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Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Update to Top Search Queries data

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Update to Top Search Queries data: Webmaster level: All Starting today, we’re updating our Top Search Queries feature to make it better match expectations about search engin...

How Group Buying Websites (Daily Deals) works 2 ?

In the last post I presented some information about Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) websites like:
Group Buying websites (Daily Deals) definition and How does Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) websites really works, In this post I'll talk about the businesses that are better suited for group based promotions, a nice Buying websites (Daily Deals) revenue Calculator and present a Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) infographic from lab42.

let's start with what types of businesses that are best suited for Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) promotions?
The most common Daily Deals vouchers are about :
-Dining spots, such as restaurants, caf├ęs, coffee shops, and other similar businesses.
-Spa , Hotels , Arts & crafts , fitness , Parts and Accessories. 

The calculations of Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) revenue is easy if the local merchant keeps a good track of his costumers, this link includes a very nice Daily Deal revenue calculator, the calculator highlights some important elements the local merchant should consider it while evaluating is Daily Deals a profitable rewarding way of advertising for his business or not.
Example of the important elements : 
- Voucher actual value.
- Voucher price.
- Voucher sales expected.
- No. of Redeemed before voucher expiration date is reached.
- Sales with additional purchases.
- Average additional purchase amount (beyond voucher value).
- No. of Redeemers that become regular customers.
- Your revenue per voucher sale.
- Daily Deals website share per voucher sale.
The sheet includes some important elements & will help the local merchants a lot in considering all related factors while calculating their revenue from Daily Deals promotions.

Also the Lab42 "What's the deal with Daily Deals?" Infographic highlights some statistics for the local merchants to take into consideration before deciding whether to use Daily Deals website to promote his business or not , Lab42 asked of 500 daily deals users ( in USA ), determining which sites they use the most, how diligent they are at checking for new deals, and how much money they’re spending on them and found the following:
1- Most purchased vouchers are for Restaurants, comes next Spa & Hotles vouchers. 
2- 82% have returned to a business (at least one time) after purchasing their deal.
3- 61 % have let a deal expire before redeeming.

Lab42 says there are more than 660 deals sites online today, The most well known is Groupon, with 115 million subscribers, but saw a 50% dip in its web traffic since July, 2011, according to Hitwise, this dip will raise an important question, is Group Buying ( Daily Deals ) websites here to stay or soon will drop one after one out of the market ?
The Facebook leaves Daily Deals market news was chocking as it's just entered the market, Facebook started making offers in five cities starting in last April, including San Francisco, Atlanta and Dallas, and had a small sales team arranging deals with local merchants. But the company also ran offers that were set up by 11 other daily deal companies, including ReachLocal, GiltCity,, PopSugarCity and Zozi.

“After testing for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks, We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.” said Annie Ta, a spokeswoman for Facebook in California.
Facebook’s exit means Groupon has one less major competitor as it prepares for a $750 million initial public offering later this year.
The Deals project was introduced because the daily discount market has been predicted to bring in $3.93 billion in 2015 – a huge leap from $873 million last year.

“It is surprising that Facebook ended their deals product after just four months,” said Vinicius Vacanti, co-founder of, which aggregates daily deals and tracks the industry. “On the other hand, Facebook Deals had been an underwhelming product and experience.”

Facebook’s decision not to pursue the business may mean the company thinks the approach lacks merit.
“The Groupon group buying phenomenon is a commodity. There are no barriers to entry. It’s just not going to work because everybody offers it and therefore the margins go down,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at research firm Altimeter Group.
But Facbook leaving the market & Groupon 50% dip in its web traffic aren't quite perfect indicators to determine wether the Group buying websites ( Daily Deals ) will end soon or will see a growth as it is still new market and it's hard to predict what is going to happened.
At last you can check  Agrawals blog as its a great source of evaluating the Daily Deals Market provided by my friend Ahmed Tarek Elasra 

Resources :
- lab42
- arabian gazette
- Tomuse

How Group Buying Websites (Daily Deals) works?

Group Buying Websites (Daily Deals)  is one of latest trends in Web commerce, it's a way to use the Web to get a volume discount, Groups of consumers will band together to buy a particular good, and local Merchants will be forced to offer wholesale prices to these groups.
I'll try to gather all important information in a series of posts to explain all about Group Buying (Daily Deals) websites .

Group Buying websites (Daily Deals) definition:
Group buying ( Daily Deals) websites partner with local merchants to offer consumers products and services at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers would make the purchase.
Many of the group buying (daily deals) websites works by negotiating deals with local merchants and promising to deliver crowds in exchange of discounts. The group buying (daily deals) websites differ from other buying websites in how they work and what they do to reward users who share deals.

How does group buying ( Daily Deals) websites works? 
The merchant agrees to offer customers a specific product or service at a greatly discounted rate (usually 50% off or more) if the group buying website can generate more than the specified minimum number of sales chosen by the merchant. Once the minimum number of sales is reached, the deal becomes activated and all the customers that signed up for the deal become eligible.

What if the minimum number of sales isn’t reached? 
If the minimum number of orders isn’t reached then the deal is canceled, no one is able to take advantage of the deal.

How does group buying (daily deals ) websites really works ?
Group buying promotions are able to generate a large number of sales for the merchant in a short period of time. Usually these deals are only posted for a 24-hour period  ( but here in Egypt it may take longer, sometimes the offer is posted for a week) and the viral nature of this promotion means that sales can be on the order of hundreds to thousands of orders in a single day/week.
For many local business owners equates this to an entire month’s worth of sales that are obtained in just a single day/week.
While the business owner is only making 25% of the profits (Grouping websites takes 50% of sales) business owner (local merchants) would normally earn for a typical sale but they are willing to take this short-term loss for the following reasons:

1-Cash flow boost:
Payments for vouchers are processed by the collective/grouping buying website within a very short period after the deal is closed, and the local merchant will soon receive a quick boost in cash flow for that month.

2-Not everyone will redeem their voucher:
People are lazy and not everyone will show up to turn in their voucher to the merchant and take advantage of the deal ( a very true fact, me myself bought some vouchers & never redeemed them, I will refer to the exact percentage of customers that never redeem the vouchers in the next post)  .

3-Inexpensive, effective advertising:
Businesses spend a lot of money on advertising and yet it’s often very inefficient. Daily deals promoted by group buying websites are fairly inexpensive and they are much more effective at generating real sales rather than just increasing brand awareness.

4-New customers:
Local businesses are always looking to expand their client base and new customers are a necessity for doing so.
Daily deals are able to attract many new clients by offering discounts that get the first-time customer in the door.

5- Return customers: 
Businesses that use group buying (Daily Deal) website for marketing their products or services are hoping that the new customers that sign up for their deal will like what the local merchant offers and become a return customer.
In the coming post I'll provide more information about:
- Types of businesses that are better suited for group based promotions.
- How to calculate a daily deal revenue?
- Group buying ( daily deals ) websites listings worldwide.

Ultimate Guide to eMail Marketing Guidelines (Newsletters) - Part 1

eMail Marketing ( Newsletters ) Definition :
Email is an inexpensive yet effective way to reach an expansive audience relatively quickly.

The basic email marketing definition is the use of email to promote products and/or services. A better definition of email marketing is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients.

Business today is finding email marketing with newsletters attractive for several reasons:

1-The cost of sending a direct mail piece by postal service runs over a dollar, email marketing can cost pennies.

2- A one percent response rate from direct mail is considered terrific. An email marketing campaign can have a five to ten percent response rate.

3- According to DoubleClick's Email Consumer Study, over 78% of online shoppers have purchased because of permission-based emails and 59% of email recipients have bought in a retail store as a result of a merchant email.

4-The benefits of email marketing range from increased sales and lead generation to stronger brand awareness and improved customer relationships.

eMail Marketing ( Newsletters ) Tips And Tricks:

1- Catchy Subjects For Email Marketing:
Writing catchy subject lines is a first step towards email marketing success. Subject lines forms an overall impression of an email.
As you know, people decide to open an email or not just by reading a subject line. So to be successful with email marketing, you must learn how to write catchy subjects.

2-Include Current Date:
This is a very effective way to put a current date in a subject line. Most people look for an updated information.
By looking at a date in subject field, you show them that the information in this email is up-to-date. Also a research show that putting a current date instead of a subscribers' first name generates more hits.

3- Make it Short and Interesting:
Just as you go through the list, including your name, your subscribers name and a current date all together will make a subject line too long. It is entirely up to you how to balance all of them.
But make sure you write a short and an interesting subject material. Show them some interest depending upon your business category in your subjects to grab their attention.

Only a few words of the subject line will appear in your recipient's reading pane so keep it under a total of 50 characters. This usually means about 5 to 8 words. Remember to keep the most important words first!

The downfall of any email marketing campaign is SPAM. Avoid using items in your subject line that will increase the likelihood of being caught in spam filters. This means avoiding words such as "sale", "free", "advertisement". Also, avoid using excessive punctuation, ALL CAPS and symbols ($%*).

4-Write good headlines:
The first thing that you need to remember is to write good headlines. Newsletters are basically made up of several articles put together. Each of these articles needs a headline, with the main article being your primary headline.
A headline should be a short but descriptive phrase that tells the reader what the article is all about.

Besides being descriptive though, the header should also engage the interest of the reader. It should convey a kind of mystery or anticipation so that the readers can be tempted to read the whole article.

5-Be efficient with your word:
Remember that most email programs offer a preview window of about 4 inches. If that space is taken up with a graphic header or a block of text, people are likely to delete it. Headers can graphically enhance email messages, but they also can be distracting. If you choose to use one, design it on a smaller scale so that the header and one or two lines of text are seen in the preview window. This increases the likelihood that the recipient will scroll down and read your email.

Keywords in Newsletter Titles :

guide, accents, advisory, advocate, alert, almanac, briefs, briefing, bulletin
channel, connection, context, digest, dimensions, examiner, facts , file
focus, forecast, forum, highlights, horizons, hotline, insider, interchange
intercom, journal, keynote, letter, light, link, list, log, monthly, news
notes, perspective, post, profile, report, reporter, resources, review, scene
scope, spotlight, survey, tab, times, topics, trends, update, viewpoint
views, voice, weekly, wire, world

6- Appeal to your readers: 
Of course, good headlines will not really matter if you articles do not appeal to your readers. Always make sure that all the articles in your newsletter are related to the overall theme or purpose of the said newsletter.

For example, if you sell shoes, your newsletter can contain articles on jogging, fashion, back pain or even posture, and these are all topics that a reader may find interesting. By covering topics that indirectly or directly pertain to shoes, you are making a connection between your product and the articles. You can include a coupon in your newsletter, or simply insert a modest sized ad within the pages of your newsletter, and your prospects will be clever enough to make the connection between the article topics and your products.

7- Include Quality Content:
By focusing on the content of your newsletter, you will be supplying the prospects with information that they can use. Remember that this is not an overt sales mechanism. A newsletter should contain news, and it is another venue for you to get your brand in front of your customer.
So by including information on topics related to your product, you are indirectly marketing your product, and you are providing the subscriber with interesting and relevant content that really interests them. If you always give your subscribers something of value, then they will look forward to receiving your email.

Ideas for eMarketing Newsletters content:
A- Problem / solution.
B- How-to.
C- Top tips.
D- Opinion / analysis.
E- Look into the future.
F- Case study.
G- Seasonality.
H- Reviews.
I- Educational content.
J- "Best of".
K- Surveys / feedback request.
L- Event recommendations.
M- Resource links.
N- Amusing or inspirational stories and quotes.
O- Answering feedback.
P- Interviews.
Q- Quizzes.

8-Create a Clear Call to Action in Email Marketing Campaigns:
One of the crucial elements of an email marketing campaign is a clear call to action.
A- Lay out exactly what you want the recipients of your message to do, and
B- Design the message to make that path clear for the recipient, and easy to follow.

Also you must develop curiosity among your subscribers:
The general thumb of rule in writing a catchy subject lines is to bring curiosity in readers.
Using words like Secrets, 7 steps to, Are You Satisfied etc. Are some of the example words you can include in your subject material to develop curiosity in your subscribers.
Invoke their mind by putting such call to action words and phrases.

For Example, User Questions Mean Great Content for Newsletters

If you wonder about the "useful content" part, pondering what could be most interesting for your readers, Turn to your email archive and look for recent questions that your users had.

Chances are you can answer them easily, and chances are the answers make highly useful pieces of information for not only the person who submitted the query but for all your newsletter subscribers.

9- Use images:
Images are a good way to enhance the look of the message, but you should only use one or two per message. If there are multiple images or photos, include a link for the user to access them. Also, If you decide to include images, compress files to make them smaller (in storage size) so they don't take up a lot of space in the recipient's mailbox.

Because email software varies, be sure to have an HTML version and a plain-text version to send. Most email marketing software is able to determine which version is better suited for the recipient's inbox.

10- How to Monitor Email Effectiveness:

A- Experiment with Link Placement in Newsletters:

The place a newsletter or email marketing campaign a link appears at can be crucial for click-through.
Consequently, which link goes where can be crucial for the success (if measured in click-through rates) of any email marketing effort, That's why you should " Experiment with link placement in your newsletter" .

Use consecutive issues to vary the placement of standard links. Monitor click-through rates closely to determine which link works best in a certain position, and in which position a link works best.

B- Send the email to colleagues or friends:

Make them review the subject line and gain their opinions and insight., Use them as your test audience. Don't forget to send it to yourself - would you open it?  Encourage everyone to be honest and objective.

C- For additional tracking data:

Send the same email out to random samples of your group with different subject lines. Track and evaluate which email generates more interest and use similar subject lines in future email marketing campaigns.

D-Watch your numbers:

Every time you send out a newsletter, you should get a nice report on how many people opened the email or clicked on a link etc. Use those reports to learn about reader interests. If a particular subject line caused open rates to rocket, you know where to focus more content in the future.

Examine your website reports, too. Which parts of the website are most popular? What words and phrases do people use to find you in the search engines? What words and phrases do they use in your on-site search facility?

All of this information gives clues as to the kind of content topics likely to interest people most.

If your system is clever enough, you might even track which search terms brought those people to your site who then signed up for your newsletter.

E-Go where your readers go:

Look at the pages they visit and learn what interests them. Check out relevant newsgroups, online forums, discussion lists, social networking sites, chatrooms, media sites, blogs etc. and pick out the topics that seem to generate a lot of interest and coverage among your readership.

11- At last Provide Clear Opt Out Instructions:
A- Make it Easy for Subscribers to Change Their Email Address
provide subscribers with an easy to way to change their address., The most simple approach is probably also the best:
- on the page that allows readers to unsubscribe, offer another field where they can subscribe a new address (carrying over all their data) and change the link to that page in the newsletter from "unsubscribe" to "unsubscribe/change address".

B- Any email marketing campaign is about building trust with your subscribers, so you always want to give them what they want. If your subscriber wants to opt out of your newsletter, do not make it hard for them to do so. All you will do is alienate them and very likely lose a customer prospect. If you let people opt out easily, then you will build a reputation that is respected in your niche. When people know that they are not trapped into receiving your newsletter, they may also decide to opt back in, Make Sure Unusbscriptions are Effective Immediately.

the following 2 parts will discuss Newsletters Design Templates & eMail Marketing Best Practices.

Sources :

    *  Beach, M. (1995). Editing your newsletter. 4th edition. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books.
    * Bivins, T. H. (1992). Fundamentals of successful newsletters: Everything you need to write, design, and publish more effective newsletters. Chicago, IL: NTC Business Books.
    * Floyd, E. (1997). Marketing with newsletters. St. Louis, MO: Newsletter Resources.
    * Harrower, T. (1998). The newspaper designer's handbook. 4th edition. Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill.

Google Analytics feature: Analytics Intelligence & Custom Alerts

Analytics Intelligence a new feature in Google Analytics

First of all God bless Google :D

Google launched a lot of features the past few months in Google Analytics and Google webmasters Tools. We will start to explain each feature in the coming few posts and will start immediately with recent launched feature  “ Analytics Intelligence ”.

Analytics Intelligence was launched 2 days ago on 6 Nov. , as you notice the feature is still new , so we don’t have a great experience with Analytics Intelligence but we will provide you with the Basic information about Analytics Intelligence .

Analytics Intelligence  will provide automatic alerts of significant changes in the data patterns of your site metrics and dimensions over daily, weekly and monthly periods. For instance, Intelligence could call out a 300% surge in visits from YouTube referrals last Tuesday or let you know bounce rates of visitors from Virginia dropped by 70% two weeks ago. Instead of you having to monitor reports and comb through data, Analytics Intelligence alerts you to the most significant information to pay attention to, saving you time and surfacing traffic insights that could affect your business. Now, you can spend your time actually taking action, instead of trying to figure out what needs to be done.

Custom Alerts make it possible for you to tell Google Analytics what to watch for. You can set daily, weekly, and monthly triggers on different dimensions and metrics, and be notified by email or right in the user interface when the changes actually occur.

The Video will help you a lot Watch Analytics Intelligence  .

Source: Google Analytics Blog