OfferLounge platform targets merchants to drive traffic via mobile offers
Easy Email Entry was created to lessen the load on busy merchants and help them reach consumers on the go. The platform also works on desktop and laptop computers.
“Our strategy is to provide local businesses with a service they can use to launch mobile promotions using tools that are already familiar and available to them: email and mobile phones,” said Joe Lima, founder/CEO of OfferLounge, Morgan Hill, CA. “Easy Email Entry allows for faster and more timely submission of promotions into our system.”
OfferLounge integrates mobile, email, direct mail, online and social media marketing by providing merchants with a self-serve technology platform for promoting offers and events.
Once the business is registered on OfferLounge, merchants can send an email to [email protected].
The merchant ends the email with a hashtag and a date, for example, #2/15/10.
Mr. Lima said with the popularity of Twitter, the use of hashtags is becoming more and more familiar to the general population.
OfferLounge then combines the information in the email with information already in its system about the business to create a mobile coupon along with a map and links for sharing the coupon via its Share This service.
The hashtag is translated into the expiration date for the promotion.
The OfferLounge system also formats the promotion and automatically sends it to Twitter with a link back to the coupon.
The link serves up the mobile version of the promotion to users using a mobile Twitter application.
Consumers using a desktop Twitter client will be served the desktop version of the promotion.
To redeem the promotion, consumers can show their mobile phone screen or print out the coupon from http://www.offerlounge.com.
OfferLounge is targeting local merchants such as restaurants, spas and retail stores. Mr. Lima said he plans to license Easy Email Entry and OfferLounge to media agencies who want to provide the service to their clients in the second quarter of 2010.
The Easy Email Entry service via smartphones lets a local restaurateur announce a lunch special or a day spa to generate traffic on a slow afternoon with little advanced planning or effort.
Mr. Lima said his clients rarely have time or access to a computer to log into OfferLounge’s system during the workday.
OfferLounge sees many promotions submitted during the evening and on weekends because its clients are too busy.
“Using Easy Email Entry from OfferLounge, merchants can launch a promotion at anytime and from anywhere with little lead time and minimal effort using a tool they have in their pocket – their mobile phone,” Mr. Lima said.
“When we think of mobile and the promise of on-the-go, timely access to promotions, we generally view it from the consumer point of view,” he said. “But we view the marketer, in this case, the local business owner, also in need of a timely, simple method to provide promotions to customers.”