Business owners in Portland, Oregon, can now sign up for Google Offers Beta. Google is promising businesses on the Offers website that the Groupon-style program, which went live last week, will help bring in new customers, with Google handling all the marketing to users who have subscribed to receive offers to buy a deal worth at least 50 percent off.
Offers is now tied into Google's Portland page, which also promotes Google Places and Boost ads. Google heavily marketed Hotpot in Portland, only to see the program discontinued and merged into Places.
When news first leaded out about Google Offers, it was reported that "Google will pay out 80% of a business' revenue share three days after its deal runs. Google will hold the remaining 20% for 60 days to cover refunds before sending the rest."
It also appears Google will allow some type of social sharing via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz.
Google remains vague about when users can expect to receive their first email featuring local offers. Also interesting is the wording on the Google Offers Help page, which notes that Google hopes to bring Offers to New York and the San Francisco Bay Area in the near future. Perhaps Google is waiting to see if enough people subscribe, as these cities are available on the drop-down menu of cities, or if the program flops in Portland.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also testing its own discount program, Deals, in five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco. Facebook deals are sent out via email and will also appear in the Facebook news feed for those who "Like" Facebook Deals.
Do you think Google Offers will succeed? Let us know in the comments.