Sunday, January 9, 2011

Groupon and Yelp: The Combo Works for Small Businesses

I am fascinated to watch the growth of a small business nearby our home: Dahn Yoga Center. They are masters of word of mouth, because they know how to create and share stories. They are also using new tools, such as Groupon and Yelp, to increase trials. 

Part of the ritual in classes is a tea ceremony at the end where happy members take a few minutes to sit down and share how they feel. Some talk about their aches, some talk about moments of enlightenment. Most of the time, the stories are positive, as the method increases and improves circulation, helps people stretch and coaches people to find that point of mental calm. Happy customers, happy business! The center has been getting a lot of new members through genuine, enthusiastic referrals. Friends bring other friends and family in, saying 'You must try this!'

Most recently, they participated in a Groupon deal, offering participants a significant discount on a 10-class card. As a result, the center in Brooklyn Heights got 17 sign ups, Manhattan locations saw 50 participants and Boston Cambridge area got more than 100 walk ins. Thinking about the college audience in Boston area who is hooked on social media and emerging platforms such as Groupon, the high level of participation in Cambridge makes sense. I was told the Boston area center is also doing really well on Yelp. So, people who saw the deal on Groupon were able to check out the real people stories and review the ratings on Yelp before making a final decision. 

The Brooklyn Heights center is going to rely on good service and honest stories to turn these trials into long-term members. I heard that one of the Groupon leads loves the classes so much that she is taking a cab from her far away home to the center for every class. That's dedication! And it is very promising. 

Posted via email from dotwom's posterous

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