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Tips for running a successful daily deal for your business

So you are thinking of featuring your business on a daily deals website? Well done for recognising this new trend and embracing online marketing of your business. Running a daily deal is a great way to get hundreds of new customers through your doors.

Daily Deals are just a cheap form of Advertising

Consider other forms of advertising like say, the newspaper. You might run a 50% off special in the paper. You’ll pay thousands for the ad up front, and it will be impossible to tell which customers actually saw your newspaper ad.

Running a daily deal online is different. Firstly, you’ll probably get exposure to a lot more people than a newspaper ad. Secondly, customers can buy your deal right there online. Once the deal has ended, you’ll have a guaranteed number of pre-paid customers who will come thru to redeem their purchase. Thirdly, you’ll most likely get hold of the money generated within a few days.

Here some things you might like to consider before you run a deal:

I would say that half of the customers that end up buying your deal won’t have even heard of your business before. Yes, they will be completely new to your business!

So this is a great opportunity to win over some new customers, and hopefully, if you and your staff treat them right, many will end up as long term customers who pay full price.

This is where I want to point something out you. Although many people will be buying your deal just to get your discounted service, there is a proportion of these customers who could end up being long term customers for many years to come. The thing is you won’t know which customers will end up becoming long term clients.

Say you run a deal and get 100 customers through your door. People who buy daily deals can be put into 3 customer categories.

1. Deal Hunters

50% might have bought the deal just because it was cheap and they needed the service you provided. They likely have never heard of your business before.

2. Your existing customers

25% might be semi regular customers of your business already, or they bought from your business once before. These customers are happy to get a bit of a discount off what they were going to spend anyway.

3. Curious Potential Customers

This 25% have heard about your business before but have never really got around to going into your business. Your deal is their trigger to get off their butt and check your business out. A perfect situtation!

Treat all Deals Customers Well

When your deal has run, you’ll be given a printout of all the voucher numbers, so that you can check them off as customers redeem them. Now the thing is, you’ll know who comes in with a voucher, but you won’t know which category each customer falls into.

You can’t tell by looking at them. You can’t! You can’t tell from if they spend a little extra above their voucher value on the day. You simply cannot predict by looking at someone, who will become your long term customer.

So you have to take a special approach. You should be treating all deals customers like royalty and providing your best service ever. And you need to make sure that your staff know to provide the best service they can, and not to “discriminate” against customers who have a voucher.

I can tell you from experience that there is nothing worse than buying a deal, taking my voucher in to your business, and then getting treated like a second class citizen because I have a voucher. If there was any chance that I was planning to come back again, and pay normal prices, you have certainly put me off by treating me as if I’d paid half price. Treat all deals customers, as if theyd paid full price! You need to win them over, so they do pay full price when they return! Make sure all of your staff know to treat deals customers extremely well.

The thing these days with social media is that people go online everyday to their facebook and twitter and tell the world about what they have been doing that day. You need to make sure, if they are mentioning they went to your business, that they had a positive experience.

You can ensure they have a positive experience by treating ALL of your customers well – regardless of how they got to your front door. EVERYBODY that comes thru your door needs to be recognised as a thousand dollar customer. Because if they keep coming back, that’s what they will be worth to you. Remember, this person could have easily gone down the road. They could have easily bought a similar daily deal from your competitor, but they chose to try out your business. Prove to them, that they made the right choice.


To make the most of the deal for your business, you should offer an upsell to deals customers during their visit. If you are running a restaurant, offer them drinks, if you are a hairdresser, offer them colouring. Offer something complimentary and simple.

Now, an upsell is fine, but don’t pressure the customer if they say no. Theres nothing worse than being pressured or being made to feel guilty if they you don’t buy an upsell. That’s a way to drive these new customers away. So do what McDonalds do, simply offer the upsell, then complete the transaction. 3 out of 10 say yes to the upsize at McDonalds, so its worth a try.

Checklist for Businesses about to run a daily deal

1. Recognise upfront that you will most likely break even overall.

2. Get ready to provide the best service you have

3. Organise an upsell and make sure your staff are trained

4. Communicate with your staff and get any problems or feedback during the campaign so you can tweak your approach for future customers.

Will you make money on the deal?

The point of these daily deals is NOT to make money off the actual deal. Really? No, that’s right. If you make even a few dollars overall from running your daily deal, then count yourself lucky. The whole point of running a deal is to get new customers in your door, and give them such a great experience that they want to come back and pay normal prices.

If you are going to the trouble of running a daily deal, make sure you don’t waste the opportunity. If after running the campaign, you happen to lose a couple of hundred dollars upfront, don’t take it out on these potential customers. Remember if you put an ad in the paper its going to cost you hundreds, with no guarantee anyone will come in.

Daily deals are really just a form of advertising, a form where the customer pays you. More than likely you will at least breakeven after you take into account all costs, maybe make a few hundred dollars. And if you make some extra from upsells thats great. the real benefit should be in the long term business that you receive. So go ahead and run a few deals with different sites to get a feel for the market. Just remember to look after your customers, especially new voucher customers.

Also see: Open letter to businesses considering running a daily deal

Posted: Fri 27 May 2011


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