FOMO, the fear of missing out. Everyone knows that limited time offers are a powerful marketing tool. It all comes down to fueling the burning desire of consumers to get their hands on something others haven’t yet seen, because nobody wants to miss out on something good.
Call them what you want, flash sales, discounts, daily deals; a limited time offer can be any sort of shopper benefit, gift, discount, bonus offer or specific reward for making an immediate purchase. Consider the way Black Friday has exploited and mutated this sales pitch beyond proportion to offer deals on a specific date in a kind of retail version of a postman’s holiday. It has already outgrown just one day (Friday) to cover the rest of the weekend and then spawned a millennial offspring in the form of Cyber Monday.
But some companies manage to entice customers all year round with deals too good to miss. Some even get away with it almost every day.
At the heart of the deal, you’ll find the customer
Getting in front of the customer is the biggest challenge for retailers and e-commerce sites. Offering flash sales can help either getting rid of excess stock or, more frequently, by raising the awareness of a brand, a product or an online store.
This visibility is the key to offering one-time deals, weekly deals or any other limited time offer to boost short term stimulus into buying one’s products or services. Making customers aware that a retailer is here with what customers want at a great price, while exposing them to their other products too, is at the heart of marketing.
Key components of offering a deal are:
- Having a simple sales message like the hackneyed but beautifully simple ‘buy one, get one free’.
- Not making the customer do unnecessary form filling or hoop jumping in order to take advantage of the offer.
- Focusing on the limited-time nature of the deal; for instance, ‘50% off all purchases before 10 pm today only’ to maximize buyer urgency.
Online casinos like 888 offer their customers welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, and wallet reload bonuses. It’s this continued encouragement to match deposits that players rely on to continue playing on certain sites. Competition is fierce amongst poker sites and any advantage offered helps retain customers who don’t like to miss out on any cash boost they might be entitled to.
A deal a day keeps competitors at bay
What online poker site 888 also manages to do well is offer a different deal for each day of the week, like Winning Wednesday and Sunday FUNday, which showcases Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Blast poker deals, each with different benefits and bonuses, depending on the player’s table preference.
Don’t assume this kind of offer is exclusive to online poker. Many of the big fast food chains also like to spice up their service delivery with daily deals like Subway’s ‘Sub of the Day’, a different sandwich or wrap offered at a significantly lower price than usual with the usual drink and side to go. Who actually can resist the charms of a Sesame-Ginger Glazed Chicken and Sweet N’Smoky Steak & Guac Wrap? Sounds good, right?
We’ll take one – no two.
It has helped make Subway the biggest franchise in world, bigger even than McDonald’s, which has its own tempting daily deals. Thursdays, for example, showcases the Sweet Chilli Chicken One for a very tasty $1.69.
The queen of retail, Amazon, hasn’t missed this trick either. Each day, they profile their deals of the day for 24 hours using a combination of consumer trends and buyer metrics to offer currently popular products priced just below the usual rate, ensuring that there will plenty of increased interest in already high-volume sales items.
Sometimes a daily deal just isn’t enough. 888 Poker go one step further still. In poker terms, they go all-in with their daily deals by adding another one right over the top. When players take advantage of one daily offer, they qualify to take advantage of another one, this time, with free bet offers riding the back of the daily poker promotions and table deals.
This kind of daily deal and revolving offer helps to incentivize both existing and new customers. Think about it; when you ring up your car insurer to renew your policy, it’s never the same as last year. But shop around and there are plenty of other insurers able to offer new customer discounts just like your insurer did last year.
If companies like McDonald’s only offered discounts to new customers, but charged existing customers more, sales would suffer. The same way online poker and casino companies have found that, if they don’t continually incentivize existing players, they’d soon be left with empty poker rooms and roulette tables.
The pros and cons of the daily deal
There is a downside to daily deals. Take Groupon, for instance. There was a time when Groupon went from dismissible gimmick to a period of time where nearly everyone you ever met at the bowling alley, while zip-lining through the trees or when taking a $25 massage was there on a Groupon deal. Because everyone eventually falls prey to this kind of continuous, drip-fed marketing.
The big danger though is becoming repetitive, old-hat or offering the same deals for too long. The time eventually came when Groupon suffered from this over saturation and over stimulation of the deal market and had to scale back.
Sometimes, consumers eventually notice that the daily deal might not be a deal after all. The price offered as the deal might just be the natural price of the thing they want anyway. People shopping on Black Friday have noticed this when they return at other times to shop.
If visiting the same store to buy the same products at any other time of the year what would they find? Most stores still have deals, but use the term ‘sales’ instead, meaning consumers can find the same deals, but on different items. Clothing shops like Express and Carter’s have them all the time.
While daily deals can be great for drawing people in, more importantly, it creates that vital sense of urgency, the FOMO that most consumers like to avoid, And it triggers shoppers to convert on those fears and buy, buy, buy.
Which is why online casino and poker sites are always looking to reinvent their sales and marketing offers. The focus has to be keeping existing players and drawing in new ones too, making that line between new player bonus and existing player bonus a much hazier one. Plenty of other industries go about this in the same way; restaurant business and retailers, both online and offline alike, are copying this model. All of which has been shaped by promoting different daily deals. Like grandma said; the most important thing, when entertaining visitors unexpected or otherwise, is to ‘always offer them something’.