Groupon v. Living Social: Which Works Better?

Earlier this year, I had several regular clients leave my practice boxing(temporarily or permanently) for various reasons. Besides running my own daily deal to fill my schedule, I also reached out to Living Social. I had contacted my Groupon rep a few months before to promote my Lokte Method service but he never responded, so I thought I’d try something different. Setting up the deal with them was easy and once it went live, I got a call from Groupon to run the same campaign with them. I said yes because I’d had such great success with them in the past and needed a serious business boost.

My Living Social deal was a 60-minute Ashiastu massage for $29. I was only offered one option for the deal. With Groupon, I ran the same deal I had in 2014 with two options: one 60-minute Ashiastu massage for $29 or a package of three for $79. As soon as these deals were active, I started getting busier. A month after starting the Living Social deal and just over two weeks of the Groupon deal (the Groupon deal launched after Living Social), I was already challenged to fit new and existing clients into the schedule, so I decided to pause both deals.

When I called Living Social, my deal was paused immediately. When I called Groupon, I was given the opportunity to restructure my deal to keep it live but change where it showed up on their site. I hadn’t been aware that deals could be modified nor the effect of the deal structure on sales. This allowed me to slow down the campaign while continuing to get new clients. I kept the Groupon deal going for another month.

By then, my schedule was full again and I had rebooked some of my bookednewly acquired clients. When I called Groupon again, I had the knowledge that I could change the deal rather than simply discontinue it. I created a new campaign offering one 60-minute Ashiastu session for $49 or a 90-minute service for $59. These price points were very close to the cost per session of my discount packages.

Both of my deals launched in March. By the end of August, I had redeemed most of the vouchers sold from the original deals (my last Groupon deal is still active). I’d like to share my findings to help you make the best decision for your practice should you want to try daily deal marketing.

  • I sold a total of eleven Living Social vouchers in one month. I’ve redeemed all but one. Four of the ten have resulted in at least one return visit for additional sales to date of $668 (excluding tips). Two of the four who’ve redeemed actually bought a Groupon for the three session option as well and have become regular clients.
  • In just over two weeks, I sold twenty-seven Groupon vouchers. After modifying my Groupon deal, I sold an additional seventeen vouchers the next month. Of the thirty-seven who’ve redeemed, five have returned at least once for an additional $755 in additional sales (excluding tips).
  • I’m still running the last Groupon deal I created. In four months, I’ve only sold seven vouchers due the higher price. It’s a good way to keep one or two new clients coming in per month. Of the four I’ve redeemed thus far, one is now a two-hour standing appointment every other week.

The most common reason I hear from wellness providers for not using daily deals is the low amount they earn per voucher redeemed. This view is extremely short-sighted. To date, I’ve been paid just over $122 from Living Social and just under $1031 from Groupon, an average of $14.78 per massage provided (not including upgrades and tips). I only “payed” (more like traded since I didn’t actually spend any cash) for clients I got, so I haven’t wasted money on advertising that didn’t reach people looking for what I offer. Plus, I’ve made $1423 (plus tips) and counting from the clients who’ve returned. Daily deals continue to be the best way for me to grow the practice that I love!

How do you feel about using daily deals to market your practice? Please share in the comments. Thank you!


As of late 2016, Groupon and Living Social have joined forces.

I have learned SO MUCH about customizing a Groupon deal to meet specific business goals. Whether you have an empty schedule to fill, want to take your practice to the next level or just need a few more clients to top off your books, I can help you structure a campaign to meet the unique needs of your practice. You have nothing to lose and new clients to gain! Learn more here.


About deepheeling

I'm an ashiatsu barefoot deep tissue massage specialist dedicated to sharing my journey to creating a successful business that I love!
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