Using Discount Codes To Track Advertising Efforts

Great look at how discounts codes can help small business owners track the performance of their advertising/marketing efforts more accurately.


This short post on using discount codes to track advertising/marketing efforts looks at the poster below...

... and how the producer is using the promise of a 10% discount to motivate the ticket-buyer into doing something they otherwise would not care about in the least – helping the producer track the effectiveness of their various advertising and marketing efforts.

The Problem With Profitable Delivery

The goal to aggressively increase profit from floral delivery fees presents some serious problems for florists, and the industry, that are often overlooked.

Over the last few decades the floral industry has changed the way it approaches delivery fees. At one point delivery was, at least in many places, included free of charge. Then it was heavily subsidized.

Later it became a break-even proposition, then a profit center. Now florists are often encouraged to aggressively pursue greater profits from delivery fees. Making money in the flower business is very difficult, and pricing in the flower business is a very complicated subject, but high delivery fees overlook some known facts:


Everybody Hates Delivery Fees

The research on this is overwhelming...

Econsultancy found that 74% shoppers abandoned baskets due to high shipping costs.

Amazon Prime was introduced because so many people abandoned their carts once they saw delivery fees. Prime uses what is known as a high-low pricing model to take the sting out of ordering from Amazon – Prime members don't have to pay shipping and buy much more often as a result.


You Can't Assume A Dialog

It is often said that if customers don't complain about delivery fees they don't mind paying them. That is a big assumption.

If you're in a restaurant and are surprised by the high prices, you aren't likely to complain about them or start a conversation on pricing with the owner. Instead you are likely to order less, and not go back.

This is the other glass ceiling, the one comprised of consumer expectations, and breaking it is dangerous. Your customers will leave, and they aren't likely to tell you why.


Everybody Hates A Monopoly

We're the only ones that can do it!

It is often pointed out that only real local florists can offer same day delivery. Floral drop shippers can't do it, and order gatherers can't do it without a real local florist to fill for them.

Since local florists are the only ones that can charge for local delivery, nobody will mind them charging a lot for it... at least that is how the argument goes.

Really? Do consumers really like it when business take advantage of a monopoly to jack their prices? Before Netflix and streaming became popular did people feel good about their cable bill?


Delivery is expensive to provide, and "free" may not be an option. Bundling is one option, one that works very well in other industries, but being reasonable with delivery fees is absolutely critical. Remember – the pizza guy does mostly out-and-back deliveries for a much smaller fee.

Being too aggressive opens the door for competition shown in the picture. These flowers will, almost certainly, be absolutely terrible. But the distaste for delivery fees is so powerful, and the appeal of free delivery so compelling, that this store will take some business away from local florists.


Attempted Guilt Trip Backfires

Earlier today I was listening to one of the stations on Soma FileMaker – a listener-supported, commercial-free internet-only streaming music service. Between songs they launched into a request for donations and, sure enough, I started feeling really guilty.

Why? Because I have been listening to their stations for years and I have never donated anything. I was a freeloader, and feeling lousy about it.

Then they made a big mistake in their approach. It started out OK, something like this:

"Less than 10% of Soma FileMaker listeners..."

Ahhh... social proof. They're going to saying that less than 10% of listeners don't contribute – freeloaders just like me, piggybacking on the generosity of the vast majority of good people that do donate. Pointing out that most people, 90+ plus, do contribute would have made me feel even worse.

But that isn't what they said. Instead the thought went like this:

"Less than 10% of Soma FileMaker listeners contribute..."

Now that makes it a whole different thing! Almost everybody is a freeloader! Why should I feel bad when nine out of ten people are doing the exact same thing as me? And Why would I have any interest whatsoever in funding free radio for those other nine deadbeats?

Their logic makes some sense. They must have assumed that stressing just how little support they get would prompt other people to take action.

But the great research of Dr. Robert Cialdini suggests the exact opposite – most people would have the same reaction I did. Why bother to pay when nobody else does?

Instead they would have been much better off stressing how many people do pay. That "social proof" that most people contribute to a service they enjoy using, would have prompted me to contribute too.

Eight Year Old Persuasion Expert

I am fascinated by the work of Dr. Robert Cialdini in the fields of influence and persuasion and have studied it for years, trying to better understand it. This past weekend I watched my eight year old son effortlessly and expertly apply two of Dr. Cialdini's Principles of Persuasion.

He had been given some candy earlier in the day and, right before bedtime, asked if he could eat the whole thing. This actually got a chuckle from me and we told him no, absolutely not.

He didn't complain or tell us that we weren't being fair. He just calmly (and cheerfully) asked us if instead he could just have one bite.

Not fighting back or complaining? If you have kids you know that means a lot and, on some level, we clearly interpreted that as a pretty major concession on his part.

And that made it very hard to say no to his much smaller followup request. When he asked if instead he could have just one bite the principle of reciprocity meant that we almost had to say yes, and he was one step closer to getting what he really wanted.

By getting that first small "yes" my son had also invoked the commitment and consistency principle. Something had changed... eating candy write before bed was no longer absolutely forbidden, it was something that we were obviously open to. And it couldn't be all that bad, because we're good parents, and we had agreed to let him eat a little...

When he made his next request, that he just be allowed to go ahead and eat the whole thing, the yes was automatic. It didn't even occur to me until later.

Defending Against Bad Yelp Reviews

Review site Yelp is very important for small business owners. The facts are overwhelming – a claimed and well-maintained site on Yelp is incredibly beneficial for any small business including flower shops. Unfortunately looking after a Yelp page is less fun than pursuing likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter and it tends to get neglected.

Part of frustration is that with Yelp business owners can be feel powerless – you aren't supposed to solicit reviews, and there isn't much you can do when a bad review pops up. Feeling out of control isn't fun and in many cases it seems easier to just leave Yelp alone.

A great new Yelp infographic might change that. It gives business owners a clear plan of attack for getting good Yelp reviews and, as much as possible, managing the bad ones.

Roaches and rat droppings... no big deal.

Something very strange happened not far from my neighbourhood a few years ago. Some of the most affluent members of the community were suddenly telling anybody who would listen that rodent droppings and roaches in a grocery store were no big deal.

Why? Because it happened in their grocery store. The same exclusive, high-end grocery store they had been supporting financially and championing for years as being the finest store of it's kind. It was preferable to ignore something they would have fund appalling had it happened one of the less exclusive stores on the same street.

The full post is on my personal site.