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Banking on expansion

ONLINE discount coupon company voucherbank.com wants to take its Western Australia-based operation to the rest of Australia, believing that its early success in Perth will be replicated in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Since launching the website in March last year it has registered more than 600,000 visitors and generated significant traffic to its advertisers’ websites, according to voucherbank.com co-founder and former Fremantle Docker’s market-ing manager David Hobbs.

“I certainly don’t know too many dot.coms that are making money but we have been able to do so because the format works,” he said.

“We have been able to increase our merchant’s web traffic, some of them have even doubled. We can monitor the number of people that have printed, emailed or sent an SMS of the voucher.”

Mr Hobbs said an injection of capital was needed to replicate the website’s success on the eastern seaboard and to increase the sites functionality.

“I am looking for an investor. We would need three to five million dollars to redo the software and take it over east.”

The idea behind an online discount coupon website came from

Mr Hobbs’ irritation with junk mail, essentially the volume and haphazard fashion that it filtered into the home mailbox.

What he wanted to create was a melting pot of good offers that could be accessed by the consumer when they were ready to do so.

That melting pot is formally known as voucherbank.com.

On the site are categories of industries that consumers choose to view and obtaining the voucher is as easy as either printing it out, emailing it to yourself, or sending the voucher via a mobile phone.

“We don’t take credit card details or any private details unless people want to leave them,” Mr Hobbs said.

Once he has secured the required investment he will take the website into a second stage that promises to give advertisers greater automation and reduce the company’s back office functions.

“We will give the merchants access and the flexibility to change the vouchers when they choose to do so. They can do that daily if they want,” Mr Hobbs said.

“At the moment we change the details and it’s labour intensive.”

Mr Hobbs said voucher-bank.com’s immediate success had come from securing media partners, big name brands, good deals, and ease of consumer access.

“Unless you have the traffic it’s no use. A website is only as good as the public knowing about it,” he said.

“The whole thing is dependent on good media partners and we’ve got Southern Cross Broadcasting [operating 6PR and 96FM in Perth] on board and we are talking to some others.”

Mr Hobbs said he wanted to expand the seven month-old site’s functionality as well as setting up offices on the other side of the country.

Mr Hobbs said another contributor to the website’s success has been the launch of the vouch-erbank.com member’s club, The VB Club.

“Too many websites do not have a face. This gives people a chance to meet, have some free drinks and food and also proves that we can drive numbers to venues,” he said.

The VB Club now has 3,000 members and voucherbank.com has hosted four functions.

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