Is couponing a big part of your marketing strategy? If so, you have to see how Family Dollar, a regional chain of variety stores with over 7,100 locations, is using SMS auto replies to eliminate the need for consumers to print coupons from their website.As you can see below in the screenshot taken from the Family Dollar website, all of their coupons have an SMS auto reply option. When consumers text one of the SMS keywords associated with a coupon to the short code 28767, they receive that specific coupon sent to them in a text message. How cool is that?
For example, lets say you find the coupon above for $1 off Pampers Diapers on the Family Dollar website. Instead of printing off the coupon, you want to send it to your mobile phone by using the SMS auto reply feature. To receive the coupon, you would text “PAMPERS” to the short code 28767. As you can see below, the coupon from the website is sent to your mobile phone as a text message.
While this is an awesome use of an SMS auto reply, there’s one thing that would make this even better for Family Dollar. This is if the customer had the ability to opt-in to receive future SMS coupons after receiving their SMS auto reply. There’s really no better time to ask a customer to opt-in to receive future SMS coupons, then immediately after they’ve requested their first text message coupon.
How would they do this? It’s actually pretty simple, at the bottom of the SMS auto reply, Family Dollar would advertise their SMS broadcast call-to-action, something like “Want More? Reply DEALS to receive future SMS coupons”. After a customer responds “DEALS” to the SMS auto reply, they’ll be opted-in to the Family Dollar SMS broadcast campaign, where they’ll receive future SMS coupons. Want more information on how to setup this type of campaign, check out this video we made on this very subject.
The one thing Family Dollar wouldn’t want to do is create what we like to call an SMS marketing bait-n-switch on their customers. This would happen if customers were automatically opted-in to the Family Dollar broadcast campaign, when all they did was interact with the SMS auto reply. Want an example of this happening, check out the SMS marketing bait-n-switch Pro-Cuts pulled on Rangers fans. You never want to do this to your customers!