Matt Coen
If you’re looking for evidence that digital is making money for publishers, check out Second Street’s Promotions Lab. A provider of private-label online promotions platforms for media companies and brands, Second Street launched the website (secondstreetlab.com) in March. Visitors can read about trends, case studies and best practices provided by Second Street’s team of contesting and deal experts as well as other industry leaders.

According to Borrell Associates, online promotions, such as contests, deals, coupons and sweepstakes, are expected to reach $80 billion by 2017. Second Street president and co-founder Matt Coen said newspapers are in the best position to bring in new business and customers through this platform.

“Newspapers can promote a promotion through their brand and website, through their email database, or on social media,” he said. “They have the audience.”

Coen said the lab helps publishers in several categories, including driving revenue, building a database, growing an audience and executing promotions. Each of these categories ties in together, creating successful campaigns that have worked with publishers. Topic examples include “11 Tips for Selling Football Promotions” and “Six Tips for Selling Facebook Contests,” and visitors can learn how the Fresno (Calif.) Bee generated $50,000 from a Summer Fun deals store.

The lab also provides promotion ideas for sporting events, holidays, deals and email marketing. Coen said a popular resource is the 30 Contest Ideas in 30 Minutes webinar that shares the most successful and best practices that have worked for online promotions.

Anyone can access this information. Coen said, “We wanted to keep it open because we believe in this industry so strongly…the industry can benefit from this knowledge.” Coen also thanked his media partners for being so “open and transparent with what’s working for them.”

“They recognize that by providing this information they can give a little and gain a lot back,” he said.

When talking to publishers, Coen said many of them say, “Show us how to do it.” The lab is Second Street’s answer to that request.

“The lab focuses on the results,” he said. “It’s not based on what we think; it’s what we know. You see in real time what’s working and we’re happy to share it with the industry.” The lab welcomes submissions from guest contributors who want to share their experiences and perspectives with online promotions. They can be sent to marketing@secondstreet.com. 

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