Coupon Deals and the Search for New Customers

From my article in the Small Business Blog of The New York Times

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about two small businesses that were taking different approaches to employing Groupon-style social-network marketing as a way of drumming up business.

One of them, a restaurant called Acropolis in Needham, Mass., went with Living Social, whose service closely follows the Groupon model — meaning the coupon company sends the offer out to its large database of local consumers, takes a big chunk of the revenue that comes from selling the discount vouchers, and doesn’t share much customer information with the small business that buys the deal.

The other, the Urban Escape Day Spa in Golden, Colo., tried a new service called SaveLocal, which is offered by Constant Contact, a company best known for its e-mail marketing tools. With SaveLocal, there are some important differences…read more

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