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McDonald’s targets non-app users with sports-themed text-to-win sweepstakes

McDonald’s is one of the few brands still leveraging SMS strategies by introducing a text-to-win sweepstakes that commemorates its extended partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles and serves as a call-to-action to download the McD application.

McDonald’s of the Greater Philadelphia Region is continuing its longstanding partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles through the 2019 season and encouraging fans to join the excitement surrounding fall football by participating in a text-to-win sweepstakes. The Big Mac marketer is inviting customers to enter by purchasing its 30-ounce Player Cups and Bundle Boxes in-store and texting the displayed code to a designated number, an action that will also send the smartphone user a URL leading to the McDonald’s mobile app download link.

“While the customer engagement a brand can get with a mobile app is unparalleled, and the customer insights gathered through its usage are unequaled, a mobile app’s reach is limited,” said Daniel Dreymann, co-founder and CEO of Mowingo, the developer behind the McD app. “The right incentives (e.g. a well thought-out welcome offer) will generate a lot of app downloads, including downloads by the brand’s best customers.

“Once they do download the app, it is critical to give these customers a continuous great experience, and keep delighting them over time.”

Hiking up sales
McDonald’s restaurants in the Philadelphia region are enabling football fans to join the frenzy surrounding the fall season by purchasing themed products and entering the sweepstakes via the codes featured on the items. Consumers can enter the sweepstakes once per day.

Texting the featured code to the designated number will yield consumers one entry, while downloading the McD mobile app will offer another chance to win. Individuals who participate by texting the code will be prompted to click on a custom URL that will bring them to the app download link.

The grand prize consists of three football-themed experiences, including two tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles game as well as lunch with a team player.

Entrants will also be eligible to win weekly prizes, such as Eagles memorabilia.

Introducing a themed text-to-win sweepstakes may help McDonald’s capture more sales this season, especially since consumers must purchase the designated menu items in order to receive the text codes.

From September 5 through December 31, consumers will be able to find text-to-win codes on the Eagles Bundle Box, which includes two cheeseburgers, two Big Macs, a 10-piece chicken nugget set and two medium fries for $11.99.

The 30-ounce Eagles Player Cups, which will be available from September 5 to November 27, will also feature the exclusive codes.

Employing similar SMS strategies has previously paid off for the fast food chain.

As McDonald’s continues its efforts to strengthen sales, the chain has found success in leveraging sports activations within its McD mobile application that offer promotions tied to local sports teams, resulting in 57 percent more active users in those markets (see story).

Incentives and events
Additionally, McDonald’s is encouraging consumers to download its app by offering a major incentive coinciding with each Eagles game. Each day following an Eagles home game – in which the team has recorded a sack – McDonald’s will offer a free Big Mac with purchase to any fan who downloads its app.

This may inspire consumers to relinquish some of their prime smartphone real estate for the McD app, in turn leading to more on-the-go impulse purchases.

McDonald’s has experienced several shaky financial quarters in terms of revenue, prompting it to leverage mobile in a way that appeals to younger consumers and promotes more interactivity with the brand.

For example, last spring, McDonald’s asked customers in Northern California to text or tweet their nominations for who should receive a free breakfast delivered by McDonald’s employees, highlighting how mobile is at the center of the brand’s efforts to surprise and delight consumers (see story).

Introducing text-to-win campaigns also helps the chain cast a wider net in terms of consumer outreach – particularly to non-app users.

“It is equally important not to neglect the other, typically much larger, segment of a brand’s customer base: consumers who did not, and will not download your app,” Mr. Dreymann said. “For this segment, a brand must come up with other technological solutions, including SMS, Apple/Google Wallet and Google’s new Nearby solution.

“With Nearby, compatible beacons, such as Beaconix’s cloud-connected beacons, can send offers, coupons and information without requiring consumers to download any app.”