I was the first fitness deal Groupon ever made. I run a deal with them back in the early 2009 and at that time Groupon had about 1500 subscribers. I had just launched my new company in Chicago and I decided to run the deal because I thought it was a great way for exposure and advertisement. I sold a good number of Groupons from that deal and I was able to retain 50% of the people who bought them. But for me the biggest thing I got out of that deal was to get to know the founders of that company and as a result of that I became the fitness coordinator for their company. Back then they only had 22 employees and by the time I sold my company last year they had about 13,000 employees around the world. I was very fortunate to connect with them when I did. I know today there are so many similar deals offered around the country, so if I had to do it again I probably wouldn’t. Once you sell your services at a lower price, it’s very hard to get out of that cycle because people will always wait for the next one. Maybe it’s worth doing it if you are a brand new business and you are looking for free advertisement or just to promote one class. I wouldn’t run a deal for all of my services because that would be a suicide. Also, the retention % is not that high anymore and this is due to the many deals one can find online. People are always looking for the best deal around and this might backfire on your business.
I hope this helps.
Not only does a group on de-value your services, but I worked at a facility that offered it, we had 6 hour shifts in which we were paid minimally to work with clients. The entire shift was back to back first timers to Pilates. It was equipment private sessions that were offered. No one had a good experience, not the client, nor me, as an instructor. Anyone offering a training service should not offer discounts, or agree to teach under a groupon circumstance. I feel my education and my craft is worth far more than a quick sell.
I won’t offer Groupon for my personal training or my bootcamps because I believe it de-values what I have to offer, however, I have personally gone to studios for classes only because they were offering a Groupon, once I used the cards up I never returned. I was only going because of the deal not the studio!
Money is a part of our worth, it’s an exchange of what we do, it matters to me that our industry stays professional and recognized for what it offers.
I would never do a Groupon.
No offense intended Jennifer, however, I am moved to ask is Joseph Pilates would discount the value of pilates.
He was successful because he understood his craft. He offered value that his clients recognized, appreciated and realized it was worth the investment.
I wish you success.