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Belle Tire SMS campaign sees 55 percent opt-in

April 29, 2010

belle-tirePlease click here to listen to the archived webinar 

Retailer Belle Tire saw a 55 percent opt-in rate for its Mobile Advantage club after offering consumers $20 off its products for participating.

During an hour-long Hipcricket-sponsored Mobile Marketer webinar, Belle Tire illustrated the success that SMS and mobile coupons provide retailers. The webinar panel was moderated by Mobile Marketer’s Dan Butcher.

“We started to think of what other ways we can grow our database and the mobile platform stuck out,” said Don Barnes, marketing manager at Belle Tire, Allen Park, MI. “We had close to 20 percent coupon redemption.”

“One thing about our success is the offer and whether it is a text platform or email platform, it’s whatever is best for the customer,” he said. “We want to reward the people that continue to do business with Belle Tire and this is the best type of advertising.”

Consumers were asked to text TIRE to short code 90302.

Here is a screen grab of the SMS communication:



Belle Tire goes mobile
Belle Tire soon ran another mobile campaign to beef up its mobile database.

The company built a loyalty program to reward its most loyal consumers.

Belle Tire wanted to establish an ROI on traditional advertising including TV and radio and tagged existing TV and radio spots with mobile calls to action.

Consumers were asked to text the keyword WINGS to short code 90392.

Those who entered the keyword received a $20-off coupon for their next purchase at Belle Tire.

Participants were then invited to join the Belle Tire Mobile Advantage program – 77 percent opted into the club.

“By giving them a $20 bill it incentives them to choose us instead of one of our competitors,” Mr. Barnes said. “Any of these campaigns, they all have got to complement each other because you’re able to get that customer and fill their needs.

“When it comes to tires, no one wants to buy tires and it is very low frequency,” he said. “Sometimes people don’t even buy tires, but we really wanted to reward our customers who continuously go here.”

Here is the SMS communication for the WINGS keyword:


In addition to its TV and radio spots, there were offers in advertising around Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Michigan State Spartans games.

Belle Tire used different keywords such as WINGS, GREEN and DUNK to track interactions.

All keywords prompted consumers to reply BELLE to opt-in for the database and get a coupon.

Belle Tire plans to use mobile to better its overall consumer experience and improve ease of use.

Additionally, Belle Tire will conduct SMS customer surveys and SMS service reminders. It will encourage survey participation via coupon offers:


“We want to reward people that continuously work hard,” Mr. Barnes said. “Especially because they’ve been continuously part of the database and advantage club.

“Text has been working very successfully with Belle Tire,” he said. “It’s the ease of use and they don’t have to sit on their computer and it’s been very easy to redeem.”

Mobile coupon challenges
Eric Harber, president and COO of Hipcricket addressed several challenges with mobile coupons.

The challenges include the delivery to end users, tracking end-to-end and measurability such as the point of sale conversion, redemption, basket size and lifetime value of consumers.

The portability of mobile coupons is an advantage.

“The majority of shoppers still get their coupons from newspapers, but we’re seeing some change in that regard,” Mr. Harber said. “It’s important to measure and track how coupons are accessed.”

“Text message coupons are quick and simple and reach everyone – almost everyone is familiar with texting,” he said. “Bar codes are good too, but the difficulty is that different consumers have different phones.”

“The quality of the camera phone is a determining factor – some cameras have a hard time with bar codes.”

According to Yankee Group, 73 percent of consumers want to receive a mobile coupon.

In addition, the number of mobile coupons redeemed in the United States is set to increase more than tenfold in 2010, followed by triple-digit increases in both 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Harber gave an example of coupon use. The Coffee Bean used a call-to-action on a radio spot to drive its sales.

Consumers were encouraged to text the keyword BEAN to a short code to receive a free coffee mobile coupon.

Coffee Bean revised its advertising after viewing the response rate in real-time and tailored the offer for optimal ROI.

“The results are interesting,” Mr. Harber said. “They drove people into their retail locations, which they wanted to be the case.

“You can use mobile coupons without spending a lot of money,” he said.  

“With personalized coupons you see higher redemption rates.”

According to Mr. Harber, a company can have its campaign up-and-running in minutes.

“Companies need to determine whether their mobile coupons campaigns are going to be push or pull campaigns, choose a format, such as bar codes or text messaging, create a coupon and send it out,” Mr. Harber said.

“The time is here and mobile coupons should be integrated into a company’s marketing plan,” he said. “The efficiency is pretty straight forward – launch an SMS campaign first and make sure that you don’t charge consumers to receive the coupon.”

Please click here to listen to the archived webinar

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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