You’ve just launched your Groupon or LivingSocial deal, or maybe you’re considering it, and you’re wondering if this is going to be profitable for you. The answer is NO, at least not without a clear strategy to turn your new guests into repeat guests and/or having a clear and rehearsed upsell plan.
Statistically, the most successful users of Groupon or Living Social deals are restaurants, followed by groceries, entertainment, clothing and accessories. Often, the least successful industry for Groupons and Living Social deals are travel and vacation-related businesses. But the failure is often caused, at least in part, by a lack of planning and a clear action plan with stated goals. What do you as a business plan to gain from taking part in a Living Social or Groupon deal?
The main goal many businesses pursue with Groupon or Living Social deals is not a good one to pursue: increased revenue. Groupon keeps 50% of the revenues from each coupon deal. With a consistently steep promotion to begin with, business owners are almost guaranteed to lose money with each deal. Here is an example where restaurant owners are much better suited to Groupon and Living Social–with higher profit margins, offering a deeper discount is possible.
The better goal to shoot for is increased exposure for your business. Even here, the benefits have decreased since Groupon and Living Social. Researchers have found that only about 20% of Groupon customers become repeat customers without a coupon in hand.
We’ve worked with a lot of bed and breakfasts, vacation rental companies, and other clients running these deals, here are three great ideas we guarantee will result in increased revenue…for the rest you can download the full whitepaper here.
Capture Birthdays, Anniversaries and Special Events your guests come to town for
Create lists for each of these and work with an Inbound Marketing company to develop automated email campaigns sent just before these events each year. For the wife’s birthday, email the husband with a Romantic Getaway Package with all the details worked out. This is guaranteed to sell!
Create an Upsell Vacation Planning Guide with recommended activities
Many excursions, golf courses & spas will pay you a 25% booking fee- help increase revenue on these customers while helping them plan their perfect getaway!
Groupon’s own research finds that 77% of Groupon customers spend more than the value of their coupon, creating great potential for upselling and adding experiences to their stay with you. This also has the benefit of improving their experience, and therefore increasing their positive feelings towards you. Positive memories of their visit almost guarantees a return.
Check out our blog Bed and Breakfast Upsell Ideas to jump start some ideas today!
Guests had a great experience? Offer 25% off a Return Trip booked before checkout
25% off is a motivating discount but you don’t have to share the revenue with Groupon or Living Social
If they don’t take advantage of this add them to an automated email campaign that will email them a return booking special 7-10 days after their stay. Include some great photos to jog their memory of how special their trip was.
Stay Top of Mind with Groupon and Living Social customers after they leave
According to Living Social, 55% of Living Social customers refer businesses to others after visiting. 72% of Groupon customers refer others according to their own research. Make a recommendation as easy as possible after your Groupon or Living Social guests have left! Add them to your email contact list and encourage them to follow you on social media. Keep your business top of their mind with regular contact by pushing interesting content about your area, whetting their appetite to return!
Leverage Groupon and Living Social’s Own Marketing Campaigns to Earn Additional Recognition of Your Own Website
After years or marketing themselves, Groupon and Living Social have acquired a high level of trust and authority in their respective industry. How can you as a small business owner, take some long-term advantage of that? Make sure the page selling your deal includes links to your website. You’ll be providing additional value by giving searchers in Groupon or Living Social, plus getting a high-quality backlink to your site. Getting great backlinks is one of the most important points in our hospitality search engine optimization guide, by the way.
I know the title promised 7 Ways, click here to download our white paper to learn about the full 7 ways: 7 Ways to Increase Revenue from your Groupon or LivingSocial Deal!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 1, 2012 and has been updated and revamped for accuracy and comprehensiveness.