local media insider
Case study

Two examples of "Best of" deals stores that earned top dollar

Media who have deals programs can easily bump revenues with this strategy

Alisa Cromer

Creating a "Best Of" deals store is considered best practice for media companies  that already have a deals program.

The concept is simple, relatively easy to execute, and generating $50,000 to more than $100,000 in markets that have tried the concept.

The "Best of" store is created  by simply repeating the top deals of the year, with a "Best of" title on the page.  Better yet, they can be pre-sold as soon as the sales reps knows a deal fits the criteria. Here are two case studies on top-selling "Best Of" stores to emulate; both use SecondStreet Media's deals platform, and are written up in their Promotions Lab. See also Ten Top Revenue Producing strategies for deal stores here

Case Study 1

Company: The Miami Herald
Initiative: Best of Deals store
Key Executive: Alex Fuentes, Interactive General Manager

Challenge:  The Miami Herald's deals division wanted to create a year-end "Best of" deals store that would aggregate the deals of the year. 

Strategy: In the winter of 2012, they launched the store on SecondStreet's store platform. Key components include:

1. Clear criteria for targeting top deals.  Deals that went into the “Best Of” store had to generate at least $1500 in revenues or 300 certificates.  Deals for events or specific travel packages were excluded. This left 80 advertisers for sales reps to target.

Merchants were asked to use the same deal that had perfomed well earlier—guaranteeing quality control while adding the panache of selectivity. The "Best Of" is the deal, not the merchant. 

2. Timing. The sales push was during the last two weeks of November, and ran in the store from Dec. 9 to 31, 2012, both during the peak of holiday purchasing and also in the post-holiday rush. 

3. Deal mix. The mix naturally included strong deal categories. The final mix of 18 deals ranged from $15 to $395. They included:

- Restaurants
- Beauty salons
- Certified massage 
-A shooting range
- House cleaning

 4. Promotions. A half-page vertical ad in the newspaper promoted a new deal every day. On Sundays, all of the deals were in the print ad, and on the Sunday before the store ended, an email reminded subscribers about their “last chance to save," generating 12% more sales. 

Each participating merchant also receive a “Best Of” award and a personal note of congratulations, which was framed on request. 

• Last day of store's email generated 12% more revenues
• Most store sold more than the first time they ran the deal 
• 3,082 deals total were sold, including 243 on the last day 
• Revenues were $116,4000, up from $26,000 the prior year. 
• in 2013, they are selling Best of deals stores through out the year.

Case Study 2

Media: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
Key Executive: Norm Frain, general manager and online sales director for Today’s Deals 

Challenge: The deals division wanted to created a best of store that, Frain told SecondStreet, would “bring back our best-selling deals.” They already had a holiday store with 100 deals, including some of the top deals. 

Strategy: The team goal decided to include just 12 of the best-selling deals in an exclusive store that ran after the holiday store and closed out the year. 

The sales team sorted out the top 50 prospects. A sales piece conveyed the limited availability. The late December timing meant that sales reps already had their sales for December booked, so they were ready to launch a quick-turn around project.

"Eight of the 12 deals sold within hours," Frain told the Promotions Lab. 

Deal mix: Six of the deals were restaurants; there were one each for spa, auto, travel, and retail; and two were for entertainment. Prices ranged from $5 to $16. 

Promotions: The team added a button to the Today’s Deal site, plus sent email reminders and ran a full page ad every day the store was open. Social networking also promoted the store. 

Lessons Learned:  

• "The sales initiative was a success because they gave the team specific prospects and a specific process to sell," Frain said.

• For merchants who chose not to participate, the key reason was timing – they were too busy with the holiday season or had just launched a recent deal. 

• The "Best Of 2013 store" is now planned to be their main deals initiative for the month of December 2013, running for seven days. The store has also been expanded from 12 to 24 deals and into two promotional pages of the newspaper. 

See also Ten Top Take Aways to earn Top Dollar from Deals Stores here

Many thanks to the Promotions Lab at SecondStreet for sharing these great initiatives. 

Alisa Cromer

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.

SecondStreet, best of, deal store, St. Louis Dispatch, Miami Herald, coupons