How to Know if Groupon is Right for Your Business


In the first article of this series, we released some preliminary but surprising data about how Groupon buyers review zip line tours on TripAdvisor.

It seems as though Groupon users tend to give favorable reviews to establishments that have secured high ratings on TripAdvisor, and reserve poor reviews for those that have low ratings. This typically counteracts the stereotypes that many in our industry harbor toward Groupon buyers about their unfair customer expectations and notorious reviews.

With that as a backdrop, its time to ask the question that everyone’s thinking: “Should my zip tour use Groupon?”

There is no single answer for every zip line and aerial adventure park out there, but we’ve isolated some of the most important factors when considering this question.

Four Questions You Should Ask Before Going with Groupon

1. What are you trying to achieve?

Do you want to get the word out about your business? Do you to grow your customer database? Do you want to keep your guides in shape? Do you want to make more money?

Groupon can be a solution, but you need to know what it is you’re trying to solve first. While Groupon could answer all of the questions I just posed, I’m sure you could think of a number of other ways to address these goals, too. Having this clarity of purpose will help you know whether it’s worth investing in Groupon.

After all, Groupon isn’t cheap. Many of the deals you’ll see on the site are two-for-one arrangements. While some operators say that Groupon contracts are more negotiable now than in years past, you’ll want a strategy before simply throwing money at it.

Once you know what you want to get out of Groupon, you might think about putting this in your deal description on the site as well, says Mat Newton of TourismTiger For example, “if you’re a new business and you’re on Groupon to build buzz, then lead with that so people understand your motivations,” he explains.

This not only makes you appear more human to a Groupon buyer, but it also weeds out those that might not be willing to try a brand new tour—and who might have left a bad review if they had come with misinformed expectations. We’ll talk more about the importance of knowing your audience in the points below.

2. What’s your customer return rate?

When Paul Cummings, president of Strategic Adventures, consults zip lines and adventure parks on their business plans, he starts with this question.

On the whole, aerial parks have a significantly higher repeat rate than zip lines. Cummings notes that while zip lines see a 10 to 15 percent return rate, aerial adventure parks can generate a rate that’s four to six times as great! Anywhere from 50 to 65 percent of aerial adventure park customers return for another go at the course.

If you’re an adventure park, Cummings says, then why give a 50%-off deal to someone that more than half the time, would’ve come back on his own accord?

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About Author

Julia Barrero is a contributing columnist for Adventure Park Insider and the head of marketing at Xola, the booking and marketing software that zip lines, adventure parks, and other tour operators. Julia is also the lead writer behind Xola University, a business and marketing blog for tour industry professionals. She claims to have a writer's heart and a scientist's brain, which makes her a natural marketer. She specializes in data analysis for tour and activity companies. Through her blog posts, she hopes to turn tour operators everywhere into Jedi Marketing Masters.

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