Give more and grow more, from free resale to competitive edge for brick and mortar local businesses everywhere
June 22, 2013 Leave a comment
After selling items online for some time, I decided to develop a competitive answer to what’s wrong with the industry’s number one mostly – free ad site and hired a contractor to build it, which turned out to be quite a lengthy education. Several iterations of my dream later, we launched adbirds in early 2009, with more to learn about internet marketing.
Doing “free” -only better.
Free is a powerful word, or so I heard. So we developed more service for free, and named user account “stores” with 5 free ads in every category, ten free image uploads, video embed capability and a better text editor (Visual Designer) than most sites use even today. Our site accepts html templates that work on eBay Motors and Craigslist. Flyers such as VFlyer provides for CL work well with our site to produce professional looking real estate, motor vehicle or boat ads on adbirds as well.
Our mantra for the design team remains to serve for the betterment of; People, Business, Charity and Ecology. Helping consumer resellers, micro business grow, local mom and pop retail compete with big box across town, or helping a community based organization with free upgrades, user groups, header links from any user account and affiliate fundraising were features we designed into the function and feel of adbirds. I always ask; “What more can we do”?
We have recently upgraded adbirds’ user account registration system to show a Google map to any store address in the world when the user opts for a map link, and we provide that for free as well. Any level of adbirds user can opt for map links now, which was originally provided with the idea that consumers would find local, brick and mortar businesses while free users would not need it. Even better, the shopper can click for driving directions from Google after searching by shortest distance for any listed item.
Upgrades are for growth….
For businesses needing more than five ads, and more (75k characters of) content, we have two paid service level upgrades which are; Value and Unlimited. A free user can upgrade too, once the micro business grows to a $5.00 marketing budget…
- Value registration now allows up to 50 ads with the above features and 30 day run times which should help realtors and small, note lot car dealers for only $5.00 per month or $55.00 a year when paid annually. For sale by owner? Use a flyer template!
- Unlimited user accounts provide all the above mentioned services plus an unlimited number of ads, 365-day run times, and a spreadsheet inventory uploader to create an SEO – friendly ad for every item or service in the store within a few minutes.
Unlimited service upgrades, and our mapping / “get distance” fuel cost calculator are provided to help local shoppers find specifically what they want in a local, brick and mortar store, be it a Mom and Pop or big box retailer – by shortest driving distance. We tell you how much you will spend on fuel to get to the store right on the ad and in the search results scroll-down on adbirds.com.
Build it, and they will come. Make it better, and local media will write stories about it… Well, maybe not.
For some time I have worked on the chicken-or-egg matter regarding population of the adbirds website for auto, real estate, service and retail industry. I did local radio and limited tv with little in the marketing budget – like the people we want to serve.
“Let’s provide incentives”! We came up with an “affiliate” code system that provides payouts with a tracking link and coupon for partners who will help propagate the site.
If a company, a shut-in, or organization becomes an adbirds user and an affiliate, your tracking link could look like;
http://www.adbirds.com/CT/?ck= aword and your coupon for personally entering an account coupon at registration as Value or Unlimited could be: aword (or anything you want for that matter).
A banner can carry your tracking link pointing to adbirds, and when any account is created within 30 days from that click-through (provided the user accepts a cookie), your account will be credited. I recommend selling your clients on adbirds due to our green, family-friendly and eco friendly format and we can help with the details, plus guarantee most of our end is spent on marketing in their area.
Print media, even those with websites consider us competition. Go figure. I had a hard time getting any love from Austin radio or tv too, so we created user groups, affiliate code, a Travel Incentives program with awards scaled to specific growth targets, and prize contests. What more can we do? “Calling all agencies, car and motorcycle dealers, real estate companies, restaurants and retailers”!
Randall Stephens, founder, adbirds.com