An image of a person's smartphone with the the Groupon website showing up on it is used to illustrate the concept of understanding how Groupon works for business.

In today’s competitive marketplace, massage therapists need creative strategies to attract new clients and grow their business. Groupon, a popular e-commerce marketplace, can be a powerful marketing tool when used strategically.

But success with Groupon for business is not merely about offering discounts; it’s about leveraging the platform to enhance your client experience, improve your business processes, and ultimately, increase your client retention rate.

1. Understanding Groupon as a Marketing Tool

Groupon is more than just a discount marketplace; it’s a marketing platform that introduces your business to a vast pool of potential clients. Its real value lies not in the one-time deal seekers but in the opportunity it offers for customer retention. It gets people on your massage table.

What happens next is up to you. If the customer experience you provide is exceptional, a substantial percentage of those clients are likely to return, and many will do so at full price.

To effectively utilize Groupon for business, you should approach it with a mindset of opportunity, not just discounting. It’s a channel to showcase your skills, professionalism, and unique value proposition to an audience that may not have discovered you otherwise.

The discounted service serves as an incentive to get them in the door, but the experience you provide is what will keep them coming back.

2. Prepping Your Business for a Groupon Campaign

Before launching a Groupon campaign, it’s crucial to ensure your business is structured for success. Begin by pricing your services appropriately. Consider a minimum of $95 for a 60-minute massage to strike a balance between perceived value and profitability.

Next, establish a set of behaviors that elevate your service, like a warm greeting, using the client’s name, offering undivided attention, maintaining a positive attitude, and personally escorting your client out of your office. These behaviors should be consistently applied throughout the client’s experience.

This section is going to dive a bit deeper into our behaviors, and why they play such an important role in rebooking and retaining our Groupon clients.

Our first behavior is warm greeting. As standard as this might seem, this is what is going to set the tone for the remainder of your time with this client. Consider the last few visits to a retail store you made. Think about how the employees acted. Did they seem like they enjoyed their job? Were they ready to go the distance for you? Or were they just punching a clock for a paycheck.

Those first impressions shape everything you say going forward, and you must come across as the Pro and control the conversation.

Using the client’s name is our next behavior, and plays a big part in controlling the conversation, establishing trust and earning the rebook when the time comes. You can start practicing this at home with family and friends. Start using the names of the people around you every day.

The most common thing that will happen is that they will notice and pay attention to you, and some might even say something like, “did you just use my name?” When we hear our name, we pay attention, and begin to trust that person more. We can leverage this later when it’s time to ask for the rebook.

Offering undivided attention is imperative. Groupon clients deserve the same treatment as your $95/hr clients, and maybe even more since we haven’t won them as a client for life yet. If you can demonstrate that during those 60 minutes, nothing else matters, they are going to see the elevated value you bring that others might not be.

This holds true with maintaining a positive attitude. We all have days where we aren’t 100%, and that’s OK, but we still need to do everything we can to provide that exceptional experience for our clients.

Our final behavior is walking our client all the way through the doors to our office. There is a high-frequency feeling people get when they cross from one space to another with someone vs doing it alone. By walking our clients through the door, we create an experience they rarely get, and that supports the idea that rebooking with you is the right decision.

Develop a systematic process for each client that encompasses a greeting, pre-session assessment, the massage session itself, a post-session assessment, rebooking, and a farewell. This process ensures you don’t miss anything and offers a reliable, high-quality experience for each client. I

The most important thing to remember here is that the process is designed to guarantee an exceptional experience for every client, every single time, where we make ourselves the obvious choice for future massage therapy sessions.

Finally, remember your worth as a professional. You’re providing a valuable service that improves people’s health and well-being. This confidence will help you stand out from the competition and convert Groupon customers into full-paying clients for life.

3. Case Studies: Success with Groupon

Let’s look at a couple of success stories from massage therapists who’ve effectively leveraged Groupon.

A student from Pennsylvania managed to retain 80% of their Groupon clients over three years, an incredible feat considering the perceived transient nature of deal-seekers. The therapist achieved this through consistently providing a top-quality experience and maintaining a structured process for every client.

Another student in Florida transformed their business by using Groupon, going from booking week-to-week appointments to being fully booked out six weeks in advance. This therapist now enjoys an over 90% client retention rate, a testament to the power of providing an exceptional service and understanding how to effectively leverage Groupon.

4. Setting Goals and Structuring Your Campaign

Launching a successful Groupon campaign requires clear goals and a structured approach. Define what you hope to achieve from the campaign. Are you looking for a quick influx of new clients, or are you focused on the longer-term goal of building a loyal customer base?

Once you have a clear goal, reach out to Groupon to discuss your campaign. They can provide valuable insights and help you structure your offer for the best results.

5. Optimizing Your Systems for the Campaign

Before launching your Groupon campaign, ensure your website and booking systems are prepared to handle the increased traffic. Implement an online booking system if you haven’t done so, making it easier for potential clients to schedule appointments.

Also, make sure your website clearly states your terms and policies, such as cancellation rules and draping protocols. Clear communication upfront can prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smoother experience for both you and your clients.

6. Launching and Managing Your Groupon Campaign

Once you’ve planned and prepared, it’s time to launch your campaign. Throughout the campaign, monitor performance and client feedback closely. Document everything: client experiences, your comfort level with your established processes and behaviors, and any feedback you receive. Documentation will provide valuable insights for improving future campaigns.

7. Addressing Common Challenges

One common concern about Groupon clients is that they’re only interested in cheap services. This may be true for some, but with the right approach, you can convert these deal-seekers into full-paying clients.

It’s about standing out from the crowd and providing an exceptional experience. The five key behaviors and six-step client process outlined earlier can set you apart and help win over even the most frugal clients.

Grow Business with Groupon

Groupon can be a powerful tool for growing your massage therapy business when used strategically. The key is understanding that Groupon is a means to get new clients on your table; retaining those clients depends on the exceptional service and value you provide.

Before you launch your next Groupon campaign, ensure you have the necessary structures in place to leverage this platform fully. You have the skills and the professionalism; Groupon provides the audience. With careful planning and execution, you can use this to your advantage and fast-track your business growth.

Chad Ever

About the Author

Chad Ever is the owner of LMT Websites and co-founder of Massage Core Academy, both designed to meet the unique business needs of massage therapists, including rebooking, customer service and business growths. He is also an NCBTMB Approved CE Provider serving the demand for real world business education. In addition to supporting the massage industry, Ever lives in Michigan with his wife, Amy, and McNab Collie, Sadie.