Facebook holds a trove of information about its hundreds of millions of users, and many of them are more than happy to hand over some of that data — like a list of their personal interests — so that they can connect with their favorite companies or play a new game. Thing is, despite the targeting opportunities afforded by this data, many businesses have still failed to take advantage of it. TextualAds is a firm that’s changing that for text messaging campaigns, by allowing businesses and large brands to push highly targeted SMS messages to their customers.
The service launched in September, and today it’s announcing that it’s closed a $650K seed round. The round’s investors include Dave McClure (500 Startups), Peter Boboff & Chris Redlitz (Transmedia Capital), Marcus Segal (Zynga), Shawn Simpson (former Googler), and Erik Moore.
TextualAds currently offers a signup application that SMBs can install on their Facebook Pages, prompting users to enter their zip code, age, gender, and telephone number. Once businesses have collected this data, they can use the TextualAds platform to target text message campaigns at specific buckets of users (say, women over the age of 30). Text messages are obviously a very powerful channel for businesses and advertisers, and the ability to target them makes them even more appealing. So far TextualAds has 1,200 businesses using it, but there’s much more to come.
In the next month, TextualAds will be launching the 2.0 release of its product, and it’s got several major household brands lined up as clients. The new version of the TextualAds application will feature a one-click signup — the service will better make use of Facebook’s platform and collect the user’s gender, age, and other content from their Facebook profile as opposed to making them enter it manually.
In addition to the streamlined form, TextualAds will be giving clients access to a sophisticated analytics dashboard, which will include data on users’ Facebook Likes, wall posts, and other content that many companies haven’t taken advantage of yet. The service will charge based on the amount of customization companies need, and large clients are paying six figures a year for whitelabeled versions of the product.
There are obviously other solutions for targeted text messages (we’ve covered Adenyo before) but TextualAds founder Craig Davis says that he hasn’t seen any other services tap into Facebook’s wealth of data.