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CoverGirl revamps SMS program to drive coupon redemption

CoverGirl previously had an SMS program with similar goals but missed the mark without clear calls-to-action. The new Beauty Buys program includes a Facebook app that has been optimized for mobile devices.

“Combining SMS – a mobile push technology – with social media, which is considered a pull channel, is a great combination,” said Cezar Kolodziej, CEO/president of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

“Social media can help build a database of loyal consumers that can later be reached using SMS,” he said “This is not the first time a brand has tried a self-complementing integration of mobile messaging and social media. The strategy must be working since more brands are continuing to explore this path.”

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with CoverGirl. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

CoverGirl did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile deals
Earlier this year, CoverGirl used its SMS program to push out messages and offers to consumers that encouraged users to check out their local newspapers for offers. However, the program lacked a clear call-to-action (see story).

Now, CoverGirl has updated its SMS program with messages that tie into the brand’s Beauty Buys Facebook app.

Since launching in early October, CoverGirl has sent three SMS messages to its opted-in subscribers on Oct. 19, Oct. 24 and Oct. 27.

The messages encourage users to click a link to find savings on their favorite products.

Once users tap on the links, they are redirected to a mobile version of the brand’s Facebook app.

Via the site, consumers can browse through current CoverGirl offers. Calls-to-action on the page primarily encourage users to find Covergirl’s print advertisements to redeem the offer.

Each offer includes a picture of the product, a description of the deal and the specific magazine or newspaper where users can find the offer. Additionally, copy at the bottom of the page encourages users to sign up for CoverGirl’s SMS program by texting the keyword BEAUTYBUYS to the short code 24475.

Previously, CoverGirl’s SMS program gave consumers generic information on where to find the CoverGirl deals, making it difficult for users to know what was on sale and how they could redeem an offer.

Social tie
Although the SMS program could still be more effective if a mobile coupon was directly linked into the Facebook app, CoverGirl is clearly stepping up its mobile initiatives by giving users more information about the deals that the company offers.

Mobile makes a great complement to print, which are the ads that CoverGirl is driving users to. Consumers nowadays often read newspapers and magazines with a mobile device in hand, leaving marketers a huge opportunity to combine digital and print initiatives.

Additionally, the tie in with social media is key since CoverGirl has a significant presence on sites including Facebook and Twitter.

Social media and mobile go hand-in-hand and CoverGirl is smart to incorporate a Facebook app into its SMS program to not only build up its database but also connect the dots between other marketing mediums that CoverGirl uses.

Additionally by using both platforms regularly, CoverGirl is able to reach a wide group of users to spread the word about its products.

“Pushing SMS out to loyal consumers is very convenient and generates very high ROI,” Mr. Kolodziej said.

“Challenges are limitations with the size of the message, which is 160 characters,” he said. “However, with the latest advances in the mobile messaging space, such as rich media messaging, this issue does not exist anymore and brands are able to send mobile coupons directly to consumers’ phones in the same rich form that have been used traditionally for a long time in print and online.”

“This allows the channel to become more attractive and I am sure brands will take a full advantage of it in the near future.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York