I signed up to receive Groupon offers, in order to keep my finger on the pulse of new marketing opportunities. I’ve been under-whelmed. There are only so many massage, facial, haircut, and manicure offers that I care to read about (the actual number is very close to zero). Not to be deterred by my lack of participation in the Groupon experience, from time to time they send me “incentives” to pony up and buy something.
Today, I received notice that Groupon has a Spectacular deal for me from Barnes and Noble. Ok I’ll bite… hmm… 50% off a $10 eGift card. I can’t believe it – a five-dollar savings!!! Stop the presses and let me catch my breath. I don’t know how Groupon does it. An offer this good just two weeks after sending me an offer that could have saved me $5 on a $10 certificate from Speedway (at current prices that would give me either a free gallon and a quarter of gas or a couple of jumbo hot dogs).
If Groupon wants to bribe me to get me to buy, they’re going to have to come up with better first time offers than that. Saving five dollars isn’t enough incentive to bother filling out Groupon’s payment information in order to make a purchase.
If the lack of “WOW” isn’t enough, Groupon informs me in bold type that the deal cannot be purchased with promotional codes, gift codes, or Groupon Bucks. If you violate these terms, Groupon will refund your purchase and close your Groupon account.
I’m not a big fan of Groupon for most retailers. While it has worked for some businesses, the downside of alienating your regular customers, and training customers to wait for a “deal” doesn’t outweigh the potential benefits. But whether it’s Groupon or an incentive you create yourself, make sure your offer knocks the socks off of potential new customers. Otherwise you’ll leave them feeling like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” when he first used his Orphan Annie decoder…. “(sigh) A crummy commercial?”