Junk Mail scoops international Innovation Award

Local classifieds provider scoops the overall award at the International Classifieds Media Association.

May 3, 2013

Local classifieds provider scoops the overall award at the International Classifieds Media Association.

Junk Mail, South Africa’s largest classifieds company, has been recognized as the top innovator worldwide in the International Classifieds Media Association (ICMA) Innovation Awards for its Junk Mail X platform on the mobile social media and instant messaging app, Mxit.

Felix Erken, Junk Mail MD, says the company is honoured to have its work in the mobile space recognised internationally, against stiff global opposition including the Schibsted Group

“Junk Mail was the only company outside of Europe listed amongst the eight finalists in the ICMA Innovation Awards, with the organisation counting more than 70 companies from 32 countries in its ranks,” he says.

While several of other finalists dealt with innovation in the property space or optimising efficiencies within their platforms, Junk Mail X’s entry stood out for its revolutionary concept in the mobile space, enabling users to transact on a mobile platform that has outperformed Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the social media space in South Africa. Erken says the platform’s innovative approach together with its large scale adoption were key factors in Junk Mail winning the award.

The Junk Mail X platform has seen almost 10 million downloads with classified listings and responses to classifieds running into the hundreds of thousands every month.

“The Junk Mail X platform integrates with our online and mobile platforms too, which means someone who is not on the Junk Mail X platform can still reply to a listing posted by someone on Junk Mail X,” he says.

While Junk Mail has traditionally been strong in the metropolitan areas, this integration has seen Junk Mail X increase the volumes of Junk Mail’s listings and has given the company a larger reach geographically, with the company now seeing listings from across all nine provinces as people connect through different technology to buy, sell and swap goods, Erken adds.

The volume of listings generated by the Junk Mail X platform together with its integration into their online and mobile platforms, have also assisted in boosting Junk Mail to number eight in the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) list of top publishing sites in South Africa.

Sarah Rice, VP: Communications at Mxit says, “Junk Mail X is an excellent demonstration of the power and reach of the mobile and its so wonderful to see Junk Mail’s integration of mobile into their print and web strategies being recognised and rewarded.”

Erken says Junk Mail will look to build on the success of the Junk Mail X platform with expansion into Africa.

“We’ll be looking at taking the Junk Mail X platform into Africa with Mxit in the near future with Nigeria likely to be our first market as we already have a presence there and it’s a key market within the African context,” he says.