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I am currently designing an preliminary mock-up for a vacation rental company. They want to prominently display a a link to a promotions page on their main navigation, where users can view the latest, limited-time deals.

I'm looking for the best keyword to use on the main navbar, but I haven't found much information on what wording would provide the best connection to users, whether 'Current vs Latest', 'Specials vs. Promotions vs. Deals', etc...

Absent some hard A/B testing on the final product, does anyone have some insight on preferred wording for this particular kind of page?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would suggest using 'deals'.

'Special' has a feeling that it is regular, and doesn't imply a price discount.

'Promotion' simply shows that you are promoting it, but says little about what's in it for your customer.

'Deals' implies that it is a limited time offer that is a bargain price wise.

I would leave out 'Current' or 'Latest' as it doesn't really add any information, and makes it seem that deals are commonplace.

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If deal doesn't do the trick, you could also suggest special offer. Whatever keyword you'll use, make sure your customers approve it. Personally I dislike having subordinate elements in the global navigation. I would prefer a Prices link and on the prices page display the special offer. That way customers can compare regular prices with special offers in a more natural way, without being pushed to a special offer page.

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Special Offers has a feeling that this is not something which you get everyday. Deals is also okay but by deals you may mean "bulk-buying" or "conditional, customized purchases" etc. The word "Deal" is becoming more popular because of it being used by Groupon and similar sites but personally I find "Special offers" has more lucrativeness and is widely accepted than "Deals".

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Your job is to do the right thing and the right thing is let your users decide. You can use Google Website Optimizer, to display variations of a single page (A/B Testing);

In this case, there might be some word that might drive a lot of traffic into that particular section of the website, but it is useless if people are not completing the desired action after clicking.

If AB Testing is impossible to perform, you might be able to do it over time, specially if you have a steady traffic coming to your website. Changing the label every week and paying attention on how it behaves on conversions.

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I think Deals is perfect.

Its short, clean and conveys its purpose. Also its very commonly used, So most users would get the meaning.

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