Insurance companies do it and so do financial institutions and banks so why not a sms company Webaroo which is well known by its product Smsgupshup.com? Not sure what Im talking about? Well the similarity between Banks/Financial Institutions and Smsgupshup is that they both seem to be following the reseller model to scale their reach and revenue.
While banks appoint sales agencies to carry out sales for them for various products like loans, insurance etc for a commission Smsgupshup seems to be doing the same by looking to recruit a battalion of resellers for their sms products across the country.
As this page for reseller information suggests smsgupshup has the following two models:
1. Sanchar – used for Mobile SMS Marketing
Smsgupshup is currently scouting for resellers across India. Though Im a bit curious as to why they would use google sites to host this application page and not use their own site? We confirmed this reseller model strategy from their Director Of Business Development Mr.Milind Agarwal at the recently held startup saturday.
Google Adwords model of sms monetizations
The reseller model is nothing but and attempt to create a ;long tail of ad buyers just the way adwords did for google. Sms makes it even easier as the amount can be 100 rupees to even 1 lakh rupees. Also given that smsgupshup would have various levels of targetting based on location, groups and even profile information of users which makes this as targeted an advertising medium as online advertising via google adwords.
Question Of Lack Of Control & Quality
The main question that arises with the Reseller model is that of lack of control from smsgupshup’s end. If resellers send any sort of spam message it compromises the experience of users. Also it gives reason for operators to block the services of smsgupshup if users complain. Though with 11 million in funding and regular revenue provided by smsgupshup to operators for smses the same might be less likely.
All in all this could either kill their service or prove viral enough to build sustainable revenues for a company that has been bleeding money due to sms costs from day 1. The reason I say it could kill the service is because an overkill of ads by resellers could potentially tarnish the image of smsgupshup and clearly place in it the irritating spammy category of products. And if history is anything to go by.. Such products rarely last.