If your morning ritual is anything like mine you wake up, drink some coffee, check your email and then delete anywhere from five to ten daily deal emails, without reading them. My disinterest for email discounts is not uncommon, and has the likes of Groupon, Living Social, etc. scurrying to find meaningful ways to reengage their inactive audiences.
Don't get me wrong, I like a good deal, but I've stopped looking at the emails because they are not relevant to who I am or what I want to do. And when I do buy a deal it's because I already know the restaurant, etc. and want a discount the next time I pay a visit.
This behavior has raised questions for some business owners who, in using the service, sacrifice control of their brand and messaging in return for access to larger audiences, that may never become loyal customers. Kyle Simmons, Co-founder of SurfLoyal, understands these dynamics, and wants to change them in favor of small businesses, via more control, while delivering relevant discounts to the people who support them.
Q: Ky, how did SurfLoyal get started?
A: We started as a web development company that made custom enterprise solutions for small businesses. While working on a project for one company, we realized that there wasn't a great way for businesses to distribute promotions to their customers - existing solutions were either too costly or the businesses were forced to deliver promotions through third parties - so we decided to build one ourselves.
SurfLoyal was built for that first customer, but while developing we pushed for a powerful, simple and effective platform for distributing promotions that could give other businesses more control of their discounts and other branded content.
Q: Consulting to scalability, brilliant. So, what are some recent successes you can share?
A: We launched in early June and have already seen a huge response with our first customer - a recent promotion saw nearly 600 people simultaneously hitting their site to grab discounted pizzas. On top of that, their online organic content connected to the promotion received about 150% more impressions and engagement than their other content. The biggest complaint is that deals go too fast because it's so popular.
Q: That's a good problem. What will SurfLoyal look like in one year?
A: In one year our goal is to have between 100 and 200 locations signed up and using SurfLoyal. This will provide sustainable revenue and allow us to more quickly grow the business. In addition, more companies using the system will allow us to better help our customers decide what types of promotions to run, when to run them and effective ways to market and improve their business.
Very cool, Kyle. We wish you luck! Please help us in supporting SurfLoyal (and other up-and-coming startups) by partying with us on September 9th. 200+ tickets have already been snatched up for Beta.MN 1.5, but you can get yours now before they run out.