Booker launches Promote: Q&A with Josh McCarter

This morning, Revolution Ventures portfolio company Booker reached a new milestone with the launch of Promote, a new automated marketing system that helps drive customer loyalty and increase revenues for small-to-medium sized businesses. We had the chance to chat with Josh McCarter, CEO of Booker, about the launch and the company’s recent momemtum. Read on to learn more about Promote!

Tell us more about Promote – how does the product fit into Booker’s overall portfolio, and how does it differentiate you from the competition?

  • Booker helps businesses run and grow successfully by streamlining their operations and providing critical marketing tools that increase revenue. Today we rounded out our marketing portfolio with a new product called Promote. It’s a retention email marketing product designed to bring existing customers back to the merchant via automatically triggered offers
  • Promote is fully native in the Booker platform, so the merchant can generate automated offers and real-time bookings without IT integrations or managing multiple systems. Promote leverages historical customer and transaction data to create customized offers, which are then sent out at pre determined intervals. With the increased focus on retention and loyalty as high value marketing services, we’re excited to bring this functionality to our platform and merchants.
  • We believe Promote is going to be a major differentiator for Booker as we build out our story around how we not only help merchants run their business, but also grow it.

The launch of Promote seems to be a milestone for the company – can you tell us more about your recent momentum?

  • 2013 has been a strong year for Booker. In April, we closed a $27.5M Series B that was led by Bain Capital Ventures and Revolution Ventures. During the year, we have added nearly 100 employees and expanded our headquarters in NYC. We have seen solid customer growth and will finish the year with 7000 clients in over 73 countries. Volume on our platform will be over $1.5B and we will process over 20 million appointments.

Can you give us some examples of how a business might use Promote?

  • Let’s say the owner of a beauty salon wants to increase the frequency with which her customers return. Promote will scan her appointment schedule, identify the clients that have not scheduled a new appointment in – say more than 30 days – and offer them an incentive to book now, whether that is a free eyebrow wax or a 10% off discount to book their next appointment.
  • The merchant can set the frequency of the emails and customize the offers based on their individual needs.

Promote is designed to drive loyalty and increase revenues for SMBs – can you tell us more about your philosophy around helping companies at this stage?

  • Historically, Booker has enabled the distribution of a merchant’s appointments through their website, mobile site and through a network of partners. We will see millions of customer initiated appointments in 2013 and find that a large percentage of these occur when the business is actually closed, thus enabling the merchant to capture revenue 24/7. In addition to a merchant’s own social, web and mobile presence, we have been building out a partner network of consumer-oriented sites that will feature online booking of our merchant’s inventory.
  • Retention and loyalty capabilities are among the highest value marketing services because they drive profitable revenue for merchants. With the launch of Promote, we are leveraging our fully integrated platform to help merchants put all their data to use to drive more sales. Just set it and forget it!

You can also learn more about the launch of Promote in this article from Street Fight.