10.2.17 Online Savings

Alicia’s Deals: How Her Trusted Savings Tips Helped Grow the Site to Serve Consumers Beyond Arizona

By: Jessica Sommerfield

The Crunch: More options have made today’s consumers more selective. They no longer rely on price comparison alone, but use recommendations from trusted sources to inform them about deals and purchases. As a frugal mother with a communications degree, Alicia Markham launched Alicia’s Deals in 2010 to share everyday savings opportunities with like-minded consumers. Alicia only shares deals she believes in — or personally uses. While she caters to her Arizona audience through local television appearances, Alicia continues to scale her online readership to help more people save money. Through Alicia’s Deals, she engages both local and online communities as a trustworthy, reliable source for daily discounts.

With countless shopping options, today’s consumers are shifting their focus to savings rather than just availability. They often read reviews, compare deals, and hold off on purchases until they find the lowest price or a timely coupon code for a brand they trust.

Consumers are also more likely to listen to advice and recommendations from peers when they shop, statistics show. A study commissioned by BigCommerce reveals that 42% of shoppers look to friends and family when making decisions about where to shop — twice the percentage of those who cite being influenced by advertisements.

Alicia Markham, Founder of Alicia’s Deals, is trusted by her audience to provide authentic savings tips.

As a frugal household shopper and mother, Alicia Markham, the Arizona-based founder of popular savings website Alicia’s Deals, has become that trusted source for her users — mostly women and mothers themselves — through transparency and commitment to deal quality.

In many households, women tend to be the primary shoppers making those ultimate purchasing decisions. In fact, women drive the consumer economy through their buying power and influence, so it makes sense that they’d be most likely to engage with savings tips and recommendations from someone like themselves.

By using her blog as a platform to share hand-picked deals and savings tips, Alicia is helping everyday consumers — starting with Arizona natives and spanning to savvy shoppers everywhere — stretch budgets and engage more confidently with local businesses across numerous channels.

Combining a Background in Broadcasting with a Dedication to Deals

During her years as a stay-at-home mom, Alicia learned that there are countless ways to save money on everyday expenses and live more frugally, and she developed a desire to share that passion with others. Her personal experience as a penny-stretching mom more than qualifies her as an authority on savings tips and vetting retail offers. And Alicia’s degree in communications from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University means she can convey her message effectively.

Alicia combined her enthusiasm for saving money with her broadcasting background, and launched her website — Alicia’s Deals in AZ — in 2010 to help people “live life better for less.”

In the seven years since its launch, her site has quickly grown a loyal following — especially among local consumers. Alicia’s Deals has been awarded Phoenix Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Blog/Website for three consecutive years and earned Arizona Foothills Magazine’s distinction as “Best Local Website.” Her seasonal deals are regularly featured on Arizona’s KTVK-3TV-powered website, azfamily.com.

Equally at ease finding deals as she is in front of a camera, Alicia frequently appears as a guest on consumer-focused segments on KTVK-3TV, and reporters often refer to her as the “Deals Diva.”

In the broadcasts — as on her site — Alicia provides consumers with personalized money-saving advice and guidance.

Hand-Picked Offers from a Frugal Mother’s Perspective

Blogs are often platforms for e-commerce, and affiliate advertiser marketing is common. While displaying ads or promoting marketing campaigns may provide a steady income for a site, the practice can also compromise the site’s content quality. Visitors looking to find a knowledgeable consumer perspective may begin to feel targeted with ads and question the intent of recommendations.

Alicia bucks this trend through her commitment to feature deals she does — or would — personally use. In doing this, she increases views and ad clicks for the companies and products she writes about, so some choose to pay her small affiliate marketing fees — a fact she readily shares with her readers.

Alicia selects only deals that she would be interested in as a stay-at-home mother of two trying to save money.

Many visitors find Alicia’s blog engaging because of its content style. Rather than organize her savings tips like a coupon or deal site, she introduces each offer with a personal greeting or anecdote. Her blog entries also share how she utilizes the offers in her pursuit of a frugal lifestyle.

When Alicia shares her savings experience with the products she endorses, she speaks to consumers as fellow mothers and friends rather than customers. In the age of personalization, this approach wins followers and promotes conversions for the retailers Alicia recommends.

Detailed Updates Alert Consumers to Savings on Goods & Services

Although Alicia’s Deals only features savings opportunities she would use, the site still highlights a wide variety of savings categories — including merchandise, services, and discount memberships — particularly within the Phoenix area.

To help her readers avoid the frustration of expired codes or inactive links, Alicia carefully maintains the offers she shares on her blog, removing expired coupons and promotions and following up with answers to any questions readers ask about specific deals.

Users can sign up for alerts from Alicia’s Deals through Facebook, or follow her on Twitter to see the latest offers.

Readers interested in viewing the most recent deals can sort by current offers. Many of these are one-day-only sales, and Alicia communicates that urgency. Those who want notifications of new deals and offers can subscribe to Alicia’s email list and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Growing Beyond Her Local Roots to Bring Deals to More Readers

Visitors to Alicia’s Deals — especially those within her state — trust her recommendations on products as they would a friend’s. As a native of Arizona, Alicia aims a significant portion of her deal-finding skills to her local audience. She grants Phoenix and greater-Arizona natives access to highly localized offers on merchandise, services, restaurants, venues, and even classes.

In partnership with her friends at KTVK-3TV, Alicia further broadcasts everyday savings opportunities to a local audience, boosting engagement with businesses in their communities.

While Alicia’s Deals maintains its unique local focus, its reach as an award-winning online blog extends to a wider audience by offering personally vetted deals from major retail brands and service providers available across the nation.

Consumers love to weigh their options, and when it comes time to purchase, they look to voices that understand and best represent their position as a consumer. Alicia’s Deals engages today’s consumers — mostly women and many of them mothers — with a familiar voice: a frugal mom committed to sharing deals on quality brands to save money.

About The Author

Jessica Sommerfield is a contributing writer for DealCrunch with over seven years of experience with online publications in the personal finance sector and other consumer-focused niches. Her 13 years of experience in brick-and-mortar stores prior to her writing career have also given her an insider’s perspective on the unique challenges that the retail industry faces.

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