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Getting Return Visits From Your Company’s Deals on Groupon and Other Deal Sites

The concept is definitely interesting for businesses… The deal sites will advertise your business, get people in the door, and “pay” you for the privilege of promoting you.

Of course, you’re paid quite a bit less than the original value of the service. Usually, 50% of the price they charge for the offer. But I see that as the cost of doing business. Instead of paying for ads that might or might not work, you’re paying for the advertising out of the revenue you actually got.

If no one was interested in the deal, your regular ad would have cost you quite a bit. In this case, no charge. Of course, with many of these sites, their popularity virtually guarantees at least some business. And, with coupons and gift certificates in general, many never get used. They expire, or people move, or people lose them or just change their minds. So you may have some that don’t ever end up using their coupon, which adds to your bottom line since they’ve paid you and don’t end up using the services they purchased. It may not be a huge amount but it’s still a nice little bonus if it happens.

Another little bonus is the branding an offer can bring. Whether people buy it or not, every user that checks the deal that day will see your company name and the type of service or products you offer. Whether they bought or not, now they’ve at least heard about you.

But let’s go to the basic premise of the site. Someone buys a coupon to use in your business at a substantial discount. One complaint some merchants have is that in many cases, people tend not to come back. They come in for the initial deal and then move on to the next deal.

If this is the case, there might be something else happening. In most cases, these are new customers that have never walked through your door before. So…

1) Were they unhappy with what you provided? If they’re paying half the rate, and aren’t happy with the service/product you offer, will they come back at full price?

2) Did the discount devalue your service? There’s not much you can do about this… Their perception is that what they paid is the price in their mind for the service/products they received. It’s tough to train your mind to pay more for the same thing in the future. But…

3) Is there anything you could have done to bring them back?

What do you know about these people? Their puppy’s name? No. Do they enjoy chicken? You don’t know (unless you run a restaurant and they mentioned it)… and do these things matter? No (well, except in very specific cases). But there is one thing that you know right now that every single person that comes in from a deal site in common. They like deals. Yes. It’s simple. They liked deals enough to sign up on the site, buy your coupon, and actually use it.

So how do you get them back? When they come in to use their coupon, give them a new coupon for a deal on a future purchase. 

Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “They got a deal already, I’m losing money, etc…”  Am I right?

Think about it: If they don’t come back, you make 0. If you offer them something at a discount, and they don’t use the coupon and never come back, you make 0 and lose 0. But if some of them come back, you make way more than 0. Don’t offer a deal as extreme as that initial one, but offering some kind of a nice discount might get people back through your door another time. And once they’ve been there twice, you might just have a new regular customer!

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