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January 17, 2011

MeetUp Launches Perks Feature For Small Businesses

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You have a business site online and want to get found for specific keywords. You already target certain phrases through SEO and blogging; you have been investing in paid ads and have recently started monitoring social media for these mentions. What is next? Next comes a fundamental element in the evolution of inbound marketing—transcending the virtual space to reach your community in the physical space.

MeetUp.com has now made this interaction easier for local businesses. Last week, the global network for local meetups announced the launch of MeetUp Perks —a feature that connects local businesses with group organizers through deals and discounts.

How does it work?

Businesses and organizations offer ongoing deals, such as 20% off spa or 25% off dry cleaning. They extend these special promotions to select MeetUp Groups, based on topic or location. For example, if you are a yoga center, you want to reach out to local yoga enthusiasts and healing circles. After setting your criteria, MeetUp.com will notify group organizers if they qualify for your offer and let them opt into it.

So, how should you approach this opportunity? Find below some suggestions to get you started quickly.

Create Your Profile in 3 Steps

3 step process Creating your Sponsor profile is a simple three-step process that involves registering, creating your perk and adding payment information. The monthly cost for sponsoring a meetup is currently $5 per group. “We will offer your Perk to active Groups that match your criteria and only charge you for those that accept your Perk,” the MeetUp folks explain .

Come Up With a Great Offer

Think of a discount or deal that you could offer to MeetUp Groups on an ongoing basis. “Since it's up to each MeetUp Group to choose whether they will accept your Perk, you need to make your offer really simple and compelling,” writes MeetUp expert Andrea . As your goal is to expose your product or service to maximum number of relevant groups, think carefully about what could appeal to them. These people are not just your regular consumers; they are web-savvy influencers in your industry and can become great brand evangelists.

Set the Right Criteria

criteriaformeetup Set the right criteria for what types of groups you want to make your offers available to. You can do that based on topics, such as “moms,” “hiking,” “road biking” and “cooking and baking.” You can also set the criteria by location. If you are a restaurant, for instance, you can choose to reach groups meeting up within 2 miles of your location. Once you select the criteria, the MeetUp system will find groups that match.

Experiment With It

As mentioned earlier, the cost associated with sponsoring one group monthly is only $5. That is not a high price to pay to experiment with this innovative marketing idea. Keep in mind that you will have an opportunity to tweak your experiment. As a sponsor, you can monitor the status of your offer, adjust your offer terms and change the number of groups you can sponsor.

Looking for more incentives to try this out? If you are among the first 5,000 businesses to extend an offer, you can get your Perk fees waived until March 15, 2011. Be quick.   

Topics: SEO

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