Groupon offers a great deal, but can it be leveraged for customer acquisition for pest control professionals?
Bayer Environmental Science is a supplier of quality household insecticide for Pest Control Operation, in India we are having Bayer Certified Bayer Network Professionals, they are certified by Bayer to use Bayer's product and deliver high level service, kind of Premium Pest Control, we are exploring GROUPON as lead generation platform for our Bayer Network Professional partners, not sure about sustainable lead generation platform, because we think that it attracts crowd who are looking for deal and may not repeat...
Your instinct is correct - Groupon campaigns attract deal-seekers who are generally loyal to Groupon and not the company offering the deal. Groupon has also single-handedly ruined businesses because businesses don't have much control over when the deal runs or how many times it can be redeemed.
My take on it. I would not use them. It can take your business out of business with all their fees and they really don't care. I have seen it a lot. Why would you discount so deeply just to get a new customer. You give that discount and what they charge for you will see no profit margin.
You are right, many clients will not repeat. It is a good thought process, great for the consumer but horrible for the business.
I might have a better way, that works similar but not that many fees. If you want more connect with me and I can give you a link to check it out since we are not allowed to give links on this system..
Groupon can be tricky for service organizations. Groupon wants you to give their members a 50% discount; and then they want 50-60% of the remaining for themselves. So, on the surface, the main benefit of using Groupon is to gain access to their members and the potential of return customers. Most service businesses cannot give up their main service at a 75% discount - NO WAY!.
That said, if you can offer an introductory offer that has very little cost to you; and if you can capture those customers into your customer list and into your sales funnel; You may be able to financially justify a Groupon deal.
For instance, Do you ever do an onsite survey of a property to determine if it has a pest infestation that you can cure? In essence this is a sales call that many organizations will go on for free. Why not set the value of this onsite survey at a practical and reasonable value - say $75.00 to $150.00. Then set up a deal to offer this service at 50% to Groupon members. The remaining 50% will be split between you and Groupon. The 25% you get goes toward your real cost of doing the survey - fuel, vehicle wear and tear, etc. You certainly don't make anything; and you don't lose too much either.
On the plus side, you turn their members into your prospects with a real chance of making sales. But you must have a lead capture system in place. And you must have a prospect nurturing system in place. Once you do the survey, you nurture the prospect until they are Ready Willing and Able (RWA) to do business with you. Your nurturing system will tell you when they are RWA.
I have seen plumbing organizations be successful with Groupon in this way. But then plumbers expect a continuing relationship. I am unsure what kind of repeat business you can expect for pest control. Perhaps ongoing applications can be justified? Or perhaps a one time application can be profitable enough to justify the campaign?
You will probably want to have some kind of viral referral program in place as well. And don't forget reviews.
I hope this helps.
Groupon works great for restaurants, liquor stores and cigar shops for example, to drive new customers in the door that might then frequent the establishment. The biggest problem for those types of businesses though, as well as all others, is selling below cost and then the new perceived price/value of the goods or services because of the Groupon incentive with huge discounts. I have clients with Groupon horror stories about ultimately losing more customers than they gain because the new ones come in the second time and complain about the higher price, regular customers over hear the talk and get butt hurt because they were never rewarded for being good customers... loose/loose!
I think that with the right strategy in place you might be able to leverage the online deal arena. Having a maintenance program or package deal in place could be a good way to turn a single deal in to a repeat customer.
Look at frequency of your customers and how often they use you. Look at revenue or a percentage you will receive from Groupon. It's a tough equation. Try to differentiate and look at the 9P's of Marketing at http://nineps.com. Groupon is one avenue to review. There are many other options especially in the Nine P's of marketing. Look at off season pricing. Please analyze and don't jump right in.
I agree with Dana and your thoughts. I'm not a very big fan of Groupon for building evangelistic and repeat customers. Groupon customers seem to be their customers, not yours...if that makes sense. They choose based on the available groupons.
I worked with a customer who had a groupon campaign running. He saw an increase in customers during the campaign, but not much profit, and they never came back...despite leaving rave reviews.
Just my thoughts.
Hello I wrote this article on my Blog about Groupon I recommend you reading it.:
Hope it helps.
'the Marketing Coach"
In my experience, your thinking is correct - This is not the best avenue to attract long-term or repeat customers.