About a year and half ago, I did a Groupon. They were just rolling out in Cincinnati, and I had never heard of them. My deal was set for the 3rd day of the Cincinnati market.
My offer: a 75 minute massage of your choice with a foot scrub/hot towels. Time alloted for massage service was 90 minutes. Normally $100, the consumer could get it for $39. Yes, you heard it, $39. (And most people don't know that Groupon keeps 50% of what they sell it for, often adding in another 3% for credit card fees).
The person I was dealing with at Groupon told me I could sell "as many as 200." I thought it would probably be 80-100, which was fine. After all, I teach continuing education for massage therapists as well as have a regular client base for massage.
Well, all told, originally 492 were sold. I didn't know there was a 500 limit. Apparently, 3 people didn't know what they were doing and hit the payment button twice, so I ended up getting paid for 489. Keep in mind that this is an hour and a half service, totalling 733.5 hours of massage!
What I discovered, firstly, is that online booking for massage is critical. The phone was ringing off the hook. My operations manager did nothing but answer calls and return calls and book appointments for the 2 days following the Groupon. Not a good use of time! Once I put on my answering machine that you could book your massage appointment online, the calls slowed down. (I still have that message on my phone today, and my clients LOVE booking their massages online!)
I learned how to say "no" to clients. We as massage therapists have a tendency to say "OK" to them, even if it's to our detriment. We work on them when we feel like we're too tired, work too deeply and then end up icing our hands/wrists.
I limited my apointments most days to 6 hours a day, although in the beginning I did work entirely too hard. I still had my "old" clients! I did 37.5 hours of massage sometimes in a week. So I learned to block myself off my schedule so that I could spend time with my family. The few exceptions I made were for pregnant women who were about to give birth.
I discovered that, although I read every detail about something before I buy, most other people don't. The number of people that tried to schedule "couple's massages" was ridiculous. And the deal on the Groupon even said something along the lines of "available for a single massage only." And people tried to use more than one Groupon, although that was excluded. So I learned to say "NO!" to those people, where previously I may have been a sucker. (OK, I was a sucker in the past).
Was it worth doing the deal for massage? Overall yes. Will I do it again? No. I have retained some really good repeat clients from the Groupon who would not have heard from me otherwise. And some of those people referred their friends to me. Others were interested in only getting an inexpensive massage. A number of people remarked about what a great massage I gave, much better that a massage-crank-em-out-for-cheap-superstore. And I have a client base much larger than it was before, I can do my own deal if I want, just marketing to the people I've worked on previously.
Well, yes, I do give a really good massage. And I've been doing massage for over 12 years and have a vested interest in my company, so I always do the best I can do.
So what was the most popular massage? Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy barefoot massage was the resounding top seller. Bamboo-fusion next, pregancy massage after that, and just a handful of traditional hands on massage.