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WWE text-to-win effort garners more than 900,000 participants

World Wrestling Entertainment recently ran a text-to-win campaign to support its annual Wrestlemania event and build a mobile database of opted-in fans. The cross-channel effort generated participation from over 900,000 fans, with more than 500,000 choosing to opt-in to receive ongoing communications from the brand.

The mobile WrestleMania XXVIII text-to-win campaign offered fans a chance to win one of 100 trips to attend WrestleMania 29 in 2013. The effort ran from April 1-15 and included mobile calls to action that appeared on TV and WWE?s social media outlets, in emails, on the organization?s Web site and at events.

?A primary goal of WWE is to offer the most interactive and engaging experience possible ? whether our fans are watching our weekly TV broadcasts, a pay-per-view event or attending a live show,? said Tina Prause, senior director of mobile at WWE, Stamford, CT.

?The campaign was a great way to capture the immediate and passionate reaction we look for,? she said. ?Our fans could enter immediately and receive a real-time response that provided further ways to stay connected to our brand via an ongoing SMS subscription ? and that was meaningful to us.

?We were able to leverage the sweepstakes to successfully activate more than 500,000 subscribers to both our SMS and email databases; it was a campaign that both we and our fans were excited about.?

Cross-channel integration
The program was developed with Vibes, which has been working with WWE since March to build a multi-pronged SMS program for WWE.

For a chance to win, fans were encouraged to text mania29 to a short code.

Participants received a bounce-back message asking them to opt-in to receive ongoing communications from WWE. They also received a second message asking them if they wanted to opt-in to receive WWE emails.

A key component of the success of the effort was the fact that WWE promoted the mobile call to action across so many different channels.

The organization was also able to leverage its strong Facebook fan base to spread the mobile call to action.

?We are recommending that our clients really think holistically about mobile experiences and weaving them into the overall customer journey,? said Julie Roth Novack, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Vibes, Chicago.

?Mobile is not a standalone channel,? she said. ?Layering mobile on top of a TV buy and print buy can really get you a lot more out of your investment in those channels.

?It is also important to create a seamless journey across channels because people expect a certain experience and mobile is the connecting tool as you go from channel to channel.?

A personal connection
Going forward, WWE will be using SMS for event marketing as well as in one-off campaigns. Additionally, they will be using Vibes? platform to do in-venue SMS, enabling fans to text to vote and otherwise participate in the event.

The organization also has plans to incorporate SMS into live broadcasts so that fans at home can text in and participate.

?Mobile offers an immediate way to bridge the gap between online and real-world experiences; it?s an effective way to keep the conversation going with our fans no matter where they are or when,? Ms. Prause said.

?Mobile messaging provides a personal connection to the brand and helps us to deliver on our brand promise of interactivity,? she said.

?We?ve already begun layering mobile messaging and interactivity into our live events, allowing our fans to actively participate via SMS voting to select the stipulation for the main event match at our shows. That?s a powerful experience for our fans!?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York