Tag Archives: Second Street Media

2nd Street/Washington Post: Social Media Remains Key Deals Driver

Are Deals still being driven by shares, posts, likes and other social media features in an era of Groupon and Living Social Super Bowl ads? Yes, definitely, according to Second Street Media, which held a Webinar with The Washington Post last week to discuss social media and deals strategies.

Referrals, “like-gating” and brand building via social media are key to building up customer lists and pumping up sales volume, notes Second Street Director of Affiliate Success Matt Chaney. Social media has been an inherent part of deals success from the beginning,” he says. Getting consumers to “like” a deals site and follow them on Facebook helps work- around email fatigue – or at least, reinforces email offers.

Deal sites, however, need to follow up and provide something in return for the likes. Chaney cites Edison/Arbitron research showing that 58 percent of consumers expect something in return for a “like.”

NBC 7 in San Diego boosted their likes by 60 percent with a contest around “San Diego’s favorite Voice.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch boosted their signups by 36 percent with a “Name the Rally Squirrel” contest. ABC 15 in Phoenix boosted its likes from 8,000 to 88,000 with a giveaway of Guitars featured on the CMA Awards.

Webinar special guest Molly Urciolo, Marketing Manager from The Washington Post, said The Post’s Capitol Deal site adds 1,000 likes each week. The Capitol Deal has done especially well with “Get Yours Free” deals in which customers are incented to push a certain number of sales by their friends –typically three –so they get a free one. Twelve percent of The Capitol Deal’s revenues come from “Get Yours Free.”

Urciolo likes to post deals on FaceBook the night before emails are sent out; or post exclusive deals for the FaceBook audience. She also takes the page seriously as a community, posting topical subjects on local sports teams, or events; and running contests, or sweepstakes. She also recommends adding new posts two times a day.

Second Street: Deals Remain Highly Social, Referrals Generate Sales

One of the questions we have about the deals space is: how social is it really? In early days, with demos leaning towards college educated women, deals were very social as subscribers referred deals to each other in return for a free deal, typically after three references.

As deals become more oriented towards mass mailing lists, we wondered if social aspects had plateaued. Not very much, reports Second Street Media’s Matt Chaney.

On a company webinar last week, Chaney says that referrals remain a top means of bringing in business for the white label deals and promotions company, which now works with over 300 local sites and has processed over one million deal offers. Best of all, while many customers make referrals, they don’t always qualify for the free deal, making such referrals inexpensive for the publisher.

Chaney says that the company has been averaging one refund for every seven purchases. But that doesn’t dissuade the referrers. “People will keep pushing out the deal to their friends and family in the hopes of getting theirs for free,” says Chaney. “That’s how the numbers can work in the favor of the site.

A deal with WCAX-TV in Vermont for $36 worth of movie tickets and popcorn at Majestic Cinema, for instance, sold 576 via referrals. But only 32 refunds qualified. That made the referrals worth $7,396, with an “opportunity cost” of just $576. Moreover, users that receive a referral credit are 3x more likely to buy, according to Chaney.

Referred customers are also typically more engaged than “non organic” customers, perhaps acquired via a mailing list. Referred customers and other “organics” score very high in link traffic, he says. “We consistently see that the organic email list accounts for 70% or more of the revenue for our sites.”

Newspapers Going Private Label Route for Deals

McClatchy Newspapers surprised everyone last July when it opted to let the fox into the chicken coop by signing up with Groupon for local deals.

At the time, McClatchy Interactive head Chris Hendricks saw it as a net plus for both companies. “They’ve got their space,” but McClatchy offered Groupon more “entry points” to readers and deals, he noted.

Tellingly, Hendricks also said that the limited commitment was a net plus. “We have a lot of stuff going on,” said Hendricks. “An affiliate marketing program fits in better,” and “lets us get out of the gate.” Similar logic was apparently used by Media General and Tribune, which signed with Groupon around the same time.

Now, McClatchy appears to have found its sea legs in the deals space. While it will apparently maintain a relationship with Groupon, it has opted to invest heavily in the white label route via Second Street Media’s Deadline Deals platform, which now serves over 150 publishers.

In a statement, Hendricks said –without commenting on the fate of its relationship with Groupon — that a private-label deals platform is a perfect fit with FindnSave, Travidia’s deals-and-offers portal that will eventually launch in 21 of McClatchy’s 28 markets. FindnSave pairs daily deals with other offers, such as weekly sales, coupons and grocery cents off offers.

McClatchy isn’t the only newspaper company with news in the deals space. Hearst Newspapers announced last week that it would join Media News Group and Freedom Interactive as partners of Analog Analytics, which says it now serves 850 local media properties. Freedom’s Orange County Register recently did over $188,000 on one deal (a heavily discounted boat ride to Catalina Island).

Group Commerce Inc., similarly, recently announced a deals partnership with The New York Times Co, among other media companies.