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Hooters beefs up mobile efforts with incentivized SMS campaign

Restaurant chain Hooters of America is building up its mobile database with a new SMS campaign that offers consumers a chance to win a trip to the destination of their choice.

The company has been placing SMS at the forefront of its campaigns in recent years. An initiative such as this is a good way to drive brand awareness as well as get new customers to opt-in.

?We pride ourselves that every visit to Hooters provides an escape from the every day grind, a memorable experience that will keep you coming back for more,? said Noela Scarano, director of marketing at Hooters of America, Atlanta.

?We launched a program in conjunction with promotional partner Corona for the opportunity for Hooters Fans to ?Win Your Beach,?? she said. ?Participants get the chance to win a vacation of their choice during the promotional window.

?This interactive campaign allows Hooters the ability to grow its database, thus providing future marketing opportunities to support other company initiatives.?

Text to win
Via the Hooters campaign, consumers are encouraged to text the keyword BEACH to the short code 36832 for a chance to win a trip for two to the destination of their choice.

When consumers text-in, they receive a message that thanks them for entering the promotion.

The message also encourages users to find the nearest Hooters location to enjoy an ice cold brew.

By using an incentive ? in this case a trip ? Hooters is interacting with new and existing customers, as well as growing its database.

For this promotion, Hooters has in-store point-of-sale displays that drive consumers to text-in to win their dream vacation.

The company is also getting the word out about the promotion through Facebook and other marketing initiatives.

?It basically boils down to what is simple, fast and effective to use for local store and national campaigns,? Ms. Scarano said. ?Mobile technology offers that opportunity and over the last few years we have had some great home runs.

?Currently our Win Your Beach Promotion has over 100,000 entries ? with more than 60,000 via SMS entries,? she said. ?The technology is so user friendly it provides a simple, easy method of entry for the guest, with immediate monitoring and tracking of the program performance.

?Hooters of America has been working with State of Text Inc. for a little over four years to explore and grow on the many opportunities that text messaging can provide. We feel we have only scratched the surface on our future sales driving opportunities. The level of creatively here is endless. ?

SMS is a great medium for Hooters because they are able to reach a broader audience ? whether they have a feature phone or a smartphone.

?We are thrilled that Hooters has decided to continue to recognize the value in SMS for the fourth year in a row,? said Rachel Jensen, director of marketing at State of Text, Denver.

?While there is no shortage of new digital and social media platforms to utilize for ongoing campaigns, we have shown how tremendously successful SMS can be when it comes to driving foot-traffic to their stores and retaining customer loyalty,? she said.

Past efforts
Hooters has been doing a lot in the mobile space over the past few years.

In 2010, Hooters ran a national mobile sweepstakes that was promoted in 380 of the restaurant chain?s domestic locations (see story).

Most recently, the company used mobile bar codes and social media to further drive brand awareness (see story).

?Hooters will be running a text-to-win program for the fourth year during the Miss Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant,? Ms. Scarano said.

?Hooters guests will be invited to watch the Pageant from Hooters and text their favorite contestants number to a special short code for a chance to win $10,000,? she said.

?Needless to say, with a captive audience, a great platform for the program, we have had great success with building our database during the Pageant Promotion in the past, we expect great results this year as well."

Final Take