Today I have been writing content for a client’s website. Their existing ‘Special Offers’ page has not been touched for over a year. I have added content explaining that this is a company that is special consistently, all year round. This business is already cutting margins to a workable minimumin in order to survive the competition, if they get much more ‘special’ there will be no point in trading, it is just not sustainable.
Speaking from experience, I have received emails from companies offering me amazing offers:
- £48 down to £12 – WOW!
- Buy one get TWO FREE – Spectacular!
- Today only, £10 instead of £42 – Incredible!
And it really is, incredible. I might even fall for it, get sucked right in and buy that bargain item, even knowing that the company have captured my data, dammit. However, I will only buy if I needed it anyway, or if I know I will use it in the future. Quite probably, I will then unsubscribe from the mailing list.
What Messages Do Special Offers Send?
Quite honestly, if I am being offered a £48 product from a company for £12, it makes me wonder what their mark-up is. The fact that a company could sell me a product at such a huge discount fills me with mistrust. How much are they adding on to every other product? There begins the slippery slope, I am losing my trust for that company. It gets worse, what if I choose to stay on the mailing list? Is it out of loyalty, or is it because I am hanging on for more ridiculously cut price offers? Why would I pay full price if I know there will be regular discount deals?
Treating Customers With Respect
A few years ago one could telephone an insurance company (for example) and tell them you were intending to leave, you would be put through to a ‘Customer Retention Department’ and given a huge discount to tempt you to stay. What about the loyal customers who chose to stay anyway? How much are they paying? What do those kind of ethics say about the company?
A Sustainable Solution
If I am going to choose to give a business my custom, I would prefer to know that I am paying an honest price, the same price that every other customer will be paying. I will trust them with my custom then. Years ago I worked with a business that refused to have sales. It had plenty of loyal customers, great turnover and a sustainable profit margin, all built on trust; the formula worked. I know it is a competitive market out there and sellers like Amazon don’t help, but if you can’t compete with Amazon on price, or delivery in 4 hours, you need to focus on a different USP. What works for you?