To address several pain points expressed by small to midsize businesses (SMBs) when dealing with name brand daily deal websites, Sacramento-based dealsnapt launched in 2012. The company's stated goal was to leverage proximity-based mobile technology and social networks so that merchants could exercise greater control over local marketing campaigns.
According to dealsnapt, it is unlike its competitors because it neither dictates campaign content nor draws fees from campaigns launched. Instead, merchants pay a subscription fee to use its mobile and web-based service. "We give merchants the ability to post whatever they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want," said Don Lyttle, who heads business development at dealsnapt. "They get to control costs, quantities, prices, ad duration, everything."
Lyttle noted that the dealsnat platform emphasizes mobile and dynamic engagement with consumers. He said merchants can log in any time to check the number of views, clicks, shares, likes and comments received to gauge the overall performance of each campaign. The company primarily targets SMBs in six categories: activities, automotive, food and drink, health and beauty, professional services, and retail.
Dealsnapt built its platform to be community-centric so that merchants within close proximity cross-benefit. "If I've got 20 or 30 merchants in a five-mile radius, all of those merchants are encouraging their customers to download the very same app," Lyttle said, noting that as customers drive across town, the deals change based on proximity and personal preference settings.
"Our marketing audience can go from zero to 10,000 people relatively quickly in a given area, because if I download the app trying to get coffee deals from my local coffee shop, I'm going to see deals from the hair salon across the street as well," Lyttle said. "It's something you don't get with texting or individual merchant apps or other programs that are not cooperative like we are." In addition to merchant support, dealsnapt provides in-store promotional materials to encourage customer participation. "To create a merchant account takes about five minutes," Lyttle said. "It's strictly web-based. They get a merchant profile and there's a mapping feature within the app, too."
Participation from nonprofit organizations, schools and event venues has become a growing segment on the dealsnapt platform. "We're not just deals; we're events as well," Lyttle said. "We want people to download the app to not only see where they can save money around them, but also to see what they can do on a Friday or Saturday night, or if they're new to the area whether there is a concert, special event or charity event nearby."
About 70 percent of consumers who download dealsnapt's free app elect to receive daily email notifications that list seven or eight new local deals, Lyttle said, adding that the function can be turned off at any time. For more time-sensitive deals, customers can choose to receive instant phone notifications from select merchants as well. He also pointed out that customers with the app or online access can then navigate by date, urgency, business category and location to find nearby deals, events, merchants and groups within an adjustable radius of two to 25 miles.
The company continues to upgrade its platform. Several new features include SnapBuzz, showing what's trending with other shoppers nearby; Spin2Win, offering rewards at participating businesses; and exclusive offers to increase customer loyalty, such as rewards for customers who share local deals on social networks.
Dealsnapt offers an affiliate program for ISOs and agents. "We give them a great value-added tool to engage their merchants, to create stickiness with merchants and to earn additional revenue, whether that revenue is on an ongoing monthly residual basis or an upfront commission," Lyttle said, adding that it "depends on how the merchant wants to pay us," which can be annually or month by month.
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