ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Shared mail giant Money Mailer to offer mobile coupons

Money Mailer, one of the leaders in the direct mail coupon space, is now entering mobile as it launches the new Money Mailer Direct Marketing division.

The company has partnered with mobile coupon specialist Cellfire Inc., San Jose, CA, to launch a coupon wallet service targeted at national brands. The deal is designed to make it easier for consumers to find, search and use offers relevant to their locales.

"Mobile telephone marketing is the next big wave in new-age marketing tactics," said Steven Gray, chief operating officer of Money Mailer, Garden Grove, CA. "The reason why direct marketers are taking to this new technology so strongly is because cell phones are always with us.

"With mobile telephone marketing there is no need to clip paper coupons, no need to check email or surf the Web looking for hot deals and people can quickly and easily navigate through coupons and discount offers by menus without sifting through text messages," he said. "Plus, marketing messages can be modified or brought to market in an instant."

The coupon wallet, which is pull technology, will give consumers a mechanism to organize messages and offers that they like from direct marketers.

Using Cellfire's SMS text messaging and embedded push technology, Money Mailer will send offers and point-of-purchase messages to consumers who opt-in. These offers can be redeemed immediately.

"Because of the real-time nature of that communication, we can primarily tailor offers that reflect the specific needs of advertisers," Mr. Gray said. "For example, in the food category, we can drive lunchtime or dinner-time traffic specifically to those customers who have opted in."

The combination of push and pull is what made the Cellfire service so attractive to Money Mailer.

Cellfire offers mobile coupons for clients such as Hardee's, Hollywood Video, Supercuts, Haagen-Dasz, EMI Music, Domino's Pizza, Subway, Extreme Pita and Sears Portrait Studio.

Targeting ongoing-interaction brands
Money Mailer's primary focus for the mobile coupons service is the restaurants, auto service, auto oil/lube, auto wash and DVD rental sectors.

The secondary focus is mobile coupons for dentists, dry cleaning and hair salons.

Also targeted are services such as carpet cleaning, window sales, heating and air conditioning, garage doors, auto repair, landscaping, roofing and water purification.

"There is ongoing interaction with the consumers in these categories and because of that we believe that they have the opportunity to be highly responsive to mobile coupon offers," Mr. Gray said.

Consumers sign up for the coupons once they receive the Money Mailer envelope full of coupons, through direct mail or in-store signage. They can text the pertinent keyword to a short code for the offer.

Once the text is sent, consumers receive a welcome message within 30 seconds and the offer to sign up for the coupon wallet with the pertinent Cellfire messaging.

As part of the Cellfire database, the opted-in consumer will continue receiving mobile coupons and campaign messages till he or she opts out.

Coupons will be sent between two and four times a month. The coupons are stored on the consumer's mobile phone. He or she can go to the store or restaurant, display the text message or press the "Use Now" button and show it to the attending cashier for the discount.

Marketers can make integrated coupon buys across Money Mailer's shared mail drops, targeted direct mail and mobile. The company will not only time the drops to the advertiser's needs, but also report the opt-ins and redemptions.

The advertiser gets access to consumers who have opted in for Cellfire-delivered mobile coupons in metros such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, San Diego and Austin, TX.

More than 20 advertisers have signed up for a beta test planned for next month. Mr. Gray wouldn't disclose their names. But they are primarily in the food and automotive categories.

Direct marketing at its best
"Mobile direct marketing mobilizes [advertisers'] traditional print and electronic promotional strategies to drive more traffic to their stores, spark purchases and increase sales," Mr. Gray said.

"Plus, it enables merchants to increase their reach and engage the mobile-savvy consumer, especially the elusive 18-34-year-old demographic, by providing a measurable, direct call to action in the form of mobile coupons and discount offers," he said.

"This form of marketing is even more direct than traditional mail or online pieces," he said. "As consumers have become more comfortable communicating via text or phone from their mobile devices, direct marketers can capture their attention at multiple points during the day. Mobile direct marketing even permits touching the customer at the point of purchase."

Money Mailer has 300 franchises and 20 national sales representatives selling its integrated direct marketing services.

The sales, client support and analytics for Money Mailer Direct Marketing will be handled directly out of the company's national headquarters.

Money Mailer's effort focuses on integrating mobile with its shared mail and one-to-one direct mail solutions, Mr. Gray said.

"It is the integration point that will drive revenue as we will only position mobile as part of a multichannel marketing strategy, leveraging our shared mail and one-to-one as key messaging vehicles to increase mobile awareness for the advertiser and encourage customers to opt in for money savings coupons on their mobile phone," Mr. Gray said.

"While additional revenue will be driven through a monthly fee structure and text-messaging charges, increasing our advertisers' ROI will fortify our multichannel approach and increase new and existing advertisers' expenditures with us," he said.

Mobile is a natural fit for Money Mailer and direct marketers, Mr. Gray said.

"As far as mobile goes, for the first time advertisers can now create a closed-loop marketing campaign that hits a consumer at three of the most impactful conversion points -- in the mailbox, on their PC and now their mobile phone," he said.