Yesterday, we ran the first part of an insightful 2-part series on how local-centric SMS/email convergence vendors are allowing local merchants to become more successful. Read on for some great tips from LocalsLikeUs founder Neej Gore.
“Smart phones are very capable. Apps slowed the adoption of SMS. But SMS achieves something different. When you see a billboard for something, like continuing education or whatever—of course you shouldn’t text and drive, but it’s easier and quicker to remember the short code than to download an app, or to try and line up a picture of a distant QR code.”
Gore’s latest venture, LocalsLikeUs, is a service that will be able to grow into whatever convergence comes down the road. “The problem is simple—you can talk to any local merchant and they’ll say, ‘There are slow points of the day or week when I wish I was busier.’ We’re building a platform to let them fill up those times,” Gore says. “There are two pieces: First, provide a compelling offer.
Second, add affinity; you don’t want to target the bottom feeders, but the people who like your brand and want to follow you.” The affinity marketing of LocalsLikeUs is what sets it apart from other online couponing services. “We want to tell that food truck operator who among their customers really likes their food and wants to strengthen the relationship (and eat more often),” Gore says.
Opting in for SMS notifications is a clear indication of that level of interest. “LocalsLikeUs allows merchants to do push via email and SMS at the moment, according to the user’s preferences,” Gore says. “We place a cap on the notifications so users don’t get overwhelmed with offers if they follow a lot of merchants.”
The service will stay abreast of changes to communication and marketing technology, and move to take advantage of whatever best serves the needs of merchants and consumers. “There’s going to be a convergence of QR codes at point of service, plus email, plus SMS,” Gore adds. As it develops, he and LocalsLikeUs will be there.
Email Neej directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a complimentary full-featured e-marketing account for up to 1000 contacts.
– Marshall Lager, Content Manager, The Social Concept