If you own a small business, there’s a good chance you still have some questions about deals. Don’t worry—you’re not alone. While deals (or daily deals, as they are sometimes known) have been around for a while now, there are plenty of business owners who still have big questions about whether or not running a deal is right for their business. That is natural when you hear stories of small business owners losing money from deals due to unexpected spikes in demand that can’t be met. Meanwhile, consumers are frustrated as they’re stuck waiting in long lines or have a drawer full of unredeemed offers.
It’s these types of stories that taint the image of the daily deal, and rightfully so. But when done well, daily deals can be great for merchants and consumers. The key is running a deal that’s right for your business, and using a service provider that allows the small business owner to be in control.
Here are 3 additional tips to help you run a successful local deal:
1) Focus on your current customers: One of the first things you typically hear about deals is that running a deal can introduce your business to a whole new audience. (If you’ve ever been pitched by a deal provider on the phone, chances are that’s where they started.) But more than 70% of deals are actually purchased by existing customers, and 50% of deal buyers are more likely to buy a deal after its been referred by a friend—compared to just 32% who said that coming from a national deal provider would influence their decision. Make your deals more successful by targeting your customers first, and encourage them to share to be exposed to new audiences rather than targeting new prospects first.
2) Offer a quality deal: Offering a quality deal is about a lot more than just the discount you provide. Sure, you can offer a 50% discount, but if you’re only running the deal to clean out inventory or if you’re making it difficult for customers to buy the stuff they actually want, your deal won’t benefit you or your customers. Satisfied and engaged customers are far more proﬁtable in terms of loyalty, sharing deals, and genuine word-of-mouth endorsements.
Before sending your first deal, ask yourself these three questions:
· Would I buy this deal if it wasn’t my business?
· Would I recommend this deal to a close friend?
· Would my best customers like this deal?
If your answer is anything but “absolutely yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to rethink your deal.
3) Let the deal be the ﬁrst step to establishing lifetime customer relationships: One of the biggest challenges small businesses have when running deals online is figuring out how to turn deal buyers into repeat customers. It’s not always easy, but there are things you can do to stack the cards in your favor. One of the best ways to turn deal buyers into lifelong customers is to make sure you have a way of staying in contact after the deal is over.
Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.