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 the right approach to SMS messages and consumer outreach helped Belterra Casino Resort hit the jackpot with excited text-friendly consumers.There’s nothing quite like the rush of hitting it big when the stakes are high and the pressure is on. That being said, watching a great text message campaign come together is at least a pretty close second. For the managers and marketing gurus at Belterra Casino Resort, a recent SMS initiative showed that when you come in with a smart plan, even if it’s your first time using this platform, there’s no reason you can’t get in on the fun and connect with the customers that matter most. To learn a little more about how this luxury resort wowed its first time crowd, let’s look at the particulars of this program and see what your brand can put to use the next time you start sending messages to your targeted audience.
A Little Background Before the SMS Run
Before digging into the technical side of the text message campaign, it’s important to understand why the people at Belterra decided to jump in head first with this approach. Despite a robust regular audience, the operators at this casino couldn’t help but feel like they were leaving something on the table with the lack of an SMS branch within the brand’s marketing operations. To bridge this gap and achieve optimal advertising reach, Belterra set out to build a mobile database of interested consumers from the ground up. This way, the organization could connect with visitors on a regular basis and spread the word on upcoming deals and promotions.
Breaking down the SMS Process
With this goal in mind, the foundation for an active text database started coming together. First, the casino decided to target patrons in local metropolitan areas – particularly Louisville and Lexington in Kentucky and Cincinnati in Ohio. Once it had its sights set on these consumers, the next step was generating some activity with a sweepstakes. As part of this giveaway, customers that texted in “BELTERRA” to 74642 received an entry into the promotion. From here, the casino utilized the double opt-in method to confirm user participation and provide an additional 10 chances to win the grand prize – a one-night stay at the hotel and a $100 resort credit.
Hitting the SMS Jackpot
After the one-month campaign came to a close, Belterra had plenty of reasons to file this one under the SMS success label. To start, thousands of customers from each area responded to the outreach program, instantly generating a mobile marketing list that would make plenty of other brands jealous. From here, almost 60 percent of the respondents completed the double opt-in process, providing ample motivation to keep the interactive SMS messages flowing in the future. Even if this campaign wasn’t aiming at building an initial SMS contact list, it’d be hard to view this promotion as anything but a major payoff for the team at Belterra Casino Resort.
Rolling the Dice for Your Brand
So now that you’re all caught up on Belterra’s initial SMS offering, what lessons can you take for your brand’s next, or potentially first, foray into the text message arena? At the top of the list is a recurring theme in many of these case studies – honing in on your target audience. Of course, there is a very important reason that this concept pops up often. If you don’t have the right audience in your crosshairs, it’s nearly impossible to maximize your impact once the messages starting popping up on consumer phone screens.Additionally, utilizing every tool at your disposal, including double opt-in programs, ensures that your contact list trims away the fat and holds only the customers that actually plan to connect with your brand messages now and in the future. Finally, and perhaps the most important of all the lessons learned from this case study, if you really want to interact with these shoppers, don’t hold back on the giveaways. Pairing up an astonishing promotion – in this case a free night at the casino and $100 in resort credit – with the rest of what you’ve learned from Belterra’s move into the world of SMS marketing is a strong way to make a splash of your own when your brand starts sending messages to interested consumers in your area.