Transactional Marketing: Opposites Transact
Imagine a massive clothing store with hundreds, if not thousands of articles of clothing aimed at men, women, and children of all shapes, sizes, styles, and demographics. How would you increase the number of purchased items in a given day?
Hold a sale? Create a membership program? Coupon? Groupon? Shoop-on? I made that last one up, but if you answered any of the previous suggestions, you already have a firm grasp on Transactional Marketing, even if you've never heard the term before.
Catering to a segment of society is often the basis for most forms of marketing; that, or tailoring user experience down to the individual level. Transactional marketing is like painting with the broadest brush imaginable, which is ideal if you have a massive market to approach.
Transactional marketing is grounded in the simple fact that all groups of people, no matter what their age, race, economic background, ideology, or even haircut...all want to save money on things that they perceive have value.
As such, this form of marketing is about creating value by comparison with savings. A coupon that brings 5 dollar pints of ice cream down to $2.50 immediately gives value to the ice cream, and indicates that it can be attained for less. The ice cream may be worth a dollar, but the sale makes it worth more just by means of comparison.
There is a huge risk of being greedy, though. Amazon has often been brought in line over having massive "discounts" on items that were, merely days before said sales, worth the same or even less than the lower rate. It has created so much mistrust that now there are apps to compare major retailers, Amazon included, to determine if they've taken Transactional marketing to a disingenuous extreme.
The lesson here? If you have a big market, creating perceived value and then offering lower rates can bring in any kind of customer. Taking it too far will create mistrust and ultimately hurt your business. And if you have a membership program...have an actual reward. There needs to be a fiscal carrot for the stick of getting frequent emails from a business.