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Once you’ve decided to move ahead with a daily deal offer like Groupon or Living Social, follow these steps in Rezgo to simplify the experience both for you and for your customers.

Set Up for Success

1. Create a separate inventory item for your daily deal. The tour should be separate from your regular tours and should not be visible on your regular tour list. You can do this by making your tour PRIVATE. This way, it can only be reached through the link provided on the daily deal site’s redemption instructions after the voucher is purchased.

2. If you can, add extras to the tour that increase its value but have little cost to you. For example, you could pair your daily deal with an offer from a restaurant or an attraction who is willing to provide a lunch or entry (where the cost to you is $0). This increases the value of the tour and so, when you discount it by 50%, the discounted price is higher. Remember, you are not artificially inflating your tour price (as some merchants have been caught doing), you’re offering more and therefore are justified in pricing it higher.

Any opportunity to increase the value of your tour without increasing your cost means more money in your pocket at the end of the day. This is also why it must be different from your regular tour: because you don’t want to devalue your existing offerings.

3. Set the price for the tour option that you create for the daily deal to the discounted value. This way, your reports will show the discounted price as the amount paid for the tour. When you reconcile your vouchers with the daily deal site, you’ll be able to apply the commission paid to the daily deal site as a marketing expense against the revenue made for the tours. Setting up your tour this way will also make it easier to see whether or not the group deal has any impact on the bookings for your regular products.

4. Set your option’s default status to Pending. This will allow you to confirm that customers provide a valid voucher before confirming their bookings.

5. Specify as part of your terms that the deal is for online bookings of tours only and subject to availability. This way, you avoid getting swamped with phone calls that can take valuable time out of your day. Make sure to set up availability rules that restrict the days that the daily-deal tour can be booked. You generally want to use the daily deals to push slow or low season days or periods. This is an important point because the daily deal site will try to get you to offer your regular tour. Don’t do it! How will your full-price customers feel sitting next to someone who just paid 50% less?

6. Add a custom form field to the option for this tour that is “Daily Deal Voucher #” with instructions like the following:

“Please enter your daily deal voucher id in the space provided. Once we confirm the validity of your voucher we will confirm your booking. Select “Daily Deal Voucher” as your payment method during booking. Your original voucher must be presented at the time you take the tour or your tour will be cancelled.”

7. Add a manual payment method called “Prepaid voucher” or “Daily Deal Voucher.” Customers will select this payment method when they complete the booking instead of your usual PayPal or Credit Card payment method.

Remember, the voucher that the customer has purchased from the daily deal site is a form of payment for your services. When the booking is made, they use the voucher they bought from the daily deal site to pay for the tour, just like a gift certificate might be used to pay for a tour.

8. When the booking comes in, you should check the voucher code that is entered by the customer against the list provided by the daily deal company. If it is valid, then change the status of the booking to “Received” and Rezgo will send out a confirmation email. The customer will receive their ticket and receipt via email. If the voucher is invalid, you can either cancel the booking or ask the customer for a valid voucher number. Remember to collect the vouchers on site when they arrive.

After the Deal

Once your deal is done, run a booking report for the time period during which the deals were redeemed. Because you set up the tour as a separate inventory item and option, you’ll be able to sort your data by tour name and option in order to see how many bookings you received and your revenues (not including commission to the daily deal site). You can then cross reference your numbers in the system with the records from the daily-deal site to determine how well (or not) the promotion worked for you.

Having a software system that accepts daily deals doesn’t help you make money, understanding how to use the system to structure and execute a profitable deal does. Daily-deal promotions are expensive and can be time consuming. Following some simple planning steps and setting up your availability and rules the right way can go a long way to making your daily deal experience a positive one.