8coupons.com – ‘Getting Traction With No Budget’

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The latest news piece on Yahoo about Bootstrappy startups triggered me to connect with Landy Yung, co-founder of 8coupons.com. Landy and her boyfriend, Wan Hsi Yuan, are the co-founders of exciting new startups 8coupons.com who are running their business from a 500-square-foot studio apartment. 8coupons.com is a simple service providing its users great deals on coupons provided by local businesses. With 8coupons.com, Landy and Wan have proved that starting a new company is actually much cheaper than most wannabe entrepreneurs thought. Yep! That’s the new definition of startups in the 2.0 world :)

In an exclusive e-mail interview with Rev2, Landy shared her thoughts on 8coupons.com and the challenges of a new-startup.

While I understand that 8coupons.com is a single place to review the best deals on offer in the NY region for restaurant, shopping, can you guys briefly tell us it all works?

The “Top 8 Deals” are based on a simple algorithm of clicks, clips, texts, and of course, the ratings themselves. It’s sort of a Digg for local coupons and advertisers cannot “pay to play” or pay to be one of the Top 8.

$88 for referral that isn’t bad for sure, how does this process work?

It’s completely user driven. $88 for referral that isn’t bad for sure, how does this process work.It’s a very simple process. Basically you sign up on 8coupons.com and get your own personalized “coupon code.” Then next time you go to your local salon, restaurant, dry cleaner, etc. you tell them about 8coupons and get them to try it. Your coupon code gives the merchant a 1 month free trial or the “credit” for one month’s fee. If the merchant signs up for more than the free trial period, then you automatically get the sale amount up to $88. If they do the free one month trial, then you get $8.

How are the coupon deals sent to cellphones?

Everything is all automated. As a consumer, you click on the “send to phone” icon, then the coupon gets sent to your cell phone as a text message in which you later redeem by showing the cashier your phone. So on the back-end, there’s not much that we need to do.

What forms the core of a marketing strategy for a startup like 8coupons.com?

Well the trick in any startup, especially the self-funded ones, is getting traction with no budget. And one way to do that is to leverage existing platforms out there such as a Facebook.

Tell us something about your revenue model, your future plans including coverage of other areas in the U.S. and elsewhere.

We’re currently generating revenues through ad fees from the merchants. It’s a straightforward “all-inclusive” flat fee that advertisers pay for unlimited coupons, a mini-website, the mobile feature, the SEM & SEO that goes with it, etc. There’s no PPC, pay per redemption, etc. Our goal is to keep it as simple as possible for local businesses. However, 8coupons’ revenue model 6, 18, 24 months down the road will inevitably adapt and grow as one of the greatest things about our platform is that it’s extremely monetizable – everything from the search-based and e-mail ads to the mobile coupons.

What’s your advice to the future entrepreneurs who are looking to jump into the Web 2.0 pool?

Don’t be afraid to tell people your ideas, as it’s all in the execution. The more feedback you get from all perspectives – users, customers, investors, vendors, legal and financial service advisors, etc., the better off you’ll be. Build your network and partnerships before you even get started on the plan. Oh yes, get started on a blog and other SEO long before you launch :)

Thanks for the great interview, Landy!

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