Poncho, an email app out of betaworks, is my favorite little weather service. With a quippy email each morning, I’m always prepared for sun, snow or showers.
The only caveat: In almost a year of being on the market, Poncho has yet to monetize. But today the company takes one small step toward generating cash, and one giant leap towards a sustainable business plan.
Today, the company is launching a deal to offer a discount on allergy medicine at your local Duane Reade. The campaign starts this weekend, just before the height of allergy season.
Poncho works by first asking you for a little information (when you leave for work, if you walk a dog, when you go to lunch, and when you head home each day, plus location). With that information, the service generates a quippy little email with an outlook for the day, paying particular attention to the exact weather reading for when you might be outside.
Not only is the email informative, but it’s a nice break from the constant weather app checking I had grown accustomed to. Instead, you get one dose of weather and a hearty helping of wit (the emails are pretty adorable and clever, and sometimes include GIFs!).
By partnering up with local brands, vendors, merchants etc., Poncho has a real opportunity to convert an informational service into a promotional one.
Whether we like it or not (lol), the weather dictates our behavior in any given day. You won’t go to a water park during a snow storm, but you might be particularly interested in Seamless that day. When the sun is shining, you’d probably like to know about the amazing outdoor flea market down the road or a sweet discount on an outdoor dining experience.
This isn’t Poncho’s first time fiddling with the idea of discounts or promotions. About a month ago, the company sent out its usual weather email with this at the bottom: “Snowed in and skipping the gym? Our friends at HealthyOut are here to help. Order healthy, delicious food from NYC’s best restaurants. SIGN UP TODAY and get $5 off your first meal!”
At the time, betaworks confirmed to TechCrunch that it was just an experiment, but it looks like plans are firming up over in the betaworks house.