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Bond Auto Parts leverages SMS to drive loyalty in coupon program

Bond Auto Parts is driving sales and building engagement by launching an in-store SMS campaign that serves a coupon to customers who text to a number to join a loyalty club.

The Tatango-developed SMS campaign is being advertised in-store at Bond’s more than 45 locations in New England, encouraging customers to text BOND to the SMS short code 33733 to join its Bond Auto Parts Mobile Club and receive a texted coupon for $10 off their next purchase of $25 or more. The campaign shows the benefit that can be derived from combining an opt-in incentive with advertising, both prominently in-store and online.

“When it comes to a retail brand implementing a good SMS marketing strategy to grow SMS subscribers, Bond Auto Parts is doing exactly what they should be,” said Derek Johnson of Tatango.

“An SMS campaign that offers an incentive for customers to join the SMS campaign, like in the case of Bond Auto Parts offering $10 off a customer’s next purchase of $25 or more, will increase new mobile subscribers by more than 500 percent.”

Family business
A family business that started over 50 years ago, Bond Auto has store locations in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York.

Leveraging SMS.

The campaign exemplifies how retailers and merchants are now starting to uncover how to better reap the benefits of customers via coupon offers, with SMS occupying a prominent role in consumers’ hearts.

Research from RadiumOne showed that 42 percent of consumers prefer SMS-based coupons over bar code scanning and push notifications. A report from Juniper Research last year found that there will be 1.05 billion mobile coupon users by 2019, up from just under 560 million this year.

The Juniper report, Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019, claimed that the surge in user numbers would largely be driven by increased retailer engagement with various mobile channels, as retailers integrated coupons into loyalty programs to a greater extent, while focusing on delivering coupons direct to consumers rather than relying on aggregator sites.

However, brands are increasingly leveraging the retail database to deliver targeted coupons, and the lack of adequate point of sale redemption technology remains the key hurdle to greater deployment and adoption of mobile coupons.

Juniper expects retailers to become more agile and efficient, and better able to implement faster changes as they reconstruct their businesses around the greater use of online engagement channels.

Building database
Automotive brands are among the most innovative mobile advertisers when it comes to reaching beyond the standard banner with rich media, audio and location integration. At the same time, with more connected car experiences popping up, reaching consumers via mobile inside their cars is one of most exciting new areas of marketing right now.

Building a database while collecting phone numbers for future promotions.

“The objective with this new SMS campaign from Bond Auto Parts is two-fold,” Mr. Johnson said. “The first objective is to build up a database of their most loyal customers’ mobile phone numbers, which they’re doing by offering an amazing incentive to customers to join their Mobile Club, in addition to advertising that incentive in-store in their many retail locations.

“Then the second objective will be to use those customer’s mobile phone number numbers to send them valuable, relevant and timely promotions, which will drive revenue to their retail locations.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York