6 Email Optimizers for Improving Daily Deal Open Rates

It’s become increasingly difficult for daily deal publishers to cut through the clutter and get their offers noticed. In an effort to boost the open and purchase rates on their marketing messages, a number of deal providers have turned to technology companies offering email optimization platforms for help. Here are six email optimization platforms deal companies can use to improve response rates…

Case Study: Pet Supply Chain Finds Value in SMS Advertising

Lipof Advertising creative director Nathan Lowery says businesses that inundate their customers with meaningless marketing messages are actually doing more harm than good. In his experience handling advertising and marketing for Pet Supermarket, Lowery has noticed that customers are less likely to unsubscribe from SMS advertising lists when they’re sent messages that have actual value, like coupons and discount codes…

6 Tools SMBs Can Use to Update Digital Directory Listings

Almost half of all business listings on hyperlocal services and online directories include information that is outdated, incorrect, or incomplete — a major problem given that 92% of people use online directories to research products or services in their areas. Here are six platforms that merchants can use to improve the accuracy of their directory listings and increase their businesses’ exposure online…

Case Study: Finding an Easier Way to Accept Deal Bookings

Ray Chang, the founder and CEO of The Motorsport Lab, was excited about the prospect of running his first Groupon offer in 2010. What he wasn’t expecting was the crush of phone calls that resulted. To help decrease the pressure on his staff, Chang started using Genbook to handle online reservations. Since then, he’s been able to run three subsequent deals without overburdening his employees…

7 Card-Connected Marketing Programs

Card-connected platforms help merchants promote customer loyalty without introducing any extra steps or hurdles to the traditional payment process. Customers swipe their cards just as they normally would, and the rewards or discounts they earn are automatically reflected on their next credit card or bank statements. Here are six card-connected programs that merchants can use to promote loyalty and customer engagement…

Case Study: Seattle Office Caterer Grows Business With Mobile Payments

At Molly’s Salads in Seattle, Washington, founder Stefan Kalb needed an easy way to collect payments from customers without being present in person. His solution? Seconds, a mobile commerce platform that customers can use to pay via text message…

7 Platforms Local Merchants Can Use to Build Mobile Websites

Fifty-four percent of smartphone users now use their phones to “pre-shop” before arriving at stores, and 51% of consumers are more likely to make purchases from retailers with mobile sites. Despite this, only 4.8% of retailers in the U.S. currently have mobile websites. In response, a number of hyperlocal companies have stepped up with platforms that SMBs can use to easily create mobile-optimized sites. Here are seven of them…

6 Mobile Coupon Platforms for Merchants

One of the simplest solutions for merchants just beginning to dip their toes into mobile marketing is text-based mobile coupons. Coupons that are sent via SMS are eight times more likely to be redeemed than coupons sent through email, and 90% of these messages are opened up within just three minutes of receipt. Here are six tools that local merchants can use to drive sales with targeted coupons sent to their customers’ mobile phones…

Case Study: Providence Retailer Uses Swipely to Reward Customer Loyalty

As the co-owner of Kreatelier, a retail shop that sells gifts and textiles in Providence, R.I., Line Daems is always on the lookout for ways to reward her most loyal customers without overwhelming her staff with extra work. In 2011 she discovered that she could use Swipely, a loyalty platform tied to customers’ credit card transactions, to offer cash-back rewards with zero effort on her company’s behalf…

Case Study: SourceMedia Uses Second Street to Tap Deals Market

How does an established media company break into the daily deals market? At SourceMedia Group in eastern Iowa, vice president of sales Chris Edwards turned to Second Street for a private-label deal platform that was high on flexibility and low on administrative costs…

7 Tips for Big Brands That Want to Reach Local Consumers

National brands that add local context to their mobile campaigns can expect to see click-through rates that are 4% to 7% higher than typical mobile display ads, while adding something as simple as a local phone number to an ad can increase response rates by 40%. We asked two top marketers for their advice to brands thinking of going local…

Case Study: MomentFeed Sifts Cinnabon Data to Up Customer Engagement

MomentFeed worked with Cinnabon to merge duplicate venues, adjust inaccurate geo-codes, and update venues with correct addresses and consistent branding. The result? Cinnabon corporate communications manager Rachel Hadley says the company has seen a nearly 700% increase in customer engagement on Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter over the past eight months…

6 Lead-Generation Tools for Small Businesses

Hyperlocal platforms aimed at fulfilling consumer service requests are becoming increasingly attractive to these small business owners, since these platforms generally involve a minimal investment of time or money on the part of the local merchant. Rather than paying upfront for advertisements that may or may not generate actual leads, business owners can sit back and wait for leads to come to them…

Case Study: Sunnyvale Bistro Re-Targets Customers With Fanminder

How much is a new customer worth? At Rok Bistro in Sunnyvale, Calif., owner Steve Wright decided the customers he was getting with Groupon offers and old media advertisements weren’t worth the amount he was spending. Instead, he’s decided to re-targeting existing customers using a self-service platform called Fanminder…

5 Online Marketing Strategies Every Restaurateur Should Know About

Creating an effective online marketing campaign isn’t always a simple task — especially for restaurant owners that are used to focusing the majority of their time and energy on what’s happening in the kitchen. In recent years, a number of hyperlocal platforms have stepped in to make it easier for independent restaurateurs to develop websites, manage social media, and cultivate better relationships with their customers online…

Case Study: Rural Town’s First Taste of Deals

Ryan DeJong, founder of the gooroo group marketing agency, used Closely to create a series of daily deal offers for the Pineapple Day Spa in Pine Bush, N.Y., (pop. 1,780). DeJong has found that small town customers are just as eager to jump on the daily deal bandwagon as their big city counterparts, and that customers are more responsive to limited-time deals than the generic discount codes spas typically send out in email blasts…

6 Mobile Payments Platforms for Merchants

Only 4% of merchants currently accept mobile payments, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, however 20% say they intend to adopt this technology within the next 12 months. Given that mobile payments are still in their infancy, and the landscape is still wide open, several players are vying for market dominance. It’s hard to say yet whether one will be a clear winner, or, as with cell phones and credit cards themselves, there will be a handful of leading options.

Using Groupon for Customer Acquisition

Everyone’s heard a horror story about a Groupon deal gone awry, but there’s a reason why daily deals have become so ubiquitous among small-business owners in the last three years. When done right, a targeted Groupon offer can pump up customer acquisition rates and boost immediate sales…

6 Deal Platforms For Targeting Upscale Customers

As businesses continue to search for ways to target the type of clientele that can afford to pay full-price for their products and services, more and more are turning toward deal platforms with “upscale” and “affluent” subscribers as a solution…

5 Platforms for Tracking and Analyzing Customer Habits

By analyzing check-in data, measuring customer engagement, and tracking overall sentiment on social networking and review sites, these firms help companies get a data-driven view into consumer habits — and ultimately identify their most valuable customers. Here are five platforms that merchants can use to track and analyze this latest wave of consumer information…