Groupon has become the generic term to describe daily deal sites and there are now a slew of them out there. The appeal to consumers is obvious; getting a chance to try a service or product at a deeply discounted price. At first glance it seems like a win-win. You could potentially attract new clients without investing in paid advertising or PR, but at a steep price after Groupon takes their 50% cut. The theory of attracting new clients into your medspa or dermatology practice who would come back again and again has just not panned out.

Deal aggregators have created a new kind of consumer; the bargain basement shopper. This consumer sector wants everything for nothing and value price over quality. They may have laser hair removal at one clinic, and will jump to another clinic for the next treatment. In essence, many businesses have found that they were just cutting their fees, making less money, without attracting loyal customers.

If you are selling a product, your cost of goods is fixed. However, with a filler, toxin, laser or facial treatment, you need to consider staff time, salaries, wear and tear on your office, consumables and supplies used, plus you are tying up a room and staff time to do the treatment that could be used for a full priced, more profitable treatment. The idea that while the $100 BOTOX client is in your treatment room, she can be upsold to a series of body shaping treatments, doesn’t always work.

Consider creating your own special offers every month on select products and treatments. Offer a discount on a second or third syringe of filler or are treated with a toxin. Create packages for services, such as a series of 6 IPLs for the price of 5, or combination treatments such as a fat dissolving injection session with an energy-based device for skin tightening.

The patients who really deserve the “deal” are the loyal patients who keep coming back and bringing their family and friends.  Create a VIP program for them to build loyalty and brand advocates that will help grow your business.