If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m always trying new things to get traction for my business. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you know if you try ten new things only one or two of them will work. This is not my current idea but a couple of months ago, I decided to take a look at these high quality custom umbrellas by branded-brolly.co.uk after they were recommended to me by a friend who runs his own business. He uses them to create better brand awareness for his company and he’s already started to see improvements. It’s something different than using business cards all the time and an item that everyone needs, (especially if you live in a place that has a lot of rain). Even creating something like personalised lanyards, for example, is pretty unique. As well as this being something that all the staff members can wear, it also raises brand awareness which is what business owners want to do. I’ve tried all the standard methods of raising brand awareness, some of which have worked a real treat, like trade shows which triggered a huge unexpected influx of customers. I’d recommend it to anyone, and don’t forget your trade show banner because it is the most eye-catching aspect of any stall. I’m ready to try more innovative ideas now, and this brings me to my new idea. So, I’m really excited my latest hair-brained scheme is actually working!
What’s my latest hair-brained scheme, you ask? Why, it’s a national Groupon campaign.
3 reasons to do a national Groupon
If your business is national, like mine, and you are trying to build product and brand awareness at a large-scale, there are several things you can try, and I’ve done all of them. Here are a few examples:
- PR – National media hits are GREAT, but also unpredictable, unreliable, and unsustainable. I’ve been lucky to have great PR, but it’s just not enough.
- Facebook ads and other pay-per-click options – These work for a lot of businesses, but they haven’t worked for me. I WISH I had the $25,000 back that I wasted on Google Ad words and Facebook ads. Either that or it might have been a better idea to look into PPC agencies like Klientboost and others to see if my returns could have been more substantial, but I’ll never know.
- Advertising on TV or with specialized services, like Groupon.
There are three reasons to do a national Groupon campaign:
- Exposure – Groupon has 53 million subscribers; this is huge.
- Customer acquisition – Once customers buy your product via Groupon, the hope is they will become a repeat customer without using Groupon. And they get on your email marketing list.
- Cash flow – Not everyone who buys a voucher uses them, and not all vouchers are redeemed right away. So, there can be a positive cash flow effect, at least in the short-term.
One more benefit of doing a Groupon is they pay you very quickly.
1 reason to not do a Groupon
The main reason to not to do a Groupon is the cost.
Groupon makes you cut your price in half, then they split that remaining 50% with you. If you are not marking up your product at least 4x, for example, you lose money every time someone redeems a voucher. Thus, at its core, Groupon is advertising expense.
How my campaign is doing
It’s been a full week since my campaign launched. And thankfully it’s doing really well! Below is a screen shot of my campaign (from the Groupon iPhone app):
We’ve sold 400 vouchers valued at about $15,000 (this is the amount before I split with Groupon). There have been a few dozen redemptions so far (the 6 redeemed is not accurate).
The $5,200 is the latest disbursement from Groupon to me. I told you they pay quickly.
My goal was to sell 1,000 vouchers. I spoke with my Groupon rep and he said the campaign is strong and thinks I could get to 3,000 vouchers sold by the end of the year, if I let it run through the holidays, which is their busiest season.
The Groupon algorithm gives preference to deals that are actually selling, and will more frequently show those deals to subscribers. So, letting my deal run makes sense.
Also, notice I’ve received 100% positive feedback (from 2 people). One person left a comment that they’ll purchase from us again. Naturally, positive reviews are helpful.
When I started WeMontage I created an entirely new category, and no one is looking online for what I do because they don’t know it exists. So, I’m hopeful the Groupon effort will increase both product and brand awareness. My rep said 8 million people saw the page with my deal on it, so I think I’m accomplishing my objective in that regard.
Want to do a Groupon?
Getting to the right person at Groupon can be a challenge. If you have a business you think might work well with a national Groupon deal and need an introduction, hit me up and I’ll see if I can help.
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