the sally sisson blog

December 8, 2010

Content (and copywriters) are king at Groupon, part 2

Continuing my fixation with the group buying site…

[See part 1:  The Key to Groupon’s Success? A Stable of Great Copywriters]


I know much of the genius has to do with the simple business model, but I remain fixated on the creative. Here’s another article I bookmarked a while back, this one from

Groupon and the value of copywriting

“There is lots of talk of whether Groupon can keep their advantage over new competitors. But the competitors I have seen don’t have the copywriting chops that Groupon does, at least right now. As long as Groupon continues to write such great copy, they’ll have a big advantage over their competitors.”

Click here for full article.

Editorial style (and schtick) guide

Check out the company’s Public Editorial Manual which describes the Groupon Voice in detail and has a whole section on Humor Writing, complete with examples. Here’s a small taste:


Zog’s Dogs

“The first deep-frying techniques were used as a means of preserving wedding gowns and Barry Bonds rookie cards; it wasn’t until later that they were applied to food….”

Guide to Art-Museum Banter

“Before taking advantage of today’s Groupon, memorize these handy art criticisms, which are guaranteed to apply to any work in the Lowe Art Museum:

  • “The brush stroke is large. It would not shock me if the artist painted with a wig or mop. Do you agree with my point of view?”
  • “The way color is used is breathtaking. It is either red, blue, green, or purple, but I would need to take a closer look to be sure.”
  • “Some say those are boxes, but to me they appear as triangles. Either way, this painting is about Lou Gehrig’s desire to adopt a dog.”
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December 7, 2010

The key to Groupon’s success? A stable of great copywriters.

Okay, so it’s not only about the clever content. But it’s the reason I read my Groupon coupon every morning as I sift through the clutter in my in-box. And I’m not alone.

Back in September I posted a link to this article from VentureBeat about writing as the key to Groupon’s remarkable success. Now whenever I read about the social-buying site and Google’s billion-dollar takeover offer, the copywriting bit remains top of mind.

Read the article here:

The Secret of Groupon’s Success Is… Good Writing?

“Chief executive Andrew Mason said today that the success of his popular social buying site Groupon had less to do with brilliant tech and more with good writing, and with unfashionable technology like email.

“Groupon employs a staff of 70 writers to create the text of all its group deals, Mason said. It might be easier to ask the businesses offering the deals to write the content, or perhaps to find some way to automatically generate the text, but Mason said that having well-written, engaging content is a key part of convincing users to keep reading…”

groupon 2

To be continued…

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