The "flash sale." Frankly, I've always wondered what those words really mean. This Wikipedia entry kind of cleared things up, while also cracking me up: "Deal-of-the-day (also called flash sales or one deal a day) is an e-commerce business model in which a website offers a single product for sale for a period of 24 hours to 36 hours. Potential customers register as members of the deal-a-day websites and receive online offers and invitations by email or social networks.
"As of 2011, deal-of-the-day sites have continued to grow in popularity, although new concerns have arisen over the longevity of the concept and the financial viability of one-day deals for small businesses." Well, now it's late in 2013, and the concept clearly is still clicking with consumers.
One peek into Who's Mailing What! — the most complete library of email and direct mail in the world, in which you can track companies and all their campaigns — reveals that among retail traffic builders, the use of "flash sale" in the subject line remains very popular.
For example, look at some subject lines from Ann Taylor in 2013: "MYSTERY flash sale! What will you SAVE?"; "Fashion Flash Sale! 50% Off SALE (In-Store & Online)"; "FLASH! FLASH! FLASH!"; and "In the mood for a FLASH SALE tonight?" Clearly, Ann Taylor is in the mood, for it's used "flash sale" in at least 14 emails this year alone.
In contrast, The Company Store hasn't sent many flash sale emails. In fact, among the 133 emails captured by Who's Mailing What! this year, only one recent email used the flash-sale strategy. However, The Company Store clearly did its homework.
The subject line grabs attention with orange type and the first words in all caps, "FLASH SALE," and then the precise offer, "Buy ANY Towel, Get One 50% OFF!"