Couple of days ago, a new Serbian startup was brought to life. Called EarnCoupon, this startup aims to promote products and services by word of mouth method, for which customers receive a certain discount. Considering that this type of promotion is the hardest one to pull off but also the most efficient, CEO of a EarnCoupon, Rade Joksimovic told Netocratic in an interview that it was about time for someone to develop a service which would allow businesses to advertise through positive opinions of its users.
The system works the following way: You start by choosing the type of campaign you want to implement on your website. After that, you get a button you can insert into the web page or a QR code which users can scan. They can save 5 to 10 percent from the purchase simply by clicking on the button and sharing the news about a product or a service with their friends on the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Spreading the word on one of them saves the users 5 percent, on both, 10 percent.
However, this type of promotion raises many questions about the morality and ethics of such a service. Users could spread the word about a defective product simply to get the discount and thereby deceive friends or followers. The guys behind the EarnCoupon assure us that it’s not in the customer’s best interest to waste time and post statuses and tweets about a product that they wouldn’t buy simply to get the discount. They continue by saying that such things are going to be monitored and sanctioned in time if they notice the misuse of this service.
Real time analysis for better understanding your customers
EarnCoupon also serves as an analysis tool which business owners can use to monitor the campaign on social networks. All of this is possible in real time, and the service will display geographic data of users who share the story about the product on their profile. Analytics also serve as a unique guestbook which can show business owners what their customers think about their company and their products.
Rade Joksimovic, CEO: We Want To Change the Way People Advertise on the Internet
In an interview we did with EarnCoupon’s CEO and founder Rade Joksimovic, we talked about beginnings of this service as well as past experiences. We were interested in how analytics could help companies, whether people will abuse the service, and what the future plans are for the EarnCoupon:
What triggered the need for this kind of service?
In a previous startup where my clients were the owners and managers of Internet shops, routine was watching them invest thousands of dollars in marketing services, with no positive feedback. On the other hand, consumers are becoming increasingly irritated by the commercials that bombard them on Internet on daily basis. People were desperate. At that moment I realized that something seriously does not work in the classic Internet marketing, at least when it comes to small business. Therefore, I’ve decided to create a service that will change that.
Do you think that EarnCoupon will increase the numbers when it comes to online shopping in Balkans or is the focus primarily on the global market?
The aim is the global market. We believe that it is not necessary to limit yourself to one particular market because of the type of service. We firmly believe that EarnCoupon will contribute to sales growth in small and medium-sized stores that so far weren’t able to afford word of mouth marketing because of its cost. Therefore we hope to at leastpartly contribute to the growth of online shopping, both in the region and in the global market.
How will businesses benefit from the analytics which are provided?
Originally developed analytics provided a very detailed insight into the progress of the promotional campaign. There are many ways that complement the performance parameters so that an employer can gain direct insight into the progress of his campaign. Further development of this analytic morphed into something much more. For example, the ability to see what it is that your customers love about you, like a guestbook from the offline world which no one fills out anymore. Then, perhaps the most important function is that the employer will have, for the first time, a direct insight into who their most influential consumers, to be able to get in touch with them for the sake of possibly some extra cooperation.
Are you concerned that some people might spread the story of a product just to gain discounts? Doesn’t that affect the real picture?
Frankly, we are not worried. EarnCoupon’s idea is about that the consumer is rewarded with a discount for the share of any kind of experience with that brand – whether positive or negative, with full transparency. Most buyers have some interaction with the brand before making a purchase – perhaps the ordering process is simple, maybe they’ve learned from other sources that the product solves a major problem in a good way, or they simply have a pleasant experience while talking with a sales operator. They are all experiences that consumers can publish on their profiles. It is very important for the business to know what their customers think of them – and that is somehow lost on the Internet.
What are your future plans for this service? Are you looking for investors?
Further plans involve improving product’s funcionality and adjusting it for offline businesses (restaurants, shops,cafés). Of course, increase the number of customers and partners in the form of advertising agencies. We arecurrently bootstrapping the startup, therefore we are not looking for acquisition at the moment. That however does not close the possibility that in the future we may seek an investment for the faster growth, especially because one of the following plans is forming a sales team in the U.S.
Interestingly, EarnCoupon’s specific plans for campaigns allow a certain number of shares. For $39 per month your customers can share up to 500 times. Larger plans cost more but even the most expensive plan with 50,000 posts and the support for up to 30 website is only $199 a month. More information about pricing can be found on the official website.