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Xmas Marketing?
Thread poster: Diana Coada

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Nov 4, 2011

This is something I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. I've read about it in the ''Entrepreneurial Linguist'' (highly recommended!) and was wondering if any of you has ever done any ''10% Xmas discount'' and so on to attract new customers.

I would be very interested to hear about everyone's experience with this! And if you've never tried anything like this - would you give it a shot?

Cheers!icon_smile.gif


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No. Nov 4, 2011

Diana Coada wrote:

This is something I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. I've read about it in the ''Entrepreneurial Linguist'' (highly recommended!) and was wondering if any of you has ever done any ''10% Xmas discount'' and so on to attract new customers.

I would be very interested to hear about everyone's experience with this! And if you've never tried anything like this - would you give it a shot?

Cheers!icon_smile.gif





No.

[Edited at 2011-11-04 12:28 GMT]


 

Ana Malovrh  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 04:52
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
I don't need to Nov 4, 2011

I get more work around Xmas and I don't offer any special discounts during this time of year.

The frequency of low volume and rush jobs is higher anyway.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:52
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No. Nov 4, 2011

This is a busy time of the year because many translators in the Christian world prefer to spend the holidays with their families. So there's no need for any discounts.icon_smile.gif

 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
English to French
+ ...
see my post Nov 4, 2011

Here in the USA, it used to be that post-Thanksgiving was very slow, because budgets were exhausted. Now, that slowness has extended to the entire year.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
English to German
+ ...
No. Nov 4, 2011

Diana Coada wrote:

This is something I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. I've read about it in the ''Entrepreneurial Linguist'' (highly recommended!) and was wondering if any of you has ever done any ''10% Xmas discount'' and so on to attract new customers.

I would be very interested to hear about everyone's experience with this! And if you've never tried anything like this - would you give it a shot?



There are marketing approaches that work fine for retail stores but they are absolute nonsense in other industries. Have you ever heard of any attorney, a consultant or a psychiatrist who offers seasonal discounts? Probably not, because they don't sell merchandise off the shelf. Neither do we. Also: Before retailers with full stock rooms offer a 10% discount, they mark up their prices by 10%. Or 15%.

In our industry you just sound needy and "under-booked" if you come up with such "strategies".


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What? Nov 4, 2011

No! I would say that it looks rather unprofessional...

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Hebrew to English
Unnecessary Nov 4, 2011

I think by making yourself available over Christmas (or any other mass-celebrated holiday), you are already offering something (your services) which aren't being offered by others (translators who decide not to work over xmas etc, who are too busy with tinsel or wrapping presents etc).

Your availability over these periods is your competitive edge, you don't need to throw price into the mix too...

...In fact, clients may even be inclined to pay more reasonable rates with a shallower translator pool to go fishing in, so why offer less? You're shooting yourself in the foot.

[Edited at 2011-11-04 14:04 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Wondering Nov 4, 2011

I'm wondering what other business tips are offered in that book.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No! Nov 4, 2011

Awkward proposal indeed. We always do something special for our customers when Christmas comes, as we try to show our appreciation for a good business year with them, but a "Christmas discount" never crossed my mind!icon_smile.gif

 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe I should change the title of the post... Nov 4, 2011

The Xmas thing is one of many examples. What's wrong with saying something like ''No surcharge for processing dead pdfs in December'' or placing a note on an invoice saying ''10% off the next project you place with us'' for example?

Don't lawyers/accountants and so on offer free consultations?

I fail to see this as needy or unprofessional.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What's the connection? Nov 4, 2011

Is anybody, anywhere, giving 'a translation' as a Xmas gift? Is there any unusually low or high demand for translations in this period?

Last discounts I gave were because the USD-BRL exchange rate suddenly hiccupped to a peak. Clients willing to take the chance for a generous discount against paying COD (before the USD went down again) were quite grateful. I was paid the usual amount after conversion to BRL, but they saved some money in this process.

Yesterday I was discussing my policy with a colleague... Some clients pay me via PayPal, which deducts 7.5% in fees from whatever I receive through them. If US clients (it doesn't work elsewhere) pay me via Xoom instead, it costs them USD 5 per payment, and I receive the full amount. So I give these Xoom-paying clients a 7.5% discount for timely payment.

If I saw any reason to give discounts because it's Xmas, Mother's day, Independence Day in Lower Slobovia (is it independent already?icon_smile.gif ), whatever, I'd simply lower my rates overall.


 

Ana Malovrh  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 04:52
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
lawyers and discounts? Nov 4, 2011

Don't lawyers/accountants and so on offer free consultations?


I don't think they do. Well, I never heard about such an offer.

What I did see on the internet was, that some (especially new) translation agencies in Slovenia offer discount on the first order from a new client regardless of the season.

I don't think this is a good strategy though.

This only attracts clients who would like to save some money on translations. I would like to know how many of these clients turn to regular, well paying clients.

If you feel you should offer something for free, why don't you offer free consultations too?


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Hebrew to English
Different Perspective: Is it appropriate? Nov 4, 2011

Discounts. Love 'em or hate 'em, they exist. New customer discounts, volume discounts, CAT related discounts ad nauseum...

(Personally, I avoid discounting anything, I don't currently use CAT and my position on "volume" discounts is too long to go into here..)

Aaaanyway, back to the point. Xmas discounts. My first question would be why?. Who are you discounting for? Your clients? You? - because Christmas is important to you? Whilst 33%-ish of the world may adhere to Christianity (if figures are to be believed http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm) that means that 67% of the world doesn't and probably doesn't care too much about xmas either.

I understand the festive spirit, but clients are clients. They aren't your friends or family. You aren't expected to buy them presents (or give them discounts), or send them Christmas cards.

Also, it just may be that clients from a non-Christian background don't appreciate the special treatment on the basis of a messianic figure's birthday that they personally don't believe in. (Impossible to predict client sensitivities but why play with fire?).

In addition, might not some clients expect the same respect to be given to their holy holidays. Might you get requests for Eid discounts, Diwali discounts, Hanukah discounts etc. and if not, why not?

And if this is the case, you'll find yourself with an almost constant stream of discounts (it's difficult for more than a few months to go by without a major religious holiday - although they do tend to be clustered from Sep-Dec for the abrahamic religions - which would still hit your wallet/purse quite hard).

The proposal of xmas discounts seems to me to be a double-edged sword. You may run the risk of alienating just as many clients as you might gain.

I may be exaggerating somewhat, and I'm not going to accuse you of being unprofessional or anything like that (translator discounts ultimately fall onto the individual translator to decide on, it's a personal decision), but for me, I fail to see the economic wisdom or tangible benefits arising from it that would justify the risk.

Just ask yourself, is it really appropriate?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
It is just opposite to what I have been doing Nov 4, 2011

There are a couple of week-long holidays in China, when most translation agencies and freelancers don't work. In these days many companies approached me because their low-fee translators are not available. I put a 25% surcharge and I still got a lot of assignments, because the agencies are desperate to find someone to get their jobs done.

I made about 1/3 of my annual income in these holidays


 
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