Four Keys for Publishers

I just read a great article about media publishers entering the daily deal market on Business Insider written by Jim Moran at Yipit.

The article title reads:

Groupon’s Biggest Threat? Local Publishers

The article covers some great points, but here is the most important part in my opinion for our clients and other media publishers.

Four keys for local publisher success

Focus on email. A page on a publisher’s site may fall short in effectiveness compared to a dedicated email subscriber base. Local content creators should drive dedicated email subscribers and leverage their existing email lists in their crafting their deal experience. The ones that already understand this, such as email newsletters, may have an easier time entering the fray. To this point, on the online sample front, DailyCandy already operates Swirl, and Thrillist recently acquired JackThreads. We may soon see these companies and others enter the local daily deal space as well.

Leverage legacy content. Local newspapers and magazines have a library of restaurant, bar, shop and service recommendations they made in the past. Just as studios leverage their film and television assets through DVDs, local publishers can point to past reviews in their daily deal offerings. Focusing on previously reviewed business may facilitate the sales process – local business who received sales boosts around their initial review would jump at the opportunity to be featured once more. Most importantly, utilizing historical endorsements maintains separation of editorial and commercial content.

Outsource. Some publishers face major internal hurdles to reorienting their web experience and marshaling their sales staff to roll out a full service group buying solution. Hosted group buying solutions, such as Group Commerce and others, who provide technology and/or sales solutions to publishers looking to present daily deal offerings to their consumers. Many of the publishers above pursue partnerships with existing deal services (such as four of the six above). Those may be an effective solution, but owning those email addresses for the long term will be key.

Present exclusive offers. As we mentioned in our analysis of Gilt Groupe’s daily deal offering, exclusivity can be a compelling aspect of a daily deal. Local publishers can present their offers as exclusive to their readers, reinforcing the value of the publication and adding excitement to their offer.

Groupon's Biggest Threat Local Publishers

Deal Current is mentioned in Kiplinger Mag

We haven’t focused on any press, but we know the word is getting out about our daily deal software, Deal Current.

Kiplinger, the personal finance magazine, recently mentioned us in their article “Online Daily Deals Help Firms Gain Traffic

It’s exciting to see our team get recognition for their work along side some of the more well known daily deal companies like Living Social.

Kiplinger Mag features Deal Current

How To Start A Daily Deal Site

This title of this post is the first Google search people make when they come across our daily deal software product Deal Current.

I love the fact that Groupon, Living Social, and the hundred other daily deal sites are starting to pop up. From a business stand point the market is definitely being flooded, but I personally love it because Groupon has sparked entrepreneurship. It is obvious that most people are copying Groupon, but people are capitalizing on a new business model. This is pure capitalism. Some will succeed and many will fail, but the best practices will be defined through this process.

As a company we are focused on serving one market niche with our daily deal product Deal Current. As a result, we turn away some incoming leads, but I wanted to share my knowledge with people or companies looking to start a daily deal program.

First! – Running a daily deal site is much harder than most entrepreneurs realize. The software and website are the easy part. The operations, systems, and brand are the most important.

Second, here is a list of questions and things you need to think about when deciding if you should start a daily deal site or if you are interviewing a daily deal software provider.

What is your distribution or marketing plan? The number one thing once you have a brand is distribution. How many emails do you have? What partnerships can you put in place? Do you have a marketing budget?

What is your daily deal brand? Are you going to center your site around a niche? Are you going to tie into local city culture? Think hard on this. It will define your future.

Are you going to build or license software? We license our software. This is great for media partners and large organizations who want to plug a program into their existing organization. If you are an entrepreneur, it means you don’t own the proprietary platform. So you should probably invest 10-15k into your own software. This takes more time and commitment, but entrepreneurship is not easy.

If you are working with a software provider, what other services and support do they provide? Here is what we provide to clients as a reference of services for you to ask about when you talk to vendors.

  • Technology, management center, and reporting
  • Design support (paid)
  • Sales training and sales collateral
  • Merchant agreements
  • Customer support
  • Merchant payment and accounting
  • Credit card processing
  • Writers
  • Market research

Lastly, what research have you done? We researched 50+ competitors in 66 markets and interviewed over 100 merchants who ran a daily deal with various sites to develop our daily deal software. To run an effective program and be successful you need to invest time and money in research. Do you have this commitment and patience?  In a very competitive market, knowledge is key, so do your research.

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