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Sweetheart Deals for Buyers and You, Part 2

A closer look at 3 popular daily deal sites

Daily deals can be an attractive option for merchants looking to reach a wider buying audience, but not all deal sites are alike.

In Sweetheart Deals for Buyers and You, Part 1, we told you about the benefits of daily deal sites and what you should consider as you try to decide if these are good marketing tools for you and your business.

Now we’ll take a look at a few popular deal sites you may want to consider working with to get your items in front of more eyes—and we’ll tell you how you can put on your own daily deal to attract more buyers.

Deal site No. 1: Heartsy

You might say Heartsy users “heart” deals. This site allows artisans to offer vouchers for their stores at discounted rates. Merchants who sell on Etsy, ArtFire and other artisan-oriented marketplaces are frequently featured on the site.

To be featured, you must submit your items for review by filling out a submission form. Here, you’ll tell Heartsy a little bit about your business and the products you offer. You’ll also upload photos of your items. Then Heartsy will review your deal and products, and let you know if it’s interested in featuring your products in one of its daily deals.

Heartsy debuted on Valentine’s Day in 2011 and has been gaining popularity ever since. As of late December, the site allowed 1,354 sellers to sell more than 88,000 vouchers, resulting in more than $1.1 million in sales, according to the site.

Kelley Terrill, an Etsy seller featured twice on Hearty, says both of her experiences were “an awesome” success. The promotions not only increased her sales volume, both with vouchers and without vouchers, they also increased the number of repeat customers, says Terrill, who owns Owl Say Designs.

Daily deal alternatives are seemingly endless, with new deal sites springing up left and right

Another Etsy seller, Kavitha Murthi, the owner of JewleryDeli, also had a good experience on Heartsy. She said the process of submitting items for Heartsy’s review, and hearing back, was quick and easy.

“It was a simple process of submitting five photographs from my store, and people voted on it,” Murthi says. “The submitting process was very simple, and I had to get a certain number of votes to qualify. After that they went through some more screening, and then I was accepted for the deal. I would say the whole thing, from submitting (the request) to having the deal, was done within a week or 10 days.”

The experience was similar for Terrill, who adds that all the folks she dealt with on Heartsy were very flexible. That’s not always the case with daily deal sites, she cautions. In fact, she has checked out other deal site and decided against offering her products on those sites because they charged too much or were hard to deal with.

Heartsy offers multiple deals in a day. These range from tasty treats, to handmade jewelry, to clothing and accessories, to toys.

Deal site No. 2: DailyDeals.com

DailyDeals.com is a daily deal website that exclusively features online sellers. The site launched on Nov. 2 and features U.S.-based businesses. The site now gets thousands of visitors each day. It has more than 20,000 likes on Facebook.

Shoppers can get deals via email, by visiting the site, or through Facebook or Twitter. Deals save shoppers up to 60 percent on a variety of goods like electronics, clothing and jewelry, home improvement items, coffee, art pieces, and more, according to the site, which features one new deal a day.

Daily deal sites are not perfect for every business, notes Kendall Slagle, who manages public relations for DailyDeals.com.

“However if a merchant is looking to expand brand awareness or acquire new customers, then DailyDeals.com is a great channel to utilize,” Slagle says.

Merchants who want to offer their items on the site can contact DailyDeals.com via email or by calling 512-345-3325, Slagle adds. Sellers who apply often hear back within 24 hours.

“When (merchants) could expect to actually be featured on DailyDeals.com largely depends on the offer, what is going on in the space, what our customers are telling us, etc., but to provide insight into how quickly our team can move, we’ve had deals turned around in as little at 24 hours,” Slagle says.

The site charges no signup or placement fees, and online sellers should feel comfortable working with DailyDeals.com.

“We really value our merchants, and want to do what is best for their business,” Slagle says. “DailyDeals.com is a high-quality website with a trusted brand.”

Deal site No. 3: LivingSocial

LivingSocial is one of the most popular daily deal sites, reaching 25 countries on six continents, with deals targeted to buyers in specific geographic markets. It offers deals on beauty and salon items and services, food, events, health items, retail, specialty foods and snacks, and more. A recent deal for Happy Cakes Baker Shop in Denver resulted in 2,090 vouchers being sold, and gross revenue of $14,630, according to LivingSocial.

To be considered for a LivingSocial deal, merchants need to fill out an application with the store’s information and a brief message describing their business, the items to be offered, and how LivingSocial can help their business grow.

We weren’t able to interview a LivingSocial spokesperson for our article, but according to some of the testimonials on its site, the heavily visited deal site can be a big boost for businesses.

“LivingSocial has had a really positive impact for this company,” notes Covington Cellars, a winery in the state of Washington.

LivingSocial notes that it only features one merchant at a time in each geographic market, so you’ll never have to worry about competing with a company like yours if or when you offer a deal through the site.

If the idea of offering a daily deal sounds appealing to you, but you’re not quite sure if one of these sites would be the best fit for you and your items, look around for others. Alternatives are seemingly endless, with new deal sites springing up left and right. A simple Google search will turn up lots of possibilities.

Make your own deal-a-day

Running your own deals will let you see what you can expect if you do decide to work with a daily deal site

Now, we understand if you want to hold off on submitting your items or your store to a deal site. You might worry you’re not ready for the increase in traffic, or you may just want to give this whole deals thing a test run before committing to a large-scale offering. So why not do your own deal? These don’t have to be daily. They can be weekly or even monthly.

Running your own deals will let you see what you can expect if you do decide to work with a daily deal site. Plus, it can be a good marketing tool to enlist periodically throughout the year to draw in buyers.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to decide if you’ll offer a product in your store or listings at a discounted rate, or if you want to offer a voucher for your items at a discounted rated. (For instance, you could give buyers the option of purchasing a voucher worth $50 for just $30). Once you decide what you’ll offer, start spreading the word.

Post about your deal at least two weeks in advance to let shoppers know when it’s coming. Promote your upcoming sale in your newsletter, on your store or listings, on your blog, your Facebook and Twitter accounts—and anywhere else you can think of. You may even want to email past customers to let them know what a sweet deal you have.

But remember our advice from Part 1 of this article: Be sure your operation is equipped to handle the increase in demand. Make sure you have enough vouchers or items to offer, and set a limit on the amount you’ll offer at a discounted price. You may even want to ask a friend or two to help you stock and fill orders when the deal goes live, to ensure you’ll be able to get items to their buyers quickly.

Then, when it’s time for the deal to go live, shout it from the rooftops. Post it on your blog, Facebook wall, Twitter account, your store, your newsletter, anywhere you can think of, and email past clients. Then get ready for the sales.

Be sure to be on your best selling behavior when shoppers take advantage of your deal. You want to make the best possible impression to ensure they’ll think of you the next time they want to buy something. Remember, a satisfied customer can turn into a repeat buyer down the road.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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