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Dole bolsters email database via mobile ads

Dole is running a mobile advertising campaign that not only builds up its mobile database, but also encourages users to join an online community that promotes the company's line of salad products.

Dole is using the mobile ads to encourage users to join its Salad Circle online community program. The campaign is running in places including the IMDb and Elle mobile sites.

?Email marketers focus a lot on relevance, or getting the right message to subscribers,? said Mike May, head of insights at Real Magnet, Bethesda, MD.

?But part of relevance is getting a message in the right format as well,? he said. ?Tagging subscribers who sign up through mobile helps email marketers measure the size of their mobile audience and deliver messages in the right format.

?The other way mobile advertising can help an email database is that the brand can take advantage of more points of customer interaction that way. Some brands live more through advertising than they do on their own Web sites, particularly consumer-products brands.?

Mr. May is not affiliated with Dole. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Dole did not respond to press inquiries.

Mixed bag
The Dole banner ads, which feature actress Felicity Huffman ? the company's spokeswoman read, ?Join the salad circle ? exclusive offers, recipes and more.?

When consumers tap on the ads they are taken to a mobile landing page where they can enter their email address to sign up for Dole's Salad Circle, an online community that lets users find Dole recipes and interact with the brand.

Here is the page where users can enter their email addresses

After users enter their email address, they are taken to Dole?s mobile site at

Consumers can filter recipes by category including preparation time and seasonal items.

Users can also learn about Dole?s salad kits, salad blends and line of slaw products.

Dole is using its mobile site to also ramp up its social media efforts with links to the company?s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Additionally, users can enter to win a trip to Monterey, CA  that includes $1,000, hotel accommodations and a meal with Ms. Huffman. Users can also win prize packages that include Dole products.

Email entry
This is not the first mobile initiative from Dole involving its salad products.

Last year, Dole began a digital campaign that promoted its salad products via mobile bar codes and social media (see story).

By promoting an online community via mobile ads, Dole is able to generate buzz about its product.

Using email as the first step in getting users to a mobile site is a smart move from Dole because it lets the company build up its database.

Email and mobile are increasingly being used together and Dole is an example of a smart consumer-packaged goods company to realize the potential of the two digital channels.

?I am sure Dole's Web site is world-class, but most of its reach comes through ads,? Mr. May said.

?Using those points of contact to turn brand impressions into subscriber data can boost the ROI of advertising by coupling its brand impact with a direct-response component,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York