Have you ever had a friend buy something because you recommended it to them? Don’t you think you deserve something for that? Often the best way to grow your business is through trusted referrals from your customers and clients, but how do you make it easy for them and thank them at the same time? Enter Yaystack, a budding Atlanta-based startup that is putting word-of-mouth recommendations directly on your favorite device. (Plus, did we mention it involves sweet deals? We love those here at Hype.) We got the savings skinny from Founder Trey Roth.
What is Yaystack?
Imagine Instagram with an “activate” button. Every post is an offer that can be redeemed only once shared with friends. So instead of getting random deals that you don’t care about from other deal sites, on Yaystack, you only see deals from the businesses that you and your friends love. It’s a great way to discover what your friends are into while saving money at the same time!
How does Yaystack integrate businesses and deals into your app?
Although large companies from Chick-fil-A to GAP – even some trendy spots in Ponce City Market – have adopted the platform, it is crowd-sourced. So regardless of size or industry, any entrepreneur or company can turn their customers and clients into their new salesforce with Yaystack.
How does the technology work?
It’s simple. If you can make a post on Instagram, you can make an offer on Yaystack. The only difference is that you are offering something in exchange for sharing. The way we see it, you are literally reverting your marketing budget into the hands of your best marketers…so make it worth sharing!
Once an offer is shared, it flashes “activated” to let them know it is available (and that it’s not a screenshot). You can also opt for a numeric, bar, or QR code to appear once activated to tie into your POS system.
We have just recently launched publicly. Although we are excited about the traction we’ve gained at this point, look out for version 2.0 in early 2016 on iOS and Android. It is going to be a game changer!
What problem is Yaystack trying to solve?
We aspire to solve 2 problems:
1. People are sharing products and services every day, landing millions in sales for companies all over the world, and seeing nothing in return!
2. Businesses with happy customers deserve to grow bigger faster via referrals (for which they can actually offer “thank-you’s”).
Throughout my 7-year career as a music producer, my business continued to grow as a result of my friends sharing. Because of them, I was able to live my dream. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for it. I wanted a way to thank them. When the idea came, I realized it was for more businesses than just my own.
What is your revenue model, are you bootstrapped or funded?
Our 4 primary revenue streams are:
1. Subscription – after a two-month free trial, businesses pay a small monthly fee to continue creating offers. Yaystack is completely free for consumers.
2. SEO – businesses can pay to have greater awareness
3. Analytics – businesses can opt for premium analytics packages
4. Activations – after 50 free activations per post, there is a $0.10 charge per activation. (Businesses can set budget limit).
We have raised approximately $700,000 of accredited angel investment and on track to wrap up our extended seed round in a matter of weeks.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
I recently got a push notification from Groupon that said “90% off laser hair removal.” Ew. Just another arbitrary ad I don’t care about that’s only adding to the noise. Unlike any of its competitors, Yaystack is uniquely socially powered. Not to get too deep into it, but here is the reason word-of-mouth referral marketing (or as Zuckerberg calls it, the “holy grail”) is still by far the best: when we process information that came from a relationship, we use a different part of our brain. It doesn’t even feel like an advertisement. It’s a warm welcome. Another differentiator is that you also have total control over the curation of your content.
We are not just another deals app. The reason we exist is to elevate quality business. Our objective is to strengthen the economy by empowering entrepreneurs. gusto! Wood Fire Grill is a perfect example of the kind of businesses we are thrilled to champion. They have a rabidly passionate fan base who love to rave about them. We just give them an amplifier.
How does Atlanta weave into the story?
I am a native Atlantan. I drive to the Atlanta Tech Village from Peachtree City week in and week out. We are products of our environment and ATV is worth the drive. The culture is incredible. We have made several connections there that will be valuable to the long-term success of our company. We love Atlanta and are excited to be a part of its growing tech community.