Junk Mail targets Mxit users

Junk Mail is targeting MXit usersw with a new platform. (Irwin Fedriansyah, AP)
Junk Mail is targeting MXit usersw with a new platform. (Irwin Fedriansyah, AP)
Cape Town - Classifieds provider Junk Mail has re-launched a new Mxit platform as it eyes a bigger market share of classified advertising.

The new Mxit platform, Junk Mail Xchange (JMX), has seen healthy user adoption, with over 30 000 ads per week being placed, the company said.

"This gives the entire Junk Mail community, across all media, access to a much greater range of ads – and we now have a very strong national footprint," said Junk Mail managing director Felix Erken.

Mxit has been on a drive to market itself as the platform for user engagement, rather than just an instant messaging service and the outspoken users were quick to report poor functionality, Erken said.

"When we first launched JMX the feedback was honest, direct and constructive - users quickly pointed out where they were having problems, so we were able fix things just as quickly. We responded to every comment. Now we're getting 40 - 50 messages a day, and the number of positive comments has increased tremendously."

Market share

Classified advertising is seen as a huge business and several companies in SA are vying for the top slot.

Junk Mail, OLX and Gumtree are some of the bigger players and have there have been a variety of strategies to gain market share.

Junk Mail in late 2012 introduced a login feature that enables users to post ads faster and also moved away from the subscription model.

Erken told News24 recently that the print edition would continue in SA, despite the growth of the digital versions.

He insisted that when one takes into account the number of ads placed on the site, the platform was better performing than competitors.

"If you look on the whole, we carry more ads than Gumtree and OLX put together. They're not creaming us; we're holding our own."

His views may have been confirmed in a cursory News24 investigation in which free ads for a Honda car generated more responses from the Junk Mail advert than competitors, even though it was eventually sold via word of mouth.

Mobile advertising on Junk Mail has accelerated from around 20% of ads placed in 2007 to nearly overtaking all forms of engagement.

Subscription

"Mobile has now even eclipsed our call centre in a very short space of time. It's gone totally digital and within the digital space the mobile is gaining on the web usage at a phenomenal rate," said Erken.

He insisted that the platform would never return to the paid subscription model because users have choice of a number of websites, but that Junk Mail would find opportunities for monetisation.

"When you're in a sea of sellers, we can sell you a neon light with an arrow pointing to you that will stand up above the rest so that you're likely to be seen quicker. That's our monetisation opportunity."

The Mxit platform enables users to interact at the high level in terms of classified advertising and if users insert contact details on the JMX platform, the ads will also appear on the web and mobi sites.

"In November alone, three million Mxit users placed an ad or sent a message on JMX; we're averaging 20 000 responses a day," said Erken.


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