Kim Cooper has promoted her tours on more daily deal sites than most people know exist. Groupon, LivingSocial, Bloomspot, BuyWithMe, LA Weekly, Daily Candy, CBS Local, Tippr, DealPop . . . and the list goes on. Kim is co-founder of Esotouric—a brilliantly named Los Angeles “bus adventure” company. Her advice to other tour companies? Working with daily deal sites can be an exceptional experience . . . if you come to the table as “an informed, empowered consumer.”
Are you ready to be informed and empowered? Here are some tips from Kim on how to work with daily deal sites:
1) Setting a long redemption window is good if you're a company that offers infrequent tours.
Esotouric's tours only go out one or two days per week. To avoid overcrowding, yet ensure the company still meets demand, Esotouric sets a 12 month redemption window on its vouchers. This gives voucher holders several opportunities to book whatever tour they're most interested in.
For companies offering more frequent tours, Kim suggests running deals during quiet season and setting a shorter redemption window.
2) Don't get stuck sacrificing full price customers for voucher holders.
The more vouchers a daily deal site sells, the more money it makes—this is why many of them pressure tour companies to agree to high maximum numbers of vouchers sold. Set a reasonable maximum that is based on the true capacity of your tours during the window when the voucher is valid. If you don't you could be caught “scrambling to accommodate voucher holders, with no room for full price customers.”