Philadelphia-based text message deal site, Mychinoki.com, launches

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MyChinoki.com, a discount and coupon provider that delivers its deals through SMS text messages, launched January 11.

The Philadelphia-based company allows businesses to communicate with customers interested in receiving deals via text message. Consumers can sign up for the online service and select which businesses they want to hear from on the company's website.

“We thought using SMS to deliver deals would differentiate ourselves [from competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial],” said Matt Balin CEO and founder of MyChinoki.com. “Consumers these days are tired of getting spam e-mails, and because the growth of SMS has really taken off, we felt this would be a good realm to enter into.”

More than 35 businesses and 24,000 consumers in the Philadelphia region are enrolled with the service. The company would ultimately like to expand nationwide to compete with companies like Groupon, said Dan Schwartz of Maiden Media Group, the digital creative agency responsible for MyChinoki.com's design, marketing, PR and social media.

“Mychinoki.com is more direct-to-consumer because of SMS messaging and the idea is more intricate than Groupon,” Schwartz said. “Any business can hop into the back-end and send out a deal whenever they like. Let's say you own a bar, it's a slow night, and you want to get people in the door. You can quickly sign in to your account and shoot a text message out offering a deal, and every subscriber will receive that message immediately.”

Mychinoki.com will launch a Facebook and Twitter contest on January 13 designed to drive consumers to the site and increase customer presence on the company's fan pages. Each of the businesses affiliated with Mychinoki.com has provided gift certificates that randomly selected customers will receive when they sign up on the social networks.

“Chinoki," which is Japanese for my "cherry picker," is emblematic of the MyChinoki.com business model in that customers can cherry-pick the businesses from whom they'd like to receive SMS messages.

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