New Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced that it has acquired a 20% equity stake in TapOnIt, an opt-in text-based platform that delivers offers from local businesses direct to consumers’ phones.
TapOnIt was launched in April 2015 by digital advertising veteran Katie Wilson in Quad Cities, Iowa. In under three years, the company expanded to three additional Iowa markets – Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids – and built a database of over 70,000 registered users.
The investment by New Media is expected to help TapOnIt to expand across the country by being added as an available product offered to advertisers at New Media’s publications across its 540 markets.
TapOnIt users register to receive up-to three image-based text messages per week featuring three local offers per message. With a 98% open-rate – including 90% who open within three minutes of receiving – the TapOnIt platform delivers immediate results at a fraction of the cost of traditional direct mail. And unlike other app-based discount offer platforms, TapOnIt business customers keep 100% of the revenue generated by users.
“Because our platform is text-based with no apps to download or update, we experience less than a 2% monthly churn rate compared to 70% churn for apps in their first 90 days,” said Wilson. “And our users redeem the offers they receive at rates of up to 11%.”