To create a consistent and compelling brand experience, retailers must ensure that consumers can connect with them at all times, using any device. Short Message Service (SMS) marketing, or text messaging, is an efficient way to initiate contact with consumers directly through their mobile phones, so they can communicate while at home or on the go.
Rock Creek Outfitters, an outdoor apparel and accessories retailer, has implemented Text-To-Join, a new tool from Bronto Software. As a result, the multichannel merchant seamlessly can integrate SMS into the email marketing program, leading to more streamlined brand interactions, according to Mark McKnight, Marketing and Creative Director for Rock Creek.
“We’re trying to engage with consumers and build long-term relationships across all channels,” McKnight said during an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The solution allows us to communicate with all our shoppers, whether they’re browsing online or in stores.”
With Text-To-Join, consumers can opt in to the Rock Creek email program simply by texting their personal email addresses to a designated number. This reduces likelihood of data entry errors from third-party entries. Consequently, Rock Creek has seen a decrease in overall email bounce rates when following-up with customers, according to McKnight.
Typically, consumers will speak their email addresses to cashiers for entering, or write them down for cashiers to enter manually. “This approach increases likelihood that information will be submitted incorrectly,” McKnight said. “If consumers use their personal mobile phones to text and join our email list, it takes away the pain point of cashiers entering emails incorrectly.”
Rather than leaving “a lot of room for error,” the new strategy ensures customers enter accurate information so they receive emailed information on sales, offers and other announcements and developments. “Now, we’re focusing on training cashiers to start the conversation effectively,” McKnight added, “and encourage shoppers to opt in via text.”
Rock Creek team members will promote the Text-To-Join program by placing flyers in online orders and in-store bags. The retailer also will utilize in-store signage in all four brick-and-mortar locations, McKnight reported, as well as test a variety of interactive marketing tactics, such as distributing postcards during in-store events.
Encouraging Digital Conversations
Text-To-Join is the latest addition to the growing toolbox of SMS marketing strategies Rock Creek currently leverages. Messages and calls-to-action disseminated via text messaging focus on everything from timely events to sales, store news and other company updates.
In one case, the retailer developed a campaign around Marmot, a top manufacturing partner, in which consumers texted a keyword for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. Once submissions were registered, consumers received a digital coupon to encourage them to stay engaged with the Rock Creek brand.
Similarly, to encourage new Text-To-Join participants to take action on subsequent emails, Rock Creek is developing a variety of welcome campaigns. “It’s really important that consumers are engaged from the beginning,” McKnight said. The strategy will thank and welcome consumers to the program and provide detailed information on new products and sales.