Tips for daily deals sites

ARE you about to list a deal on a coupon site but are not sure what to expect?

With the massive impact daily deals sites have had on the small to medium enterprise sector, merchants are speaking out about the benefits of these sites.

Daniel Altshuler, general manager of Helm Bar in Sydney, has never looked back since running two deals on leading daily deals site LivingSocial and Jump On It, selling 3000 coupons in total.

"On the day of the deal, be ready with all the stock for the deal and a staff member to answer the phones," he said.

"If you don't, your customers won't be satisfied from the beginning. Do everything you can to exceed customer expectations so they become repeat customers.

"We could have spent $20,000 running a marketing campaign, with no guarantees that it would bring in any new clients. With both the deals we have run we received amazing results we would never have expected."

LivingSocial and Jump On It Australia and NZ CEO Colin Fabig said deals sites often helped small business solve their biggest problem, generating leads.

"But you need to be prepared for the new business that comes knocking," he said.

"It is up to each business to structure the deal based on the money that's coming in. With alternative marketing channels coming at a hefty price tag, daily deals offer good value."

Colin Fabig's top 10 tips for using daily deals sites

1. Understand it's a promotional tool. Don't treat daily deals websites as a revenue stream. Promotions are designed to bring in new customers and generate brand awareness.

2. Do your homework: Know the date the deal will go live. Daily deals sites can reserve the right to post your deal at any time, but staying in close contact with them can save you from any inconvenient surprises.

3. Know the full details of the deal - what is being promoted and brief your staff: Don't rush customers through. What you are seeking is return business.

4. Read the fine print: Understand your commission on each deal, and how and when it is paid to you.

5. Man your phones: In the first week, and especially on the first day, ensure your staff are briefed to take calls and make bookings.

6. Ensure you have the resources: Think about hiring additional staff to take bookings in the first three days, and prepare a script for them. This internal process is just as important as any external marketing.

7. Don't let down your existing customers: Ensure you are prepared for the extra business. You need to provide the same high-quality service to your existing customers. They will notice if you don't.

8. Develop an ongoing strategy: Before the deal goes live, have a sales and marketing strategy in place to create loyalty and maximise repeat bookings. Don't use daily deals in isolation.

9. Take ownership of the process: Make it work for you on your terms. Only take on what you can handle.

10. Track the success of your deal: Collect information on purchases new customers make beyond the deal.

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