Dollars Off Promos Work Best Online: Web Site Owners

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Dollars-off discounts outperform all other types of promotions, according to executives at high-traffic Web sites.

Twenty two respondents to a survey done by pay-for-performance marketing services provider Performics gave dollars-off promotions an 8.6 out of 10 rating when asked to evaluate their performance.

Coupon offers and free shipping came in second and third respectively with 8.3 and 8 ratings respectively.

Percent-off promotions ranked fourth with a 7.7 rating. Free gift with purchase promotions ranked fifth with a 7.6 rating. Buy one, get one free ranked sixth with a 7.5 rating. Sales (as in summer clearance, for example) ranked seventh with a 7.4 and holiday promotions got a 6.7 rating. Free gift wrap came in last with a 5.9 out of 10 rating.

"I think the lesson here is that marketers sometimes try and get too complicated with their promotions online, when simpler is better," said Kate Bergin, vice president of marketing, Performics, Chicago. "Holiday-themed promotions take a lot of organization, and while these promotions are certainly worth the effort offline, I think we have to think a little differently online."

She added that partner sites are also more likely look more favorably dollars-off promotions and others they ranked highly.

"They'll be more likely to take these and run with them because they've had good experiences with them," she said.

Respondents included,, Ask Jeeves, Ebates,, Upromise, and


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