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Testimonial from a Business Owner<br Using Deal of the Day Sites for Your Business

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Testimonial from a Business OwnerI was a regular user of Groupon for dinner certificates and massage deals. While redeeming a Jewelry making Groupon I asked the business owner if it was a good deal for her, she expressed that it was a cheap way to get her name out. I own a campground in Southwest Michigan and advertising is my biggest concern. Once people get to us they usually love us. So, my challenge was to find the most economical way to get our name out there. Before I called Groupon I thought about where we get the most guests coming from, for us it was Chicago, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Kalamazoo was the smallest town out of those three so we went with that as a test. We are a small business and we didn't want to be overwhelmed with guests that we could not service. The Groupon representative asked us what is the average stay for our guests, it was two nights. So the deal was two nights for 50% off. Our regular rate is $18 per night, so the average guest would spend $36 for their stay. The Groupon clients paid $18 and Groupon keeps half of that, so we ended up with $9 per Groupon sold. They set the redeem date for November of the same year, but it was up to us, I think 1 year is standard. The Groupon rep was very responsive to our questions and concerns. I called him several times throughout the process and he either answered the phone or got back to me the same day. He sent us a preview of the deal and they had used a different picture than the one I provided. It was a girl with her head out of a tent in full sun on grass. Our campground is all wooded and therefore shady and the sites are not grassy. So I asked that it be changed and they did. We made it not valid on holidays and special event weekends, because we do not have a problem filling our sites on those weekends. We also made it valid for tent sites only and not our cabins, because they fill up and cost us more to maintain. The offer ran for 3 days, the first day as the main deal and 2 more days as a "side deal". We sold 97 in Kalamazoo, the Groupon representative said he thought it would do better than that, but we were very excited about the 97 new guests who had previously never heard of us. We also had a few reservations from people who wanted a cabin, but said they heard about us on Groupon. The Groupon rep called us back about 2 weeks later and asked if we wanted to be a "side deal" in the town of Lansing (about an hour from us). We said yes, and it ran for 3 days, we sold 30 more. When I used my personal Groupons, I noticed that owners gave us a further deal, so I made a return discount card for all the Groupon guests for 10% off their next stay. We also made additional money from each guests on other purchases such as firewood, boat rental, and additional nights. It was a very good deal for us and we are planning to do a deal in the spring in Chicago, but we are planning to limit it to 300 sold so we can provide a good experience for everyone who purchases one. We also promoted the deal on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so our regular clients would not feel they missed out and so they could tell their friends.We did end up with one or two unhappy guests, who said it just wasn't for them, but overall, people seemed happy to have found a great place to camp that they had never heard of before.Rose's RetreatCampground Owner

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