The Daily Deals Lesson for Digital Marketers

“Are daily deals doomed?” It’s the question on the tip of Wall Street’s tongue these days. I’m pretty sure the daily deals business model will be around for a long time. Yet I worry that businesses are forking over meaty chunks of profit for the promise of a quick solution to their digital marketing dilemma. There’s a lesson here, and it’s not just for marketers of restaurants and bars.

A brief history: daily deals blew up a couple of years ago because they function as a turnkey, one-time marketing campaign for businesses that want a quick influx of customers. Daily deals companies rely on email marketing to opted-in subscribers hoping to cash in on deep discounts. Groupon, Living Social, the now defunct Facebook Deals and countless niche startups operate based on the same principle: tell enough people about a discount and customers will materialize.

Deals are great for consumers; we’re Gilt City Chicago fiends here at lonelybrand. But when it comes to online visibility, the ever-popular daily deals tactic falls short. Here are five reasons why your company – be it B2B, B2C, large or small – should think big when it comes to digital marketing and reach beyond the promise of daily deals.

  • One E-mail = One Chance

With daily deals, subscribers receive one and only one e-mail (unless you buy or negotiate for more). Say they had a busy day and deleted your company’s precious (and pricey) daily deal without reading it. Too bad.

  • No Reply Button

Daily deals are an example of one-way communication. The e-mail says hey, this is what we are offering; not hey, what do you think of this product? Consumers want to be heard over digital channels, and you should be in a position to listen.

  • Conversation Expires

The potential for buzz  huge, but as soon as the coupons expire, so does the conversation.

  • Be You

This is your chance to show off your personality, not the wit of daily deal copywriters. We love the Groupon cat as much the next guy, but the value of digital communication is that you can show off your company’s unique personality. Are you an expert? A would-be comedian? Easy to talk to? When people see your company’s personality, priceless connections are made.

  • Change the Channel

Not everyone drools over coupons. Maybe the majority of your fans hang out in the Twittersphere instead of their inbox. Or maybe your product is best illustrated in video format. A thorough digital presence covers all of the bases by allowing users to find you on a variety of platforms.

Running a successful digital campaign doesn’t mean ditching daily deals entirely; it means backing up those efforts with a thorough online presence. Implementing activities to grow your own e-mail marketing database, engage loyal fans and create content that prospective customers want will provide a safety net and act as an ever-green source of business.