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Deal-a-day group buying is a certain hit. But how important is it in the scheme of things for local media companies? For The San Diego Union-Tribune, deals represented “the number one new revenue growth,” in 2010, according to Mike Hodges, VP of interactive for the newspaper company, who was quoted in a recent UT article by Tamara Chuang.

More than 15 companies actively market deals in the San Diego area, and Hodges told Chuang that the market ought to take in more than $40 million in 2011. The UT is apparently grabbing a healthy share of those revenues, with a daily deal e-mail list topping 200,000 readers.

For the UT, however, deals are just part of a broader marketing platform for e-mail opt-in users. Other components include daily member promotions, typically for local resorts or retailers, and weekly deal mails, including deals from two San Diego-area vendors: BuxBack, which gives users money back on their credit card when they support registered merchants, and TipCity, a mobile deals provider for restaurants.

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