The Downside of Social Coupons Social coupons can appealing--but make sure you're prepared to handle the rush of new customers they can bring.
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Make sure you put realistic caps on the number of coupons sold and apply expiration dates or blackouts that won't work against your best interests.
Social coupons--those offers from Groupon, LivingSocial and the rest that hold out big discounts if a set number of web users opt in to purchase them--make me think of efforts to split the atom: If handled improperly they can melt down, leaving nothing but a big hole in the ground where a lead-gen campaign used to be.
The most recent example happened overseas, where a social-couponing acquisition by Groupon had a serious fail over the New Year holiday. The company ran an offer of a traditional Japanese New Year osechi meal--made up of various dishes with good-luck symbolism--home-delivered from the Bird Café in Tokyo for $127, a big rebate off the regular price.