February 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Dell launches first Twitter-only promotion

In the first of what the retailer says will be many exclusives, Dell Outlet’s 11,000-plus followers on Twitter this week find offers not available elsewhere.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Dell today launched its first Twitter-exclusive sale on the fast-growing social network, offering 30% off a particular model of Dell notebook computer. Twitter participants who’ve signed up to follow Dell Outlet on the social network will find the offer on their Twitter home pages; the offer, though visible on the Dell Outlet home page, won’t be promoted anywhere else.

Dell, which also announced the campaign in its Direct2Dell blog, says the offer is the first of what will be many Twitter exclusives as it continues to try to build its base of more than 11,000 Dell Outlet followers on the network. The company, which has experimented with different frequencies of communication to customers via Twitter, says it is settling into a regular pattern of one to two tweets a week regarding what’s happening at its online Dell Outlet store. A tweet is a very brief in-the-moment update that a Twitter user-an individual or an organization-posts for his followers on the network.

Dell credits at least $1 million in revenue to Twitter, which it began using in March 2007 as a medium to notify Twitter users of occasional sales. Bob Pearson, vice president of communities and conversation at Dell, says Twitter’s influence on sales is likely larger than the $1 million it can directly tie to the network.

“This is our way of saying thank you,” says Pearson of the Twitter-exclusive offers campaign.

Dell has more than 80 properties on Twitter internationally, including the Dell Outlet-focused page in the U.S. as well as Dell Outlet pages for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Dell’s other Twitter properties focus on such areas as new systems, small business and home office customers.

Dell Inc. is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Dell’s Stuart Wallock, senior manager of global community and personalization, will present a session at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston, entitled How product ratings and reviews affect more than just sales.

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