If you aren't familiar with the term "daily deals" I guarantee you've used them before when online shopping. Daily Deal Sites are places you go to discover the latests discounts on products/services/events in your area. A really popular one, Groupon, lets you find things based on category and location; so if I'm looking for a massage in San Diego it will list all the current discounts and companies offering them.
If you are interested in learning more about the advantages and disadvantages when using these services click here. Or here are tips for using daily deals based off of our experiences working with these services, keep reading.
1. Do Not Overuse Their Services
The first tips is one of the most common mistakes we see our event promoters make and suffer the consequences. What happens is they use the deal services every year for the event because their sales are up on the site so they assume it's working and boosting their revenue in the end. WRONG!
What's happening is you are allowing your customers to get use to purchasing discounted tickets on these sites, diverting traffic from your own and decreasing your SEO. Because you are always offering such event at a discounted rate, they are going to be expecting this year after year, and the minute you don't, your event ratings are going to go down; "Too expensive" "raised prices" etc.
Avoid this happening at all costs and only offer the discounts every now and then. The sales on those sites might look good, but that's only because it's for cheaper tickets. Plus, they are taking a part of your revenue so in the end, what are you really making in ticket sales?
Don't forget the goal is to get more traffic to your site and business, and by always relying on these deal sites, it's going to delay that goal.
2. Deals Should Never Be Closer Then 3-4 Weeks
This is super IMPORTANT when it comes to event planning. Every discount or daily deal you post should only be available 3-6 weeks from the event, no closer. Never do any daily deal sites closer than 3 weeks to your event and here is why.
The vast majority of tickets are purchased within the 2 weeks leading up to your event. If you are offering discounts on a daily deals site during prime time, you will lose most of your ticket sales to these different sites, when it could have been avoided.
We've seen this happen before.
Being on the other end, ticketing for different events that have used these services, we have seen it all. Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
A recent event we ticketed for used the service we mentioned above, Groupon. Our event promoters chose to work with Groupon to bring in new sales and take advantage of their large email database to drive up traffic.
However, Groupon purchased paid ads on Google to promote the event, so when someone searched for that event, the first thing they would see is the paid ad offering the discount (see left).
This ad would appear directly above the event's actual website where they were selling normal priced tickets.
Unfortunately the event didn‘t realize this was taking place until weeks before the event, meaning Groupon basically stole their customers and they had a huge decrease in revenue during their prime selling hours.
3. Read The Terms & Conditions
Every service/site you use it going to be different, one better than the other. Do your research and start by narrowing it down to your top three choices. Then read everything before signing up, as you should with any contract. Every site has to make a profit somehow, so make sure you fully understand what part of the profit they are getting from your sales.
Always ask yourself, how is this benefiting them?
For example, Groupon makes money by charging a marketing fee for advertising and promoting offers. Most of the time, this fee is a percentage of the revenue generated by selling on their site. What that percentage is depends on your product/services being sold. With Groupon, there is no upfront cost to start with and they don't start making a profit until you do.
Another thing to look for is the expiration dates of your offers, some deals might have extremely short expiration dates that might not work for your customers or even give them a chance to use their purchase. It's also a good idea to understand their refund policy before moving forward. If they have poor services or limited refund options for customers, it's not going to reflect poorly on the daily deal site, rather customers are going to turn to you.
It's up to you to decide whether you want to use these sites for your next event. Where we've seen success stories, we've also seen huge failures and decreases in revenue. When deciding your next step, do so with caution, and research!
To get started, check out The Balance Everyday article that put together a list of the top daily deal websites on the internet to find one that might work for you.