How to Beat Groupon at the Coupon Game

Talking to as many salon owners as I do every day, I understand how frustrating those Groupon Coupon one timers are.  I hear some extremely low numbers for conversions to full time clients.

That’s because Groupon Coupon people are a niche market of their own.  Simply put, they are looking for the deal not the service.

So who makes the money?  Groupon, of course.  But here’s a way you can use coupons, stay in control and get new clients.

Your SalonSpaSource.com listing is really like a mini-website.  It has a lot of great features that many of my clients are not using.  Coupons are one of them.  Do coupons work?  They do if done right.

When someone finds your listing with us, they are looking for a SERVICE not a DEAL.  Now they find five salons within their one or two mile radius they are willing to drive.  Four of them have ho-hum listings.  But the fifth has a fully filled out “mini-website” and a NEW client coupon.

The coupon can be for any service but is best for a higher priced service such as hair coloring.  The amount is important.  $20 gets people’s attention.  So the service needs to have enough room in the pricing for a profitable coupon deal.

It’s not a 50% off deal like Groupon.  Marketers I know will tell you that more people respond to dollar off deals than percentage discounts.  And $20 is a nice round number.  It resonates because they go to the ATM and get $20s.  They pay for just about everything with $20s.

So my advice is using our simple system for creating your own coupon.

Here’s how.

  1. Login to your account (Salon owners).
  2. Scroll down to the coupon section.
  3. Upload a nice simple piece of artwork in a jpeg, png, or tif format.  Stay away from highly detailed artwork as it won’t render well.
  4. Write up your deal such as “New client’s get $20 off your first hair color or mani-pedi.  Good through December 31, 2011. Call Mary to make an appointment.”

Now the next thing is to post the deal in Facebook and Tweet it.  Let your current customers tell their friends about the deal.  That way you get REFERRALS which are the best new clients.  No more Groupon Groupies.

Next time we will discuss how to make more money by using the Gift Certificate option.

Good luck!

Jim Shumate