How to Collect Customer Data When You Run a Groupon Campaign

Most businesses would agree that a successful Groupon campaign can drive a ton of sales. However, there's one area where the deal-of-the-day service falls short: customer-data collection. When your campaign is over, all you get from Groupon is a list of names. No mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, or anything else.

That means you have no direct means for following up with all those new customers, no way to market to them again in the future. It might even limit your ability to fully honor your Groupon offer.

Recently, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) used Groupon to sell discounted memberships. The deal netted 5,000 new members, but LACMA couldn't mail membership cards because Groupon wouldn't provide customer addresses (as stated in their terms of service).

The museum found a solution in Formstack, an online form-generation and data-gathering service. After quickly creating a contact-information form, LACMA used Groupon's deal-confirmation e-mail to direct customers to that form, which collected the necessary info for mailing the membership cards (and, one would assume, future marketing efforts).

Furthermore, the form "allowed for an email confirmation to automatically be sent to the new member," says Formstack's Erica Dobson. "The member could use the confirmation email as a 'temporary' card until they received their card in the mail."

While this might not work for all businesses and/or campaigns, it's a very clever solution to a fairly major Groupon limitation. (As a consumer, I understand -- and appreciate -- Groupon's protection of my personal data, but as a business owner -- well, dangit, I want that data!)

And, of course, Formstack isn't the only data-gathering game in town. You might also want to check out services like Wufoo and Zoho Creator HTML Form Builder.

If you've had any experience with Groupon campaigns, good or bad, tell us about it in the comments!

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