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Making the Case for Mobile Marketing: Following Julep’s Lead to Give Your Brand an SMS Makeover

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 online cosmetic retailer Julep wowed its audience with a great take on the classic SMS marketing strategy.

When it comes to cosmetics, the days of stuffy department store counters and waiting in line to pick up the essentials are long gone. Like most other industries, it’s all about fast and simple online access and shopping that is big on discounts. Julep, a leading retailer of cosmetics on the Internet, understood this, leading the brand to go mobile with its advertising and blending smart SMS tactics with great selections and online access to its inventory. If you’re interested in the particulars of this campaign, let’s take a moment to get dig into all the details and see just what you can pull from this classically orchestrated text campaign to make your next SMS initiative a hit.

Who’s Julep Targeting?

To start, one of the biggest factors in Julep’s decision to go with text messages as the primary means of reaching out to customers centered on whom the brand was targeting in the first place. At the heart of the cosmetic company’s audience are young, tech-savvy consumers who never stray too far away from their phones. With this in mind, it made perfect sense to offer up some exciting texts that let these shoppers hit mobile landing pages, no matter where they happened to be when the messages from Julep hit their inboxes.

Connecting with This Audience

Fortunately for Julep, the company’s name ended up being the perfect length for an SMS keyword (JULEP), which in turn complimented an equally memorable short code (33733) nicely. By selecting these easy to remember options, the brand made it simple for customers to sign-up in stores or after seeing promos on its website or social media accounts. Additionally, the company leveraged its existing email database to snag even more members for the burgeoning text contact list.

It’s also worth mentioning that on top of a great keyword and short code combo, Julep’s selections, regardless of the country the viewer was resided in, worked just fine, allowing for the company to only make one set of opt-in materials throughout the entire campaign. Considering that some SMS systems require a multitude of these phrases and codes, being able to use the same options throughout was definitely made life a little easier for Julep.

Creating a Real Deal

What’s an SMS campaign without an eye-popping offer that sends waves through a target audience? In Julep’s case, the brand definitely didn’t disappoint when trying to nail this part of the process. After opting into the program, new contacts immediately received a 50 percent discount off of their next nail color purchase. Adding in an expiration date to this offer helped get these mobile shoppers into gear, ensuring that the deal didn’t end up languishing in inbox purgatory forever. After the initial offer, Julep kept up a steady stream of deals on a regular basis, giving the contact list members plenty of reasons to eagerly await the next message from this cosmetics retailer.

Breaking down the Results

While all of this looks great on the surface, if you’re still up in the air about the power of SMS marketing, the results from Julep’s campaign provide some stats that are pretty hard to ignore. To start, over the first 24 hours of the campaign, over 5,000 excited customers signed up to join the messaging list. After this initial surge, the company recorded an astonishing 10.7 percent redemption rate on its offers, showing that with the right deal, interested viewers can quickly turn into satisfied customers. In all, Julep maintains a 99 percent retention rate, proving that sometimes all it takes is sticking with the classic approach to create an SMS success story.

Finding the Right Look for Your Brand

Now that we’ve covered Julep’s SMS success, it’s time to talk about what this means for your brand. Unlike some of the other brands covered in this case studies series, Julep didn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel with its campaign. Instead, simply following the traditional strategy of honing in on a target demographic, offering up great deals, and giving these shoppers a gentle nudge into action was good enough to pull in big time revenue. Even if you’re company is in a completely different industry, you’ll be hard-pressed to go wrong with your SMS campaign if you keep it simple and stick to these tried and true methods as you start to connect with your mobile audience.

Julep

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