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How Redbox keeps its SMS program interesting for subscribers

In the latest example of how Redbox continues to push the envelope on SMS marketing, the company sent out a text message to subscribers encouraging them to click on a link to be taken to a scratch-off surprise deal.

Consumers opted into Redbox?s SMS program recently received a text message with the copy ?It?s time to reveal a deal.? The text instructed recipients to click on an embedded hyperlink from a touch screen phone to be able to ?scratch? for a surprise deal.

?What we love about Redbox here at Tatango is the fact that they're constantly putting new spins on SMS marketing,? said Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango.

?For example, one day they're collecting emails via text message, the next they're running an SMS contest, and now they're using SMS messaging to push customers to an interactive mobile Web experience,? he said.

?Customers get bored when brands send the same old coupons via SMS each week, and Redbox has been doing a good job of keeping their customers entertained by constantly riffing on the basic text message.?

Redbox's mobile partner is 3Cinteractive, who provided the solution for this program. 

Tatango is not affiliated with Redbox. Mr. Johnson provided comments based on his experience. 

Messaging mojo
Clicking on the link brought recipients to a mobile Web site with an image of a Redbox movie vending machine. Recipients could run their finger across the screen to scratch away the surface and reveal a mobile coupon underneath.

The campaign is an example of brands are stepping up their SMS efforts with enhanced interactivity and rich media.

SMS is still a great way to reach a broad mobile audience and drive response rates, which is why brands such as Starbucks, Redbox, Wet Seal and others have invested in building their opted-in mobile database.

However, as mobile adoption grows and new technologies continue to emerge, such as push notifications, augmented reality and more, savvy marketers are looking for ways to jazz up their SMS programs.

For example, Starbucks took a whimsical approach earlier this year with mobile messaging marketing program with messages featuring different humorous takes on how much some consumers like Frappuccinos (see story). 

Gaining subscriber insight
The scratch-off mobile coupon is the latest example of how Redbox continues to innovate on the mobile messaging front.

Last year, Redbox ran a ?10 Days of Deals? SMS promotion resulted in 400,000 customers participating during the 10-day event, generating over 1.5 million messages. During the promotion, recipients were encouraged to text a keyword to a short code each day for a chance to save between 10 cents and $.150 off their next rental.

Redbox also advertises its SMS program on its Facebook page and uses text messages to encourage sign-ups for its email list.

By pushing an interactive coupon, Redbox is taking its SMS marketing to the next level with a strategy that will help it gain meaningful insight into its subscribers.

?An interactive SMS campaign like this does two things for Redbox,? Mr. Johnson said. ?The first thing is that it reduces subscriber churn, as running different types of promotions that are both engaging and new ensure that subscribers don't opt-out due to the same type of promotions being ran week after week.

?The second is that these interactive SMS campaigns give really good insight for brands into how engaged their audience is,? he said. ?By requiring some sort of action from a subscriber, like clicking a link, will tell Redbox what percentage of their subscribers are engaging, which is extremely import to a brand like Redbox.?

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