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Caribou Coffee builds buzz around new location via SMS

Caribou Coffee is ramping up its SMS program through a new sweepstakes that spreads the word about a new store opening in Illinois.

To celebrate the launch of a new coffeehouse in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, consumers can enter via SMS for a chance to win a prize package. The campaign runs through Sept. 14.

?In launching a special mobile text-to-win sweepstakes in conjunction with the opening of our newest coffeehouse location in Oakbrook Terrace, Caribou Coffee hopes to engage the local community with the new store and Caribou brand, with a chance to win free beverages for the rest of the year,? said Alfredo Martel, senior vice president of marketing and product management at Caribou Coffee, Minneapolis.

?Utilizing SMS technology for this purpose made the most strategic sense in terms of maximizing participation levels,? he said.

Caribou Coffee claims to be the second largest company-operated premium coffeehouse operator in the United States with 585 coffeehouses, including 174 franchised locations.

Sip on mobile
To participate, consumers can text the keyword OAKBROOK to the short code 70626.

Consumers are then entered to win free drinks for one year at any Caribou Coffee location. The prize package is valued at $150.

To claim their prize, consumers will be asked to respond to a text message from the company with their mailing address. In order to win, consumers must be a resident of Oakbrook Terrace.

Additionally, by entering the contest consumers are automatically opted into Caribou Coffee?s SMS program.

The SMS message for the Caribou Coffee promotion

Opted-in users
Using SMS in conjunction with a new store opening is a great way for Caribou Coffee to build its list of opted-in consumers.

Given the medium?s wide reach for both smartphone and feature phone users, SMS helps establish a one-on-one relationship with consumers.

Being able to use SMS to push out relevant offers and deals could be particularly effective for Caribou Coffee since coffee is often a small, daily purchase for consumers.

Consumers always have their mobile device on-hand and by using time-sensitive offers the company is able to drive in-store traffic.

Caribou Coffee is not the only coffee chain banking on foot traffic to build a SMS program.

Earlier this year, Starbucks placed calls-to-action on in-store signage to encourage users to sign up for the company?s loyalty program ? My Starbucks Rewards (see story).

?At Caribou Coffee, we're always trying to find ways to be as relevant and engaging as possible with our fans,? Mr. Martel said.

?Therefore, as they spend more of their daily media consumption time with mobile, we plan to tap into this medium more and in ways that we feel will truly connect with them in order to continue delivering the meaningful and extraordinary experiences that Caribou has become known for,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York