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Email Marketing for Group Buying Websites

For group buying or daily deal sites, email marketing is an irreplaceable relationship channel between your business and audience. The unique business model for daily deal sites requires publishing and sharing new content every day. The rapid pace of this emerging channel requires marketers plan for a rapid pace run with efficiencies that enable a reasonable price.

List building for group buying

When it comes to starting email marketing for group buying sites, it’s all about the email list. Groupon’s biggest piece of intellectual property is their email lists. To enter the group buying game you have to rapidly grow an extensive email list. This means you must choose tools that provide a sense of urgency, make your message shareable and entice people to respond to your call to action.

Lightbox sign-up forms

Get started by using lightbox sign-up forms. After just a few seconds on your website visitors should be able to find a sign-up form. Light boxes let them be front and center so your audience is more likely to subscribe for newsletters.

Special promotions

In order to motivate people to subscribe for newsletters, create special subscription campaigns including these elements:

  • use your business profiles on social media to promote subscriptions;
  • create a compelling landing page outlining benefits of subscribing;
  • credits for signing up and inviting friends; and
  • offer other benefits like souvenir gifts, samples etc.

Segmenting contacts for group buying

The next step after building email lists is segmentation. Relevance is more than important when we talk about group buying. Getting the right offer to the right person at the right time – that’s critical! So where to start?

  1. Segment according to collected data Sort your users by information you have gathered during sign up process – gender, age, location etc.
  2. Segment by behavior Look at the history of users’ previous purchases and forecast.
  3. Segment by chosen preferences Create a checkbox or lighbox on your site where users can specify their favorite types of deals, purchase preferences, habits and other details.
  4. Segment by survey results Create online surveys and include them into your emails to identify their expectations for deals. Read about Mailigen online surveys and automated segmentation according survey results.

Other useful tips:

  • mix up specified preferences with behavioral information as people shop for family and friends;
  • do not restrict the choice and allow subscribers to look also at deals by location;
  • allow multiple choice sign up for more than one location; and
  • ensure different receiving options – each day, once a week, all deals together or each topic separately.

There are two main benefits of segmentation. First, sending relevant emails will increase loyalty of your clients. Second, you do not have to send campaigns to all your contacts, therefore you will save money on monthly plans or email credits.

Social integration for group buying

Email marketing goes hand in hand with social media. You can use social media not only to gather subscribers but also to promote daily deals.

Include social media in your newsletters and invite users to share the content with their friends. Use a reward system and let them earn benefits for sharing. There are plenty of ways to reward those who share the content, share and earn credits or get the deal for free.

In order to track purchases, you must add merge tags to your social sharing links to ensure links are unique.

Creating campaigns for group buying

Group buying is one of those rare business models with a communication going out every or almost every day. Let’s look at the most important email elements:

Message People open group buying emails to get the best daily deal. Start with creative welcoming message and then get right to the call to action, or the “offer”. Avoid too much copy, and create a call to action that guides subscribers to the landing page to make a purchase.

Layout As usual there are several deals in one newsletter, be sure to use catchy headlines, images, enough white spacing and bullets to separate deals from each other.

Call to Action All attention of course must be focused on call to action, so be sure the most attention grabbing text and design elements are included in CTA.

Sending time Set up regularity in your sending habits and subscribers will start to wait for your emails. For example, if you send emails each day, make them arrive in inboxes within the same 10 – 20 minutes before 9 am.

Other elements to include in group buying emails

  • timeframe of deals to make attention and bring an urgency;
  • information about the next deal or even voting about which deal will be the next one.

Reengagement campaigns for group buying

When receiving emails from the same sender every day, after some time subscribers may become immune. Therefore group buying sites have to think carefully about creative reengagement campaigns to attract inactive users. Read more about reengagement campaigns.

However, if a person doesn’t want to receive emails from you any more, you must let it go. Last attempt: after clicking on unsubscribe link, lead him to compelling landing page, for example, with a funny video motivating them to not unsubscribe.

Analytics for group buying

For group buying sites, it’s very important not only to track recipients’ steps they take after receiving offer newsletters, but also to track revenue coming from campaigns. One of the most useful tools to get revenue data from email marketing campaign is Google Analytics Ecommerce. With Google Analytics Ecommerce, you will know the exact number of purchases, income of each product and total revenue from email marketing campaign.

Tracking ecommerce transactions is very easy to do. All you have to do is to configure your Google Analytics account and to add Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking code to your ‘Thank you page’ after purchase. Read more how to set up Google Analytics Ecommerce.

To Sum up

The phenomenon of group buying continues to expand and outpace its previous efforts. The biggest daily deal sites have found their key to success by tailoring perfect communication via email marketing messages. If you are a new fighter on the scene, stick to proven guns and take the best out of them.

We’d like your take away is the following. Firstly, the more targeted email content is, the more successful it’s likely to be. Secondly, think cross-channel and profit not only from email marketing but also social media, mobile and SMS marketing and other marketing methods that you can integrate in your group buying marketing strategy. Make all channels work for your business!

Email Marketing for Group Buying Websites
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  • Jay

    To add to your analytics subpoint:

    Probably one of the most critical metrics to track for daily deals sites are email delivery rates by email service provider.

    Open tracking is far too inaccurate due to delivery with images off becoming more common. A seed based tracking service that provides real tests from real accounts is preferred.

    We’ve seen a huge increase in these types of clients. Due to the frequency and volume of mail they send, their delivery issues are frequent and unique.

    Great article. Thanks

  • Good point Jay, keeping eye on delivery is a good way to make sure email campaigns reach the audience and desired results.

    But many times companies choose an ESP just because they rely on the professional service and high delivery rates so they don’t need to worry about it.

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