November 1, 2014

Daily Deals That Won’t Break The Bank: Check Out Signpost

Groupon and LivingSocial have motivated many small businesses into offering daily deals, but the 50 percent commission is often a daily deal breaker. Signpost is a new venture-backed daily deal service that that lets small and medium sized businesses set up their own daily deal campaigns and online marketing offers on a DIY (do it yourself) basis. It operates on a lower commission structure with a flat monthly fee, to boot.

How it works:

1.  Signpost gathers info about your business and creates a campaign. You share details about how your business operates and works, of course.

2.  They match your campaign with the right online channels. This is one of the cool things about Signpost — they have loads of content partners that show your “campaign ad” on their blog or website. From their website:

We use our network of 1200+ national and local partners like Google, AOL, and Yellow Pages to access over 35 million local customers. Our extensive reach allows us to match your campaign to customers that count.

3.  Customers buy a voucher online to redeem at your store by clicking on that daily deal ad and pre-paying for the offer. You pay a commission to the content partner that is displaying your ad (via the Signpost system, of course) and they promise it is never more than 15 percent.

Within your account, like any web service, you have a real-time dashboard that shows your offers, redemptions, and other campaigns you are running. For example, you can set up a Facebook campaign or run an email newsletter through the service.

What I liked about the service

  • Signpost creates the campaign for you. As I pointed out above, they then distribute that offer for you. They have over 60 cities in the system so far, but I presume that if you’re not in one of those you can still create an offer of some type.
  • I like that 15 percent commission versus the 50 percent that other daily deal companies require.

What I would like to see improve

As most of my readers know, I don’t like it when you can’t get access to a site without leaving all your contact details. Signpost requires your email and phone and after you click “sign up” it says they will contact you shortly. So, I tried to sign up and now I’m waiting for a sales rep to call me. Not a big deal, but that wasn’t my expectation. As noted above, they are transparent with their pricing and how it works. Ideally, they would allow you to start filling in some details or checking out the dashboards or more than “hey, we’ll call you.”

Pricing is a flat $99 per month and a 15 percent (maximum) commission to sites that generate the click-through. If you’ve wanted to provide a daily or weekly coupon to your local customers and prospects, Signpost might be worth a closer look.

Learn more about Signpost.

22 Comments ▼
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TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

22 Reactions

  1. Great info! Thank you for this post. I have a couple of business friends who need to know this.

  2. Thanx TJ! It was a very useful blog, technically as well as professionally! Not many of us are aware of a signpost. Every business functions according to a strategy, which inturn works in accordance to a campaign and a signpost does just that! Moreover, I do agree with you that transparency with the customer is really important and demanding e-mail ID may not work with every prospective client!

  3. Informative and insightful as usual. This is why I check out this site daily!

  4. This was an industry ripe for competition. I’m interested to see if the big boys will start offering some better pricing in response.

  5. I agree with you Robert. Let’s see if they shake it up some!

  6. This sounds promising! Can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next. I’ll be checking on this. Thanks for spreading the word.

  7. So this is just a cheaper version of daily deals. Koopedia.com spanks these guys.

  8. Well… Signpost sounded like a great idea. I signed on at the end of November, they offered me a month free because I was sceptical about it. After two weeks, when I saw no response, I called and asked them to cancel. They offered me an additional thirty days because they wanted me to see that it works. Within a few days, I began to get calls and book appointments. They put me on amazon and I received a terrific response. They told me that they send checks on the 1st and the 15th of every month. They do not do direct deposit. The 15th came and left. My dashboard said the check was sent on the 17th of December. Long story short… It is now Feburary 12th and I have not received a dime. I still have to service the customers. There is no telling when this “check” will be sent. Also, aside from the three days on amazon and one purchased through their site, there is no consistent feedback. The customer service is giving me ludicrous timelines as to when this issue will be resolved.

  9. Hi all. I’m heading up the marketing and partnerships at Signpost and was revisiting this article so wanted to add a comment.

    TJ, thanks again for reviewing our solution on SBT. Earlier this year your colleague Annie Pilon also did so at:
    http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/01/signpost-shifts-focus-from-daily-deals.html. However it shows how fast we’re expanding as we currently offer a complete marketing solution for small businesses ranging from directory and social profile management to customer acquisition and retention marketing campaigns. We’re updating our website soon to provide all the details and will take into consideration your feedback.

    YDS, I apologize for your experience and hope your situation was resolved quickly after leaving your comment. We always conduct business with integrity and pay our dues. If you still have any questions please email support@signpost.com or call (855) 606-4900 and we’ll get back to you within one business days if not sooner.

    Jacco
    jacco@signpost.com

  10. We just signed up with signpost and are looking forward to seeing how things go. Has anyone on here had any success with it? We have done both Amazon local and Living Social. I don’t agree with the way Amazon handles customers and throws out their own terms and conditions. And living social tends to saturate the marketplace. So we are hoping for better results with this!

  11. Hi
    We signed up with Signpost after their rep has called us over and over to get us signed up. It all sounded very good before we paid. However we do not see that the campaign for which we prepaid three months and where time is of the essence has even gotten live anywhere online.
    We contacted Signpost about this issue and they keep coming back with excuses and refuse to refund us.
    We see it as a complete SCAM.
    Hope nobody else is going to fall for them.

  12. We have been called a few times and the price is not $99 per month that is only a activation fee, they are charging $199 per month for a 3 month subscription, $183 per month for 6 month subscription and $133 per month for a 12 month subscription and they want the money all upfront. I asked for a emailed description and this is what they gave me. No other marketing company I have ever dealt with in the past 20 years of business asked for all 12months paid upfront, they always billed month. Ones we currently do also pay monthly.

  13. I was talking to a friend who signed up and was promised direct mail would be send to homes within an 8 mile radius in addition to their online offers and platform. I’d like to get my sales boosted and this seems like an interesting program but I haven’t read any mention of direct mail to prospects as one of their services. Is it?

    • Hi Ann Cain,

      Thanks for your interest in Signpost. Unfortunately we do not facilitate any direct mail marketing programs. If you’re interested in that feel free to email me directly and I’m happy to do some research that would fit your objectives.

      Signpost helps local businesses build and maintain customer relationships by optimizing your online presence and converting new and existing customers.

      Jacco
      jacco@signpost.com

  14. Did some research BEFORE signing up with SignPost – thank god I did. Based on my interaction with a guy who said his name is “Chris” and on many reviews like the one below, it is clear that it is a scam.

    “SignPost promises a lot but does not deliver anything.

    When asked why our campaign does not show anywhere online, we were told that “Going Live” only means that the campaign will be “Distributed to their partner sites” and it may take them weeks to be picked it up if at all.

    Then they provided a link to show where our campaign was supposed to show on their site. Our campaign is headed as if we were located in New York, NY instead of California. Since our services are dance classes, I doubt that anyone from New York will fly to attend our classes in California.

    We asked several time to be refunded every time they come up with new excuses why not, included attempting to say we had been properly informed about their third party sites due to an email sent to us AFTER we signed and paid them.

    Disclosures after the fact is not disclosures anymore. A big SCAM. Stay away from this company.”

    From RipOffReport.com

    • Hi Sorin,

      I’m sorry you decided not to work with Signpost. I can understand you use 3rd party reviews as an important criteria in your decision making.

      I don’t expect to change your first impression, but did want to emphasize that Signpost is not a scam. I believe the reviews you’re referring to do not accurately represent our business since they’re dated and can’t be altered based on updated feedback from clients or us. Signpost can guarantee publication and placement on our partner network without any exception. We’re here to help local businesses succeed and do everything we can to accomplish this.

      Signpost has been successful for most of our clients. We’re writing about individual stories on our blog: http://goo.gl/TPMYzw. Any clients that have experienced problems we’ve resolved them and always learn to avoid this going forward.

      Best of luck,
      Jacco

      • Dear Jack O…

        No one’s interested in a blog review on YOUR site, controlled by you.
        We are looking for reviews that are not solicited and are on public sites NOT related to Signpost. I’m sure you will agree.

        Thank God this one exists.

  15. WARNING!

    Anyone thinking of employing Sign Post for help advertising should beware. The sales representatives/customer service team ran me around in circles when I tried to cancel and terminate their services. Besides the fact that they completely failed to bring me any new clients (not bringing me even one new client a month), they offered inaccurate and contradictory information on the cancellation procedures. In May 2014, a month prior to the end of my 3 month agreement, I called their customer service department telling them I’d like to end all services at the end of the 3 months. A representative informed me that she could help me with this and that the service will be terminated at the end of the 3 month agreement. On June 8th, 2014, two days after my 3 month agreement ended, I noted a new charge of $375 on my credit card statement from Sign post. I called them immediately to inquire about this new charge and the representative this time informed me that I had been charged a new 3 month service fee. When I told her that I had called in May to cancel all services, she said she had no record of this transaction and that I am now responsible for the new charge.

    • That is NOT cool!
      Thank you for posting, I was ready to sign up.
      Looks like Signpost has some integrity issues to clean up.
      At the same time, growing business does take time and 90 is not much time.

      i’m wondering if just hiring an SEO person for a few hours a week may be a better option.

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