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7-Eleven cranks up app downloads with mobile-exclusive sweepstakes


7-Eleven continues to build up its mobile prowess with a new promotion that gets consumers to download its mobile application and talk about the brand on social media.

The convenience store chain’s “Pizza for Life” sweepstakes will deliver free pizza to one lucky tech-savvy pizza lover. The newest campaign highlights the growing role that mobile plays for 7-Eleven in building in long-term engagement through an app through one-off promotions.

“The 7-Eleven Pizza for Life sweepstakes is an app-only sweepstakes that is a perfect match for guests on the go,” said Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications at 7-Eleven, Dallas.

“A mobile sweepstakes allows 7-Eleven guests to participate at their convenience, whether it’s during a work break, study session or in a carpool line,” she said. “We also know that when a guest finds a great deal, there is pride in sharing the ‘special find,’ so again, the mobile app makes it easy for them to tweet or post to friends with one tap.”

Mobile secret ingredient
Consumers can enter the 7-Eleven sweepstakes via the ‘what’s in store’ tab in the company’s app.

An online entry form integrates with social media platforms to share sweepstake information via the hashtag #GIMMEPIZZA4LIFE. To enter, consumers need to type in a name and email address.

With an estimated value of $10,500, 7-Eleven is rolling out the dough to promote what the company claims is one of its best-selling take-and-bake hot food items.

Additionally, customers buying any size can or bottle of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up beverage product will get $1 off a regular value priced pizza.

“A mobile opt-in list is more convenient for the consumer to join as far as sweepstakes go because it’s in the here and now,” said Adam Lavine, CEO of FunMobility Inc., Pleasanton, CA.

Mr. Lavine is not affiliated with 7-Eleven. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Piece of the pie
Convenience stores continue to push into the fresh food market, which 7-Eleven is leveraging with mobile.

7-Eleven hopes to attract the busy, time-starved consumer with its fresher food options, including healthier snacks.

With more consumers willing to buy prepared meals from a c-store, 7-Eleven is ensuring it remains competitive and differential amongst other chains like Starbucks and Walgreens.

“Convenience stores are figuring out there’s more margin to be had in prepared meals,” said Mr. Lavine.

“The use of mobile to promote specials on a geo-targeted basis makes them more competitive than fast food restaurants,” he said. “The consumer will not be aware of options between convenience store and fast food meals if they don’t have the choice. Mobile lets new and existing audiences become aware of high margin products.”

Last year, the company introduced a bunch of new breakfast items including an egg white breakfast sandwich, hash brown bites and a chicken biscuit sandwich.

Mozzarella sticks, hot sandwiches and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls also debuted, marking the first time the chain has ever offered a warm bakery item and a first for Pillsbury, whose items have never been available through a convenience store retailer.

Aside from the unique bakery products, cold sandwiches, wraps and fresh fruit, a key differential for 7-Eleven is the way it markets itself via mobile.

Brand evolution
Last year, 7-Eleven 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 combination of SMS, mobile Web, social media and mobile advertising to get the word out about its Slurpee Dance campaign (see story).

Offering customers a free small Slurpee drink  on its big day, 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.

Slurpee Dance promotional video

Recognizing its advantage over fast-food chains, 7-Eleven has been increasing its investment in advertising efforts to show consumers they offer quality prepared meals.

“7-Eleven values the ongoing conversation with our guests via app feedback and social engagement through our community managers.  In addition we strive to create engaging content for our social channels that guests will find share-worthy based on a quick laugh, exclusive product find or great value,” 7-Eleven’s Ms. Chabris said.

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