November 6, 2010
After running a Groupon.com promotion I have been aproached by a number of dentist wanting to know how the experience was. Here is the response that ive sent out a couple of times.
(If you were wondering, groupon.com sends out one heavily discounted deal everyday by email to their user base which is different for city, I think it is at about 100,000 in Toronto. Typically the deal you offer has to be +50% off the regular price. Groupon makes money by taking 50% of sales that they do for you. My offer was 49$ for a take home bleaching treatment. 700 sold, and about 300 have passed through the office in the last 3 months).
My experience running the groupon deal has been positive. Most of the patients are highly educated and have good jobs, very few were only looking for discounts, non-insurance, low income demographics
At the outset I hoped to retain 10% of patients, and have achieved about that. Most additional services that patients are reiving are cleanings, but there have also been a handfull of restorations and 2 invisalign cases.
The day after we did the deal was extremely busy. The phone did not stop ringing for about 3 days. The office needs to be prepared for this, because our existing patients were not able to get through.
If I were to use Groupon again I would change the deal from bleaching treatment to new patient exam-cleaning-xrays, in the hope that retention would be even higher. Even if you sell less of this deal,I think it works out better in returns.
Its also worth noting that I have a very young (4mo old) practice and that my chair time does not hold the same value as an established practice. It makes sense for me to net 16$ for a bleaching treatment if I can get one of ten to become patients. This would probably not work for every practice.