I'm a bit suprised more of you aren't doing this.....

21 replies
For those of you looking to offer offline services on a "local" basis, here's what I'm doing and why.......

The core of my local model is a Coupon Site for local businesses.
My region is about 50 municipalities, 550,000 people and a few thousand businesses, within about twenty miles.
This region has a universally known nickname five letters long, so I've got XxxxxCoupons.com

So why a coupon site ? Here's just a few reasons....
-coupons are super hot everywhere
-businesses can really use something that works better as the economy gets worse
-many businesses already use coupons....something they understand....you supply the steroids
-businesses that use coupons are not taking advantage of the Internet
-it's easy to identify which businesses are already using coupons
-any business that has repeat customers can GREATLY benefit from the Internet
-you can offer a free listing for a couple of coupons...give them a taste ...have a happy client.....and UPSELL
-UPSELL....monthly recurring
-UPSELL....monthly recurring
-UPSELL... monthly recurring
-businesses that use coupons can get great positive measurable results if they integrate the Internet......if you're making them money, they'll be receptive and listen to whatever else you have to offer.
-if you have a site full of businesses...even if most are free....you have all their contact info and can email them helpful tips....hit them with a successful case study.....give, give, give, get
-built-in great traffic....simple fliers to customers

So....your're basically offering a FREE Coupon Site....where a company gets a page with company description, link to website, reviews, Google map, video link, social site links, coupon traffic reports, coupon wizard, mailing list sign-up and can list two coupons.....all Free

(keep something in mind here. I go to a ton of local stores...probably ten pizza places, bakery, cold cuts, hair, hardware, cold cuts, sandwiches, cleaners car repair, dentist, flowers, etc., etec., and NONE OF THEM ever ask me for my email address....except a few of the big chains)

So how do you monetize a coupon site ? (mostly recurring monthly fees)
-they pay a fee to list additional coupons-
-they pay to get new coupons on the front page
-there's a slider corousel for twenty coupons/businesses.....they can get in there on a weekly basis for a fee
-they can pay to have their own coupon related domain name to take their customers directly to their page
-easy upsell to help them collect email addresses, manage their list and send out their email blasts
-easy upsell to mobile websites....qr code integrations.....sms, etc.
-websites, seo....whatever you're good at
-the Money Is In The List ? epople who download coupons must register....and receive emails.....or they can't be a member. Put it in the terms.
-THE LIST......solo and multi-site email blasts for new businesses, new products, sales,deals, events, whatever....a nice fee to blast the list

Also, banner ad section can direct visitors to other sites of yours....such as a classifieds site, local social site......anything with broad appeal
You can also get a few bucks if you integrate some national coupon sliders for filler from Brandcaster (coupons.com)

Anyhow, that's enough for now for a two-fingered typist....

Just wanted to get some wheels turning....

Hope you find it useful.

Jerry

P.S. A note about the site traffic. As we all know, where there's big targeted traffic, there's big money to be found.
Businesses will be told that the most important thing they can do is hand out mini-fliers...about the size of a dollar bill.....directing people to their coupon offers. Every customer should get them with thier change. They should also have a stack (or table tent) at every counter and table.

P.P.S. Keep in mind, to approach each customer...even the free listers.....with a much bigger picture in mind. I've had a business for about 25 years and I've got e few customers that I've had for 10, 15, 20 years. If you're building a legitimate business that will be around ten years from now, do the math. What is the return on that freebie lister that ends up paying $300 a month.
Show them some positive measurable results....or a case study of a competitor kickin' butt.....and you'll have an easy sell. Especially for those of you that prefer warm calling







-
#bit #suprised
  • Profile picture of the author jct226
    Do you use a wordpress site to do this? If so which one, if not what are you using?
    Signature

    Helping business owners succeed in business and life.
    http://www.christian-business-owners-association.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5660744].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      CouponPAQ
      Not cheap, but peanuts if you're building a business around it
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5660792].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author KateStevensB
    A coupon business is very cool nowadays since everyone is trying to save.
    Signature
    Premium Business Cards Online
    Create Effective, Premium and Quality Business Cards
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661229].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    Great idea. Everyone does love coupons and saving money. There are a lot of competitors in the niche, but it wouldn't be very hard to differentiate yourself here.

    I'm curious what are you charging? I saw the $300 figure, but what exactly does that get them? Also, do you have them on a month to month basis or do they sign long term contracts?

    Sean
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661454].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      Originally Posted by Seantrepreneur View Post

      Great idea. Everyone does love coupons and saving money. There are a lot of competitors in the niche, but it wouldn't be very hard to differentiate yourself here.

      I'm curious what are you charging? I saw the $300 figure, but what exactly does that get them? Also, do you have them on a month to month basis or do they sign long term contracts?

      Sean
      The $300 is a sample figure for a package of complimenting services, such as: additional coupon capabilities, front page exposure, domain to their page, email managing & distribution and an allowance for and occasional full membership email blast.

      I'll offer monthly....it's more sellable.

      Also, the above is a work in progress. I'm self-employed and wear way too many hats, so time is of short supply. I'm about 80% done and launching in about a month....with the nice weather.
      I'm looking to developing the above model into a full time operation.

      Brief history....
      A couple of years ago I put up a primo local business directory (eDirectory.com).
      The economy already went south and as soon as I talked to local business owners it became very evident that I needed to offer something more than an advertising outlet.
      I dumped that site and started to set up a coupon site similar to the above.
      Got that almost done and my real world business got a sizable amount of long term business.
      Sooo....a few months ago, my wife was suddenly unemployed so I put this back on the front burner.
      Good for me, she's back working.......but now I want this baby for myself.

      Perfect timing, my work has slowed and the thing I like most is that the services that compliment coupons the most are very simple.
      I've got a very artistically inclined "A" student 12 year old daughter who is pretty computer savvy and just chomping at the bit to build mobile sites.....and the email list managing is going to my 14 year old "A" student son
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661685].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bmcgoff
    Anyone have a good example of a site like this?
    Signature

    Are you a man under 5'8" tall? Might want to read this.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661493].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      Originally Posted by bmcgoff View Post

      Anyone have a good example of a site like this?
      Your not going to find anything just like this. However, using chunks of the above model, there's lots of ways to use coupons as a primary foundation.

      Email management/mailing and coupons are a great place for a newbie to start.
      We all know the value of a list, and...like I mentioned above.....the local businesses aren't doing it.

      Just learn aWeber (or whoever) inside out and you've got a sellable expertise.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661746].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dwalter
      Originally Posted by bmcgoff View Post

      Anyone have a good example of a site like this?
      We've interviewed the owner of a cite called "JeffcoCoupons.com" - pretty much exactly what Jerry is talking about. He talks about his strategies for success, how he goes about selling, the whole 9 yards. Check it out: Jeffco Coupons Interview Transcript | Local Income Lab

      He's been doing it for nearly 2 years, and is quite successful -- but he worked really hard to get his name in front of people. He gets a lot of traffic through Facebook and Twitter --

      David
      Signature
      Dave Walter
      Local Income Lab
      contact@localincomelab.com
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5664087].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
        Originally Posted by dwalter View Post

        We've interviewed the owner of a cite called "JeffcoCoupons.com" - pretty much exactly what Jerry is talking about. He talks about his strategies for success, how he goes about selling, the whole 9 yards. Check it out: Jeffco Coupons Interview Transcript | Local Income Lab

        He's been doing it for nearly 2 years, and is quite successful -- but he worked really hard to get his name in front of people. He gets a lot of traffic through Facebook and Twitter --

        David
        Hi David,
        I only had time to scan through the interview, but I believe our approach is quite different.
        I look at it more later.

        Thanks

        P.S. Mike's WSO is great....i have another model that's pretty huge....if only I had his staff in place. You should have Mike read through my post....we should talk (hint: franchises on front....what you're already doing on back)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5665142].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author midasman09
          Banned
          My thought is....to set up a "Coupon Directory" for a town....limiting participation to ONE of each Category; 1-Beauty Salon, 1-Auto Repair, 1-Oil Change biz, 1-Fast Food, 1-Chinese Rest., 1-Mexican etc....1-Car Wash, 1-Pest Control, 1-Painter, 1-Plumber...etc

          By Limiting Participation, I think it builds the "Value" way up.

          And....I'd provide each participant with "Printed Coupons" (In my wife's Antique Shoppe I handed one of my "Browser Bucks" to everyone who entered. Coupon was only good for $1 Off Anything in the Shoppe BUT, they Moticated people from "Browsing" to "Buying"!

          My town is only 20k pop but....it might work here.

          A few yrs ago....I found that most retail stores WORST day of the week was Tuesdays...so....I put together a Promo Program called, "Ten PerCent Tuesdays" and stimulated a LOT of consumers to Shop on "Ten PerCent Tuesdays"

          Only uno problemo....back them I only charged $10 a week BUT....had 42 biznesses participating.

          So....I'm wondering what I could charge nowadays....maybe $20 a week?

          Don Alm in Roseburg, Oregon
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5672719].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author junioreality
            Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

            And....I'd provide each participant with "Printed Coupons" (In my wife's Antique Shoppe I handed one of my "Browser Bucks" to everyone who entered. Coupon was only good for $1 Off Anything in the Shoppe BUT, they Moticated people from "Browsing" to "Buying"!

            My town is only 20k pop but....it might work here.

            A few yrs ago....I found that most retail stores WORST day of the week was Tuesdays...so....I put together a Promo Program called, "Ten PerCent Tuesdays" and stimulated a LOT of consumers to Shop on "Ten PerCent Tuesdays"

            Only uno problemo....back them I only charged $10 a week BUT....had 42 biznesses participating.

            So....I'm wondering what I could charge nowadays....maybe $20 a week?

            Don Alm in Roseburg, Oregon
            Hmmm...this "Browser Bucks" idea had my mind sparked with interest. What were the size of the printed coupons you ran for each business on their slow days? How many coupons you printed per business? Did you hand the coupons out to customers or did you have the business hand them to the customers after they purchased something? I'm thinking this would be a good way for me to get in the door with local mom and pops with the postcard coupon mailing being an upsell.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5688278].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ilovemedia
              Thanks for this post; it's certainly spiked my interest. I had never thought about a coupon site before (which is a bit silly considering I use them frequently as a consumer). Right now I'm in Florida though and I know a lot of local places are hooked up online. I have a feeling that this might be something that would flourish in places that are less touristy.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5759069].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    Well, good luck with this project. I'd be very interested to hear how it works out for you.

    I like this idea better than just a standard directory. It provides great value for business owners as well as better tractability.

    Sean
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5661800].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author KenL
    That's a fresh offline idea that I've never see anybody do before so thanks for sharing it with us Jerry. Are you going to chronicle your progress here? I hope you will because I'm very curious to know how it pans out for you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5662032].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      Originally Posted by KenL View Post

      . Are you going to chronicle your progress here? .
      Here's one of my first steps .....I'm going to make some case studies.

      Every new directory of any kind needs some content to fill up that ghost town.

      I'm selecting one each of six biz niches that myself or my wife is presently a customer of.
      Ones that have lots of repeat customers and lots of competition.

      Like pizza, restaurant, bar, hair salon, nail salon, sandwich shop, florist.....
      I'll give them the whole package (coupons, front page, custom domain, email management/broadcasting) for six months.
      The only condition is that they give me a little time so I know their present efforts and level of effectiveness.
      If I can document measurable success, then selling to others....especially their competition.....I expect to be easy with a high conversion rate.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5662225].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    I live in San Diego and coupon/deal companies are a dime a dozen. I work with a lot of business owners who get approached daily from the next coupon/deal company. The reason why Groupon/Living Social do well is because they have a huge database.
    If you are building this site, how are going to drive traffic, SEO and build data base?
    Not shooting down your idea....its just going to be a challenge.
    Signature

    Learn Digital, Internet and Social Media Marketing For Your Business
    Click here to learn more - Digital and Social Media Marketing Training Course

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5662449].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
      Traffic will make it or break it.

      From my post above, existing customer bases will be the key:

      P.S. A note about the site traffic. As we all know, where there's big targeted traffic, there's big money to be found.
      Businesses will be told that the most important thing they can do is hand out mini-fliers...about the size of a dollar bill.....directing people to their coupon offers. Every customer should get them with thier change. They should also have a stack (or table tent) at every counter and table.

      Also, things like Facebook and referral incentives.

      .....and I can't find any remotely like this around here.....even searching like crazy
      If they're around here, they're doing a pretty bad job of being visible.

      Even if there is a few of these sites, people will use them.......thanks to this wonderful economy.

      .
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5662615].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
    Originally Posted by jodib View Post

    Do you do the design for their coupons and fliers?

    Sorry if I missed this in your post... Just another way of making some cash.
    Hi Jodi,
    You're right...and it's on my list of potential services. (my post was just some things off the top of my head at 4:30 AM .....my quiet time)

    The site I'm using has a pretty simple wizard for coupons but it will be over the head of some (maybe most) biz owners.

    The fliers can either be purchased from me, or I'll furnish a master template or a few thousand might be built into their monthly service package (preferred)

    My wife is a freelance graphic artist. I'd bet that there's at least a few dozen Warriors that have pizza menus in their kitchen drawer that she did. She does those high-end glossy menus for a guy that does millions of them yearly all over the northeast USA.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5665096].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author cvcena2
    This is a great share... Everyone should be doing this...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5676633].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RichardDin
    Coupons are not so popular in non-eu or us coutries. I've seen interesting examples of this business in Russia though, but most sellers don't want to deal with the coupons. Mentality plays here big role. But this is big different theme to talking about
    Signature
    TwitTunnel.com domain is for sale. Contact me in PM for questions.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5685986].message }}

Trending Topics