Matt Coen, CEO of Second Street Media, led a terrific two-hour boot camp in advance of the Daily Deals Summit that took place in Tampa in November.
Here are the top headlines from the boot camp:
Understanding “Deal Appeal”
Deal Appeal Checklist:
- Brand recognition
- Location(s) – multiple locations work best
- Audience appeal
- Deal uniqueness (deals no one else has)
- Pricing and discounts
- Multiple quantities
- Expiration date
- Deal category (certain categories just work better than others)
- Check to make sure that the deal is not available elsewhere or on the merchant’s web site
- Check deal competitors pricing to see if it is a good value
- Avoid maximum sales limits
- Avoid limited times of day or specific days of use
- Avoid limits on certain products
- Should be immediately recognizable to most consumers
- Go after the core products and services of the business
- Aim for peak season deals such as golf, lawn care and holiday sales
Impact of a Great Deal:
Average email sign ups is 135/day but jumps to 520/day on a “great deal” day (average # of all clients combined)
Deal Categories – Good and Bad:
Standouts – restaurants, health and beauty, activities (show tickets) and recreation – three key categories that work best
Travel – all of the big guys (Groupon, Living Social, Travel Zoo) are all dedicating resources to this category
Don’t work: chiropractors, fitness, jewelry stores, services (like computer check ups)
From the audience: A car detail special was huge for a small daily in CT (most that they made on any deal); summer camps worked in one market; Matt’s favorite seasonal deal was in Omaha – selling dirt in April – they sold a ton of it.
Matt – some of their six figure deals involve local travel (packages work – a hotel night and a waterpark for example).
Case Studies – Are all restaurant deals great deals?
Texas Roadhouse – $15 for $30; one year expiration date; sold over 4,200.
Dirty Deed’s – $2.50 for $5; only sold 4. Why it didn’t work: highly restrictive – no alcohol; low value; no website; not the right deal for the audience.
Approving and Selling Deals:
Matt C is a big fan of a deals committee to approve each and every deal. According to Shannon Dunnigan/GateHouse: she is enforcing deals committees and they must track competitive deals in their markets to understand the full picture of what is going on in the market.
Deal committee is charged with reviewing and vetting deals but also reviewing schedule/calendar, discussing pipelines, sales challenges, talk about the competition, learn from past deals.
Best practices: The Calendar.
Maximize your schedule – showcase local expertise; be scheduled out 2-3 weeks; never have a scheduled deal day without a deal (for smaller markets 1-3 deals/week is plenty).
Selling Deals 101:
Incentives for Reps:
Dedicated rep ensures focus/expertise; use to train core team; must be aggressive; proactively pushes for best deals and balance merchant’s wants; have a commission structure that rewards stand out deals and spiffs for referrals. Find your market’s local niche deal; target populous areas of town; use Yelp or best of sections for leads; lock-up top merchants for multiple deals to exclude the competition.
- Rep with highest deal revenue gets higher commission
- Rep with most deals purchased also does
- Spiffs for core reps who bring in leads
Negotiation tactics – best practices:
Promotional Strategies – Leverage your promotional power: your #1 strength!
Improve merchant split in their favor; bonus promotion in your media; incentives for future advertising ($10 for every deal sold towards online ad campaign for example).
- Run every deal in highly visible print ad
- Promote your deals program in your print products to the advertising community (example – GateHouse is running print ads showcasing very successful deals featuring advertiser testimonials and # of deals sold)
- Post deal throughout your web site
- Produce a strong email list - this is the most critical component (contests great way to grow your list)
More to come from the deals summit in the coming days...