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Regal Cinemas leverages SMS for weekly concessions deals

Regal Cinemas is driving concessions sales by offering weekly mobile coupons for consumers who “Like” the Regal Cinemas page on Facebook and opt-in to an SMS program.

Once consumers “Like” the Facebook page, they can input their mobile phone number to join the program. Every Thursday, consumers receive a mobile coupon that can be redeemed at the concessions stand at any Regal Cinemas theater.

“For many, movie going is an impulse buy,” said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based chief marketing officer of Mobivity. “Reaching opted-in fans while they are on the go and in search of entertainment makes great sense for a movie house.

“SMS is ideal because of its immediacy with more than 95 percent of messages read within four minutes,” he said. “Regal can reach would-be moviegoers with an offer of free popcorn or bonbons – that’s the way to get me – to drive redemption.”

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Regal Cinemas. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Regal Cinemas did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile deals
Once consumers enter their number on the Facebook page, they will automatically receive a text message that asks for a confirmation reply.

If a consumer responds with “Yes,”  he or she will get weekly deals every Thursday.

On Thursdays, Regal Cinemas sends out an SMS with a link that leads to the mobile coupon. Consumers can present that coupon at the concessions stand of the theater.

Last week’s Thursday deal gave consumers $3 off of Nachos.

By offering these coupons on mobile, Regal Cinemas cuts out a number of steps for consumers. Consumers do not have to clip a coupon from a newspaper, nor do they have to print a coupon from online.

The weekly mobile coupon is a great way to convince consumers to go and watch a movie since they can easily redeem the offer for an enhanced experience.

Opting in
SMS campaigns have been around for a while, but they have proven to be a successful mobile tactic.

In August, pizza chain Mellow Mushroom launched a sweepstakes to give away two tickets to the upcoming American Music Awards, and 84 percent of its registrants stemmed from SMS (see story).

Similarly, the Carl’s Jr. Star Chasers Oklahoma, Inc. franchise saw a 17 percent redemption rate with a local SMS offer (see story).

While SMS is not necessarily a new channel for marketers, new guidelines may be switching things up a bit this week.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires written, auditable consent for every consumer in a mobile database. The new guidelines go into effect on Oct. 16 (see story).

“TCPA regulations will strengthen mobile messaging programs,” Mr. Hasen said. “With the double opt-in, brands will be assured that their lists are built with those who are eager to receive information and offers.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York