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Southwest 7-Eleven stores add 25,000 opt-ins to CRM database


A company that operates 300 7-Eleven stores and provides gas to another 600 convenience stores recently put mobile at the hub of a multichannel promotion, signing up 25,000 to a CRM database.

Alon Brands sells gas under the Fina brand to convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and also operates 7-Eleven stores in these regions. The company was looking for a way to build an opt-in database that would enable it to conduct future marketing efforts more efficiently and would lay the groundwork for a loyalty program.

“Mobile was the center of the whole thing,” said Daniel Wagstaff, vice president of sales for Pocketstop, Dallas, TX.

“It was the initial measurement of all of the external media and the initial way to do the sweepstakes,” he said. “We started to build the database by using mobile to make the other channels interactive.

“Mobile was how we got the first 9,000 names in the database and helped drive the final result of 25,000 people in the database.”

Full profiles
Alon retained customer relationship marketing agency Pocketstop for the instant win free gas promotion that integrated radio, billboard, point-of-sale, Web, social, mobile, email and database marketing.

The goals included signing up customers to receive targeted marketing messages, driving sales at the gas pump and, ultimately, driving customers into the convenience stores.

“As a result of this program, Alon can keep track of how many places you come to and can start to market to you based on your preference,” Mr. Wagstaff said.

“In convenience stores, people often don’t know what’s on sale,” he said. “When we drove Web traffic, a lot of people started to know and understanding what was on sale.

The promotion ran during the summer and was completed two weeks ago.

In the first month, 9,000 customers signed up via mobile. Over a two month period, more than 25,000 customers signed up via mobile, Facebook and the Web.

Over 50 percent of those who signed up provided multiple pieces of personal information about themselves and 30 percent provided a full profile.

Market-specific offers
For the promotion, radio and point-of-sale ads encouraged consumers to text the word GAS to a mobile phone short-code and this automatically registered them for the free fuel sweepstakes.

Prizes included coupons good for $25 of free fuel, a year of free gasoline, flip cameras, Garmin GPS units and iPad tablets.

When customers sent a text message they received a message back asking them to reply with their ZIP code to complete the sweepstakes entry. This enabled Pocketstop to segment the list based on where customers live so more market-specific offers can be sent.

The first 9,000 who signed up received coupons and offers via text messaging that had a coupon code embedded in them for in-store redemption. Some of the offers were good across all the stores in the promotion and others were specific to a store or area.

The redemption rate on this element of the effort was between 6 percent and 55 percent.

These customers were also sent a text message to let them know about a Facebook page where they could get another chance to enter the sweepstakes. As a result, 4,000 people went to the Facebook page.

Another text message directed recipients to a Web site, where they could enter again. This increased Web traffic by 25 percent.

Alon continues to send coupon offers every two weeks that are unique to mobile.

The program will grow into a full loyalty program over the next 12 months.

The company is also considering a mobile app and mobile site.

“The core of what we do is making multichannel efforts all flow into one database,” said Jeff Kilman, CEO of Pocketstop, Dallas, TX.

“We find mobile to be the walkie talkie to make that happen,” he said. “It is the one common denominator that people have in their pockets and walk around with.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York