The much-maligned daily deals segment gets a bit of a reprieve from a new survey by Constant Contact, whose respondents identified “deals” as the most effective new customer acquisition tool among a range of choices. However 82% of SMBs said their main source of new business was “referrals” (presumably word of mouth, which can be boosted by digital media).
The survey pool consisted of 1,305 Constant Contact SMB customers. The instrument asked a range of questions about customer acquisition, loyalty and engagement.
What’s most effective for acquisition?
- 53% — daily deals
- 51% — Internet ads
- 38% — web listing sites (presumably directories)
- 37% — social media ads
- 29% — online coupons
Comment: it’s interesting that there’s a distinction here between “online coupons” and “daily deals” and that the latter are more effective. In their current form daily deals are really a hybrid of email marketing and couponing.
It’s also interesting to note that social media ads fared well, given the high levels of skepticism about social media ROI among SMBs.
What’s most effective for engaging existing customers (loyalty)?
- 60% — online survey tools
- 56% — digital loyalty/frequent shopper tracking systems
- 46% — CRM systems
- 45% — email marketing
- 38% — contact management tools
Comment: I’m surprised that several choices beat out email marketing; however email may be the delivery mechanism of several of these tools. The fact that the number two most effective mechanism was “digital loyalty/frequent shopper tracking” suggests that these survey respondents are both larger (headcount, revenues) and more sophisticated than typical SMBs.
Which tools are effective at both attracting and engaging customers?
- 77% — websites
- 69% — blogs
- 60% — social media
- 59% — video sites, like YouTube
- 52% — event management tools
- 50% — email marketing
Constant Contact, which began as an email marketing platform, has evolved into a more complete marketing suite for SMBs. Many of the channels and tools identified in the survey are part of its product set.
The survey did not reveal the “firmographics” of its respondents (e.g., headcount, verticals, revenues).
Do any of these responses surprise you? Daily deals as the most effective new customer acquisition tool is a bit of surprise I would say.