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Old 11-27-2012, 11:08 AM #1
bigfootguy2002
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Success with Groupon/Living Social, etc

I am in the process of working with both Groupon and Living social, and I was interested in seeing some of the deals that you guys have run, the results, and what percentage of them actually redeemed.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:25 PM #2
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I do not have the official numbers but we have been using living social and it has helped.

Almost immediately after the ad was put up we had calls rolling in.

Groupon wanted something like 15$ of our profits so we steered away from them.

But it does help with rentals... and that is what you really want.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:23 PM #3
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We ran a groupon made $8,000 in groups sales in one weekend. The package was a rental group for 2-20 people. It included rental gear and 100 paintballs, some people showed up and only used the 100 paintballs and when home. Most bought more paint for normal price, some people never showed. We sold it in the spring and the rules said you had to use it before thanksgiving. Worked out well for us but we don't advertise anywhere else and it really got our name out there.

It reaches different kinds of people that normally wouldn't have thought they wanted to come try paintball but since it came to their smart phones and seemed like a new adventure and seemed cheap they bought it.

Either way its a win with groupon it doesn't cost money out of your pocket, most people that buy it aren't your normal customers (so your not loading much money) and even if people don't buy they send out your field info to tens of thousands of people for free :/

Hope that helps
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:48 PM #4
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If you dont mind me asking what was the groupon you ran ?
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:55 PM #5
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The important thing in my opinion is not to do these discounted offers too often. When your customers start asking when you are doing your next Groupon, then there's a good chance you are doing too many. It's a good marketing tool if used sensibly. Groupon is starting to have so financial woes, so the salesmen are going to try to get you to run Groupons more frequently. When you do them too often, soon a good portion of your customers are discount customers and unless you are careful, it's going to eventually affect your bottom line in a negative way.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:59 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
The important thing in my opinion is not to do these discounted offers too often. When your customers start asking when you are doing your next Groupon, then there's a good chance you are doing too many. It's a good marketing tool if used sensibly. Groupon is starting to have so financial woes, so the salesmen are going to try to get you to run Groupons more frequently. When you do them too often, soon a good portion of your customers are discount customers and unless you are careful, it's going to eventually affect your bottom line in a negative way.
I agree you don't want to run them too often. If your existing customers start asking when you are going to run your next one, that is a problem because the point of Groupon/Living Social is to attract NON-paintball players to your field.

We have had pretty good success with both Groupon and Living Social from the standpoint of bringing in new customers. Our normal deal is free entry/air/rental with two pods of paintballs. While some of them leave after shooting their two pods, the majority of them buy extra paint, upgrades, etc. so we do end up making a few dollars on their first visit. The good news is most of them return and some become regulars.

We also use Groupon/Living Social for our Haunted Trail each October. This has been very successful each year. We average about 4,000 GrouponLiving Social customers for this.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:54 AM #7
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We have done both Groupon and Living Social. Compared to when Groupon hit the scene, sales are progressively smaller (not just for us but from what I can see when competitors run one). I think it is due increased competition and their running the offers in smaller areas - rather than all of Houston, our last campaign was offered to only those in our local area. And the fact that every field in the area seems to be running one so folks are tired of seeing paintball offers every week.

We never include paint - only entry and rental equipment. Rentals and entry do not cost me a thing out of pocket. Paint on the other hand does.

We have only done two campaigns and the redemption rate for both was a little more 1/3 of those purchased. So those not showing up paid for those who did.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:06 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedPBMom View Post
We never include paint - only entry and rental equipment. Rentals and entry do not cost me a thing out of pocket. Paint on the other hand does.
There would be a small associated maintenance, air/CO2 and wear & tear cost, but it's probably minimal. I would argue though that there is extra staffing cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistedPBMom View Post
We have only done two campaigns and the redemption rate for both was a little more 1/3 of those purchased. So those not showing up paid for those who did.
Our redemption rate is in that neighborhood as well. One thing I always wonder about is the people who buy but don't redeem. Obviously they are a little interested or at least curious about paintball, otherwise they wouldn't have bought, which is a good thing because those are the people you are trying to lure to your field. However, dose spending money on something and then not redeeming (wasting their money) leave a bit of a bad taste in their mouths? Do they then associate your business with something that was a waste of money? I'm not saying that is a reason not to do these, but just something I've thought about.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:45 AM #9
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i think the people who end up not redeeming are those people who just forget all about it. they dont really remember they spent the money and probably dont care that much.

i know several people who use groupon that are just like that.

im also pretty sure groupon reminds people before deals expire as we had a bunch of people show up last minute for our last day of play (also the day groupons expired).
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:45 PM #10
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The best one we ran went like this. We offer 2 options that include rental gear and entry fee for a party of 6 people for $30 or party of 10 people for $45. IT IS MADE VERY CLEAR THAT PAINT AND AIR ARE NOT INCLUDED AND MUST BE PURCHASED AT THE FIELD. In one week we sold 110 packages for the party of 6, that's 660 new potential customers, and 120 parties of 10, that's 1200 new potential customers. We ran it in the spring and by the years end we had a 68% return rate. Some even turned into regulars, very few though.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:53 PM #11
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We stopped including paint/air in our Living Social/Groupon type deals as well. That way LS/Groupon corp. gets way less of OUR money and we still make money on each player when they come to the field. It is less out of pocket money for someone to get the coupons and we charge a minimum amount when they actually do come out.

Overall I think it has been a huge benefit for our field.

Sue
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:16 PM #12
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We run the same deal; Just like paintball usa passes the customer gets Admission/Rental but has to pay for Paint, Air fills, and optional upgrades such as coverall and chest protector rentals. The idea is for YOU to get as much money as possible so I don't recommend including the paint etc. as that costs you money.
Works out great for us. Almost all the groups end up renting the coveralls and chest protectors so that's a nice bonus.
I agree that you don't want to run it too much. We try to run them as we head into our slower season which is May-August (we're indoors). Groupon gets you your money fast so it's especially helpful with cashflow in the slower months. Living social takes a few weeks longer to pay but we've sold a lot through them as well.
Look at it as a form of FREE advertising with perks.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:22 PM #13
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Consider this:

Groupon has a massive membership list. Ask your representative how many potential customers will receive the email blast.

Ensure you promote birthday celebrations as parents are always looking for new things to do.

The 50/50% profit split that Groupon charges is the cost of doing business. You should consider the cost of not doing business with them versus the advertising cost, which is really what you are paying for. Consider a cost per impression ratio per number of emails that are sent. Yes, it will be expensive in that formula, but you are the only one that can determine whether it is worth the cost or not. Let me say this, that if you are considering Groupon, then you are considering Advertising, if you are considering Advertising then the business needs help to grow as it is not a walk-in market.

Try one Groupon and see how it goes, when you have run it so many times that people will not come without the special offer, then stop running it.

Lastly, ask for a 60/40% split to your favor. You can get a better deal once you have a proven record for selling lots of Groupons.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:43 PM #14
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Groupon lets you restrict when the Groupons are valid, so they can also be used for price differentiation, for example, Sundays only, or if you're indoor, Thursday nights or some such.

One cause of Groupon non-redemption is buying them planning to use them with your friends who have bought one and then never getting your schedules to work out. I've had that happen on a couple non-paintball buys.

- Chris
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