Use of Web Marketing Coupons - dummies

By Jan Zimmerman

The users of these coupon sites have a coveted demographic profile: educated, young, single, working women who have a fair amount of discretionary income. And the numbers are stunning.

Groupon claims to have sold, from its inception in November 2008 through January 2011, more than 22 million coupons to more than 50 million e-mail subscribers, and it contends that more than 97 percent of featured merchants want to make an offer again. LivingSocial claims 20 million subscribers.

This obvious business-to-consumer (B2C) technique can work well for both service and product companies, including bars and restaurants, tourist destinations, health-and-beauty salons, events, recreation, and personal services.

You can make this approach work for business-to-business (B2B) offers, though it’s a little more complicated. A B2B offer would depend on the size and quality of the e-mail list that the service maintains, a product that applies to both individuals and companies (bookkeeping or office supplies, perhaps), or recommendations from employees to employers. Rapid Buyr and Bizy Deals are two of the companies focused on the B2B market.

These deals have become so popular for both consumers and merchants that many companies now offer additional side deals and advertising in their e-mail and on their sites. The new venue Groupon Now lets Groupon stores reach a wider audience in real-time, specifically when merchants have openings to fill. Groupon

Getaways will be offered via a partnership with the Expedia travel site. LivingSocial, which already offers travel deals under LivingSocial Escapes, has created a category for family deals. The frenzy for deals may finally begin to slow as competitors saturate the coupon space; Google is still testing its entry, Google Offers, but Facebook has already pulled the plug on Facebook Deals.