Relationships Drive Business

Strengthening Customer Engagement to Propel Your Business

Was LivingSocial promo worth it November 8, 2010

Self Indulgence Tanning and Self Spa coupon from Oct. 27, 2010

On October 27, 2010 Self Indulgence Tanning and Self Spa ran a coupon via LivingSocial. It went out to the Wilmington/Newark DE subscriber list. Today’s post is the story of what happened from the owner’s perspective.

As of 11:00 am two email recipients had called to ask questions about the specific treatment featured on the coupon. The calls continued all day. From the Owner’s Page on LivingSocial.com Judy Grabowski, owner of Self Indulgence, could watch sales of the coupon follow shortly after most phone calls.  By 4:30 she had tallied 54 coupons sold.

On that same page she could see tally count of coupons sold, demographics of the buyers and the amount of the check she would recieve from LivingSocial. If she wanted she had the ability to set a cap on the number of coupons sold. Once the deal was over, she would get a list email addresses and names for those who’d bought the coupon.

Judy specifically chose not advertise the LivingSocial coupon to her existing customers. She wanted to see it play out organically. That would tell her how many of her existing clients were shopping for deals via email coupons. (If you’ve watched LivingSocial or Groupon offers, spa deals do very well. Which leads me to believe the market is huge and loyalty may be low.) Yes she was hoping the deal would bring her mostly new clients. But, she was willing to accept that existing clients would benefit, as well.

The demographics provided on the buyers helped her learn more about her customer base. She could see their geography laid out on a map, how they made the purchase (iPhone app or via the email) and time of day the purchase was made. From that information she could infer other things:

  • How far were they willing to drive for services and what direction they were coming from. That could help her open another location in the future.
  • How many of them use iPhones.  One of her treatment vendors has an iPhone app, too. Maybe clients would be receptive to offers from their app as well if she made them aware of it.
  • Time of day they are most receptive to spending or at least time of day they are most decisive. If she does other newsletters it gives her a clue as to the best time of day to hit their email.
  • From the phone calls she learned what questions people had about a specific treatment, FIT Bodywrap.  She’ll be sure her staff hits on key points that resonate with buyers.

I know, inference is not a sure thing. There’s no way to know when the coupon will be used, or if the customer will become a regular. There’s no way to know how long people considered the purchase before making the buy. But it’s all good information to begin exploring and testing with other promotions and communication tools.

Lessons learned to help you with a similar offer:

  1. Be sure your staff knows the details you included on the email sent out by LivingSocial.
  2. Be sure staff can speak intelligently about the promotion and the specific service or product you advertised.
  3. Have enough staff on duty to handle the phones and your regular traffic.
  4. Gather info on the offer from more than just LivingSocial’s tools.
  5. Have a specific goal – Judy’s was to see what would happen with no promotion beyond those on LivingSocial’s list.

Have you tried a similar offer? What did you learn? What would you do differently?

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