New Mexico venture capitalist Bill Bice of Verge Fund, is betting on Instant Online Gift Certificate technology to create the same online buying machine that is fueling product sales this holiday season. His first target is the fast growing day spa industry. He is founder and President of Spa Emergency, an innovative online marketing site that allows anyone to purchase online gift certificates for the spa of choice – and even provides the ability to select a specific service or package – from the convenience of a web browser 24/7.

SpaEmergency allows spas to increase profitability by lowering marketing and operating costs and providing superior benefits for their clients. The company attracts visitors to the site by giving them what they want – an easy place to find convenient spas and link to their sites to explore products and services. When they are ready, they can instantly purchase and present custom gift certificates created by Bice’s SpaBoom Instant Gift Certificate software-as-a-service, which is marketed to spas. At the same time it offers participating spas a sophisticated marketing site that works even when the spas are closed. The overhead of creating and billing for gift certificates is reduced to almost nil, and maintenance of spa-specific data on the site is easily done by spa personnel without the need for specially trained computer personnel.

Bice is joined by co-founders Larry Donahue, Chief Operations Officer and Benjamin Morin, Chief Technology Officer. Bice is using technology and web savvy that have been honed by the three over the past 20 years in other entrepreneurial organizations that provided law office management software (ProLaw), web hosting (FatCow), and other ventures in Internet business development and information technology management. For complete bios, please see the Press Room. They have led the development of a website that utilizes sophisticated content management, minimizes the impact of data changes and allows for quick and easy user customization of gift certificates. In addition, the company utilizes sophisticated search engine tools that have brought it to the top 5 in online searches for the company’s key words in only a few months.

The number of spas listed on Spa Emergency is growing rapidly as spas discover the benefits of instant online gift certificates attached to an easily maintained database of services and product lines. The spas are conveniently organized by states, cities, and regions.

Bice, who is justly recognized for his passion for mining market trends and strategies from raw data, believes the time is right for spas to make the move to online marketing. It is anticipated that 26% of gifts this year will be gifts of experience, with the National Retail Federation expecting the sale of gift certificates and gift cards to reach the $25 billion mark. And while more research is needed, early indications are that the majority of gift certificates purchased have been for local spas, emphasizing the value of SpaEmergency’s sophisticated web technology and aggregation of spa data in a single place, even for spas that get most of their business within just a few miles of the structure.

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