Marketing Tip: Communicating with your Customers
A client of ours relies heavily on coupons and communication with his customers. Here is a list with a couple of things he does and has done.
While I personally don't like Groupon and the like, the client says he was able to convert Groupon customers into regular customers. He makes sure that customers can only buy one coupon via Groupon and he doesn't really make money from those who come only once.
My general advice is, if you're considering Groupon or other deal websites, make sure you understand how they work and how not to lose money while working with them.
Customers can buy coupons via an online shop. People receive those coupons by email and can print them. The coupons have an expiration date and, interestingly enough, many customers let their coupons expire. The statistics show that about 20% of the coupons he sold via his online shop brought him revenue without the need to work.
If customers haven't booked an appointment for longer than a year after their last visit, they receive an email with a friendly reminder. Each email contains a coupon that knocks off a couple percent of the usual price.
Customers can subscribe to something called "appointment alert" that informs them if a time slot opens up in the next couple of days and has a positive effect on capacity utilization. Freed-up appointment times are also being posted to Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
This is a simple system where customers receive a bonus point for each time they show up for a massage. Once they reach a certain number of points, 10 for example, they receive a coupon via email.
Like above, the customer receives an email with a coupon attached. Though, not all customers like that and have opted out of those emails.
While the last four things are automatically handled by our appontment scheduling software, the coupon attachments feature is a custom job the client had us do.