From Dot Bomb to Great Recession to $30M Acquisition: The Eversave Story

7/19/11Follow @gthuang

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consumers. In the meantime, of course, Groupon had paved the way with daily deals in local markets, and local was hot. So in early 2010, Prospectiv rolled out Eversave, a local deals site targeted at affluent women aged 25 to 55. Instead of group buying, Eversave “revolves around a retention and loyalty program,” Doyle says.

Indeed, the big question around deals sites is how to get customers to return to the store, rather than just take a one-off deal and never come back. (BuyWithMe has addressed this in part by acquiring Edhance, a Cambridge, MA-based loyalty firm, as it announced yesterday.)

Eversave’s approach is a product of its decade-long experience in customer acquisition and retention. The site, which is active in 20 cities, sends out follow-up e-mails to customers through the merchants. Three months after buying a deal (which the company calls a “save”), consumers will get a message updating them on the restaurant’s new menu, say, or new content on a store’s Facebook page. Eversave also rewards consumers for spending a certain amount of money and for rebooking. What’s more, the company runs surveys for its big-company clients to help them improve their products and marketing campaigns. It’s all about helping merchants “maximize the initial visit, and get [customers] to come back,” Doyle says.

Prospectiv had been working with Affinion for a few years, so Doyle says the acquisition was “a perfect fit” and was the option that “made the most sense.” He adds, “We think this will allow us to grow faster and offer more merchant services.” (It should also pay out handsomely, as Prospectiv only raised a small amount of money through strategic partnerships and angel investors when it first started, Doyle says.)

Prospectiv has 135 employees, all in Wakefield. Doyle is staying on as president of Prospectiv and Eversave, and he will report to Affinion president Rick Fernandes. Doyle didn’t say much about his plans to expand the business under the new ownership; rather, he focused on his firm’s core competency. “The key is to take care of your customers,” he says. “Not just consumers, also the local businesses.”

He also stressed the importance of staying ahead of the competition in areas like mobile marketing and location-based deals. “The company that innovates the most will be the long-term winner,” he says. “Coupons have been around 100 years, they’re not going away. The Internet is the most efficient way to distribute them. The winner is the one who can do that the best.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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