Fanminder Throws in a Dash of Social and Raises $1Million

Long have we small business owners been accustomed to figuring things out ourselves, whether we’ve got the skills to do them or not. For me, HTML, photo editing and a dabble of design come to mind. In the past, we didn’t have the tools we needed (nor the tools that big companies and big budgets can buy) to help us on our way to growing our businesses.

Now we’ve got a deluge of help: from daily deal sites ready to help us get more foot traffic to social media page creators that require no technical expertise, we’re armed with tools that attempt to make our work easier.

Fanminder, which originally began in 2009 as a tool to help business owners connect with customers through mobile messaging, recently launched its Version 2.0 to include social media and templates to help small business owners reach their customers — wherever they are.  See screenshot above showing new social features.

“[Version] 2.0 fills in a big, unmet merchant need to take all those Facebook fans, email lists, mobile lists and Twitter followers and figure out what content actually motivates them to get them to come back to the store to buy something again,” says Paul Rosenfeld, Co-Founder and CEO of Fanminder.

What It Does

Fanminder users can create special offers, mobile coupons and giveaways and distribute them through mobile messaging, social media or email. Fanminder strives to help users create their offers in two minutes or less by offering a gallery of templates to use. There are templates for holidays, special events and typical customer communications that can be modified by the user.

“We’ve always known how much owners want to look bigger than they are, look more professional,” explains Rosenfeld. The professionally designed templates help small business owners give the appearance of being larger, yet at a fraction of the cost of hiring a designer to create them.

And speaking of pricing: there’s no fee to create custom Facebook Pages, create mobile coupons, or send text offers to up to 100 fans. Beyond that, monthly packages start at $50 a month.

From Online to In Store

Something many small businesses have been struggling with is translating social media traffic to foot traffic in a brick-and-mortar store. We fought to get social media followers, and now that we have a surge of them, many of us don’t know how to get customers in person.

“That social media momentum has created consumers who spend an enormous amount of their online time on Facebook,” said Rosenfeld, “Merchants need to go where their customers are and our mission is to bring those customers back into the store.

$1 Million Backing to Address the Trend

This effort to converge the information and campaigns related to all your customers and social media followers has become a major movement among technology providers. We’ve seen it with email marketing services and CRM providers. Fanminder is an example of the mobile marketers who see this as a key step in their evolution.

Fanminder recently announced that it had received $1Million in backing from Keith Rabois, COO of Square and a brain trust of six former Intuit executives including Peter Karpas, the former CMO of Intuit and current VP of Marketing at PayPal; Cary Rosenzweig, the former General Manager of Intuit Payroll Services and current CEO of IMVU; and Steve Grey, the former Director, Strategy of Intuit Merchant Services and current Executive Director of 58.

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Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

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