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Are special offers really a good thing?

One way of increasing traffic to a website or social media page is to create an offer. Giving potential customers a free gift or a discount offer is a tried and tested method of attracting interest and successfully engaging new customers.

But are there any down-sides to offers? Here are our thoughts.

The old saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’, has never been more true than it is today in relation to e-commerce. We have read countless tales of businesses who struggled under the strain of unexpected internet success. We’re not saying that sudden and huge interest in your brand would be a bad thing. But we have noticed that some companies online are not considering the potential consequences of their marketing communications and offers. Here’s what we mean.

Have you noticed the growth in companies offering huge discounts and offers on many different products and services from many different brands? Wowcher, Groupon, Secret Escapes and others, all have one thing in common: These internet companies are offering goods and services at massively discounted prices on behalf of other, smaller producers.

This is not a bad thing in general. In fact, it’s a fantastic way to increase your exposure and ‘piggy-back’ off the promotions of another company. But be very careful.

A small business can find itself stretched to capacity by these types of offers. People are obviously keen to grab a bargain, and if something is free people will flock towards it. Offers are good if they generate interest in your company and bring people to your door. But on many occasions, as soon as the offer has been claimed, the people disappear, never to be heard of again.

We work hard to help businesses create solid traffic that will build a brand’s reputation and increase their number of real, regular customers. Offers are too often flash in the pan marketing tactics. They create huge blasts of interest that disappear as quickly as they appeared. And in some cases, they can leave business out of pocket and struggling to cope.

If you decide to offer discounts or free items to customers, be careful with the wording of your promotion. Make sure the offer is for a set period of time, and try to incorporate an aspect which will encourage your customer to return. Always identify and set aside the stock or items that are being offered. Thousands of disappointed, unhappy customers could be incredibly harmful to your business reputation.

If you are considering promoting an offer and need help targeting and advertising it, get in touch with us. We know how to help you with the perfect internet tactics that will promote your offer to the right market, at a realistic pace, which will generate real custom and let your business thrive rather than struggle under the pressure.