Special promotions

Small business coupon pros and cons

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

The small business coupon has become part of most companies’ marketing strategies. Consumers want discounts. Small businesses want new customers.

And now Groupon has upped the ante, already becoming a word that represents an entire product line–like Kleenex, Scotch tape, and even Coke.

Hundreds of newly cloned “Daily Deal” programs offer opportunity for small businesses. But they also bring risks–like customers expecting money-saving deals–or they don’t come back.

Alex Salkever has written a good article in Daily Finance, about group buying and the smart steps many small businesses are taking to protect themselves from taking a huge hit on the deep-discount coupon and group buying programs they sign up for.

To read the entire article, click here.

Why your business needs e-mail marketing

Posted in Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Special promotions Be the first to comment

There are lots of reasons for small businesses to “dip their toes”  into the e-mail marketing pool–even if they’re not yet confident in their ability to swim.

Here are several of our favorites. They’re adapted from a recent feature by Wendy Lowe for MarketingProfs.

  • E-mail marketing is efficient: Once you have customers’ e-mail addresses (and their permission to send e-mails!), you can contact your entire customer base at one time.
  • E-mail is proactive: Customers don’t have to stumble on your ad. You can reach them where they already are–their Inboxes.
  • E-mail lets you truly engage with your customers: You can bring them shopping tips, updates on trends, seasonal items, and special loyalty-program deals on a regular basis.
  • E-mail marketing offers a great ROI: According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, e-mail marketing generated a return on investment (ROI) of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009.

To read the entire article, click here. [Note: Free sign-up required.] To learn more about our custom e-mail programs, click here.

“Limited-time-offer” gets best e-mail responses

Posted in E-mail marketing, Special promotions Be the first to comment

If you’re sending e-mails to customers, the following research, announced in late June by Experian should be of interest.

Experian, which operates CheetahMail, discovered that “almost half (47%) of transactions and three-quarters of opens and clicks occur within one day of the email receipt.”  Findings from the study specify Customer response times for both transactions and revenue varied by industry.  Business products and services had the quickest response: 52% of transactions and 79% of revenue were realized in the first day.

The slowest industry for e-mail resonse was travel, which had only 13% of transactions and 11% of revenue realized on the first day.

Subject lines indicating time-limited offers were most successful in getting recipients to act: 59% did so on day one.

To read the press release announcing all of these statistics, plus several more, click here.

Customers “friend” businesses they frequent

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

Everyone knows that a half billion people are now signed up with Facebook. Among online shoppers, 56% interact with social media. And of those, 81% use Facebook.

Even though most shoppers follow fewer than 5 retailers, it’s no surprise that merchants are creating–or at least thinking about launching–a presence on Facebook.

But the question remains: If you build it will they come? The answer: Maybe.  Most shoppers who do “friend” companies follow between 1 and 5 merchants.

A report by Kevin Ertell, Vice President of Retail Strategy at ForeSee Results, an Ann Arbor, Michigan, customer satisfaction measurement company, supports an increasingly familiar conclusion: “It is likely that the customers who are more satisfied and loyal to begin with are the ones who will friend us on Facebook…”

The chart above, from the ForeSee Results report, summarizes the predictable reasons why customers follow businesses.

Interestingly, though, retailers that provide rewarding social media experiences for their fans generate even more loyalty and greater likelihood that those fans will buy from them in the future, the report notes.

To download the free report, “The Key to Driving Retail Success with Social Media,” you’ll need to register on the ForeSee Results Web site. Click on the name of the report, near the bottom of this page.

Distributing coupons is still a good idea

Posted in Building customer loyalty, E-mail marketing, Special promotions Be the first to comment

According to a July 21st press release from media and marketing research company Valassis, coupon distribution and redemption continued to build at record-breaking levels during the first half of 2010.

Current shopping behavior reflects value-oriented habits that started during the recession, company experts explained.

Suzie Brown, Valassis chief marketing officer, says consumers are becoming more strategic. “Today’s shoppers don’t leave the house without their coupons and they don’t seek savings in just one place or from one media source,” she says.

Overall coupon redemption volume has increased 7.9% year-to-date. The highest coupon growth rate (+12%) came from the Health and Beauty Care (HBC) segment.

Though coupon deal-seeking now seems to be the “new normal,” marketers have shifted tactics in offering coupons.  “The average face value offered across all coupon media has grown 4.4% from a year ago; duration shortened by a week; and more than a quarter of all coupons require the purchase of two or more items.”

To read the entire press release, click here.