My biggest offline cash cow right now

23 replies
Hey all. I'm not much of a warrior- I look on that board about once every few months, buy some WSOs and leave again. I know I could make money wrapping up my ideas into WSOs and selling them to others, but I can't be bothered because a) I'm too lazy, and b) I'm having too much fun and making too much money selling lead gen to local businesses (you know- "walking the walk").

I'm also mindful that my first post on here a year or more ago, got deleted because it didn't have much content. So I got inspired today to share something that's working for me right now

So here's an idea which I could most likely wrap up in a WSO, and be all secretive about, and make out it's a huge thing. It is big, and I'm making good money from it right NOW.

Groupon is worth BILLIONS. They contact local businesses (you know, the ones you want to target too), and they talk them into doing big discounts for a daily deal. They try and cut the business owner to the BONE on margin. Then they tell them they want 30% of revenue. It's a wonder the businessperson has anything left over after they've run the promotion.

Now, there's a few opportunities here

Sign up to Groupon in your area. Now you have a daily list of companies who are shouting "we have money to burn on marketing"

You do marketing- so here's a warm lead. Consider this;

1. Many people do a Groupon while having a terrible website. By emailing them and pointing out that many people will check the site pre Groupon, it's a way of alerting them to other ways they could be investing their cash

2. Groupon sucks in terms of return. Many people state that they've almost gone out of business. They may not be doing another one in a hurry. But CPA lead gen? "That makes much more sense doesn't it Mr Customer? Don't pay anything now- in fact have a few free leads to get you started" Post Groupon is a great time to approach.

3. Groupon tends to work better with businesses which have a high margin, an ongoing residual, or an upsell. So there's lots of beauty companies and dentists etc on there- again all of this means that they value the lifetime value of a client.

This is the kicker! Groupon will already have talked to them about the lifetime value of the customer (that's how they can justify the 30% cut). So when you approach with a balance of sympathy ("how could Groupon take so much!"), and knowledge about their likely margins, you can then lead up to selling the dream.

"How about if we take the good bits of Groupon Mr customer, but with you paying per lead, suggesting your own payment rates, and your own lead caps?

Suddenly, the customer feels back in control, and suddenly you are the white knight.

Just wanted to share- I'm selling all kinds of stuff to ex Groupon clients right now- and not just CPA lead gen but also websites, SEO all kinds of stuff.

I could put my Groupon affiliate link here, and ask you all to sign up through it. But I'm not!

Cheers

TJ
#biggest #cash #cow #offline
  • Profile picture of the author rafterman
    excellent tip, thanks a lot
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  • Profile picture of the author Nic Lynn
    Love this idea. And it's not just Groupon that you can harvest your offline leads from... there are a bunch of worthy competitors popping up, including Living Social, for example...
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    • Profile picture of the author kangen
      really helpful tip, i think your idea is one of the best ideas .
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  • Profile picture of the author nateall
    Originally Posted by tjhooker View Post

    "How about if we take the good bits of Groupon Mr customer, but with you paying per lead, suggesting your own payment rates, and your own lead caps?
    But how do you actually get this done? Optimize their website and include an opt-in form?

    I'm interested on how you set the pricing, and then how the operations work...
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    • Profile picture of the author lingo
      Mate,

      Brilliant tip.

      Im already doing local lead gen but the Groupon angle is very clever.

      The thing is, im assuming you base it on a completed sale of the whatever offer is being advertised. If this is the case, how do you track completed sales? How can you make sure the owner is not lying about the amount of coverted leads?

      Im already doing this for two clients at the moment but im struggling to implement a decent model where i can track commission on the business. Im able to track phone calls as i have setup seperate numbers, but the conversion of the sale is a lot harder to manage.
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      • Profile picture of the author nacke81
        This is a fantastic idea. My wife owns a local spa and I got involved in doing a deal with Groupon. But once I heard all of their conditions, and that they wanted half of the revenue, I declined. I think Groupon is one of the worst things a business can do to get new customers. In fact, I just read an article in Entreprenuer that stated that 40% of businesses who have used Groupon won't do it again because they lost money on the deal, or such a tiny number of people became repeat customers that it wasn't worth the headache.

        Grabbing a business owners attention with a sustainable and profitable marketing strategy like you've suggested is perfect. Not only does it blow away the Groupon model, but 40% of the people you talk to will have a bitter taste in their mouth about Groupon, and you'll be providing a better way.

        I love it. Thanks for sharing.
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        • Profile picture of the author tjhooker
          Wow- thanks for being so positive. In terms of fulfilment (ie the Q from nateall), well I didn't think to add that because there's a ton of WSOs/ articles out there right now about that- pick any one of them and it'll tell you what to do. This is just a tip on finding clients, which seems to be the most difficult bit for many people (who aren't like me, I just pick up the phone and sell, it's the tech bit I'm not so great at!)

          Buy an offline WSO (the Gary King one is great) and work with it. Basically you need to work out whether you can use the client's site, if so then you can try static landing pages, or something like unbounce.com, or even a sep. wordpress install alongside their site. Or if you prefer to do it on your own server then do it there, and put up a microsite using Wordpress, with the same landing pages etc.

          I have a method I use for tracking all leads (phone and web)- the best question below was from lingo and that's a real tough one. I tell you what I do- I have a system which puts all the leads automatically into a Google spreadsheet, and as part of my sale I reserve the right to phone all and any leads with a "courtesy call" to find out what happened. Then I pick some random leads, call or email them and ask how the follow up went. If it's "we didn't hear anything back" then I can contact the client to find out why, and if they aren't following up the leads then consider cutting the client loose. If they bought from my client and it wasn't recorded, then again i'll follow up with the client and see what's happened. Most clients are pretty honest with me.

          Hope that helps. I'm considering putting together a WSO with some tips for offline that are different from the various ones floating around right now- don't get me wrong as they are all useful, but they are all quite similar, and in terms of lead management I have some better methods and tools I've found. Be good to hear if there would be any interest in that. I'm also considering doing a WSO from a UK viewpoint, as most of them seem to focus on the US, and it's different here (we don't have Google voice, for example)

          I just signed a windows company this morning ('home improvement' I think the US people call them). They are paying me £20 a lead and 5% of each deal. The lead cost will cover my costs, and then the deals are average £5000, so £250 per deal!!

          Cheers

          TJ
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        • Profile picture of the author tjhooker
          Originally Posted by nacke81 View Post

          This is a fantastic idea. My wife owns a local spa and I got involved in doing a deal with Groupon. But once I heard all of their conditions, and that they wanted half of the revenue, I declined. I think Groupon is one of the worst things a business can do to get new customers. In fact, I just read an article in Entreprenuer that stated that 40% of businesses who have used Groupon won't do it again because they lost money on the deal, or such a tiny number of people became repeat customers that it wasn't worth the headache.
          I read this too- I also read an article about a customer of a Groupon-style site (note to any watching lawyers, it may not have been Groupon), where they reckoned the deal they cut almost bankrupted them. It was a cookie company if memory serves me right.

          Groupon isn't much better than Yell.com as far as I am concerned (for the clients, it's great for people who buy them). We can help our clients do MUCH better!
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  • Profile picture of the author qwerty77
    This is a fantastic idea. I have used Groupon to find clients, but never put it into terms that you described. It is a marketers goldmine for finding fresh leads...plus many times it will display how many Groupons were sold so you can make precise calculations about their profits, losses, etc...and incorporate that into your pitch.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary King
    Nice share TJ.

    Thanks for laying it out. I can absolutely see where this kind of research is solid.

    The Groupon audience (as you suggest) has:

    1) already spent money on advertising
    2) may have spent much more than they have gotten in return so there's a great angle to say it's a "pay later" thing.

    Thanks for the share.

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
    Sounds good TJ! I awaite your WSO. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author pswinz
    These are really great ideas thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
    How do you find out which companies are going to be sent out via Groupon before they are featured on Groupon?
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    • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
      Def interested in a UK biased WSO about this. What is your favourite way to drive traffic to your CPA landing page?
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Totally agree, deal companies clients are great place to find potential Offline clients. For the most part they are Internet savvy and have a budget. One of my clients is actually a deal company wanting lead gen...go figure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny Optimo
    I recently got a contract to sell deals to one of groupon's larger competitors, I keep a pretty large chunk (it's been my #2 money maker for the last 3 months)

    I agree there is a TON of potential here... strike while the iron is hot
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanyG
    Any advice on how to find out which companies are going to be cued up for Groupon?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    On a similar note, I have often thought retail stores should particpate in Online CPA offers by having customer forms boxes all over the place. If they have traffic of 200 customers per day coming through and even 10% filled out a form that made them $10.00 commission, it can add 4k per more or month to their monthly revenue. Always good to see you doing well TJ, yes. I happen to know you are a very much behind the scenes kinda guy. Good to see you around. You have been buying WSO's for awhile now.
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    • Profile picture of the author tjhooker
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Always good to see you doing well TJ, yes. I happen to know you are a very much behind the scenes kinda guy. Good to see you around. You have been buying WSO's for awhile now.
      Ha, I guess I must have bought some from you then! I'm a sucker for a good WSO now and again (makes it sound like a guilty pleasure). I wish I could remember which of yours I bought!

      Yeah I'm behind the scenes- a great to way describe me- I find that spending too much time on forums makes me a) too unfocussed and distracted, and b) too worried that everyone else knows more than me/is younger than me/is making more money than me. What I find amusing is that compared to 90% of people working on the web, I know NOTHING. I hardly know anything about Facebook, I forget to tweet for weeks on end while my friends do it 20x a day. I hardly know anything about SEO. I am average at PPC. I've never made a penny with CPA (it's beyond me). It takes me half a day to set up a basic wordpress install. But I'm happily pulling in £10k a month, every month, from happy clients, and growing my business mostly by referral while I try out odd ideas here and there (like the Groupon thing)

      And in answer to a few questions, I don't have a list of upcoming Groupon deals. I just sign up to all the deals in all the cities, then (if I have time, I'm not saying I'm professional about it), I check out their websites, and call them up a few days after the promotion- at which point they are normally at the point of realising that Groupon have made all the money and left them with all the hassle.

      It's a simple enough idea. There's no need for a WSO. Businesses want leads. Groupon sales people are very good at showing them how they will provide leads, at around 30% of revenue (which is what Groupon charge). If you go in to the same business after Groupon, sympathise at the Groupon sales model, and show the business how you could get them leads at less than 30% then they will listen to you, especially if you reduce the risk for them by telling them that you'll give them a few for free/ will charge only per completed sale etc etc.

      I tell you an idea for an ebook I literally just had. Someone should write an ebook called "The Groupon Bible- How to Negotiate the Best Group Deal for Your Business"- full of tips on how to negotiate with Groupon salesguys, how they try and close you, what their margins are, what alternatives there are. But also, how to maximise Groupon success, how to plan to upsell/cross sell to people when they buy your groupon, how to reduce risk, how to add people to a mailing list, how to pick high margin products to promote etc etc". Then sell it to businesses to help them, but also to get in there to sell your own services doing email marketing etc
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  • Profile picture of the author TaylorB
    That really great info you've so kindly shared. Pay-it-forward... Thank you very much I hope I can help you someday soon! Best, Terry
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    • Profile picture of the author ChessTrainer
      selling to groupon cliets, that sounds like a cash machine. you might be able to do this with other services.. living social etc.

      what about yoast?
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  • Profile picture of the author mobetman
    Been reading about various Groupon methods here. Definitely going to try this out before the trend dies or gets over saturated.
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