In the tech industry it’s common for start-ups to look to one another to start a symbolic relationship. One such partnership, between Gilt Groupe and Klout leveraged member’s social influence and email marketing to sell select items online last week, full email here. With building pressure to go public later this year, Gilt was hoping to score some brand ambassadors, while Klout is always on the prowl for partnerships to reward it’s members. A match made in heaven, one might think, and given the spike in both daily reach and daily attention in this past week we can see they surely gave people something to talk about.
While the main domain gilt.com fared well, it’s interesting to note that out of Gilt’s other properties jetsetter.com was the only one out of the other three that trended up, see the graphs below.
It’s apparent that this partnership made a splash in terms of people sharing about their experience, thought I do wonder if it will drive many sales. If we take a closer look at the promotion itself, at a glance it seems straightforward. For those of you that skim read the email (below), like I did, you’d think that the discount was in relationship to your Klout score (check) and was for Gilt.com (well, sort of). If you continue beyond the fold, you’ll note that this particular promotion was for items selected by ‘taste makers’.
From my experience on Thursday, there were very few items remaining by the time the 60% discount rolled around. Much like when major stores liquidate and go out of business, many of the more desired items are purchased at lesser discounts leaving lack-luster items left in the final days. While I appreciate the attempt at simplicity for the promotion, the approach was in my opinion quite shallow. If you want to wow me, offer something relevant to me. The data exists within Klout so you know that I’m influential about food. Given this small nugget of information, offer me a tiered discount on home goods, particularly kitchen items, or gourmet gilttaste.com items. If someone else is influential about fashion offer them a graduated discount on clothing and accessories that are going to be trendy this season, you get the point.
Overall, I enjoyed that Klout and Gilt came together to take a stab at pioneering social rewards. Additionally, I felt that the email and social media combination effort was well played, in the respect that they rolled out the promotions a day before each tier was offered, which accounts for the tiered daily attention and reach upward trend. From a social standpoint, getting others to post about the discount created nice word-of-mouth buzz. What could be improved upon was providing clarity to the misleading above the fold messaging and offering more stock and relavant items to members with higher scores and ideally more influence. While it was an interesting approach, the fact that select higher scoring Klout members choose items for the sale mattered much less (to me and I’m certain many others) than the selection overall. The key take aways would likely be that promotions such as these do garner excitement and buzz, but if you want your audience to remain excited and engaged make sure you offer something relevant and worthwhile.
In follow-up mailings it’s interesting to note that they didn’t filter people who are already customers of Gilt.com. Unless, yet again I’m confused about the offer, below it seems I should receive 60% off.
It’s a disappointing experience to click through for a 60% discount only to find that I’m already a member so it doesn’t pertain to me. I wonder if this is because of intricacy of the partnership in regard to list sharing, either way I’m certain that my hopes alone weren’t crushed under the prospect of an exciting discount that wasn’t actually intended for current customers. Whomp, whomp.
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.