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Niche Daily Deal Sites Offer New Opportunities for Small Businesses

This week's guest blogger is Jodi Samuels, co-founder of the New York-based daily deal website jdeal and blog network MetroImma.

Everyone wants a good deal. A few months ago, most people had never heard of Groupon, but now there are so many daily deal addicts, our wallets are bulging with coupons that we will hopefully have the time to use. The joy of going out for dinner and paying just $7 for a full course meal; of course, we actually paid $20 for the $40 voucher, but that was six months ago. This sense of satisfaction just motivates people to check out the website's daily deal the next morning.

As the market is maturing, niche sites are launching and deals are now targeted to better address specific needs and interests. Suburban moms can find details at sites like Mamapedia, which is in neighborhoods across the country, and guys can get big boy deals and grub on sites like Thrillist. Specific to their demographic, consumers can now find deals and other discounts more targeted to their needs. The consumer is happy, but the real value proposition benefits the merchant.

A niche daily deal site, like Jdeal which targets Jewish consumers, has almost 10,000 people on its email list plus a social media reach to 15,000 people. Now a quality venue hidden on a side street of the Upper West Side of Manhattan that relies on local clientele can suddenly reach a large audience who are incentivized to try them out. Of course, they create buzz in their local community, too. It also allows general businesses, like a comedy club, to target a niche demographic. If the comedy club was in a Jewish area offering kosher wine as part of a deal, it suddenly increases its market reach. In the old days, businesses targeting niche by audiences advertising in niche publications now, they will partner with daily deal sites that have the followers interested in their products and services.

For instance, a kosher restaurant previously had no incentive to participate in a general daily deal offering. Why give fifty % off to someone who most likely will not return again? The pitch of the daily deal site is that it's pay for performance marketing and allows a business to target customers. A target audience has the potential to majorly impact the return on investment.

Not-for-profits have a lot to learn from this, too. Many charities suffer donor fatigue and aging populations. Innovative deal offerings for target audiences can create buzz, attract attention and convert daily deal users into philanthropists too. For example, an eco-friendly website, The Green Half, offers built-in charity by donating 10% of sales to local charities.

Niche daily deal sites are on the rise and will continue to grow. While Groupon and Living Social will continuously fulfill a vast number of general consumer needs, consumers with a more focused vision of what type of discounts they want and need will use niche sites. Consumers will eagerly try niche deal sites by purchasing deals, then telling their friends with similar interests about them and sharing them with their networks, thus becoming loyal fans.

What have you done to get on the niche site bandwagon? If you stand there confused about where your marketing dollars are going and its time for something new, try something new. We all know the definition of insanity....