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Let's Make a Deal on Daily Deals

by Bertrand Van Overschelde  |  
May 23, 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!


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.

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Bertrand Van Overschelde is vice-president, North America, for Emailvision, where he is responsible for sales, marketing, service, and general administration in the region.

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  • by Sagi Katz Wed May 23, 2012 via web

    Interesting post. On point #5 ("Spreading the word"), giving users the option to like, share or comment on interesting deals they encounter from within the email itself can likely spread the word much faster and to a larger audience. Also, specifically in the daily deals segment, giving users up-to-the-second relevant information about the deal itself, such as time left to buy and the number of people who have already purchased, along with allowing users to buy from within the email itself can dramatically increase sales.

  • by Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doc Wed May 23, 2012 via web

    Marketing with coupons is not a smart option, it leads to training customers to look for the deal and only return when it is offered. Don't believe me? Check what's happening to JCP as a result

  • by Quentin Aisbett Thu May 24, 2012 via web

    Thanks for the post Bertrand. Unfortunately, so many businesses are still not getting the Daily Deals right. Some of the lost opportunities just make me cringe.

    I posted a similar piece titled 'How to: Leverage your Group Buying campaign'

  • by Bertrand Van Overschelde Tue May 29, 2012 via web

    Agreed that it’s not a good idea to market coupons to everyone all the time. You’re exactly right about how customers can become “trained."

    We generally advocate reserving special promotions and offers as a means to support your marketing programs. With the ability to create targeted online campaigns, retailers can remain competitive and continue to delight, educate and engage customers – from rewarding loyal, frequent customers with the hypothetical dinner deal we shared above to offering discounts to re-engage inactive customers. Coupons and deals are a great incentive, but they should not be the only method for driving people to a retailer’s website or store.

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