Junk Mail Digital Media
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|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Founder(s)||Gerald Coniel (CEO), Bernd & Jutta Kuebler|
|Key people||Felix Erken (MD)|
|Industry||Publishing / Media|
|Alexa rank||3,562 (April 2014[update])|
Junk Mail Digital Media is South Africa's leading publisher in the classified advertising industry, publishing a number of classified related titles through varying media including print, mobile and online mediums. It is the only publisher to offer the combination of these three mediums.
History of the company
In 1992 South Africa, the classifieds industry was dominated by large newspaper groups. In 1992 classifieds were all proprietary. Classifieds were an essential component of profitability for the newspaper groups. However, in April 1992, a new classified advertising concept came to the district of Gauteng. A French entrepreneur living in Finland, Gerald Coniel, backed by a German classified advertising group, partnered together to launch a free advertising classifieds publication in South Africa. The "free advert" concept is very old, born in the 1970s in Canada and ignored for a long time. It became very popular in the 1980s in Europe. The concept of providing free classifieds and selling the publication became very popular and successful. It worked all over the world, in Germany, Italy, South America, and elsewhere.
A free advertising paper is a very simple concept. Free advertisements are given to private advertisers, published free of charge. The publication is sold to the public. Advertisements are accepted via fax, phone, and Internet, ensuring that the biggest number of classified advertisements are published, making it attractive to prospective buyers buying the publication. Advertising space is sold to businesses wanting advertising exposure for their services and products. Junk Mail started to provide their advertising services to the population of Gauteng province in 1992. The company was launched out of a garage in Pretoria. Advertisers were canvassed out of other publications. Since only three distribution companies existed in 1992 (all owned by big newspaper groups), Junk Mail launched its own distribution division in December 1992. In 1994 Junk Mail ceased canvassing operations for advertisers, only allowing callers to place their free advertisements. By this time Junk Mail's call center already had 10,000 advertisements being published weekly. This made the publication self-sustainable.  
By 1995, 20,000 advertisements were being published weekly. In 1995 Junk Mail Gauteng split up into two regions, one for Johannesburg and the other for Pretoria. This was a success because Junk Mail is a community-driven paper, and splitting the original Junk Mail Gauteng into two regions led to more copies being sold and more advertisements being placed. The Motor Mail supplement for the Junk Mail publication was launched in the same year. In 1996 Junk Mail launched its publication for KwaZulu Natal. This meant that Junk Mail could now extend its distribution network beyond Gauteng's borders. In 1997 Junk Mail Publishing launced the world's first job classified free advertising paper, Job Mail, published fortnightly. Job Mail is the only independent publication of its kind in South Africa (and weekly since late 2006). In 1998 Junk Mail Online was launched. Junk Mail Online was one of the first commercial websites in South Africa. Junk Mail Online is one of the top 10 visited websites in South Africa. After considering and re-evaluating all aspects of the Junk Mail publications for six months, redesigned Junk Mail publications were launched in January 2001. Junk Mail Publishing also introduced an option to place advertisements via SMS in 2002.  
Digital products of Junk Mail Digital Media
- Junk Mail Official Site
- Truck and Trailer site
- AutoMart Site
- Job Mail site
- Mascus site
- Junk Mail Publishing's corporate site
- Success Stories: King of Classifieds - Felix Erken
- "Junkmail.co.za Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Finweek". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "TMS: Junk Mail Publishing Group leverages print, mobile and online media to lead the charge in classifieds". The Marketing Site. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
- "Surfing the junk". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Increasing competition in online classifieds industry". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- Classic Business: SME: Free ads with Felix Erken, MD of Junk Mail
- Online dating a hit amongst South African youth
.co .za, the company's official website