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Online Coupons Archive
Today on the new Anderson Cooper talk show, Living Social ran a promotion on the show which offers the “first 20,000″ a free $10 in Deal Bucks. If you aren’t familiar with Deal Bucks, they are credits you can use towards a purchase on Living Social.
The deal has already spread like wildfire throughout the deal boards so it is very possible that the 20,000 free $10 deal bucks certificates are gone. The deal has been viewed over 33,000 times on SlickDeals alone. But that’s where the brilliance of this deal begins. Living Social notes that you won’t be notified if you are part of the first 20,000 for 14 days. You also need a Living Social account to enter for a chance to get the deal bucks. And since Living Social isn’t going to take down the entry form once they hit 20,000, it’s a brilliant way for Living Social to grab lots of fresh new subscribers. My guess is that the majority of the deal board members already have a Living Social account but the viewers of Anderson’s television program don’t so overall it should provide a nice boost in subscribers for the deals site.
It will be interesting to see how long this promo site is available and allowing people the chance to enter. I also wonder how many of the first 20,000 will come from people with multiple LS accounts.
The thank you message notes, “Thank you for participating. If you are among the first 20,000 people to correctly name the code words, you will receive 10 deal bucks credited to your livingsocial account within 14 days. ”
If you want to enter, the code words are apparently (I make no guarantees) “Molly Cooper” and you can find the entry form here. Of course there is no guarantee you will be one of the first 20,000.
To help get more business cards out into the world (so that our team at CloudContacts can process them!), I found a deal from Staples that is worth checking out. Staples is offering 100 free black and white business cards from today through June 18th. Just print out this coupon, take it into your local Staples store and the copy center employees will help get your order placed and printed.
There are two great parts of this deal:
- If you normally use Vista Print for free cards that include the Vista Print url on the back, this deal will get you cards that look a bit more professional.
- The coupon value ($20) can be applied to any business card order so if you decide to print color or with other options, you can just use the coupon towards the total purchase.
If you already have business cards, you might use this deal to run a test with another business card concept for yourself or your company.
In December 2009, Michael Arrington from Techcrunch described Groupon as, “They offer users deep discounts on local deals – spas, sky diving lessons, hotels, restaurants, golf, whtaever. Discounts range from 40%-90% of the normal price.” And for a good period of time thereafter, the deals were local. But it seems these days both Groupon and LivingSocial are pushing more and more big box and online deals through their respective group buying services.
Last summer Groupon launched what I think was their first national deal with the Gap. This year we’ve seen a large number of nationwide deals including Groupon’s Barnes & Noble deal, LivingSocial’s Amazon gift card deal, Redbox, Blockbuster Express and Groupon’s eBay deal. Today Groupon is offering a deal with Domino’s pizza – a deal which has made a number of Jewish people angry since it’s Passover and eating items like pizza isn’t allowed. Living Social is currently running a deal with business card printer Vista Print.
Tomorrow Groupon will run a deal with General Mills – for $20 you get a few boxes of cereal, some other grocery items, a coupon book and a can of corn.
By now we all know that the new valley darling is Foursquare. Will Foursquare be the next breakout startup? Only time (and lots of pumping blog posts from a few new reporters) will tell. Before I continue let me state that I very much believe in location-based services. I wrote the business documentation and code for a location-based concept during my MBA studies in 2004. And I think there is an amazing future for services that are based around location — especially as mobile devices become smarter.
Last week, the Gap ran a promotion where users who “check-in” at a Gap store received a 25% discount on their purchases. All of the foursquare bloggers ran posts explaining how this demonstrates the power of Foursquare. Of course the discount was also available to basically anyone using a code.
One of the interesting elements to online couponing that many seem to miss in every post is that the deal sites are the ones who pump the coupons and make them a success. For example, a deal on Twitter’s earlybird deal account, will be pumped through sites like Fatwallet and Slickdeals and users of both of these sites will never see or use the earlybird account. The same goes for “Twitter-only” deals from Dell Outlet and Virgin America.
Continue reading “Groupon Teaches You Why Coupons Are Better Than Checkins For Deals” »
We initially covered NYC-based coupon service 8coupons earlier this year when they launched their local coupon offering. Their “Money Map” shows deals on a Google Map so you can find deals in whatever location you would like. You can also see the top 8 deals in a city and national deals as well. In NYC the top deals come from Applebees, Starbucks, SuperMac, etc. 8coupons reports about 800,000 unique visitors for November.
Today the company has announced that the 8coupons service is available nationwide. The money map will now automatically detect your location and show you deals closest to you. Users can contribute deals they find (similar to Postabon which we covered last week) and 8coupons notes they will also run mobile-exclusive deals as well.
In terms of monetization, 8coupons notes, “8coupons.com has partnered with Valpak, Money Mailer, and RedPlum’s SuperCoups as well as with several local bloggers and content partners to add over 50,000 local deals across the country.” It looks like a lot of the coupons are online versions of the local coupons we receive in bundles in the mail.
For the last six months, I seem to always head to the barbershop on days when it is raining. Normally there is a wait at the barbershop (15 minutes or so) but it always seems like the days when it rains there is no wait. I asked the barber if the weather and the wait was related and he said yes. He went on to say that “bad weather” days were very slow for the shop and sometimes he has to send one of the barbers home. Luckily my haircut has no issues with rain.
A new Washington, D.C. startup is trying to help fill those barber chairs on the “bad weather” days. Bluesky Local’s tagline explains what the service aims to offer, “we improve slow day sales”. As you can see in the screenshot below, each business can setup offers based on a variety of weather conditions, time of day, month, etc. Using my barber as an example, he could setup campaigns that offer a $2 discount or a free shave on rainy or snowy days.
In an interview with Emily Mayock of Nightclub&Bar, CEO and Co-Founder Matt Ackerson noted where he came up with the idea for Bluesky Local.” Ackerson says. “…I noticed this because whenever business was slow the waiters and I would sit around, play cards and complain and joke about how little in tips we would make for that night.” Ackerson tells me that their current customers are all based in the NYC area.
The concept seems very interesting as it could fill open capacity for a merchant or casual dining location. What would it be worth to the bottom line if BlueSky Local could fill several extra tables each day?
The service ranges in price from $99 – $299/month depending on the size of the list. Having run thousands of coupon campaigns, I think the pricing seems a bit on the high side. I’m also not sold that size of list is the right metric to price the service from. The service also requires that you have a list — I’d look at a GPS mobile option as well.
Could Bluesky Local help my barber fill his chairs on the bad weather days?
If you aren’t from the south, you may not have ever experienced eating at Chick-fil-A. The chain is well known for their chicken sandwiches and their usage of a cow as the company mascot. I prefer the chicken nuggets and lemonade to the chicken sandwich but do enjoy their “cow usage”.
Over the past few days, many of the coupon forums and sites have listed a promotion for a free Chick-fil-A 2010 calendar. It’s on Spoofee (deleted), Fatwallet (deleted), Coupon Saving Game and over 120 comments on SlickDeals. The calendar promotion is also listed on moms sites including KnoxMoms. There’s just one problem…the promotion is fake – was sent by someone outside Chick-fil-A.
When you click on the link to order the calendar, you are greeted with the image below and the following text, “Incorrect information has been circulating on the internet regarding the 2010 Chick-fil-A® Cow Calendar. Chick-fil-A is not authorized to distribute free calendars nor to register those who log on to www.shopchick-fil-a.com. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.”
While Chick-fil-A had nothing to do with the fake promotion, they lost an amazing opportunity to turn a negative experience into an amazing moo-ving experience. From my perspective, the message they provided above was fine – it’s the truth. But why not offer the users something? A simple coupon off their next purchase or a free ice-dream with a combo…something! At an absolute minimum, offer the customer an option to signup for future (real) offers and savings. I can only imagine the influx of traffic that the calendar webpage received over the past 24 hours – and instead of capturing and getting more customers in the store, they let the deal hunter go away empty-handed.
Chick-fil-A does such a great job normally with promotions and coupons. Their coupons never expire and you can use them anytime.
The reason I am sharing this story is because it could happen to you and your startup one day. Make sure you never let a potential customer, and more importantly a spokesperson for your company, walk away with nothing.
It’s not too late Chick-fil-A…the links will be out there forever so offer something to the customers and create a positive social media and customer experience.