Rocky Agrawal, you need your own deals store

Hi Rocky. It’s Nate Schmidt, CEO at Deal Co-op. We’re a company building for the future of the daily deals industry, and we believe it involves giving anyone with an audience the ability to provide them value by serving relevant offers. I’m writing because I think a lot about long term deals sustainability, and am the type of person that relishes the challenge of winning over critics. And in this industry, you’re the biggest. So I’d like to invite you to join in my vision for the future of daily deals by starting your own deal store. In fact, we’ve already made you one. Go ahead, you can check it out at

When we designed your store, we wanted it to be completely kick-ass. So we made your hand a giant red lobster claw, in tribute to your twitter handle @rakeshlobster. We agree that the real value in deals comes from the offer rather than just the discount, so we have your claw thrashing a 90% off coupon. Deals at such deep discounts almost always skewer merchants, except arguably in the case of laser hair removal. And since we’ve never met, I can’t make a judgement on whether you are a candidate for hair removal. But if we do meet, and you are, I highly doubt I’d bring it up. In any case, BOOM!, your lobster claw is tearing the shit out of that offer. And you’re just staring ahead, laid back, like this is what you do. Did you notice that we’ve got you wearing a suit, not a Groupon shirt? That’s on purpose. Anyone with a lobster claw for a hand is all business.

So why should the biggest critic of the industry have their own deal store? Easy… because it’s time for you to lead by example. Also, you might not realize it, but you’re the future of the industry. Seriously. You’ve got an audience; a targeted one that cares about technology, startups and saving money. If you serve them deals in a responsible way, you can monetize while providing them real value. There is nothing that feels dirty, from either a merchant’s or buyer’s perspective, when you serve up relevant and well-formatted offers to a targeted audience. It’s what deals were meant to be.

You may have seen the deal store we power for Brad Feld. His site is an excellent example of deals working correctly. Brad runs a few deals a month, and only runs them when they fit his audience. Today he is running a deal forĀ SEOMoz. It’s an offer that is relevant to his audience, and was constructed in close coordination with the merchant. The deal is a win for SEOMoz, it’s great content for Brad’s blog, and it makes money.

Don’t get me wrong, we power full blown Groupon-inspired money making machines too. But even if you are going to follow their model, isn’t it better for the offering to be controlled by locals? We think the answer is absolutely yes! was started by two friends in Birmingham, and is an example of a local site in a top 50 market competing head to head with Groupon and Living Social. It’s going to do several million dollars of gross revenue in 2012, and in May ran the largest deal in Birmingham history. The difference is that even that deal was carefully constructed with the interests of the merchant in mind, and the money stays in Birmingham.

We think that anyone with a targeted audience should be able to easily utilize group buying mechanics. Our software is completely self serve and SaaS. Anyone could create a store like Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals or TheSuperDeal completely on their own, in just minutes. Our graphic designer, using our Interactive Store Designer tool, built your site in about 30. We’re great at mobile buying and mobile merchant validation, have email marketing covered, provide in-depth analytics, and in general have the best software and feature-set of any white label provider on the planet.

So what do you say? Let’s fire this store up and see what happens! Show the world how a deal store should be run.