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Third Time’s the Charm: Getting a Local Deal to Work for Your Business

Grant Cloud had been looking for any new way to advertise his business for the past few years.

Getting the word out about his pottery store, Cloud’s Porcelain, isn’t easy. The Folsom, Calif., location isn’t a place that people pass every day, which means that word-of-mouth is crucial to growth.

Grant has relied primarily on email marketing and occasionally other advertisements, but when he first heard of online deal providers, he was intrigued.

Unfortunately, after trying to contact the two top deal providers to set one up, he didn’t hear back. Perplexed, he finally got on the phone with one representative.

“We don’t usually contact people that the deal won’t work for,” the representative told him. It turned out that, for the provider to work with him, Grant would have to set up a 50% discount.

“All of our products are made in-house,” he says. “They’re hand-made and hand-painted, so a 50% discount was out of the question.”

So, Grant’s search for local deals continued.

Making a Deal that Works

Despite being passed over by the first two deal providers, Grant was intrigued when he heard about SaveLocal from Constant Contact.

“You guys had a deal system where I wouldn’t have to offer our products for half-price, so I thought it was worth a try,” he says.

Cloud’s Porcelain decided to offer a $100 gift certificate for $75. In other words, a sizeable 25% discount, but not something that could prove to be a poor investment.

It was a bonus that Grant could dictate the rest of the deal’s rules, too. The coupon ran for a total of two weeks, and he could have closed it at any time.

Grant’s first deal, after running to completion.

New customers, repeat customers, and $900 in revenue

In that two week span, Grant says that about 12 customers redeemed the deal, for a total of around $900 in new revenue.

The deal boosted the reach of Cloud’s Porcelain to new customers, with three people coming to the store who had never been there before.

“It was a pretty low investment with a fairly good return,” Grant says. The bottom line, he says, is that the store is just “going to keep doing it.”

He already has a few plans for his next deal, like selling specific items or sets for a special discount.

Grant also learned some of the ins and outs of going social. “I mentioned to people that they could have gotten a better discount if they had shared it with their friends, but none of my customers had really done that,” he says.

With his next deal, he plans to mention the social sharing feature a little more explicitly.

For Cloud’s Porcelain, the third deal was the charm. So maybe the fourth one will be the one that goes viral!

Have you tried running a deal for your business? Let us know about your experience below!

Comments:

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  1. Tell me if I’m wrong but in this deal you only send to your own data base,so, you are just preaching to the choir. I’m interested in making my business known to a new audience. I think the other big deal sites cheapen your business and attract cheap clients. I am a high end photographer and find that it is really hard to get the word out to potential clients.

    Reply
    • Blaise Lucey •

      Hi Carla,

      Thanks for reading! While it’s true that the deals are sent to your existing contacts, there is an additional feature that allows people who redeem the deal to get a bonus mini-coupon (which you can create all of the settings for) if they share it on their social networks. We know that expanding reach is most important, and believe that giving customers a tangible reason to tell their friends about the deal can be a great way to open to a broader audience.

      Reply
      • What would be an example of a “bonus mini-coupon”?

        Reply
      • Blaise Lucey •

        Hi Ken,

        By a “bonus mini-coupon,” I mean offering people a reward for sharing the coupon with their friends. If you look at the top right of Grant’s deal, you’ll see that he offered another $5 off for anyone who broadened the reach of the deal through social media.

        Reply
      • Could you set it up so that the customer gets the mini-coupon without buying the main coupon?

        Reply
  2. HMDhome.com •

    What WE REALLY NEED is a way to offer our SaveLocal deal in a pooled online marketplace where new customers can see it. As a company thats sold hundreds of deals I can say that deal marketing needs something new and innovative. My interior design firm has started to offer free design for one room as part of co-sponsored deals with painters, movers, etc. just to gain the exposure to potential new clients. Here’s an example from a current Groupon: http://www.groupon.com/deals/ari-services-llc?dl=d47388 that has been ultra successful. I would love to see constant contact capitalize on the opportunity to leverage a synergy among its client base to help us reach a larger market and grow our mail lists vs. just re-market to existing customers.

    Reply
  3. I agree with HMD Home- going out to our existing base is not valuable since we can offer them anything- including social sharing. We need new group deals with complimentary companies- love that idea!

    Reply
  4. HMDhome.com •

    Thanks Pam! Kudo’s to the author of this post Blaise Lucy as he’s on it, has emailed me back and made an effort to share this feedback with SaveLocal. If any constant contacters want to brainstorm on how to network together with a leading national residential interior design firm – just drop me a note at my website http://www.HMDhome.com – We’d love to offer free interior design for one room as part of a SaveLocal deal and will reciprocate in our upcoming constant contact newsletter to 1K+ clients, plus facebook, on our website etc. Ideal partners for us are moving services companies, Realty and residential service providers.

    Reply
  5. Karen •

    Our company was rejected by both Living Social and Groupon as “they didn’t have a marketing program that could assist us.” What they didn’t realize (or ask) was that I already had designed the marketing offer and all they had to do was publish it. I think Karma was working for us on this because many vendors I talk with say they regretted doing a Groupon offer and had not seen the positive return yet.

    Reply
  6. Blaise Lucey •

    Hi all,

    We are actually working toward ways that help people expand the reach of their deals as we continue to develop SaveLocal – stay tuned!

    Reply
    • Rikki Mitman •

      We are very interested to know if anything further has been developed in the direction of reaching new potential customers.

      Reply
  7. Looking forward I think that iInternet advertising has to be able to hook into our ever growing wifi network. When you link onto a wifi network, near a “member local business” the user should be able to look “local”. This is active networking not passive networking. Email lists are a nice way to stay in contact with your base, but new clients and customers have to know you are there first, and active linking is the only thing that will work.

    Reply
  8. Hello very interesting read, especially as I am also a new business, based in London NW3, and am looking at all ways of attracting the Plus Size woman to my Boutique. I like the offer of the “gift voucher” very much as it doesn’t feel like you are cheapening the product. Thanks

    Reply

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