keyword ‘dollars off’ in a retail offer-related Facebook post provides the highest user engagement– 55% higher than average — out of 10 popular choices, according to a September 2011 report from Buddy Media. And ubiquitous ‘coupon’ ? It had an engagement 39% above average.

“On the other end of the spectrum, seemingly popular keywords, such as ‘sale’,  ‘save,’ ‘deal,”% off’ and ‘bargain’ have lower-than-average engagement rates –  30% lower in the case of ‘sale.’”

To read highlights of the interesting study on what works in social media, click here.

Group buying: A good marketing tool?

Posted in Advertising, Building customer loyalty, Selling tips, Social media, Special promotions 1 Comment

Small business marketing strategyIf you’re planning a small business marketing strategy that includes signing up for Groupon, LivingSocial, or one of the roughly 500 other social buying plans, you may want to think more about it.

According to an article on ClickZ,  Utpal Dholakia, a management professor at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, has found that only 20% of people who use such deep-discount coupons ever return to pay full price.

Here are some other key findings of Dholakia’s study:

  • 36% of deal users spend more than the voucher value when visiting a merchant.
  • 22% never redeem the vouchers they’ve bought.
  • 56% of businesses reported making money on their promotions, 27% lost money, and 18% broke even.
  • 48% of all businesses planned to run another daily deal promotion, 20% said they would not, and 32% weren’t sure.

How might you do? It depends on the type of business you own, the study found:

Roughly 70% of marketers in special events, health, and services reported making money on their promotions. Conversely, only 44% of surveyed restaurants were as fortunate.

Perhaps most telling, only 36% of restaurants/bars and 42% of salons/spas that had run such promotions said they would do it again.

To read the study summary, click here.

Business blogging don’ts

Posted in Advertising, Blogging, Building customer loyalty, Copywriting and content, E-mail marketing, Print materials, Selling tips, Special promotions, Web design Be the first to comment

Whether you’re creating or updating a Website, an e-mail marketing program, printed materials, or engaging in any type of social networking, providing content that your customers want and need is not only essential, but also highly cost effective.

Giving customers marketing materials that focus only on how wonderful your products and services are is a waste of your time and money.

Hubspot, a company that markets business software, offers some solid advice about business blogging. The company recently published a free e-book that highlights 13 mistakes that business bloggers make. Number 1 is not integrating your blog with your Website. Here’s number 2 :

“Mistake:
The content you publish on your blog is too heavily focused on you – your products, services, achievements, and why you’re awesome – and it’s seriously lacking thought leadership.

“Why It Hurts:
If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published thought leadership-based content.”

Amen.

To read or download the free 13 Business Blogging Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes, (registration required),  click here.

Gift card purchases will be popular for 2010 holidays

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When thinking about the 2010 holiday season, no one is ready to pop open the corks on champagne bottles yet.

But a new survey just released by the National Retail Federation shows that business owners actually may have at least some reasons to celebrate, this holiday season.

The survey, conducted by BIGresearch earlier this month, indicated that shoppers plan to spend slightly more than they did during the holidays, last year. Overall spending is expected to increase by 2.3%

Discounts and sales will drive many to the malls. But when they get there, shoppers say they’re also more likely to spend money on themselves than they’ve been since the economy tanked.

Another good sign: Roughly 23% of surveyed consumers said they plan to ask for jewelry, this year, up 10% over last year. The most popular gift request for 2010 is gift cards.  Some 57% of respondents said that gift cards are at the top of their holiday wish lists.

Marketers who make gift cards available to customers will be well positioned to take advantage of these still-popular alternatives to giving cash.

To read all of the survey results, click here.

Groupons bad for restaurants?

Posted in Building customer loyalty, Social media, Special promotions Be the first to comment

Fast Casual, a site that offers news related to this restaurant industry segment, reported some troubling news for restaurants that  participate in Groupon discount promotions.

A survey of 150 businesses by Utpal Dholakia,  associate professor of marketing at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, found that  “Groupon promotions were profitable for 66% of surveyed businesses; however, more than 40% of  respondents indicated they would not run such a promotion again.”

Restaurants fared especially poorly: “”Among the service businesses (restaurants, educational services, tourism and salon and spa), restaurants fared the worst; salons and spas were the most successful,”  the site reported.

The key to success?  Apparently, “… ‘satisfied employees’  is the most important factor for the Groupon promotion to work…for a business. If employees remain satisfied through the promotion, the likelihood of its profitability is significantly higher.”

It seems that restaurant employees have found that discount-seekers tend to be poor tippers. The result:  More work for less money.  Not exactly a recipe for employee satisfaction.

To read the entire feature, click here.