Interview with Jon Dale, co-founder of Moolala

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to a newly unveiled savings site called Moolala. In the pattern of Groupon, Moolala seeks to bring together buyers and sellers, creating savings for the first group and power of scale for the second. In those cases it’s a win/win for both groups.

The primary reason that I gave this any listen at all is that my friend is not the type to jump on bandwagons or promote silly, useless ideas. I knew that he would not contact me (and others about something that had no merit.

In less than one month, Moolala has thousands of people signed up for their email daily deals (which are approaching launch date). Their marketing strategy has been to unleash the power of social networking to get the word out about Moolala, then launch the deals. Rather than having deals in one city, with word of mouth advertising, Moolala is launching in many cities leveraging the power of Facebook, Twitter and email to spread the word.

Another distinction between Moolala and other sites is a reward program that actually pays based on the number of people recruited and number of items sold. In practical terms it means that participants get 2% of what is sold from their friends, their friends’ friends, their friends’ friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends’ friends. As you can see, while a 2% commission does not sound like much, when 500 people in your group make the same purchase, it can add up. Not only does the power of scale work for the seller, it works for the “salesperson,” too.

Moolala co-founder Jon Dale was kind enough to participate in this email interview over the weekend.

martyduren.com: Jon, can you give an overview of how Moolala was birthed?
JD: In September 2010, my brother Matt approached me with an amazing idea and asked me to join him in working on an exciting new project with an incredible team. He wanted to create an opportunity for people to invest their social capital and see both social and financial rewards. I think we’ve done exactly that.

martyduren.com: How did you hit upon the idea of social networking as your “buzz
builder”?
JD: It was very deliberate from the outset. We designed Moolala to combine the hottest space on the web (Daily Deals) with the most powerful marketing force ever (word of mouth). Rather than spending millions of dollars on traditional marketing and advertising, we’ve designed a system that rewards our users really well when they do the marketing for us.

We launched on Wednesday, December 29, and the response has absolutely blown us away.

martyduren.com: Can you describe the upcoming deals?
JD: All I can say at this time is that you will love them, and they will be similar to the deals on the two largest deal sites. [Jon will not speculate publicly on the timing of the deals launch.]

martyduren.com: You’ve mentioned before the idea of win/win/win. Can you elaborate on that a little?
JD: You hear a lot of people talk about win/win. We’re trying to take it a step further. We think its important for all our stakeholders (members, businesses & employees) to win as often as possible. We love that the businesses we work with will get lots of new customers, but they can also be part of the network and refer people as well. Our members win because they get great deals and they can earn great rewards. And we’re building a team of employees who love what they do every day and as they help businesses and our members win we’ll find ways to reward them as well.

martyduren.com: You seem to take customer service very seriously. Why is that? Can’t you just get by with offering great deals?
JD: We’ve been very inspired by what we’ve seen companies like Zappos do. We believe we have an opportunity to amaze our customers with every interaction they have with us. This provides multiple opportunities for wins. First, it’s a lot more fun for our Member Experience team because they get to spend their day amazing and surprising people. And second, every time we amaze a member, they share the story and that results in more members (and as an added bonus, when this happens our members win too).

martyduren.com: What do you hope people get from Moolala?
JD: Great deals, great rewards, and an amazing experience that they share
with their friends.

martyduren.com: Where do you hope to see Moolala in a year? In five years?
JD: Big…and then really big :^)

When you sign up for Moolala’s daily deals, you will be assigned a personalize link which keeps track of all the people who sign up under you through four levels (five counting yourself). Click on my link: http://share.moolala.com/r/3JFETW1 to explore the opportunity, and to sign up. Be sure to use my link so I get credit.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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