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NearU Search gives small businesses a voice

Text messaging is becoming the most lucrative opportunity for small local businesses to communicate with their customers. Since the message arrives on a personal handset, this medium can offer immediacy and relevancy to the end user.

“Our new product is Qpons,” said Matthias Galica, product manager for NearU, Pasadena, CA. “Now small business owners can use Qpons to manage and create SMS marketing campaigns.

“Subways and other large brands have been using SMS and conversion rates are skyrocketing,” he said. “SMS has been closed to small- and mid-size companies due to the high cost.

“Our interface is cheaper.”

NearU has been seeing an opt-in rate at 27 percent for its small business clients, compared to the industry standard of.05 percent for email.

“Email is slow and people don’t even read most emails, whereas an SMS message is read within 15 minutes,” Mr. Galica said.

The best part of Qpons is that the interaction works both ways, further empowering the end user.

A customer can use their mobile phone to search for Qpons locally then choose the ones that appeal most to them.

For example, one can search for local pizza Qpons in a said zip-code then go through each one and see what they like best.  It is a two way communication and not like other companies where you just send out a text to people.

For business owners, Qpons will provide monthly reporting to accurately measure response rates and return on investment.

Rates will start at $60 a month for 500 messages.

NearU is a local SMS search company founded in 2007.

The company provides fast and easy search for the legions of text-savvy folks who find Web search results wanting for authenticity.

NearU Search provides consumers with the local scene right to their fingertips.

“Qpons evens out the playing field for smaller companies,” said Heather Mlodinow, CEO of Near U. “The small cafes and other types of local boutiques have been buried by the larger companies that have the funds for large-scale campaigns.

“Qpons is letting smaller companies play the field too,” she said. “It gives smaller businesses the opportunity to remind consumers that they are out there and gives them a voice.”