Perry Evans, a founder of Local Matters and MapQuest, has launched a beta version of Closely, Inc., a new group-based promotions company, joining the 100 or more companies that hope to follow in the footsteps of Groupon, and perhaps improve on it. Groupon has over one million registered users.
First up is a Business Edition, a real time service that allows small businesses to centrally launch, manage and measure promotions via Facebook and Twitter, enabling them to build their customer base and manage demand with real-time, socially engaged offers. The service connects a live offer page to each social media post.
Evans tells us the eight person company is being positioned, in part, to “help traditional media companies get better at this.” Instead of hashing together a new technology on top of an old technology, this is all new, he says. “If direct marketing were being created now, it would be done this way.”