The power of social networking will fuel Mob Rocket, a new deal website launched by Asheville entrepreneurs David Bentley and Chad Slagle. The two have a web design background but say they’re branching out with Mob Rocket. (Bentley is founder of ZeroZen Design, and Slagle is co-founder of Versa Stick.)
Here’s an example of how it works: The Asheville restaurant Lobster Trap signs on with Mob Rocket to offer a coupon: a half-priced appetizer. The restaurant also offers to give away one gift card worth $100 at its restaurant. Folks who sign on to Mob Rocket for the deal receive the coupon. They can then share the offer on Facebook, and earn chances to win the gift card prize.
The business decides the parameters of the coupon offer and the giveaway. It also gains a mailing list, as well as the targeted marketing power of Mob Rocket, according to Bentley. Businesses get the first 100 entries for a campaign for free, then are charged 50 cents per entry after that, with the business deciding the limit, Bentley says. For consumers, sign-up to Mob Rocket is free.
An initial campaign drew the attention of 454 entries in a week, Bentley says, all of which have a limited-time one-month coupon. The business added 74 new local consumers to its mailing list. The campaign itself was viewed by over 5,000 people locally, he says. At the end of the month time period, the business will report back how may participants redeemed their coupon.
The idea is to help businesses harness the power of social networking and couponing, while also making it easy for business owners to manage, Bentley says.
“The focus of the site is on helping businesses grow versus helping consumers find cheap deals,” says Bentley, noting that some businesses have suffered financially with other coupon deals, which take a big chunk of cash up front and often don’t deliver repeat customers or ways to reach those who took advantage of the deal.
“Most businesses have a core group of customers they have signed up for a mailing list or through social media, so when they send out a deal, you are already reaching your trusted consumer base. You’re reaching people who already believe in you. They already know your product, and people don’t have a problem sharing that deal to increase their odds of winning the giveaway,” Bentley says.
Mob Rocket can lend targeted mailing lists (the “mob”) to increase reach, he says. Mob Rocket is also looking to integrate SMS so that people who want to sign up for smart phone text messages can receive them.
Bentley says he’s actively signing up businesses, and is also interested in working with nonprofits.
So basically it’s the same as every other “daily deal” type site except instead of dealing in actual merchandise and real purchases, it’s all coupons and relatively empty clicks, right?
Gas station restaurants. That’s a great story. What other ones are there?
The Thai place at the intersection of Sweeten Creek and Mills Gap Road. Big Bear Pizza, which is caddy corner across that same intersection. There are a few chain pizza-and-wing type places, but you see those everywhere. There used to be a tortilla bakery and Mexican lunch food restaurant in the Plus station over on Patton Avenue in Far West Asheville, and a taco truck in the parking lot, but the last few times I drove by there both were gone/closed. I think there’s another bbq place besides Webo’s that I can’t specifically place, and there might be one or two other ones that I’m not thinking of right now, but those are the first few that came to mind.
Thank you Nate.
Dear potential Mob Racket involvee and Mob Racket-style futurists:
I am sick of being put in a pile with other “targets.” I am weary of being commodified on your junk e-mail lists. Please, God, save me from a FaceFuck “friend” who would forward me a coupon for half off an intro product that’s been jacked to twice it’s value for the sake of some web-preneure’s ill-advised stab at a career.
I’m sure this idea sounded awesome after several pitchers of beer. From your side of the table us “targets” seem a simple lot, unfairly loaded with cash and too much time on our hands. You misunderstand everything about pretty much everything.
Stop it. In the words of the great Bill Hicks: “If you’re involved in advertising or marketing.. Kill yourself.” (Google it. It’s awesome.. And this is an approach to your particular field that is needed now more than ever.)
Stop sending unsolicited emails. Stop trying to get “friends” to hook me into your get-rich-quick schemes. Stop looking at all things that are good (like the Lobster Trap) as a way to propel your career into the next FaceFuck, Twit Trap or whatever. Your ideas are not refreshing, brilliant or welcome. Your approach to life truly sucks and this most recent manifestation is a sad commentary on the desperation of your pitiful existence. Kill this idea. Just cut it up in little pieces and flush it down the toilet.
I’m glad you posted this – I was going to say something negative about it this morning, but I figured people would rip me a new one. My take was that anyone who ‘shares’ this on their FB page, or posts to others’ FB pages, would be able to harvest all the personal info off of those pages. People set their FB settings to Friends Only for a reason, so the general public won’t be able to access it, but now they would. Not that I have anything to hide, but I just don’t want my email and my friends’ email accounts to be sold in a list.
Agreed. Thanks for saying it.