Subway’s SMS Marketing – Behind the Scenes Look
Ready to get behind the scenes and see exactly how Subway is managing their text messaging campaign? Today we’ll show you how one of the fastest-growing fast-food franchises, with over 44,672 restaurants in 111 countries, is doing text message marketing. We’ll dive deep into how and where Subway is advertising their text messaging campaign, the process for customers to opt into the campaign, and even how Subway is tackling the issue of mobile coupon code fraud.
To sign up to receive Subway weekly text message offers, and receive a free 6-inch subway sandwich, visit: http://www.subway.com/en-us/promotions/sms. Once on the Subway promotions page, you’ll be asked to enter your mobile phone number & zip code, as you can see in the screenshot below. Not pictured in the screenshot below is Subway’s abbreviated text messaging terms & conditions, which are as follows:
Msg&data rates may apply. Max 10 msgs/mo. Msgs may be auto dialed. Consent not required to buy goods/svcs. Only available for smartphones with a data plan. For help, text HELP to 782929. To opt-out, text STOP to 782929.
To see Subway’s full-text message terms & conditions, click here.
If you prefer to opt-in on your mobile phone to receive Subway weekly text message offers, and receive a free 6-inch subway sandwich, text “OFFERS” to Subway’s dedicated vanity short code – 78292. Did you know that Subway’s vanity short code 78292, spells out “SUBWAY” on a mobile phone’s dialpad? It’s true, try it on your own mobile phone! Pretty cool, right?
After submitting your mobile phone number and zip code to receive Subway text message offers, you’ll be redirected to the following page. This page tells you that to start receiving Subway text message offers, you first need to reply to the confirmation text message sent to your mobile phone from their SMS short code 78292.
As you can see from the text message below from Subway’s SMS short code 78292, Subway requires you to reply “Y” to confirm that you want to opt-in to receive Subway’s weekly text message offers. Why does Subway require you to reply “Y” via text message, after you enter your mobile phone number into their web form? Not only is this required by the CTIA, it protects Subway from sending text message spam.
How does it protect Subway from sending text message spam? Think about this… What if in Subway’s web form I accidentally typed in (206) 334-4011, when my actual mobile phone number is (206) 334-4012. If Subway automatically opted-in the mobile phone number (206) 334-4011, without requiring them to reply “Y”, every text message offer sent to that mobile phone number from Subway would be considered text message spam. That’s why it’s critical that before you opt-in a customer’s mobile phone number, you confirm with them that it is in fact their mobile phone number, and they want to receive your text message offers.
When you reply to Subway’s opt-in confirmation text message with “Y”, you receive two text messages in return. The first text message you receive is the coupon for your free 6-inch subway sandwich, and the second text message is welcoming you to the text message campaign. As you can see from the text message below, the welcome text message from Subway is customized based on the subscriber’s zip code.
As you can see in the above text message, to redeem your coupon for the Subway 6-inch sandwich, you have to click on the link. When you click on the link, you’re taken to the following mobile website, where you can redeem the mobile coupon. It’s worth noting that below the “REDEEM” button, Subway instructs you to only press the redeem button during the purchase process in the presence of the cashier. You’ll see why Subway tells you this in the next mobile screenshot.
So after you’ve clicked the “REDEEM” button, you’re presented with the following pop-up on the mobile website. As you can see below, Subway warns you that the coupon you’re about to access will expire within 5 minutes, so it’s best to be at the cash register at your local Subway before clicking “CONFIRM”.
Once you do click the “CONFIRM” button, you’re present with your subway coupon, as you can see below. You’ll notice that there’s a 5-minute timer on the Subway coupon, which expires the coupon after it runs out of time. It’s also interesting to note that the coupon specifically tells customers that if the timer hand is not moving, the offer is not valid. Why? This is to prevent you from taking a photo of the mobile coupon and trying to redeem it. In a photo, the timer hand would not being moving.
What does it look like when the Subway’s mobile coupon is expired? See below.
Why does Subway do this with their mobile coupons? The reason is to prevent mobile coupon fraud. In mobile marketing, coupon code fraud is when a coupon specifically for new mobile subscribers is used by customers that never opted into the mobile marketing campaign, or used by the same customer multiple times. To prevent mobile coupon code fraud, Brands like Subway will limit the usage of each mobile coupon, either by using unique one-time usage coupon codes for each mobile subscriber, or in the case of Subway, they’ll limit the time that the mobile coupon is visible to the customer.
One of the best parts about Subway’s text messaging campaign is that they’re advertising it everywhere, including in a commercial! Below are some of the examples of Subway advertising their text messaging campaign to customers.
Interested in running your own text messaging campaign similar to Subway? Contact the SMS marketing experts at Tatango to learn more.
Subway RCS Business Messaging
Subway has been an early adopter of RCS business messaging. Check out the demo of how Subway is using RCS business messaging below.
Baskin Robbins SMS Marketing Example
Baskin Robbins uses the same SMS marketing strategy as Subway, as you can see in the video below.