Perry Evans, a founder of Local Matters and MapQuest, has launched 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 the deal-a-day experience. Groupon has more than 1 million registered users.
First up is a beta version of Closely’s 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.”