“It’s all about the merchant… we are taking a backseat”—SaveLocal VP, Dave Gilbertson
On June 19, 2012, Constant Contact, Inc announced that the company would be opening its doors to the public, and introducing them to its newest online marketing platform—SaveLocal. The site was initially only available to Constant Contact customers; however, the company seeks to branch out of to all U.S businesses, providing merchants the tools to manage their own deals.
“In speaking with local business owners when developing SaveLocal, we heard a few common requests: they wanted a tool that helped them acquire new customers through word-of-mouth, the ability to control the type and amount of the deal, and they wanted to actually make a profit,” said SaveLocal VP and general mangager, Dave Gilbertson. “Those all seemed like pretty reasonable things to ask from a business owner trying to make a living, but unfortunately, the traditional deals model fell short on every one of these goals. SaveLocal flips that model on its head and gives the merchant complete control of the deal: they control the discount amount, the terms of the deal, timing, and how many coupons to sell. And we’ve already seen some truly amazing results. We couldn’t be more excited about making this product widely available.”
The three-month-old project has already been reached by a number of businesses, including Janet Brown of Cape Fear Aesthetics Spa, located in North Carolina. Brown ran a SaveLocal deal that accumulated $14,000 in revenue within ten days. “We ran the same exact deal with a different provider, but the SaveLocal deal was much more profitable, because we didn’t have to give the standard 50 percent back to the vendor,” said Brown.
SavLocal’s deals are free to send, and its “1,2,3” dollar arrangement makes them the lowest price in the industry. With every purchase from 3-19 dollars, the merchant will pay 1 dollar to SaveLocal. With every purchase from 20-49 dollars, the merchant will pay 2 dollars. And for a fifty-dollar+ purchase, the merchant will pay 3 dollars. Brown’s success with her first spa deal, and content with the low price, made her eager to purchase two more deals after that, overall generating over $42,000 in revenue.
Grant Galuppi, of Galuppi’s restaurant in Pompano Beach, Florida encountered similar obstacles. “The deals vendor required that we offer a 50 percent discount and give them half of whatever we made,” said Galuppi. “We wanted to find an alternative that gave us more control over the deal. Constant Contact had already been a huge part of our online marketing, so when I heard about SaveLocal, it was a no-brainer.” By utilizing SaveLocal’s sharing feature, Galuppis influenced his customers to buy and share the deal by offering $5 coupons just for tweeting or posting about it on Facebook. Subsequently, his customer-base increased by 36%.
“All of our products are made in-house. They are hand-made and hand-painted. We couldn’t afford to be put in a position where we had to offer a steep discount,” said Grant Cloud, owner of California based pottery store, Cloud’s Porcelain. “The deal we ran with SaveLocal was $75 for a $100 gift certificate. It was super affordable and we were in control of the terms. They didn’t force us to offer a 50 percent discount, and we didn’t have to give them a big share of revenue. The deal brought in over 40 percent new customers and went above and beyond our expectations.”
What distinguishes SaveLocal from other merchant vendors would be their excellent support system. Once you browse through the different products, you will receive a call from Boston based SaveLocal coaches, whom will guide you through deals and pricing. The savvy support team has access to databases, which include every deal that has been offered in the industry. From there, you can observe your options to assist you in creating your deal, with having the option of SaveLocal to follow up after.
“Success stories like these are just a few of the great examples we have of what happens if we give merchants the tools and total control to create profitable deals campaigns that drive word of mouth. We think that the best way to find your next great customer is through your existing customer base, rather than through a big list of consumers who don’t know much about you. That is SaveLocal’s secret sauce,” said Gilbertson. “This industry can have an inspiring and bright future, but in order to succeed, the model needed to change. It’s clear that our model is resonating – in just the three months since SaveLocal’s launch, our deal volume has put us in the top 10 among current providers.”
The ultimate goals for the online marketing platform consist of maintaining loyalty with its customers, ensuring that merchants are coming aboard successfully, and guaranteeing that customers are having a swift and simple deal-buying experience. In term, the company hopes to see partnerships form. “Doing it right and making it successful” is the key to make an impact says Gilbertson.