Just read a story about the Timesdeal Coupon leak here and followed by a quick update from timesdeal that they would honor all deals. The problem apparently was with some internal coupon that got leaked out on the Internet.
At almost the same time when I was reading the news I was going through Inbox of my another blog (which is almost defunct and almost no real customers wander there except for some marketers). Here is a mail I received in the Inbox of the blog (through a captcha protected contact form) as below:
So why would some random user post a coupon code onto a random blog? Why an almost no traffic blog?
Well the mentioned blog may be unknown to any real users, it was somehow discovered by timesdeal and had it in some marketing list. Timesdeal’s marketing team used to post coupons/news regularly onto the Inbox of the blog so that they get featured on the blog. Here is another mail I received few days back:
Now have a look at the IP Addresses of both the mails. They are exactly the same (masked the last byte for user privacy)! Let’s do a whois for the IP 223.165.28.* (any IP starting with 223.165.28.)
The owner of the above IP series seems to be Indiatimes. So does this mean somebody was at works at Timesdeal itself to promote the coupon? Would he post it on each and every known/unknown website? A thing to note here is that the blog was listed somewhere in their marketing list.
The questions however remains – would a random guy have resources to go to each and every almost-unknown website and post this message? Would he/she have access to the list of websites where timesdeal did regular promotion/posts in the past? Even if it is the same person who earlier used to do online marketing endlessly on each and every corner of the Internet, would he/she be responsible for testing the site using a coupon?
So, could it be real or a gimmick? No real answers. However, if a gimmick It’s really some smart innovative gorilla marketing? See Alexa (not the best way but still gives a comparative idea):
(name, email & IPs masked due to user privacy)