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7-Eleven fans activate rewards via in-app participation

Convenience retailer 7-Eleven continues to build up its mobile prowess with a new promotion that gets consumers to download its mobile application in exchange for snack rewards.

To celebrate consumer loyalty, 7-Eleven will deliver free offers to app users during the week of its 87th birthday, which highlight free Slurpee drinks and candy items to elicit in-store traffic. This latest activation supports 7-Eleven’s aggressive digital strategy as it experiments with mobile to find new and exciting ways to engage tech-savvy consumers.

“Smartphone users index very highly with 7-Eleven customers,” said Margaret Chabris, a spokesperson for 7-Eleven.

“We’ve learned that mobile offers a smart and convenient way to connect with our fans and we continue to look at ways we can provide convenience and value to our customers, and having these offers available on our mobile app is an ideal way for us to achieve this.”

“As long as the guests continue to have an affinity with mobile, we will continue to build and innovate on that marketing frontier,” she said.

Cool rewards
Each day beginning on Friday July 11 through the nineteenth, a coupon for a different, free item will be featured on 7-Eleven’s smartphone app. Daily offers include free Slurpees, Hostess Twinkies, Snickers ice cream bars, Pillsbury cookies and more.

To receive each day’s free offer, a customer must first download and register on the 7-Eleven app.  A customer opens the 7-Eleven app at the store and shows an associate the barcode at checkout.  The bar code appears below the coupons. Once the associate scans the barcode at the register, the customer will receive the item as they check out.

This is the 12th year 7-Eleven has rewarded guests on its birthday with in-store offers. Each year the party extends to social media where 7-Eleven sees its traffic increase by double digits on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The retailer has added Tumblr to its social media mix this year.

Summer sweeps
The convenience store chain’s “Pizza for Life” sweepstakes in April promised to deliver free pizza to one lucky tech-savvy pizza lover as integrated conversation piece on social media stimulated through its app.

An in-app online entry form fused with social platforms to share sweeps information via the hashtag #GIMMEPIZZA4LIFE. To enter, consumers needed to type in a name and email address. The recent initiative demonstrates the growing role that mobile plays for 7-Eleven in building in long-term engagement through an app through one-off promotions, and was a perfect match for guests on the go.

Last year, 7-Eleven also pushed its #AWESUMMER campaign, offering coupons for free merchandise weekly. They also revamped their digital presence by boosting their new mobile app via product awareness. All Slurpee cups prompted buyers to text FLAVOR to 711711, which prompted smartphone users to receive a link to download the app (see story).

In celebration of its birthday last summer, 7-Eleven used a multichannel retail strategy of SMS, mobile Web, social media and mobile advertising to get the word out about its Slurpee Dance campaign (see story).

Similarly offering customers a free small Slurpee drink  on its big day as it is doing this year, 7-Eleven only asked in return that guests perform, record and share their own Slurpee dance on Facebook and Youtube with the tags @7-Eleven and #SlurpeeDance to celebrate the feel when they take that first sip of a Slurpee drink.

7-Eleven values the ongoing conversation with guests via app feedback and social engagement through community managers.  In addition, the brand strives to create engaging content for its social channels that guests will find share-worthy based on a quick laugh, exclusive product find or great value.

“Over the past 2 years we have significantly ramped up our marketing activity in the mobile space, primarily our mobile app, SMS and mobile web,” Ms. Chabris said.

“Our Mobile App is our most dynamic platform, and we are quickly evolving our business to support the digital channels our guests prefer. We also have a variety of SMS campaigns that deliver coupons, sweepstakes, app download links, and brand messages on our short code 711711. Our mobile web drives the bulk of our store location searches.”

“Overall, we have found that mobile has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to communicate with our guests who are on the go,” she said.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York