Making the Case for Mobile Marketing: Following Avenue Stores Lead and Dressing Up Your Texts

by justinolch
3 mins read

The impact of mobile marketing can’t be overstated. According to IDC, more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through a mobile device than through their PC by 2015. In this new series, Elite Email takes a look at highly successful campaigns to uncover their mobile marketing lessons. This week’s case study: How a smart SMS campaign gave Avenue a major boost in sales and customer visits.Everyone enjoys picking up a new outfit now and then. Whether it’s a big formal effort or just grabbing clothes to gear up for going out with friends during summer, having a new wardrobe can radically change how you feel about yourself. Interestingly enough, the same holds true for how your company makes an impression on potential customers. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at how Avenue, a plus-sized women’s clothing store, revamped its look with a great SMS campaign that encouraged shoppers to come in and pick up the latest styles.

A Little Background Before the SMS Run

Before making the switch to texting customers, Avenue stores did all the usual ho-hum marketing stuff. TV spots, local ads, etc. They all did some work in bringing in new customers, but not enough to really equate to a big time boost in sales. While business was steady, plenty of other stores offered up potential shoppers the same styles and selection of women’s clothing size 14 and larger. To break the mold and separate itself from the rest of the crowd, Avenue built a smart and well-planned SMS campaign that tapped into the shopping audience’s love for great deals and for texting.

Looking Your Best for Customers

So what all went into this mobile marketing operation? To start, shoppers in the store, online, and on the company’s email mailing list all had the opportunity to add their numbers to the texting database. From here, the campaign did two things – continue to promote signups and offer great discounts to these willing customers. For joining in on the texting fun, shoppers received $5 off their next purchase. While this might not seem like much at first glance, it was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of text offers from Avenue. Over the next several weeks and months, more offers came down the pipeline and enticed women (and their husbands looking to snag a quick deal before birthdays and holidays) to stop by and check out all the latest styles.

Avenue’s Big Reveal

While all of this sounds nice, you probably want to just get down to the nitty gritty numbers and see if it was really worth the effort for Avenue to reach out this way. If that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed. To date, Avenue stores have reported an astounding 6,600 percent return on investment for the time and money spent on texting with customers. Digging a little deeper, the 500 store chain also noted that these messages generated a whopping 97 percent open rate, with 71 percent of users checking out the deals from a smartphone. Looking forward, the owners of Avenue expect the growth rate of about 30 percent each month to continue and bring in even more shoppers who want to look great and save money at the same time.

Making Your Business Look Great Too

After reading that, you’re probably wondering how you can get in on these major returns as well. Thankfully, we can pull quite a few tips and guidelines from Avenue’s campaign that should apply directly to your next attempt at mobile marketing. First, try and find some synergy with your other marketing endeavors to maximize the value of your SMS messages. This means tapping into your email list, as well as plugging your upcoming mobile offers in-store and online. By doing this, you’ll get more numbers and have even more reach once you start pumping out the deals.Once you’ve started building that base of customers, the next step is giving them something that will keep them interested. This doesn’t mean giving away your product, but coupons and discounts that at least make your potential shoppers think twice about stopping in should be enough to get the ball rolling. Having mobile landing page links in the text that let your customers share the details on Facebook and other social media just adds more opportunities to get your messages out to new people. From here, keep up the deals and watch your ROI skyrocket as you enjoy the steady stream of new customers that couldn’t get enough of your text deals.

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