The Art of the Daily Deal: 5 Tips for Small Businesses (SMB)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Posted by John Beagle

By Thomas Cornelious 
CEO- Adility
Know what's in it for you! Daily deal sites like and provide local businesses the ability to advertise to an audience that works or lives locally, has high amounts of disposable income and is motivated with the purchase of a "deal" to try a new product.
The financial structure in daily deals normally provide a 50% discount for the consumer and a revenue split between the publisher and local business.  Compared to traditional advertising daily deal sites provide the advantage of pay for "visit" advertising.
But you need to know what is in it for you – and the main answer is that you have the opportunity to "wow" a new customer. Understanding this opportunity is critical. For most consumers changing their habits and trying out a new restaurant, Spa or Salon is very difficult. Daily Deals provide an opportunity to break the habit of consumers and prompt them to branch out. 
Use that opportunity and see this as your one shot to get the consumer to come back in the future. Here are some points that will help to get a customer coming back:
1. Make it simple!
Make the redemption process simple and fast. Train your staff to make this a great experience for your customer. 
2. You are still advertising!
See the "deal" voucher as an invitation to explain to the customer more about your business. Allow your staff to "invite" the new prospect into your business with a nice, informal and social conversation.  Make it a point to tell each new customer about your history, quality of your products or services or any other information you can share that allows you to connect the consumer with your business. 
3. Get him to come back!
Create an incentive to the customer to come back again. Provide him a voucher for a free glass of wine, a free dessert or anything else for his next visit and present this with the bill – let him know you are welcoming him back and you are glad he came in to "check you out' and that you hope to earn his long term business. Realize that if you get a consumer to visit you three times, you have earned a long term customer – so do everything on your end to help the consumer to transition into the "habit" of making you part of their routine.
4. Make it personal!
 Take the time as a manger, owner to greet each new customer. The vouchers are a great way to know who your new customers are. Ask them if they live in the neighborhood, talk to them about anything that is on your mind – make it personal – avoid some scripted, franchise BS that treats each customer the same – even in personal conversations. 
5. Make it fit!
There are amazing stories of Spa's who just gained 3200 new customers overnight and received a check for $ 100,000 from the group buying site. Though this is great, did you take a look behind the scenes? Do you know this Spa has only 2 therapists and now literally works for three month at costs or even at a loss?
Take a good look at your business and set a cap of the number of deals you are able to sell and still service your existing customers best. Run multiple promotions a year instead of one big promotion and find those deal sites that are real partners and help you to understand the risks. Just make it fit for your business and don't believe the hype!
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