Does Groupon Suck for Chiropractors? « The Blog of Matthew Loop

Does Groupon Suck for Chiropractors?

I’ve had quite a few chiropractors email me, asking my my thoughts on Groupon and why I’ve never formally recommended it on this blog. I wanted to shed some light on this today and provide some points you must consider before advertising on coupon networks as a whole.

Let me start by going over the obvious. Groupon is a big “deal” network. As a consumer, you sign-up to get discounts on products and services in your local area.

The first question I recommend asking yourself is this. “Am I really looking to attract this type of patient / customer into my office?” You already know their mindset and their loyalty is only to one thing… PRICE!

This is the major reason I’ve never formally recommend Groupon to my Social Media Elite or personal coaching clients. As I’ve come to realize the true value of my services and what I provide, along with the strong referral network I’ve built, I’ve positioned my services to I don’t need to discount in this way.

Can Groupon help your practice?

The truth is, it can in terms of exposure and more patients. Is it likely you’ll start-up 50-100 new “quality” new patients, though? Absolutely not.

I’ve had 5 of my clients that mentioned they were accepted into Groupon. From those, only one said they would do it again! I got to help them track each of their campaigns, too.

When the offer drops, you get the initial surge of cash, which is nice. However, you must now fulfill and deal with people that are only interested in a one time cheap offer.

If you don’t have VERY strong conversion procedures in your office, you’ll be S.O.L pretty quick. Yes, you’ll get a lot of foot traffic, but you’ll probably have very few sign-on for a care plan.

Should you choose to still pursue a Groupon or LivingSocial listing, you need to think about being able to scale in size fast.

If you’re enticing people into your office with a discounted massage, do you need to bring-on a couple more contracted therapists to meet the short-term demand? The last thing you want to do is not be able to deliver on your offer because of being under-staffed.

You might say, “Well this is free, what have I got to lose?”

Ultimately, you have to decide if it’s worth the time, energy, aggravation, and effort that follows based on the type of patient coupon networks attract.

Ask yourself if you really want to position your office this way (like Walmart) in the local market or do you want to be known as the “Mercedes” of chiropractic offices in your area.

Definitely give it serious thought before jumping the gun.

Consider this, instead of offering a discount on price, why not just stack-on more value to what you’re offering at your normal fee schedule. You’ll get better patients / customers that actually value your service if you do this, rather than being one of those flaky types just looking for a hand-out.

If you’re interested in discovering how to best position yourself in your city to be the leader, check-out my personal coaching program. Positioning is one of the first things we cover since it’s the MOST important factor that determines how much people will pay for your service.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment below and voice your opinion 🙂

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About the Author

Matthew Loop is an author, speaker, investor, philanthropist, and the highest paid social media revenue strategist in North America. He helps brands, startups, and small business owners multiply their influence, impact, and income by harnessing the power of the Internet. Since 2005 he’s trained over 21,000 clients in 25 countries. Millions have viewed his free business growth tutorials online. Connect with him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


12 Responses to “Does Groupon Suck for Chiropractors?”

  1. Dr. Mike says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your conclusions. Positioning your office as the ‘cheapest in town’ is a no-win proposition for the doctor. You have only one place to go from there. Thanks for the timely message.

    Michael J. Funicello, D.C.

  2. Matthew Loop says:

    Glad you liked the blog, Dr. Mike. Positioning and setting expectations from the beginning is everything…

  3. I also couldn’t agree more with this blog post. I was contacted by livingsocial a week or two ago, and esentially told them to go scratch. Absolutely zero interest in being, as you put it the Wal-Mart of chiropractic to people who probably won’t stick to the care plan, and will most likely bad mouth you or the profession for not being able to help them.

  4. While your concerns are reasonable, my experience with Groupon is different. I ran a Groupon in February and got an immediate influx of patients scheduling their New Patient appointment. To my delight, I had very few ~10% that were only looking for “free” service. The clear majority were people with real health concerns and a real desire for a smart and natural solution. My assessment is that investing in a new doctor can be expensive, however if their initial financial risk is reduced, a “smart” and “savvy” shopper will leverage the Groupon to find the right doc for them. My practice grew 35% in a matter of 2 months.

    Of course, I have a great understanding of chiropractic and I know how to do an effective Report of Findings. On another note, the Oregon Board of Chiropractic has deemed that it is an unethical fee splitting situation where Groupon and other social media marketing programs keeps half the patient payment as an advertising fee. I disagree with that decision, however, they are the Board and they make the rules. Therefore, in Oregon, Groupon advertising is not an option under the current rules.

  5. Matthew Loop says:

    Congrats on your success, Dr. Jonathan. Yes, as mentioned above, if you intend on running one of these promos your ROF or conversion has be very good. This is where many fail. The ad copy is also another factor that will dictate the type of patient that accepts the offer, too.

    My one client that had a good experience saw his practice grow by about 40% in 2 months, too. Chiropractors should obviously check with their state board before to see what they can and cannot advertise.

  6. Matthew Loop says:

    Good points, Abhi

  7. Shane Fishbein says:

    We had success with groupon, and didn’t have success with Living Social. Our secret is to do it as a chiropractic based ad, with a massage at the end. I know some chiros who do a free massage as the main thing, hoping to get some people who also want chiro. Ours was a chiro evaluation, exam, x-rays if needed. Then after that, they get a massage. Because of this, we definitely had a way better result.

    We still had a lot of traffic from people who lived too far away, etc. It’s not our favorite thing nor is it our main thing for growing the practice. It’s a supplement to our services. Plus, we have a whole separate massage section to our office who benefit from the online advertisements, so it helps them.

    Referrals are always the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Google reached out to me asking me to run a promo. At first I’m thinking it couldn’t hurt some extra exposure and maybe a bump in SEO. I offered Chiro And an Acu consult with a 1hr. Massage for $45.00( in which they take 1/2). 2 weeks later they called me and told me the fee was too high and that I should lower it to $39.00. I said forget it, no meat left on the bone to split 3 ways. No money and low quality patients equals headaches! Love your stuff Matt, thanks for posting.

  9. Matthew Loop says:

    That is a better way to do it, Shane. You’re setting their expectations up front. Jason, good call on the pass. Always put yourself in the position to attract your ideal patient. Sometimes you just have to say no. Glad you enjoy the content here 🙂

  10. I totally agree with your blog post. In addition, using Groupon could be a conflict with our laws concerning not paying others to get patients here in Washington State.

  11. This is a good informative article. Attaching more value is always the way to go-you are 100 per cent correct. Thanks for the insight.

  12. Alex says:

    Like you mention, Groupon does seem to bring in a specific type of clientele whose loyalty lies solely on deals and promotions. We’ve started running ads through Facebook with promos and have seen a large chunk of repeat business from those clients. Definitely something to consider if you are unhappy with Groupon!


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