Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby Matt on Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:54 am

Here is a news story from our local FOX station on a massage therapist that used "Living Social" to promote her business:

http://www.fox59.com/videobeta/dbd71f45 ... ing-Social
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby pueppi on Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:48 pm

JLWmassage wrote:I thought I would give you all an update. I have done these deals 3 times now. My first deal I sold 18 the second deal I sold 30 and the third deal I sold 80.

Now the return rate for clients off of these have been around 18% and of those 18% return clients 5% of those becomes a regular client. So I am planning on 22 of these Local Deal clients returning


Thanks so much for the update! :)
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby [email protected] on Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:22 pm

Hi everyone! I've been off here for a while! I'll have to go through all my records for the past 2 months and let y'all know my numbers for the groupon deals. In my experience so far they have been just an ok deal. There are pluses and minuses for sure, but overall a good thing for our business. My gratuities have thankfully been good, which has helped offset the very low price point we were at, so I make just a tiny bit under what I normally would. On the plus side, they have helped fill in blank spots in my schedule, and the word of mouth and referrals have been good. Haven't neccesarily seen a lot of these clients back, but I'll keep up the tracking over the next year to see how effective it really was. =)
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby kathryn on Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:46 pm

Decided to go ahead and try thedailysave.com Although you can't expect to make money off of it, it seems a good way to get your business name out there. The Daily Save is mentioned on a local radio station and also on channel 10 news out here, so that will be great exposure for my practice. I was against the idea at first, but I need an advertising boost for my practice ( I just opened this one in January and am thus far only at 50 sessions per month when I'd like to have at least 90 sessions per month). It took many years, but I finally realized that regular marketing typically doesn't work for massage, most folks come in off referrals or if I've meet them in person already. I've spent thousands of dollars on marketing until I realized it just doesn't work for a sole practitioner.

The Daily Save is a way to spend money (getting a small % of each gc sold) but working it off rather than dishing out cash. Although most of my work is pain reduction and includes comprehensive intake procedures and follow up care, I'm only offering a 90 min. Swedish for $49 (and I get half of that) so the work will be very easy for me and a way to introduce my work to people who want to try me out. When doing this type of deal you have to remember-- it's not for making money, it's for marketing purposes.

I'm already in and now waiting to hear when the deal will be put out, they are giving me 2 wks notice. I've already decided to only accept 10-12 of these clients weekly. I made it so the certificate expires in one year -- however, due to certificate laws, after the year is up the purchaser can use it towards another purchase but can't get the 90 min, session without paying the difference. Also, I'm only allowing one per person with the option to purchase one for a friend.

I'll be sure and report back after it comes out with how it went.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby missfrisbee on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:15 am

My employer sold over 1600 Groupons. It has made a huge difference in how busy the clinic is. Before Groupon, my schedule was riddled with holes. I have been almost completely booked for months, now. Which is great. Work is work, so I'm glad my schedule is filled and I have a steady income. Most of the early Groupon clients tipped well. Now that we are 8 months into it, the tips have shrunk from lame to almost nonexistent. Fortunately, my hourly wage is such that I can survive without the tips.

This has come up in the discussion, and I think it is worth thinking about, particularly if you are considering doing a Groupon on your own. What clients do you want to work with? Many Groupon customers have no loyalty and continually chase the best deal. If you are lucky, the more loyal ones will injure themselves and think of you for insurance massage. This is the true potential for making money off a Groupon promotion.

Honestly, I prefer working with regular cash clients or insurance clients over Groupon clients. These people seem to have a better appreciation for what massage can do, and a better awareness of their bodies. I like working with interactive clients who perceive me as a health facilitator rather than someone who just does something to them. I like getting feedback from my clients, and the Groupon clients generally just want to lie there. You rub them for an hour, and then most likely, they are off to the next discounted massage. An occasional one will want to hear about their subscap or their psoas, or try an hour of just neck work. Those are the ones I try to get to come back.

If you are only ending up with $10/massage, it is going to feel like drudgery to you. More clients doesn't necessarily equal a better quality of life. Targeting your marketing efforts to your ideal client makes more sense to me if you have your own practice and are doing the massages yourself. If your employees are doing the work, then Go, Groupon!!

Just some thoughts!
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:21 pm

So here is an up date on me. My last deal I sold 80 vouchers, so far 50 have come in and I have gotten 5 regular clients. And my deal expires on December 9.

I also took matters into my own hands and ran my own deal for this holiday season. Just wanted to see how well I could do on my own. So I did 50% off 1 hour & 1 1/2 hour massages. And the response was great ! I sold 60 gift cards on my own and I get to keep all the money :grin:

I probaly won't run a deal w/ The Local Deal again till the summer when it slows down for me. I must confess the 80 new clients has been a bit overwhelming
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:44 am

The latest spin on on-line deal promotion seems to have a more sustainable business model.

BTreated.com offers "last minute" spa services, sort of like how airlines and hotels work with price line.

The list the slots the need to fill, offer a 30%+ discount, and subscribers can buy and book online.

BTreated only takes 15%, and they process the CC for you and email when you sell a slot. If you sell a slot the traditional way, you just go to your site and de-list the discounted slot.

Filling off peak times with incremental revenue is going to have a huge impact on our bottom line.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:08 am

I have a voucher the will expire on December 9. I still have 20 out and I am full for the next week and a half. So my question is should I not honor the voucher bc they can't book before it expires or if the person calls before it expires should I honor the voucher after the expiration date :smt017 . There is a possibilty I could have 10 people call to book 2 days before the expiration date
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby pueppi on Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:12 pm

JLWmassage wrote:I have a voucher the will expire on December 9. I still have 20 out and I am full for the next week and a half. So my question is should I not honor the voucher bc they can't book before it expires or if the person calls before it expires should I honor the voucher after the expiration date :smt017 . There is a possibilty I could have 10 people call to book 2 days before the expiration date



I think if the person calls to book before the voucher expires, you should honor it and book the client. Even if it means booking them for a future date. To me, it's the right thing to do.

And, this is one of my issues with having a "groupon". I don't want to sell "too many" of something that I can't accomodate.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby Pete on Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:19 pm

JLWmassage wrote:I have a voucher the will expire on December 9. I still have 20 out and I am full for the next week and a half. So my question is should I not honor the voucher bc they can't book before it expires or if the person calls before it expires should I honor the voucher after the expiration date :smt017 . There is a possibilty I could have 10 people call to book 2 days before the expiration date


It's really up to you - if your book is really full, turn them away; but if your book was full, you probably wouldn't have made this offer to begin with.

I think I would honor the deal as offered as long as the client CALLS by 12/9 to book regardless of the booked date (but do have a deadline, ie. appt must occur before the end of December.) If the client calls AFTER 12/9 to book, I think I would let them know the deal is no longer available, however their "groupon" is now a "coupon" worth the price paid applied toward any 60- or 90-minute session. This way they're not out any $ and you do still have the possibility of gaining a new client. I would also have a deadline for these, perhaps the end of January after which they are clearly expired and you can consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby simpleman on Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:25 pm

however their "groupon" is now a "coupon" worth the price paid applied toward any 60- or 90-minute session. This way they're not out any $ and you do still have the possibility of gaining a new client.


Excellent Idea
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:12 pm

Pete wrote:
JLWmassage wrote:I have a voucher the will expire on December 9. I still have 20 out and I am full for the next week and a half. So my question is should I not honor the voucher bc they can't book before it expires or if the person calls before it expires should I honor the voucher after the expiration date :smt017 . There is a possibilty I could have 10 people call to book 2 days before the expiration date


It's really up to you - if your book is really full, turn them away; but if your book was full, you probably wouldn't have made this offer to begin with.

I think I would honor the deal as offered as long as the client CALLS by 12/9 to book regardless of the booked date (but do have a deadline, ie. appt must occur before the end of December.) If the client calls AFTER 12/9 to book, I think I would let them know the deal is no longer available, however their "groupon" is now a "coupon" worth the price paid applied toward any 60- or 90-minute session. This way they're not out any $ and you do still have the possibility of gaining a new client. I would also have a deadline for these, perhaps the end of January after which they are clearly expired and you can consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.



I like that idea. Thanks for sharing
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby Pete on Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:47 pm

You're welcome!
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:23 am

So here is my words of wisdome for this type of advertsing.

I did a 90 min. massages deal bc it is my most popular service, bad idea !!!! You need to have room for an upgrade. My sugesstion is to offer a half hour massage.

I had people buy more than one for themselves even thought is says for new clients only. You also need to also have it say vaild one per person.

I have done other deals and I aslo had people buy one of my other deals so I had to let them know they needed to give it to another person.

I also had a lot of people so up late.

The final tally is out of 128 90 min. massages I have done I got 10 regular massage clients. And most of these 10 people bought packages :grin:
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby AngelaJudy on Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:15 am

pueppi wrote:
And, this is one of my issues with having a "groupon". I don't want to sell "too many" of something that I can't accomodate.



You can choose the maximum number of groupons to be sold.


I just did a promotion through Living Social. I opted for half priced 60 and 90 minute massages. I sold 351 vouchers. I was slammed with calls for the first 3 days and booked up two whole weeks with LS clients. Then I realized I needed to limit the number of LS clients I would take in a week to accommodate my previous regular clients (who are used to calling a few hours before and getting in) and not just work for tips, so now I will only book ten of them in a week. I am still waiting to receive my check, which should be next week. About 40 vouchers have been redeemed so far and about 10 have rebooked.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby kathryn on Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:46 pm

So, how long did it take for your specials to go out after signing up? I signed onto Daily Save in October and still haven't heard anything, when I contacted the fellow who signed me up, he said that he wouldn't know when they'd feature it. I'm wondering if I should just tell them to take me off the list or wait a little longer. I've been putting off other marketing ideas b/c I don't want this deal to come out at the same time I have something else going on.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby AngelaJudy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:35 pm

It took two months for me here in Charleston with Living Social. They try not to run similar promos too close to one another.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby kathryn on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:29 am

Thanks for the reply, Angela. I went ahead and sent the fellow who signed me up an email letting him know that he can take me off the list in a couple weeks. With Daily Save, running similar promo's isn't an explanation as they often run similar promo's in one week. For instance, they will run three different massage deals sometimes in one week-- which is how I've been getting my massages right now ;)
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby DarrenNegraeff on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:42 pm

We wrote a blog post a while back on some of the things you should think about when signing up for Groupon or one of the look-alikes. I just thought I'd share it here in case anyone is considering signing up soon.

Some of the points have been covered here and some are new.

8 tips on running a successful Groupon campaign

If you have any feedback that would be great as well.

Cheers,

Darren
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby jyoti on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:54 pm

My random thoughts on Groupon and the like...

I'm concerned about whether or not offering services dirt-cheap (even in a soft economy) would degrade your services.

In some cases, you're danged if you do and danged if you don't. What I'm thinking of here is, whether or not to restrict the offer to new clients only. If you do, you can be sure that you'll only attract new clientele, which is good, but you also run the risk of putting off your current clientele and creating resentment. If you open it to everyone (i.e. no such new-client restriction), then you don't create the resentment, but you also shortchange yourself by offering deeply-discounted services to people who would have otherwise paid you full price.

I've read some really good blogs on which the author advises that these deep deals work much better for some types of businesses than others. For example, they actually cautioned AGAINST running these kinds of deals for massage therapy. Why? Because the incremental cost is so high. One therapist uses one room to work on one client, so the ratio is 1:1; discounting that deeply REALLY cuts into any kind of revenue. On the other hand, someone teaching a class could easily run this kind of promotion. The instructor and classroom are already designated; adding another person to the class doesn't really add much incremental cost to the establishment, so it's less devastating to revenues if the extra person added is a coupon holder. So if you're doing group activities with fixed costs, the deep discounts have less of an adverse impact.

I've also seen it recommended that these discount coupons carry some crucial restrictions, such as cancellation policies, one per customer per (x amount of time), off-peak hours/days, etc.

As for the question about whether it's a gift certificate or coupon, and which laws apply: apparently, Groupon is treating it like a gift certificate, wanting to remain on the good side of the law, because it knows that those laws are stricter and it doesn't want any legal trouble. BUT: that's not the whole story. Basically, the discount itself carries an expiration date. That is legal. AFTER the expiration date of the coupon, however, THAT is when the GC characteristics kick in--you have a $x-credit of however much you spent. For example: if you bought a Groupon that said get a $60 massage for $30, and you redeem it BEFORE the expiration date, you get the $60 massage for $30. If you redeem it AFTER the expiration date of the coupon, you have, essentially, a $30 GC - if you still want the $60 massage, you'll owe the difference (another $30).

Just my randomness :)
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby tranquilspirit2006 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:57 pm

We just signed on a really good deal advertisement-wise. Local radio stations are offering to select small businesses a chance to radio-ad, without any money. The business donates $1000 worth of service or product. They will auction them off to bidders over the air, (they keep the $$ of course.) In exchange (and in addition to the mention of the business during the auction), we will get 1000 minutes of ads, in 30 second increments. They will run 5am - midnight, on 2 of the 5 local stations (you can pick which ones.) We picked the 2 FM stations, this is a small state and two of them are the most listened to around here. We can have people do testimonials, have one of us record an ad, have the dj read it, whatever we want. One station is a mix of all kinds of rock music (70s to current) and the other is country which is big around here. We will also have ads on their websites and mentions on their FB.

It sounds like a lot of donations and we figured out how to make it work so no one feels put upon for doing 'free' work. There are 3 of us at the shop, the other 2 do massage and I do massage as well as aesthetics. We are donating 10 $100 gcs, good for a one hour massage ($65) and a 1/2 hour facial ($35). The two of them will each do 5 massages from the packages and I will do all the facials. It equals out to the same amount of time and since winners will have a year to redeem them, it probably won't be all at once. If we get more than a couple a week, we can just say we don't have openings, what works next week for you? We are tickled to be getting radio ads, we've talked about it but no one has ever had the money to do a bunch of them and it's the repeating of the business name that gets attention. Both of us told the owner, heck yes, we'll do it!
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:23 am

http://mycouponbuilder.com/


Has anyone tried this service?
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby AngelaJudy on Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:58 pm

jyoti wrote:What I'm thinking of here is, whether or not to restrict the offer to new clients only. If you do, you can be sure that you'll only attract new clientele, which is good, but you also run the risk of putting off your current clientele and creating resentment. If you open it to everyone (i.e. no such new-client restriction), then you don't create the resentment, but you also shortchange yourself by offering deeply-discounted services to people who would have otherwise paid you full price.


Not one of my regulars have been mad about it. They understand that the purpose of these programs are to promote your business to people that may have never heard of you otherwise and get more clients. Also, another place here in Charleston put the stipulation on their Groupon that they weren't available for clients who have visited in the last 3 months. I did not do this myself and I actually only had one client I had seen before to buy one who happened to be down on his luck and unable to come in again at full price.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby squash_blsm on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:12 am

Having had experience from a service provider's viewpoint (not the business owner) of Groupon and Living Social here are my thoughts...

I see this as more of an advertising investment. Both businesses that I work at that did Groupon and Living Social promos were in dire need of being noticed or found. From this stand point alone I feel that the promos were very effective.

People LOVE getting deals - I myself purchased a Groupon special for a hot stone massage and a facial. The massage was lame but the facial and business owner were fabulous.

Some Groupon reps work with the business in creating the promo and offering specials or return visit incentives to offer when they come in. Some reps don't.

Regarding Groupon clients...some of them are lovely...they are very happy to come in and get their special service and will often add additional services or upgrades. For the most part, they are also adequate tippers. Most of my people have been thrilled with the services that I provided. I think that this is beneficial for word-of-mouth referrals over the long-haul even if they do not become regular clients themselves.

There are a good percentage - at least 20% - that are not good clients at all...very bad tippers...many not tipping at all, they have no intention of returning and have bad spa manners - cell phones on and arriving late, have had two scammers that asked for upgraded services and when they checked out said that they had only "asked" about it and actiually did not want it. :smt012
Also - a couple of no-shows that claimed that they had called to cancel (but in actuality had not...no-shows forfeit their deal so of course they know this).
Heavy Groupon bookings limit the appointments for regular clients. We WERE running a special for Mother's Day but someone wasn't paying attention and filled up my schedule with LS and Groupon people. NOT good planning at all.

So - overall - I think if you plan this carefully, this type of promotion CAN work to help you with getting noticed, getting a few new clients if you have fabulous service providers, and generate some excitement for the industry in general.
If your service providers are not up to snuff you run the very real risk of having a ton of negative reviews posted about your business.
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Re: Groupon, Buywithme, The local Deal, etc....

Postby JLWmassage on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:50 am

http://www.tigerlilystudios.com/groupon_audio_book.php

Here is a good audio book about this subject
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