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Email and Social Powers Daily Deal Sites

By May 04, 2011

For many daily deal sites, email is the force driving sales and consumer interest.

"These sites are growing through email subscriptions, as well as organic site referrals from friends who are current members," notes Ryan Deutsch, vice president of strategic services at StrongMail. "There's a strong integration between email and the social web, with members sharing their experiences via Facebook and Twitter."

Members-only site Joss & Main is using StrongMail's burst email delivery technology to reach customers with messages sent each day at 11 a.m. eastern, inviting members to that day's new sale.

Sales generally run for 92 hours, with discounts typically run up to 70% off retail, says Chuck Casto, vice president of communications at CSN Stores, which launched Joss & Main earlier this year. Sales partners include Thomas Paul, Noritake, Le Creuset, Phaidon, Laura Ashley, Melissa and Doug, and Quoizel.

Deals are promoted primarily by email, as a calendar of events on the Joss & Main home page. "And preparation of each event, we launch a 'look book' that offers an introduction to the brands and a glimpse of some of the items you’ll see, so you can imagine how they’ll fit in your home and your life," Casto notes.

Members who refer friends are eligible to receive a $15 credit. Deals are also promoted on Facebook and Twitter.

"Daily deal sites seem to look at social as though they don't want to have a voice themselves in social, but they want their members to talk about them in the social space," notes Deutsch.

The daily deal site trend is very consumer driven, says Deutch, noting that traditional retailers look at these types of sites as a threat. Consumers, however, see them as an opportunity, and get conditioned to check their inboxes each day for the new offer.

Consumers who belong to a number of deal sites get attuned to which emails will hit their inbox at what time in what order, and often will get to a point where they just bookmark the site, and then check the pages automatically in order to see the sales, rather than waiting for the email to arrive.

Many large brands are responding to the trend by creating their own deal programs, says Deutch. "It's not just the Groupons or the Joss & Mains but the Targets and the Sears offering daily deal type emails now."