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American Eagle Outfitters’ aerie rewards Facebook fans via time-sensitive SMS message

Aerie’s mobile site

American Eagle Outfitters’ aerie recently pushed users to “Like” the brand’s Facebook page via an SMS message that included a free shipping offer.

On May 11, aerie sent out an SMS message that celebrated the brand reaching one million “Likes” on Facebook. Users were then encouraged to connect with the retailer on the social network in order to redeem a weekend-long offer.

“Aerie’s campaign demonstrates why every marketer needs to be collecting SMS opt-ins,” said Tim Miller, CEO of Sumotext, Little Rock, AR.

“We often hear brands say email is working for them, or that they will be looking at SMS after they work out their social, mobile Web, or application strategies,” he said.

“But the mobile opt-in transcends cyclical campaigns or strategies. It is like having your own TV or radio station with all of your customers tuned in, all the time.”

Mr. Miller is not affiliated with aerie. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Aerie did not respond to press enquiries.

Mobile engagement
The SMS message sent to opted-in consumers read, “Whoa! 1,000,000 likes! a million thanks isn’t enough… be our friend on Facebook.”

The message then included a link to aerie’s Facebook page.

When consumers “Liked” aerie, they could receive a promo code that worked for free shipping from May 11 through May 13.

When users tapped on the SMS link, they were also able to see what other fans were saying about the company, as well as view a Facebook post which redirected them to aerie’s mobile site where they could shop and enter the promo code to apply the discount.

Mobile and social go hand-in-hand and by combining the two, aerie was able to send out a targeted, time-specific deal that not only increased the company’s social media presence, but also encouraged consumers to shop via a mobile site.

The mobile promotion was part of a bigger week-long campaign from aerie to reward its Facebook followers. Earlier in the week, aerie rolled out a sweepstakes that users could enter for a chance at winning a year’s worth of merchandise.

Multichannel connector
In addition to its aerie brand, American Eagle Outfitters’ does a lot in the mobile space.

The company partnered with Swagg last year on a sweepstakes to give away $100,000 in gift cards (see story).

Most recently, the American Eagle began using Google Wallet to let users pay for items via their handsets (see story).

The aerie campaign is an example of how mobile can be integrated into a retailer’s multichannel strategy to boost sales.

Additionally, SMS gives marketers the greatest reach, which helps tie all of a company’s marketing channels together.

“As the advertising world continues to evolve from brand marketing to actionable marketing, savvy marketers will leverage the reach and ubiquity of SMS to collect more email addresses and link customers and prospects to the social sites, mobile commerce and app downloads that currently consume their attention and budgets,” Mr. Miller said.

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