I’ve worked with some of the biggest Daily Deal and Flash sites in the world including Groupon, Gilt, Zuilily, and LivingSocial.

Here’s 14 Tips on How to Get Started with Daily Deals.

  1. Do your research. Visit a daily deal community like Slickdeals.net or do a simple Google Shopping search to find similar deals for your product. Slickdeals is great because you’ll be able to look at historical pricing and popularity (# of thumbs given by the community, more thumbs, better the deal).
  2. Sign up. Sign up for daily emails for all daily deal sites that you are interested in. And, don’t just sign up for your category. Receive the same email as most people without any filters or preference. It’ll give you an idea of what they are looking for in a good deal.
  3. Follow their social media accounts.  Compare their number of followers, and see if you can figure out what type of deals do they highlight on social – is it all or only a certain or handpicked?
  4. Dig into demo and traffic sources. Visit Alexa.com and SimilarWeb.com to view website stats. You probably want to make sure most of the traffic and traffic sources are legit and US based. Similar Web is particularly great because you can view their competitors (more daily deal websites to go after next time around).
  5. Pricing. Work backwards to set your MSRP. Figure out your all-in-costs plus the average margin required in your category. You might want to consider breaking even or making a fraction of what you would normally need to in order to ensure the best pricing at the time of the promotion. Remember some sites won’t do a deal unless it’s at least 20% off, but I like to aim for 50-60%.
  6. Craft your proposal.  Put together the most compelling argument that you can for why this deal would crush it. Historical stats on sales you’ve done plus provide examples of similar promos from other vendors on your target daily deal site.
  7. Pitch. Clearly, pitch why your deal is better. Does it tote a larger percent off or is there a value-add that your competitors simply cannot match.
  8. Work your network. If anyone you know on linkedin or through networking events have worked with the Daily Deal site you are pitching, ask for an intro to their account manager.
  9. Read the contract. Figure out the payment terms and the delivery terms. Note all of the costs and penalties. Does it require you to cover the drop shipping charges or will they take on a portion of inventory via 3pl.
  10. Be prepared. Figure out exactly what your team can fulfill. If you need to lower your quantities before the sale starts, do it. You can always increase quantity as the sale continues to gain momentum but it’s hard to decrease inventory once it starts. Prep your customer service team and be on standby to answer any email questions that a customer may have.
  11. Final copy and image check. Request a preview of the sale 1 week before it’s launch to check for any mistakes. Make sure you that the deal is accurate and more importantly that your brand is represented the way you want it to be.
  12. Make the best first impression as possible. Remember that customers can be harsh and don’t take it personally. Monitor your brand during the sale with google alerts. Be prepared to handle customer service questions and comments from the entire blogosphere by creating a FAQ beforehand. If you have language to deal with the harshest reviews, it’ll be easier to and faster to handle.
  13. Jumpstart. Unless you’re ready to shell out some serious cash, you may not get the prime top homepage and email placement for your deal. You’ll need to do some work to jumpstart the daily deal algorithm so your deal trends higher on the page. Email all your of your friends and family and ask them to check out your deal. If you have a social media following, make sure you get them involved. You need your own viral coefficient. If you can add a call out on your own business webpage or from any of your friends, do it. Don’t be ashamed. You need the clicks.
  14. Follow up. You’ll need to follow up both with the daily deal site and with your new customers. The best time to propose your next daily deal is while your first one is still going. You have to keep the momentum going at all costs. Same goes with your troves of new customers. Offer them exclusive discounts via email.  Make them feel like they owe you something so they keep coming back.
  15. Ask for reviews. I’ll say it again – ask for reviews! Ask people to do it for free or incentivize them with a chance to win an Amazon gift card/ whatever, but start collecting reviews early. You an use something you’ve built in-house or direct them to an Amazon listing where they can leave their stellar review. This will become handy in the future. Trust me.

Read more about what I’ve done through Daily Deal Partnerships here.

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