The daily deal format is pretty new. Here's how it works.
A merchant contacts the daily deal website, and offers a substantial discount to their subscribers.
Interested subscribers buy vouchers representing the deal. They give their money to the daily deal website.
The website then gives some of that money to the merchant.
So the subscriber gets a product or service at a knock down price. The website take a big chunk of the money given by the subscriber. The merchant gets business.
Today, my driving school has been the focus of Wirral deals on the Living Social website.
Instead of the usual £20 per hour, Living Social subscribers are being offered 3 hours for £19. Of that, Living Social take about £9+VAT, so I actually get about £8.50 per voucher. Less than £3 per hour, but of course, some of those subscribers will go on to take proper full price lessons.
So how well is it being taken up?
It's exceeded my expectations by quite a long way. Getting the deal up in the first week of December was a huge bonus of course. These vouchers are the perfect christmas gift to give a teenager, and about twenty quid is a pretty typical amount for people to want to spend on nephews or grandkids or whatever.
So far, 20 people have bought vouchers. If all of them went on to take a full course with me, and they were all absolute beginners, and they rook the average 43 hours to get through their tests, that would be 20 people x 40 hours (43 minus the 3 cheap ones) x 20 quid. That's £16,000!
That's not going to happen of course. And that £16,000 is income, not profit, but still, this looks like it's going to have been a really good way of getting business. Certainly better than giving some arrogant parasite £130 a week. So far, Living Social will have made somewhere around £200 from me, but it looks like I'm going to hit the ground running in the new year.
Some of those subscribers (21 of them now) will already have had lessons. Some will be just going from cheap deal to cheap deal, regardless of how well they've been taught. Some may not redeem their vouchers, or may not like me or my methods. We can't all be born with taste after all!
I will probably do this again sometime next year.
Optimistic for a change!
The deal page has also been driving traffic (excuse the pun) to my website.
driving lessons in Wallasey?
Update: With around five and a half hours to go, I'm now up to 30 vouchers. 90 hours work, for £262, and the potential to bring in as much as £24,000. I have access to a list of purchasers and a bit of demographic info. 78% of purchasers have been female. Over three quarters of payments were made via computer. 10% was by Iphone. Quite a lot of them have been bought as gifts. One person has bought three vouchers, each gifted to a different person. Merry Christmas to them!
Might even be able to get the roof mended some time in the spring.
Further update: 7 dec 2011...
Living social are extending my promotion by another 72 hours - a second chance thing. not as the headline promotion, but further down the page.
So, it won't be generating customers at the same high frequency. Apart from it being less high profile, those interested in driving lessons will presumably have already seem this offer and acted on it. Still, 3 more days of it, and all the stuff about ideal gifts still being true, I could potentially double the 32 vouchers sold.
I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew.