Get Your Groupon

Do you Groupon?

Groupon is the next big thing happening online. As they explain it,

Groupon negotiates huge discounts—usually 50-90% off—with popular businesses. We send the deals to thousands of subscribers in our free daily email, and we send the businesses a ton of new customers. That’s the Groupon magic.

In addition, each deal must surpass a set number of customers in order for the deal to be “on”. In other words, if fifty people purchase the deal but the minimum number of customers is one hundred, the deal doesn’t go through (and those fifty people don’t get charged.) But, as Groupon becomes more and more of a household name (positively, through word of mouth and negatively, perhaps, from their superbowl ad campaign), I rarely see deals not reach their minimum customer quota.

“Groupon” is also quickly becoming a verb.

But anyway, enough about that.

I’m writing all of this, of course, with museums on the brain. I love love love seeing museums and other cultural attractions pop up on the site. What a brilliant way to increase an institution’s membership. Speaking of which, earlier this week I purchased a membership to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for only $10! And today, Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is offering a deal. I’ve also seen deals for the Rockford Art Museum and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

In order to get these deals, however, you need to be ready to purchase them at a moment’s notice. Deals typically last 24 hours.

I’m curious to hear from museum staff about their experience using these sorts of sites (like Living Social) to increase their membership and visitorship. Has it been successful? Have the deep discounts been worth it?

5 thoughts on “Get Your Groupon

  1. I know that the Illinois Holocaust Museum had a great response with their Groupon offer. I’d love to hear more about this as well.

  2. We did our first Groupon last November. (

    We were a bit worried at first as there wasn’t a predictable measure of how many people would take advantage of the offer. We decided to err on the side of caution just in case demand would prove astronomical for our small organization (for example, we would have been inundated had we posted the same numbers as our colleagues at Birch Aquarium:

    Our figures were just right for our organization. Overall, we set our expectations at around 200 and exceed that by 3 fold. Additionally, I think was very important for to offer Groupon Members a choice (admission vs. membership) as it would provide the audience with two levels of involvement.

    • Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you had a good experience with your Groupon offer. I think it’s a great way to spread the word about local organizations and to get new and returning visitors in the door.

  3. As a consumer, I admit that I purchase from deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, etc but as a museum professional, I question their use. I feel they devalue services/experience and have yet to see long term benefits, i.e. will someone who purchases a membership via Groupon renew at full price the following year.

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