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When is bulk BULK and how much discount do you give?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by what, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. #1
    How many articles do you consider a BULK project? Do you have special discounts for bulk projects? How much do you usually give?
    SEMrush
     
    what, Jul 29, 2008 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. bon300187

    bon300187 Peon

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    #2
    Hmm good question, I guess it depends on the client.

    For example I have been working with a client for a number of months now and I never gave him a bulk discount because he was ordering little and often, as a good will gesture we agreed on a reduced price for all his future work.

    I guess if someone off DP (new client) wanted a bulk discount I would consider anything 10+ a bulk order. When it comes to how much I would probably offer 10% but it's been a while since I looked around the content creations section so I'm not sure if people generally offer more discount.

    I'm sure some other people will comment from their experience shortly,

    Hope this helps.

    Richard
     
    bon300187, Jul 29, 2008 IP
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  3. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #3
    For articles, I have a bulk rate for 5 - 10 articles and a higher discount for 11+ articles.

    For press releases, I have bulk rates for 3, 5, and 10 releases.

    As Richard said, it can really depend on the client (and the type of writing).
     
    jhmattern, Jul 29, 2008 IP
  4. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith Peon

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    #4
    Our standard discounts are....

    10 articles or more 4% discount
    50 articles or more 9% discount
    100 articles or more 11% discount

    JohnT
     
    Wordsmith, Jul 29, 2008 IP
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  5. @phang

    @phang Active Member

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    #5
    For press releases I also use 3, 5, and 10 as a marker for bulk discounts.
    Other content varies depending on the client.
     
    @phang, Jul 29, 2008 IP
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  6. what

    what Active Member

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    #6
    Thank you all for the replies! I guess 10 articles or more are considered bulk. I've always given discounts but only for orders of 20 articles and more :D
     
    what, Jul 29, 2008 IP
  7. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #7
    For writing, I give 0% off for bulk orders.

    Why would I want to work more for less money? Seriously, you service providers make no sense to me. ;)

    What I have done is throw in something for free (or at a discount), such as a free article or whatever. That's much different than a price discount.
     
    marketjunction, Jul 30, 2008 IP
  8. what

    what Active Member

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    #8
    Thank you for that valuable tip! I think I like that one better :) How many articles before you throw one for free?
     
    what, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  9. wordscientist

    wordscientist Peon

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    #9
    I was thinking the same thing. I have never given a discount for bulk orders (and I don't think any clients ever asked). Then again, I already offer a competitive rate for my services. If I could command $1+ a word like some writers do, then maybe I could afford to offer discounts. :p
     
    wordscientist, Jul 31, 2008 IP
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  10. amanamission

    amanamission Notable Member

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    #10
    We used to offer bulk discounts, but discovered that it makes no sense to essentially pay a client to monopolize your time. The only reason to do this is as a negotiation tactic-and one hard lesson we've learned is that you're stuck with the deal you've struck. For long-term clients, giving a discount on each project shaves away the profitability of the exercise.

    Instead, we earn customer loyalty by delivering little extras and irreplaceable quality.
     
    amanamission, Jul 31, 2008 IP
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  11. TheVccMatey

    TheVccMatey Peon

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    #11
    I usually give those discounts depending on the niche. And bulk is considered as bulk above 20 articles IMHO
     
    TheVccMatey, Jul 31, 2008 IP
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  12. vipturk

    vipturk Peon

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    #12
    Depends on the niche as thevccmatey
     
    vipturk, Jul 31, 2008 IP
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  13. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #13
    All you'd be doing is compounding the problem.

    Think about that for a minute. Let's say you normally charge enough to make $100 an hour and you give a bulk order a 10% discount.

    You're now losing $10 an hour. I don't care how much money I have, working and losing $10 an hour would suck.

    But hey, whatever floats your boat. :D
     
    marketjunction, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  14. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #14
    True, but I much prefer that than what other folks do - investing extra time in offering free articles in addition to the paid set, or investing extra time in creating other products to add value (which are fine for the first bulk order, but don't offer incentive for regulars). I've found that the discounts are an excellent way of turning 1-press release / 1-article clients into much longer-standing clients who spend far more with me overall. And I'd much rather those bulk orders at a little bit less than investing more time in marketing and dealing with extra time in extra admin managing far more single-order clients. I've also found that the bigger corporate clients are actually the ones who react best to the bulk discounts, and those are the types of clients that have also led to some of my best referrals for additional work. If it didn't work well, I wouldn't do it. :p Like anything else you do to get clients, it's just marketing - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it as long as you properly set your rates to begin with, accounting for those discounts up front.
     
    jhmattern, Jul 31, 2008 IP
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  15. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Nothing wrong with it at all. It's your business. :)

    IMHO, giving a free product/service add-on is much better than giving a cash discount that spans an entire order.

    My main point, as always, is that many here (and elsewhere) try to apply goods marketing concepts to their service-based business.

    If anyone is bored one day, go seek out case studies in services marketing. Might give you some ideas and insight.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to make some more Turkish coffee. :)
     
    marketjunction, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  16. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #16
    I'm usually completely with ya on goods vs service marketing. That's why I'd never try to compete solely on price. But when you do put careful planning into your pricing, your marketing costs (which is what discounts of any kind amount to) should be factored into that, whether that be knowing that you want to offer discounts or an add-on (depending on what may appeal to your particular target market). If they are, you can end up ahead of the game.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with giving other types of bonuses instead. I tried that with an e-book. It didn't "not" work for me; it just didn't work quite as well. At the same time, if someone's charging $5 - 10 per article, they probably don't have a lot of flexibility built into their pricing, and they may actually hurt themselves offering bulk discounts.

    With something like press releases though, I generally come out earning more than I otherwise would have. For example, someone's launching a new company. They come to me for the launch release. We talk about the business, and have some ideas regarding other news they'll need to release in the near future. Rather than taking a "wait and see" approach, they often buy 3 then and there (they pay up front to get the bulk discount). The discount's more about getting them to buy now than anything else - it ensures they're coming back. At the same time, I earn more doing that than I would doing three full price releases for three separate clients. It's a simple matter of the time invested - in scenario A I may only be making $140 per release with the discount (vs $179 regularly), but I also only have to do the consultations and background research on the company / product / site once, whereas in scenerio B I'd have to invest more time into researching three separate companies. I put in less time, and end up with more cash for time invested.

    You simply have to do what's going to help you earn more overall, what's going to work with your particular customer base, and what isn't going to contribute to some kind of burnout (like taking on too much work for too little money). So by all means, I'm not saying discounts are "always" an appropriate marketing tool.
     
    jhmattern, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  17. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #17
    I think a lot depends on how easily you get business as well. For instance, if you're someone who routinely turns down opportunities due to being booked solid, then there's no real incentive/reason to offer discounts unless you really want to work with the person/company.

    For instance, if the NY Times came to me and said they wanted me to write 20 pieces for them @ a 30% discount of my normal rate, I'd definitely give it some thought, because there's "value" in it for me aside from the rate itself.

    And, for me, that's what it boils down to. What's my value in the situation. If it's just the fee collected for the work, then the rate is what it is.

    It always depends on the situation. Using your press release example, it could just as easily be a bad move. For example, the company orders 3 releases, but each release is for a different product, sub-company, whatever.

    And that's really the danger in offering discounts simply based on volume. It would be wiser to inform the client that the professional discount is because the work is all on the same topic, etc. You're creating a better relationship foundation that way.

    Giving bulk discounts is a tool, but like any tool, you can use it improperly.
     
    marketjunction, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  18. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #18
    True. And that's kind of what I was trying to say earlier about how it works well for me when it comes to larger corporate clients, and how those clients often have more referral "power" - It's worth it if it attracts people that are going to lead to much more business with referrals, better clients with referrals (such as if you're trying to break into higher paying markets), or if working with the client gives you some kind of credibility boost.

    Fortunately I don't think that's ever happened to me, and that's probably because I generally control those situations to a degree. It's unusual for someone to randomly contact me saying "I want 10 press releases." It's far more common that I'm the one suggesting the specific news angles up front based on our initial consultation, so I know what I'm getting myself into. And as with single orders, if it looks like it'll be a bigger hassle than it's worth, I just say "no thanks." And that's in line with one of the points you were making - it's nice when you get to the point where you can be selective and turn things down.

    You know Jason... this is the closest we've probably had to a real "fight" in the copywriting section in a while. You used to be far more argumentative - meaning more amusing. :p Maybe I should start a new thread picking a fight - telling everyone to offer the lowest prices to compete on DP and don't blow billable hours "writing for yourself." :D j/k
     
    jhmattern, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  19. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Yeah, I'm just not finding must to "fight" about. Too many damn people agreeing with me. Sucks being right all the time. ;)

    Oh I know. Let me create a thread about how quality doesn't matter. Perhaps I'll open with:

    Millionaire Writing Secrets Exposed

    How You Can Make GAGILLIONS Writing Content Without Substance That's Barely Readable and Profit From Clients Who Will Do Anything For Your Work . . . And Why DP is Your Personal Goldmine.

    Dear Friend:

    Have you ever dreamed of . . .

    :D
     
    marketjunction, Jul 31, 2008 IP
  20. wordscientist

    wordscientist Peon

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    #20
    Got a question relating to this ... I read on another forum that Prevention is dishing out a whopping $2 a post to new writers for its online Buzz campaign. I don't know; maybe getting your name connected to an established company like Rodale makes it worthwhile. Is there any real advantage in taking on a gig like this?
     
    wordscientist, Jul 31, 2008 IP