It was a bright and beautiful day in Hershey, Pa., and the extracurricular activities of the America East Conference had already started outside the doors of the "Daily Deals" session held by Tanya Henderson of Local Media Association and Ben Beaver of Second Street Media. Those who partook in the early festivities missed out on an interesting and enlightening session that looked at daily deals programs implemented in many newspapers nationwide, and analyzed the reasons why certain deals were a hit while others flopped.
The presenters began by pointing out that the daily deals programs that worked, functioned best when there was a committee that vetted deals based on their value as well as their legitimacy. A committee of this nature not only ensured that the deals that ran were of good value to the consumer, thus giving good visibility to the business running the deal, but also ensured that there was consistent quality from day to day or month to month. Doing so established multi-faceted trust relationship between the daily deals program, a local business and the consumer, which helped to assure consumers that their time exploring the deal would not be in vain and that they would be guaranteed a quality product.
Henderson and Beaver stressed that a successful daily deals program was contingent on a good email list. They discussed the pros and cons of purchasing lists versus subscriber-based email lists. Both agreed that an organic, subscriber-based list was more beneficial, because it allowed only those who wanted deals to be informed of them. They also found that many of the emails on bought lists were either old or fake, thus devaluing the purchased list. Not only does an organic list offer a higher level of engagement from consumers, thus resulting in a higher buy rate for the daily deals, it also encourages businesses to offer better deals, if they know that consumers are going to be flooding their doors.
The quality of the deal is another important aspect of a successful daily deals program. The presenters showed us that deals with the highest value sold out quicker and had a higher redemption rate than those of little or nominal value. For example, restaurant deals that offered a buy-one entrée, get-one free had a very high purchase and redemption rate. On the other hand, an ice cream shop that offered a free cone with purchase had a low redemption rate. Consumers were less engaged in deals if they perceived little value, but were enthusiastic about being able to go out to dinner and get a free entrée. Very high value or high commitment items, however, were found to do poorly. Expensive products or services like jewelry and dentistry failed miserably, and high-commitment services, like gym memberships, did equally as poor.
Inclusiveness is another important aspect of a successful daily deals program. The presenters found that deals that excluded certain people had little engagement. Deals that included alcohol or other products that can only be purchased by those of certain ages or religious beliefs were generally unsuccessful deals.
Based on the information they provided, both Henderson and Beaver suggested that when implementing and subsequently maintaining a daily deals program, a commitment to organizing deals that allow consumers to take advantage of the most popular and inclusive deals is the best way to have a success with this venture. By including the majority of consumers in each and every deal, you will have the highest redemption rate and therefore success with your daily deals program.