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Walmart drives Xbox game sales via SMS-based money-back promotion

Walmart and EA Games are offering a unique promotion for the new Madden Football Game for Xbox via SMS and a phone’s camera.

If consumers buy the new game along with one more participating product, they can get $10 back by texting a picture of the receipt to 76477. It is not surprising that Walmart, one of the leading mobile marketers, is leveraging SMS for in-store and online promotions.

“SnippCheck allows brands to easily tap into customers at the point of purchase without the need to set up any type of POS integration,” said Atul Sabharwal, founder of Snipp Interactive, Washington.

“Users can participate in money back, sweeps, loyalty program simply by snapping a picture of their receipt and sending it in via MMS, SMS or email from their phone,” he said.

“By authenticating the purchase data on the receipt, co-promotions such as these can be easily set up and executed. The reward can be provided back in less than 24 hours versus the traditional six to eight-week response period, this encourages further store visits and purchases.”

Walmart and EA Games worked with Snipp Interactive to roll out the campaign.

Money-back campaign
This specific campaign is running until September 18 both online and in-store.

Online consumers can automatically receive a $10 eGift card and a snack when they purchase Madden NFL 25 on Xbox 360.

In-store consumers must buy a participating product, such as Doritos or Snickers, in addition to the game. Then they circle the additional item on the receipt, take a picture of it and text it to 76477 along with the word MADDEN.

Consumers will then receive a text back with a reward code for a $10 Walmart eGift card.

Walmart is promoting the offer in-store with signage that prompts shoppers to buy, snap and redeem. The signs lay out the process of how to get the $10 eGift card.

Walmart has been at the forefront of mobile for quite some time.

Last month, Walmart updated its mobile in-store Scan & Go program by giving users the ability to clip coupons by tapping their smartphones and having the savings automatically applied when they check out (see story).

In April, the marketer ran a rich media campaign in The Weather Channel’s iPhone application to entice consumers to learn more about its fishing gear products and, ultimately, bolster sales (see story).

SMS offers
A number of retailers and restaurants have been leveraging SMS to provide deals and discounts for consumers.

For example, Pizza chain Mellow Mushroom launched a campaign with QR codes and SMS to spur registrations for a sweepstakes. Eighty-four percent of the registrations came from SMS (see story).

Additionally, the Carl’s Jr. Star Chasers Oklahoma, Inc. franchise used SMS coupons to push aggressive, local offers. The campaign generated a 17 percent redemption rate (see story).

Toys “R” Us also leverages SMS to reach its 450,000 text message subscribers and provide regular deals (see story).

“Using text is easier for share offers such as this and for them to go viral and drive more traffic to the store and brand,” Mr. Sabharwal said.

“What we are seeing is that responses today are in line with traditional response rates but a higher skew of participation via mobile – which implies lower cost for execution and redemption for the brand. “

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