Groupon is a great marketing tool, particularly to market new products and services, which has been around several years. At Salus Wellness we have been working with them since 2011, a few months after we opened. Groupon is great to generate business which would not usually get attracted to our company, simply by offering deals which are heavily discounted compared to the original price for the services being offered. We usually run a campaign when we have a few massage therapists which need to get established in Cambridge and are prepared to work for it. By partnering up 4 or more practitioners it’s relatively easy to handle many new clients while taking care of the existing ones.
Thanks to a Groupon campaign we can easily sell several hundreds treatment within a few months. Like many other business we use Groupon to attract people which would not usually visit our clinic without a financial incentive. We offer, at super discounted rate, the same level of service and quality we would offer at full price, with the aim of converting Groupon clients into full paying ones. In our experience we can group clients we get via Groupon into three categories:
- Bargain hunters; these are people who are waiting for the next offer to get a cheap massage and will never buy a massage at full price, often because they cannot afford it. They are usually the ones with the highest expectations in terms of customer service and reaction time, and historically they are virtually impossible to convert into regular clients.
- Best practitioners’ hunters; these are people using Groupon to try a few new practitioners with the aim of finding a professional who will become their regular practitioner. They are easy to convert for the practitioners who offer the right massage and customer service.
- Gift hunters; many people buy a voucher for a loved one as a gift. In this case the person using the voucher is different from who bought it so conversion is random.
Whatever kind of massage hunter you are, we are here to help and looking forward to meeting you at our next Groupon campaign.
Our clinic has been using Groupon to promote some of our services, particularly some massage treatments. For us it works well because it helps some of the practitioners which recently joined us to get exposed to new clients and some of them get converted into further treatments at full price.
Having dealt with over 1000 new clients over the last 9 months ad still finding a lot of people that do not understand how these deals work I decided to collect some of the many explanations that our team here is giving to members of the public both during phone conversation and via Email.
Here they are:
- To the best of my knowledge Groupon is the largest voucher based marketing organisation in the world and they are also very strong, if not the strongest, in the UK too.
- Groupon have invested much time and resources to create a very large database (or list) of people that offered their contact details in order to receive super discounted deals on goods and services. You are probably one of them.
- Groupon keeps in touch with their contacts mainly via Emails and by publishing offers on their website. People can decide from time to time to buy these featured deals.
- The deals are offering prices which are greatly discounted, usually at 40-60% off the standard price.
- The contact becomes a client when she pays Groupon for the deal; the money she pays goes straight into the Groupon bank account.
- In exchange for that money the client receives a voucher that clearly states what she has paid for and what she has bought for that money; the voucher states, in the small prints, how to redeem the voucher and when the voucher expires.
- Each voucher must be redeemed from the company that offers the service; in our case all redemptions must be done on line on a specific page of our website.
- Companies like Salus Wellness, that sells deals via Groupon, will receive a fraction of the price paid by the client; in most cases less than 50% of it, once the Groupon commission and VAT have been deducted.
- Each voucher has an expiry date and we cannot redeem it after that date; if we cannot redeem it we cannot get paid so we cannot offer the service after the voucher expiry date.
- Before the voucher gets redeemed, even if the voucher has our company name on it, the transaction is between the client and Groupon; once it has been redeemed then the client should be dealing with the company itself unless they think there is a breach of contract and they should in that case report the company to Groupon for investigation.
- In our case many of the therapies we offer via Groupon are offered by a selected team of massage therapists, which can be different every time; each redeemed voucher gets assigned to the most suitable therapist for the type of therapy requested and the preferred time of the appointment.
- Some of our practitioners work mornings, other afternoon and other evenings or week ends and they are all busy dealing with their regular clients. For this reason some vouchers can be redeemed within days while others might require weeks, exactly in the same way as you were calling us to arrange an appointment for a specific treatment with a specific practitioner.
- Our company is offering the exact level of service for Groupon deals that we would offer when paying full price for a treatment. This is both because of our strong code of ethics as well as because this is a standard requirement from Groupon.
- Our latest deals always have the “new customers only” condition: this is to indicate that JUST NEW CUSTOMERS should buy these deals, to help them finding our clinic and appreciate our super skilled and professional practitioners as well as our cosy therapy rooms and our friendly customer service.
- All of our deals have a 48 hours cancellation notice; if you change or cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours or, much worse, you don’t turn up for your appointment you lose your deal with no possibility of rebooking.
Groupon works very well for any business that would like extra exposure to a particularly located demographic; it’s well organised and with high level of professionalism which makes it a great partner to work with.