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Carl’s Jr. franchise SMS offer generates 17pc redemption rate

August 26, 2013

Carl's Jr. drives foot traffic via SMS

A Carl’s Jr. franchise with 40 locations in Oklahoma and Texas credits some recent high redemption rates with SMS coupons to the ability to push out aggressive, local offers.

The Carl’s Jr. Star Chasers Oklahoma, Inc. franchise consists of 40 locations in Oklahoma and Texas, and the company uses SMS marketing to primarily push out offers to engage consumers at specific store levels. The company works with Tetherball on its mobile marketing efforts.

“From a local marketing standpoint, text messaging is the only medium we use to connect with our loyal consumers,” said Steve Anthony, president of Star Chasers Oklahoma, Inc., Ardmore, OK.

“Our text messaging program is used in conjunction with our other marketing initiatives, including the Carl’s Jr. application promoted nationally, but locally it is the only way we engage our loyal consumers,” he said.

Deal on mobile
Consumers in Oklahoma and Texas can opt-in to the Carl’s Jr. SMS program by texting in the keyword CARL’s JR. to the short code 263333. By doing so, consumers sign up for four to five text messages per month.

The offer that triggered the 17 percent redemption rate was sent on June 18 for a promotion on a Jim Beam burger. According to Carl’s Jr., the offer had a 13:1 return on investment for the brand.

Additionally, an offer sent on May 14 for a $6 burger combo had a 14:1 return on investment and a 19 percent redemption rate. An offer for a Western Bacon Cheeseburger combo raked in an 18 percent redemption rate and a 19:1 return on investment on April 16.

A ZIP code is also collected during the opt-in that helps the chain track membership at a store level and send targeted offers to segments of consumers.

Carl’s Jr. has been using SMS for three years and promotes its program via a call-to-action on printed receipts, word of mouth and a digital message that appears on-screen after consumers place a drive-thru order.

A recent Carl’s Jr. SMS message

Driving foot traffic
Similar to other fast food companies, the goal with SMS for the Carl’s Jr. franchise is to get an aggressive offer in front of a consumer to drive incremental, spontaneous foot traffic.

Other fast food giants have also seen success with SMS at a local level.

For example, select Subway franchises partnered with O2 More to roll out geo-targeted SMS messages in 2011 (see story).

Although some experts argue that SMS is not one of the most effective mobile tactics, Matthew Lesher, vice president and chief operating officer at Tetherball, Indianapolis, IN, disagrees.

“Text messaging provides Carl’s Jr. with the opportunity to engage their loyal consumers on a one-to-one basis directly on their mobile phone,” he said.

“By signing up to receive text messages, the loyal consumer is electing to receive messages in an intimate manner, making it even more effective for the loyal consumer. SMS text messages have open rates of close to 90 percent and are read within the first three minutes of receipt, making it one of the most immediate and effective forms of consumer engagement.”

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

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