My work days start out by turning on my computer, catching up on work emails that were sent after I left the previous night, and opening my personal Gmail account in anticipation of the next great deal that Groupon and LivingSocial are offering. With the amount of email that floods our inboxes, it is important to learn some valuable engagement lessons from event based commerce sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Why not? They both have a valuation of several billion dollars and are only expected to grow, so they must be doing something right.
For those that do not know how these sites work, you subscribe to receive daily email deals for a specific region, for example New York City. The deals range from dining, events, concerts, activities, shopping, and more and are generally at least 50% off the original price. However, the deals are “on” only when a certain number of people purchase the deal. I don’t know about you but I will pretty much open any email that has a “free” offer or a discount greater than half off. Who doesn’t love a bargain?
The lure of the awesome deal and the recipient having to actively subscribe to the emails allow for high open rates and engagement. The deals are relevant, attractive, worthwhile, fun, guaranteed, legitimate, and consistent. An email with a deal is sent usually before 7:30am every day, so you can consistently expect to see a new and exciting deal in your inbox each morning. This gives the consumer something to look forward to on a daily basis, rather than receiving emails throughout the week at a random frequency. Since the deals last only 24 hours for Groupon and 2 days for LivingSocial, a sense of urgency is present and the email tends to be opened and clicked through that day, rather than it sitting and getting lost or deleted in the inbox. Lastly, the deals are guaranteed and will be refunded if you are not happy with your experience for any reason.
Both are actively involved in social networking as well, offering a free deal if three of your Facebook or Twitter friends purchase the deal through the link posted to your site. The best part about finding a great deal is sharing it with your friends and family, so their presence on social networking sites is both expected and relevant.
How else will Groupon and LivingSocial continue to exemplify email marketing success in the future? I guess we will have to keep email bargain shopping to find out!