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Daily-Deal Sites: Benefit or Burden?

Regarding the news item “Leverage Daily-Deal Sites for Business Success [Making News, March 2011], my business partner and I have featured our company on a number of the daily-deal sites in Los Angeles and have had mixed experiences. While I agree it was a great way to expose our business to a huge market that might not know about our outdoor circuit training classes, it was a lot of work for very little return on investment.

As a personal trainer for over 15 years who has conducted outdoor group classes for the past 10, I’m always in pursuit of new business. While private personal training might be a little costly for some ($90 per hour), our outdoor group classes make fitness affordable ($20 per hourlong class). In the past we’d offer “free” first-time classes for new clients or “bring-a-friend-for-free” [offers] and so on. Our closing ratio was upward of 90% for first-timers and even higher on friends-of-friends [offers] because of word-of-mouth referrals. After I learned of daily-deal sites, I was shocked by how much I was (strongly) “encouraged” to deepen the discount. For example, $20 for 4–6 classes or $25 for 1 month of unlimited classes and so on.

Our first deal was on Bloomspot.com and that was $49 for our Body Blast™, a 4-week outdoor fitness training program that meets four times a week and includes a detailed nutrition plan followed by online food tracking with The Daily Plate on Livestrong.com. We normally price it at $399. In 24 hours we had 72 “new” prospective clients; of those 72, only 52 came out and just two continued as regular clients. I won’t bore you with the other deals we did, but suffice it to say the return on investment was low, and I’m very discouraged to do anything again on these daily-deal sites.

In short, while the deal needs to be “sweet” for the daily-deal subscriber, you can’t give away the farm. My dad had an expression: “When you give something to someone for nothing, it takes on a value of nothing.” What’s more, the Los Angeles fitness market has conditioned consumers to hold out for the next deal, so they’ve become loyal to the dollar, not the service. They’ve simply jumped from deal to deal, since most businesses offer these services to new clients only.

Last, it’s important to proceed with caution when using these sites because you don’t want to get a reputation as the “discount fitness company.” Perception is reality; when you offer a service at such a deep discount, how can you expect a client to pay you $399 for a 4-week program when they just paid $49?

Thomas Roe

No Gym Fitness

Los Angeles, California

Sharing IDEA Content

The excellent article “Fiber & Digestive Health for Active People of All Ages” [March 2011] is very much worth sharing with our clients and patients.

I teach cardiac rehabilitation and am always in need of articles that will send the message to those individuals who do not manage their diet effectively—at times with serious consequences. Part of my job is teaching dietary management, and I would like to be able to share this article on fiber with my cardio clients who have co-conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease and obesity.

Elizabeth Roy, RN

Vancouver, British Columbia

Editor’s Note: By logging on to www.ideafit.com, you may now share IDEA content with clients, colleagues and leads. All IDEA articles, blog posts, videos (user-submitted and those in the exercise library), classes and events and Fitness-Connect profiles can be shared. Simply click on the “Client Share” button next to all open content on the IDEA website. Member-only content from recent publications may also be shared; however, access will expire after 1 month. For more information on how to share content, read “See It, Read It, Like It, Share It” [IDEA FitnessConnect, March 2011].

Stock Photo Is Misleading

Thank you very much for your recent inclusion of Bellyfit® International [Buzz, February 2011]. We were very excited to receive recognition from IDEA Health & Fitness Association. The write-up was a clear introduction to what Bellyfit has to offer; unfortunately, we are concerned that the stock photo published alongside the write-up is misleading and not representative of Bellyfit at all. IDEA members who view the stock image might think that’s what a Bellyfit workout looks like.

As you see from the photo above, Bellyfit does not resemble the stock photo used in the February issue. Many thanks for your time and attention to our concern.

Alice Bracegirdle

Bellyfit Founder and CEO


In our April issue’s CEC Quiz, question 3 of Quiz 1 was expressed incorrectly. We have recast the question online to read “In a 2010 study of nine male golfers, static stretching prior to play resulted in % less accuracy during the game.” No readers responding to this question will be marked down for their answer.

Thank you to the diligent member who pointed out our error.

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