There are lot of resources out there to help you run a successful daily deal for differnt local business. This post will focus on the spa and salon business.
Before you Run a Daily Deal:
Here are few things to consider before you run a daily deal.
Make a decision to run a daily deal:
Decide that you really want to run a a daily deal, and the trick here is to get ready. When you offer a deal through Groupon or any other deal sites it can bring in a torrent of new customers, but also attracts lot of bargain hunters. If you are already busy with customers paying full price it doesn't make sense to discount your services.
Figure out a service:
Figure out a service that makes sense to offer at a discounted price. Let's say you want to run 50% off your 1 hour massage. Instead of listing a 1 hour massage at 50%, create an offer for a 50% discount off of your 45 minute massage, then and think about how you can up-sell when they call to make reservation.
Find and negotiate with daily deal sites:
Shop around. There are lots of daily deals sites (Groupon, LivingSocial, Bloomspot) these days. You can compare and get an idea of what type of deals are already out there. You are dealing with very savvy marketing companies so make sure that you are ready. Make sure the deal is right for you. Don't take sales people at face value. They will try and convince you that promoting a discounted service with them is the greatest thing to ever happen to your business, but here are few things to note:
- Negotiate good terms. They are known to take a very steep cut of 50% so negotiate what makes sense for your business.
- Always get them to limit the number of deals sold. Do not ever agree for unlimited number of deals.
- Try and put some restrictions on the time and days it can be redeemed. This will help you take care of your existing customers.
Running daily deals on one of these sites will give you fantastic exposure. You want to take advantage of this exposure and think like a marketer.
Get your website ready:
Make sure you have a decent website that clearly defines your business, services and has lots of nice pictures. Pictures are very powerful. Do not have any music or flash animations on your site on your home page. Lots of people are checking emails these days on a mobile device. Make sure that your website works on a mobile device. Your address and phone number need to be clearly displayed on any device.
Local listing and search:
If you offer a service and if customers are not familiar with your business, they will do a Google search or check Yelp and CitySearch. Make sure you are ranked in Google for your business and check that your listings are correct on sites likes Yelp, CitysSearch, Google Places, etc. Check that your address and hours are correct and that there are no negative reviews about your business.
Prepare to collect e-mails:
During the daily deal campaign, lots of people will come to your website and check your business. You want to try and collect email addresses of as many people as you can. This is the most important step. This allows you to follow up and offer them deals in future without losing a huge commission to daily deals sites. It is very easy to set these up. You can sign up with services like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor or Constant Contant and they will provide a simple link to get this setup.
Set up your social media:
This is no-brainer, but I am surprised that so many business don't have social media accounts. Make sure to clearly display social media settings on your website. The trick is to capture and engage with customers when they aren't already your customer.Get a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a Foursquare account.
Print business cards:
The goal of running deals is to introduce your product to new customers and get them to come back. Print some business cards with Twitter and Facebook addresses, which you can give out when they come in.
Get your staff ready:
Let your staff know that you are running a daily deal and expect a lot of calls. Train them to upsell any customer that are calling with daily deal coupons. This is another very important step.
Get a booking software:
During the run, you will get inundated with hundreds of calls all at the same time. You need to get prepared. The best way is to ask these customers to book online. There are tons of free and affordable booking and management software you can hook into your website. You can use www.spa-booker.com, You can set this up for under $25. Make sure the booking engine works in mobile device. Also be sure it is set-up to upsell other services during the booking.
Think about your existing customers:
You existing customers will know about the deal and you want to keep them happy. You can offer them a better deal before the daily deals runs. You also need to block out time to service your regular customers. If you are using any of the booking engines you can manage this easily though the booking system. You don’t want to spend all of your time serving daily deals customers and turning away your loyal customers.
After the Run
Now that you have run the campaign you are ready to service your clients.
When a customer visits your location for the first time, engage and have conversations with them. When they come to you business, encourage them to get to know you and your your business. Every small business has a great story about owners and how they got started. This is a start of a relationship with your new customer, not just a one-time transaction. Make sure to be courteous and friendly, and if they are there for the first time, make it memorable.
This is an important important step. When they visit you; offer additional services. You don't want to be pushy, but sell them the benefits. Treat deal customers like valuable prospects and make sure your staff does the same.
Track your Vouchers:
Make sure you track these sold vouchers. There are stories of people printing multile copies of the voucher and swindling the small business. If you are signed up with any of the booking software they do this for you quite easily. You want to avoid any fraudulent transactions.
Now you have followed these advice and collected as many emails emails you can write to them. Tell them about any upcoming promotions and events. Talk to them on Twitter and Facebook. Offer them last minute discounts on Twitter and Facebook
If you go to sites like Yelp or CitySearch, you will find a lot of customers who bought coupons and have had bad experiences that they write about on these sites. Make sure to keep an eye on them and respond to anyone who had a really bad experience and offer them something to amend the relationship.
Ask for Referral:
If your customer had a great experience ask them to refer to their friends and families.
Get them to come back:
Most of all, provide a great service, and get them to come back. Customer retention is the key.