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Maurices mobile social campaign generates seven-digit sales in first 4 months

NEW YORK ? A MS&L executive at ad:tech revealed that a campaign blending social media, SMS and mobile coupons has generated more than $1 million in sales for women?s fashion brand retailer maurices.

The session was moderated by Michael Becker, San Francisco-based managing director of North America at the Mobile Marketing Association. Launched in 1931 as a small women's fashion shop in Duluth, MN, maurices has grown to more than 750 specialty stores in 44 states across and is using mobile to target savvy, conscious consumers with a twenty-something attitude.

?The maurices Mobile Style Club is driving consumer engagement and sales through SMS,? said Webster Lewin, senior vice president and director of digital innovation and strategy at Publicis Group?s MS&L Group, New York. ?Mobile combined with social media drives real-time engagement.

?Mobile is a key way to engage consumers across the four pillars?real-time conversation, real-time community, real-time content and real time conversion,? he said. ?We?ve seen great success driving conversions using mobile, and maurices is a great example of how the ROI of mobile campaigns is being recognized?they?re all over it.

?Looking at maurices? target demographic of women ages 25-35, SMS is an ideal channel for this specific target, because not all are on smartphones, and even those that are, we know smarpthone users are very active texters.?

Maurices already had a Facebook group, and the brand issued a call-to-action asking them to opt in to its SMS club. It also ran targeted Facebook ads with the mobile call-to-action.

?Facebook is a very mobile social network, and it?s a great way to drive mobile opt-ins,? Mr. Lewin said.

MS&L also helped maurices use mobile to build its Facebook fanbase.

Text alerts drove members to Like maurices on Facebook via SMS, and there were calls-to-action across the mobile Web as well.

About a month after the Facebook campaign launched, maurices distributed in-store signage and lanyards that store employees wore around their necks with the call-to-action ?Text STYLE to 87812.?

Mr. Lewin said that effort drove a whole new wave of people into the Facebook group and encouraged them to follow the brand on Facebook.

Maurices? Facebook Likes have more than doubled since the program launched.

The campaign also featured a significanbt mobile couponing component, and Mr. Lewin said that training the sales associates was very important.

?Store associates were trained on how to execute this program, which was very effective,? Mr. Lewin said. ?Associates got behind it very well, and redemption rates for the mobile coupons have been phenomenal.?

Maurices also issued a call-to-action on its PC Web site for consumers to opt-in to receive text messages from the brand.

Direct mail is also a very effective way to pull people into mobile engagement, per Mr. Lewin.

Maurices sent out mail with various calls-to-action, including ?Text ISLAND to 87812 to join maurices Mobile Style Club? and ?Text LOVE to 87812.?

Buzz around this program has been spreading virally via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Maurices got 5,000 customers to opt in within the first month, and had surpassed 20,000 opt-ins after the first four months.

The redemption rate for mobile coupons is consistently over 60 percent, per Mr. Lewin, and it continues to grow. He said that mobile remains a consistent sales-driver for both the stores and

Directly related to mobile coupons, maurices has seen an increase of between $1 and $2 million in sales over the first four months of the campaign.

?We have seen remarkable opt-in rates for the mobile coupons, well over 60 percent, which has driven a huge amount of revenue for this brand, and they?re very excited about it,? Mr. Lewin said.

Mr. Lewin issued the following best practices for marketers to follow:

? Integrate social channel into mobile sites

? Drive to social channels from SMS programs

? Include mobile friendly links in all Twitter and Facebook updates

? Drive out of home consumers to text to Like your brand on Facebook and follow your brand on Twitter via free SMS services

? Encourage Facebook page member to subscribe via SMS

In addition, maurices wanted to make sure they weren?t just a one-way channel to blast out offers, so they allow people to text back the keyword OMG.

Consumers can reply to the text messages and get individual responses. Responders can also be directed to the mobile version of the brand?s Facebook fan page.

?Hot topics can be indentified and shared with the entire group,? Mr. Lewin said. ?We?re creating a one-on-one dialog that allows the brand to engage consumers and do real-time customer service.?

The session also included presentations from Douglas Rozen, senior vice president and global lead of creative, interactive, media and mobile at Carlson Marketing, Minneapolis, and Anne Frisbie, vice president and managing director of North America at InMobi, San Francisco.

Final Take
MS&L Group's Mr. Lewin

/>The MMA's Mr. Becker

Carlson Marketing's Mr. Rozen