With all of the hubbub around how Groupon might not necessarily be such a great thing for small businesses, my friend Seth Gardenswartz of SpaBoom alerted me that they are going to be hosting a webinar on how to “roll your own Groupon.”

It sounds like its worth checking out. I particularly like their take on “Intelligent Discounting”:

  • Create a discount program that will deliver a brand value for potential clients, and a high ROI for the spa/salon.
    • Avoid directly competing with your existing service offers.
    • Build an offer with a higher margin from which to discount by adding product, or non-staff required services.
  • Engage your entire staff in the promotion.
    • Front desk staff should offer details and engage existing clients to participate in spreading the word.
    • Encourage therapists and estheticians to work within the promotion cost to facilitate awareness and gain new business to benefit the entire organization.
  • Promote a group deal that encourages viral growth.
    • Use existing clients to go viral and bring in like-minded individuals.
    • Extend your community relationship reach.
    • Run the deal yourself, or use niche, local deal sites. Don’t give 50% of your revenue away.
  • Focus on return client visits.
    • The goal is to build your client base and create a relationship, not devalue your brand by catering to deal seekers or nomad buyers.
    • Create a deal that rewards subsequent appointments booked.
  • Know where your control panel is when working through your discount promotions.
    • Be aware of your spa/salon’s resource limits.
    • Customer Service must be fully engaged to make the most of this marketing effort.

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3 Response Comments

  • Drew  September 23, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I like Groupon. They have tons of brands and coupons of all kinds. They would be tough to catch up with if you are going to do your own. Not that it couldn’t be done everything can be improved upon.

  • Andy Kuiper - Vancouver SEO Analyst  September 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

    This is a timely article. I recently had a client who used one of these discount agencies and saw a lot of business as a result. However, the ROI (I suspect) might be considerably higher with the implementation of an offer that was well thought out and distributed via all available means (FB, Tw, e-mail, etc. etc.). It’s definitely worth a try to build something than to ‘give away’ 50% +/-
    I like the points made in this summary, thanks for posting it 🙂
    Andy 🙂

  • Nic W | Marketing Consultant  September 24, 2010 at 1:57 am

    I think the” rolling your own Groupon” idea is just smart marketing that any business should be involving itself with. Promotions and offers can and do generate good business but why don’t businesses also take more control of their own local marketing and talk directly to customers and actually build relationships that blend in offers like this instead of just one hit deals.