No one can deny the power of the Internet, and if your business doesn’t have a vibrant, interactive website, you’re missing a huge marketing opportunity.
If you already actively cultivate clientele with your website and various social media options, you may have been tempted to jump into the world of Internet social marketing deals. New opportunities to offer your goods and services at a discount are cropping up every day, but before you take the plunge, there are a few things you need to consider.
First, what is the goal of the discounted offer? Do you want to target new women shooters? For example, many operations with ranges that host training classes have promoted women-only gun safety classes with daily deals. ATP Gunshop and Range in Summerville, S.C., offers general training classes through daily deals once every three months.
As an experiment, Arlyn Pendergast, ATP president, decided to test a women-only deal and discovered a flaw in the system. He said the normal price of the ladies-only class is so low that, while the deal received a good response and brought in new shooters, he made very little money. By the time the price of the class was cut in half and a commission paid to the marketing company offering the deal, there was virtually no profit on the class. He noted, however, that there is always a slight increase in sales after a class.
Clearly, it’s important to define your goals when you run this type of promotion. You have to balance out the reduced price and the commission charged against your goal of new customers and increased store traffic. Most of these types of deals see about a 70-percent redemption of the certificate, so you also need to factor in the 30 percent earned from certificates never redeemed.
What makes these deals so appealing is you can pinpoint the customer you want to bring into your store. If you’re looking to bring in more kids, you can offer a gift certificate good toward youth apparel or training. If you want more women bowhunters, the deal could be a percentage off women’s hunting apparel, a specific bow or lessons. The deal can be tailored to your specific needs because most Internet deal marketers charge a commission based only on the certificates sold. It’s a great way to test or develop interest in a specific area of shooting.
Another advantage to a daily deal is the extreme speed at which the deal is offered and redeemed. In most states, there are laws against expiration dates on gift certificates. Daily deals offered on the Internet always have an expiration date on the “promotional value” of the offer.
In other words, if the deal is a certificate good for $50 worth of merchandise that the customer has paid $25 for, when the deal expires, the customer will only get $25 worth of merchandise. Many storeowners like this aspect of the daily deal since people can’t cash in the certificates for the promotional amount years later.
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