October 25, 2012, 11:12 AM

RetailMeNot extends the holiday season into October

The coupon company’s OctoNovemCember campaign lures shoppers with daily deals.

Lead Photo

RetailMeNot has dubbed its holiday mascot Pumpkin-Headed Turkey Claus.

What has the head of a pumpkin, the body of a turkey and the outfit of Santa? The Pumpkin-Headed Turkey Claus, the mascot of coupon web site RetailMeNot.com’s latest campaign to appeal to deal-hungry shoppers for the holiday season, which RetailMeNot has dubbed “OctoNovemCember.”

The site pushed the holiday season into October after conducting a survey in mid-August of more than 1,000 adults with children under the age of 18. The survey found those shoppers want to access holiday deals far earlier than Thanksgiving week, which has typically been the first wave of promotions, says Jill Balis, RetailMeNot’s senior vice president of marketing.

That finding led RetailMeNot to invent OctoNovemCember to promote Black Friday-like deals throughout the extended holiday period, she says. Black Friday refers to the Friday following Thanksgiving.

To highlight OctoNovemCember, RetailMeNot added a “holiday” tab at the top of RetailMeNot.com. When a shopper clicks the tab, he is taken to the OctoNovemCember page that features a daily deal at the top of the page, with holiday-specific coupons listed beneath and holiday coupon categories along the side to help customers navigate the promoted offers.

The daily deal is considered the day’s best offer, Balis says. 

“Part of the idea was to get people to the site every day to see what deals we have and make sure they can keep shopping every day,” she says. “And it’s a great opportunity for our partners to get extra exposure.”

The page also features content, including YouTube videos of Pumpkin-Headed Turkey Claus, a Twitter feed featuring the mascot’s tweets, a humorous FAQ about the three-month holiday and articles about holiday items, such as how to dress like Lady Gaga for Halloween. RetailMeNot is also holding a weekly sweepstakes for a $1,000 shopping spree that consumers enter by sharing the latest OctoNovemCember video on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail. The first video launched a few weeks ago and has already garnered more than 1.3 million views.

RetailMeNot is promoting OctoNovemCember in e-mails, via social media, and with display ads, affiliate bloggers and street teams in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, Balis says. Those teams dress up as Pumpkin-Headed Turkey Claus and share coupon deals with consumers.

The goal, she says, is to drive traffic to the site.

“This holiday campaign will destroy the previous [site] metrics,” she says, adding that RetailMeNot expects 450 million site visits this year compared with 300 million last year.

Although RetailMeNot did not create an OctoNovemCember feature for its mobile app, the top holiday deal appears each day when consumers open the app, Balis says, adding that her team may add holidays to the app next year. 20% of RetailMeNot’s traffic comes from mobile, she says.

RetailMeNot also recently added to the site a page devoted to free shipping coupons, she says, since multiple studies show that free shipping remains a top priority among holiday shoppers.

Operated by WhaleShark Media Inc., RetailMeNot posts about 500,000 coupons from tens of thousands of retailers each day on its site, according to Balis.

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