At this point, many small-business owners have become leery of daily deals because of their reputation for attracting so-called "deal seekers," or customers who come in once with discount vouchers and never return to pay full-price in the future. Privy is the very antithesis of one-time marketing. The digital platform encourages merchants to rely heavily on their existing customer base to start generating incremental revenue within just a matter of hours.
How It Works
Unlike traditional deal companies, Privy doesn't maintain a database of deal subscribers. Instead, the company invites small business owners to capitalize on the client databases they've already built when promoting limited-time offers and discounts. Customers who've agreed to receive marketing updates from their favorite local businesses receive special deals in their email inboxes. If a particular offer looks enticing, the customer can click the "Buy Now" button to purchase the deal. In addition to sending limited-time offers to customers listed in their email databases, Privy clients can also post promotions on their own websites and social media pages. Customers who purchase these promotions—which typically involve coupons for 25 percent or more off popular services or products—can redeem them by showing their smartphones to employees at participating establishments.
Privy in Action
Businesses can set up their promotions with Privy in as little as five minutes. In that time, a business owner can create an account and choose between offering a voucher or a deal. Vouchers are claimed online and paid for in-store, whereas deals are claimed and paid for online. Privy offers a promotion wizard that suggests the type of deal or voucher a business should offer based on the industry and other identifying factors. The platform also lets businesses craft their own promotions from scratch by entering a basic title, description, price, photo, and any limitations or restrictions that should be applied.
At Pure Hair Design in Boston, Jenny Kisiel used Privy to sell $50 gift certificates for $40. Kisiel promoted her salon's deal by sending an email blast to existing clients, but placed a strict restriction on the offer that limited it to new clients only. As a result, Kisiel says approximately 20 current clients purchased the deal as gifts for sisters or friends who had been eager to give her salon a try. Running a deal with Privy helped Kisiel generate word of mouth marketing, and increased the number of clients who come into her salon each month.
Why It Works
Privy provides small business owners with a number of benefits that traditional deal companies aren't offering at the current time. For one, there is significantly less risk for an SMB running a deal through Privy compared to Groupon or LivingSocial, since businesses maintain full control over their promotions and aren't required to give away a percentage from every deal they sell. Instead, merchants can pay $60 per month to run Privy campaigns on their websites and social media channels.
Merchants can also decide how to advertise their promotions, limiting the number of people who see their deals and protecting themselves from selling too many offers. Businesses that would prefer to target only new customers, for example, can advertise their deals to inbound visitors on their websites without notifying their existing customers through e-mail newsletters or posts on Facebook.
Maximizing the Benefits
In addition to accumulating new customers by running deals through Privy, businesses are also able to keep the contact information those customers hand over when claiming their deals online. This contact information is crucial for future email targeting, and it is something that most traditional deal companies still aren't providing. Businesses that use Constant Contact for their email marketing efforts can quickly export any customer contact information they gather through their Privy campaigns into their Constant Contact accounts with just one click.
Read more "How It Works."
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. She is based in Portland, Ore.
Photo via getprivy.com