Case Study: Pet Supply Chain Finds Value in SMS Advertising

Retailers and brands can quickly reach their most frequent customers using text-based advertising, however Lipof Advertising creative director Nathan Lowery says businesses that inundate their customers with meaningless marketing messages are actually doing more harm than good. In his experience handling advertising and marketing for Pet Supermarket, a regional pet store chain with 127 outlets in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Lowery has noticed that customers are less likely to unsubscribe from SMS advertising lists when they’re sent messages that have actual value, like coupons and discount codes.

Tell me about Lipof Advertising’s relationship with Pet Supermarket. How have you helped manage their campaigns?

We have been their advertising agency for about 10 years. We provide all of the print, radio, TV, and digital marketing solutions for them. That includes media placement, and production; everything soup to nuts.

Given that you’ve been working with them for the last decade, what are some of the changes in advertising or media placement that you’ve noticed over that time?

We’re doing more customer retention, which would involve text messaging, Facebook, and direct mail to existing customers. In the past, it was more customer acquisition. We still do a lot of customer acquisition with consumer advertising, but we’re also able to do more targeted messages because we have more data to work with now. [We look at] geographical data, demographic data, and purchase history. [How we get this data] depends on what our objective is. For the purchase history, Pet Supermarket has that data. For the geographical data and household income data, we can buy that when we buy mailing lists. We’re also able to do things a little quicker now that Facebook is instantaneous and text messaging is pretty much instantaneous.

What are some of the challenges that Pet Supermarket has when it comes to customer retention or customer acquisition?

I think one of the main challenges is the competition, because there are a number of other pet supply retailers that carry very similar products or the same products. We try to inform customers that Pet Supermarket stores are a little bit smaller, but they also pride themselves in having much better customer service, which some of the other pet specialty stores don’t offer. So that’s one big challenge. Another challenge is that a lot of people still purchase their pet food from the grocery store or from stores like Target or Wal-Mart, which would be considered mass retail. We try to explain the benefits of feeding a premium pet food, so the customer buying their dog food at Publix [knows he] is not [getting] the same quality as a higher end food bought at a pet specialty store.

I know Pet Supermarket sends text-based coupons. How did you first get involved with that?

We knew Marcos [Menendez, CEO of Momares, a mobile coupon platform] because he was already working for us on an e-newsletter. His other company, Loop Consulting, was doing our e-newsletter, and he brought us the idea. He showed us some other companies that were doing [text-based promotions] and some case studies. We started advertising [the program] in the stores and on printed materials to get people involved, and it really took off. A lot of people were interested. Every month we [pick] a winner and give away free pet food for a year. So everyone who enters [their phone number] has a chance to win. Then, we also send out coupons and messages. We want to keep the messages fresh, and we want to not overdo it. We typically send out one or two messages a month. We don’t want to annoy people, and we pay [Momares] per text message.

We are able to see when people leave the group or want their numbers removed from the list, and we have found that as long as we’re sending messages that have value they are staying in and they love it. If we send messages that don’t have value, don’t have some sort of savings, or are very product-specific, then they will leave. We can actually see that happen. We try to have some sort of value with the messages — usually it’s a $1-off discount across any purchase. [That allows] dog food customers to take advantage of it, cat customers, bird customers, and fish customers. It’s not brand specific or anything like that. We send the same message to [customers] at all [Pet Supermarket] stores because we’re not able to see, or we don’t know, what stores the people shop at. All we know is their area code. Beyond that, we don’t know where they’re at.

What has the feedback been from customers since you started sending mobile coupons?

They seem to like it because we send out a lot of coupons by text. In today’s economy coupons are very big, so people see a lot of value in it. We have a lot of people joining and we have very few people opting out, so I think there’s a lot of interest. We are able to track the redemption rates on the coupons that we send out and the messages that we send out. We just send out a five-digit code and we say what the offer is. [Customers] just show the associate at the register that five-digit code, and they get the discount.

Looking forward, where do you see Pet Supermarket’s going in terms of marketing and advertising?

I think it’s going to get more and more specific, to where we can track customers’ spending habits and we can tailor messages directly to those customers. If someone is a Nutro dog food buyer, we’ll [be able to] send them messages that pertain to Nutro dog food. And, we’ll be able to group people by how often they shop. With smartphones, at some point we’re going to be able to send out coupons with an actual bar code or an actual graphic. I think that’s probably going to be happening sooner rather than later.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Source: Street Fight

Oyster Bay Winery Food Festival Experience Text to Win Sweepstakes

Oyster Bay Winery Text To Win Sweepstakes Case Study

The award winning New Zealand winery Oyster Bay partnered with Sweeppea to launch their text to win sweepstakes promotion for the summer. The campaign entailed an in-store sweepstakes across multiple retailers with the objective of gaining preferential retail space for the product and to promote the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc wine brand.

Oyster Bay increased orders from retailers and helped those retailers sell more cases by adding a text to win promotion to be featured in endcaps and special displays. These end caps and displays gain attention and boost sales, while the text to win helps bring excitement to the brand and the retailer’s customers.

Oyster Bay Winery added bottle necker tags to help to inform the participant on how to enter the text to win sweepstakes and help place the product on the consumers hands.

Oyster Bay Text to Win Sweepstakes Bottle Necker Front - Case Study
Bottle necker tag hung form wine bottle with sweeps call-to-action.

Objective:

  • To create a fun and engaging text to win sweepstakes to promote the brand.
  • To gain preferential end-cap shelf space and product positioning with retailers.
  • Increase orders from retailers

Results:

  • Case orders increased

To get started with your own text to win, see our features and pricing.

How a Text to Win Can Increase Entries 35 Times for Consumer Products

As a brand, it’s your ultimate goal to optimize every aspect of your text to win, while also making sure that you’ve provided an environment that makes it easy for customers to enter your campaign. For consumer products, this means making your text to win available to customers in a retail environment.

Here are the benefits of advertising a text to win campaign in a retail environment along with a real-life case study.

Attract Interest As You Showcase Your Brand

End caps are the perfect place to showcase your brand in a retail space. Even if you have never run an in-store promotion before, a text to win creates the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the high foot traffic that end caps attract.

We all know end caps and special displays can do a lot to boost, not only the text promotion, but obviously the product itself. This type of promotion can even help you secure this highly prized space in store.

In-store Displays Drive Serious Results, Just Ask King’s Hawaiian

According to Lee Hastings of The Wilson Group, popular food brand King’s Hawaiian managed to actually increase sweepstakes entries 35 times compared to previous sweeps by promoting their text to win in retail locations where their products are sold.

The company also benefited from nearly 100% store participation with front lobby displays at the retailers.

Also Read: Case Study: King’s Hawaiian and Publix Supermarket Text-to-Win A Trip to the Pro Bowl

In-store Customers Are Ready to Interact With Your Brand

Unlike social media where users often aren’t interested in connecting with brands unless they have already decided to shop for a product, in-store customers are more open to learning about your text to win promotion as they shop.

As a result, in-store promotions can yield significant results. First, you can attract new customers to your brand, thanks to special displays. Second, you can also delight and reward existing customers with a chance to win a prize as they pick up your product in the store.

While the “no purchase necessary” rule still applies to text to wins, targeting customers where they shop with an attractive promotion can increase sales.

At the same time, you’ll build a list of subscribers that are almost guaranteed to have a significantly higher level of interest in your brand in comparison to sweepstakes leads from other sources.

Delight your customers with a text to win from Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

Sports + Text Sweepstakes = Marketing Win

football tournament 2018, football, soccer world cup in russia

The World Cup is on right now which means it’s a great time to run a sports text sweepstakes. Here’s why a sports-themed text to win equals a big marketing win for your brand.

Cash In on the Excitement

With a big game coming up, use a text to win to capitalize on all of the excitement. Since most viewers tune into games via television or the internet, it’s fairly easy to obtain information about the demographics of sport fans. This will give you the information you need to know exactly which audiences to target with a text to win.

According to Nielsen, the NBA has the youngest audience, with 45 percent of its viewers under 35. In addition, the NHL audience has highest earning fans with one-third of viewers earning more than $100k as compared to about 19% of the general population.

Team Loyalty Translates to Brand Loyalty

Sports fans are extremely loyal to their teams. With customers who are willing to buy almost anything that their favorite teams promote, you can capitalize on their loyalty by aligning your brand with those teams.

As a result, fans may be more willing to enter your text to win because they know that your company has the backing of a sports brand that they already know and trust. In fact, Washington Gas & Light Energy used this exact approach to collect fan information for re-marketing efforts by hosting text to wins during the Washington Wizards basketball games.

Also Read: Case Study: WGL Energy Captures Fan Info and Boosts Engagement During Sports Games

Sports Fans Love #Winning

Sports fans love winning sports gear or tickets to see their favorite teams play. When you give them an opportunity to win something team-related from your brand, it can only mean more #winning for your company.

However, take care in mentioning teams or championship games in your campaign if you’re not an official sponsor (e.g. Super Bowl). This could land you in hot water with regulators and potentially subject your company to a trademark infringement lawsuit.

If you aren’t able to directly align your text to win with a particular sports team, you can still giveaway sports-themed prizes, such as a tailgating kits or pre-game party gear. You may also consider partnering with a brand that has a team sponsorship so that you capture those sports fans from their audience.

Attract sport fans to your brand with a sports text sweepstakes from Sweeppea! To get started now, see features and pricing.

Top Prize Ideas for Your Text Sweepstakes

Are you struggling with coming up with a prize for your text sweepstakes? There are options available that will entice your customer base. Here are some of the top prize ideas for your text sweepstakes to help spark your creativity.

Memorable Experiences

With Millenials, experiences are highly prized. A study by the Harris Group found that 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences vs. material things. Can you create an experience that includes your product or service? Experiences can range from private tours or a private tailgate party with DJ (like the one offered by Bud Light) to closing off an entire water park for you and your closest friends. Other examples: like Ikea UK, offer a sleepover for a winner and friends (in a unique location, at the zoo, etc.) or offer a cooking class using your food product with a well-known local chef.

Upgrades

Instead of thinking of an entirely new prize to offer to your text sweepstakes entrants, why not simply upgrade them on your existing products or services? By offering free access to the full version of your product or service, you’ll get feedback from potential customers while also ensuring that the majority of entrants to your sweepstakes are genuinely interested in your business and aren’t simply signing up in order to win a generic prize.

Other ideas include a full year’s supply of your product or a large package that includes your product.

Sports Memorabilia

Does your customer base include some of the hometown team’s most dedicated fans? If so, you should consider giving away sports memorabilia as a prize for your text sweepstakes. Sports memorabilia makes a great prize because it is usually a one-of-a-kind prize that fans will be happy to share via social media.

In fact, Washington Gas & Light Energy gave away autographed Washington Wizards Memorabilia as a part of its company’s re-marketing efforts. By announcing the prize during the game, the company was able to capture the attention of its audience and open the channel for post-event text message marketing offers.

Also read: Case Study: WGL Energy Captures Fan Info and Boosts Engagement During Sports Games

Trips and Vacations

Offering a vacation or trip is a tried and true prize option for a text sweepstakes. Many companies have taken this approach. However, offering such a prize should be done with careful consideration to ensure the trip closely aligns with your brand and you aren’t actually offering a prize that will be so expensive to fulfill that it actually subtracts from your campaign ROI.

But if your goal is to attract potential and repeat visitors to a particular area, this strategy can be highly effective. In fact, the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council used this strategy when it offered a chance to win a trip to  the Florida Keys & Key West with fun, food & VIP tickets to Fantasy Fest.

Also read: Rocking the Conch Republic: Results of Our Text-to-Win Sweepstakes for the Florida Keys & Key West

The key to choosing a great prize for your text to win sweepstakes is creativity and relevancy. It should be highly relevant to your business. With the right sweepstakes prizes, you can drive major results for your business.