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Texas Roadhouse generates 37pc installation rate for Passbook pass effort

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February 11, 2013

Steakhouse chain Texas Roadhouse is leveraging Apple’s Passbook as well as text messaging in two separate campaigns that successfully drove customer engagement.

For the Passbook initiative, Texas Roadhouse distributed offers to mobile subscribers on Veterans Day based on their proximity to a location and saw a 37 percent installation rate. The campaign built on the launch of a text-based loyalty club several months earlier.

“Casual dining restaurants such as Texas Roadhouse should see Passbook as an easy-to-use and convenient channel to distribute timely and relevant content to customers,” said Alex Campbell, chief innovation officer at Vibes, Chicago.

“When it comes time to make dinner plans, diners are turning to their phones to decide where to go, and Passbook offers and promotions are stored right there on their phones,” he said. “When you consider the location-aware feature of Passes, Passbook becomes a great tool for marketers to connect with their loyal customers and should be incorporated into a brand’s overall marketing strategy.

Veterans Day promotion
In November 2012, Texas Roadhouse was one of the first brands to pilot a new Passbook solution from Vibes for easily building Passbook passes.

Passbook is a mobile app from Apple that lets users store tickets, cards and coupons in one location.

For Veterans Day, Texas Roadhouse created the Veterans Day Pass, which offered a free lunch to veterans and active military.

To share the offer with local veterans, Texas Roadhouse leveraged Vibes’ Passbook solution to distribute the offer to opted-in members of its text loyalty club based on their proximity to one of 20 pilot locations.  

Texas Roadhouse also leveraged Passbook to send a reminder to customers who installed the pass as well as to users who were in proximity of one of the pilot locations.  

For those club members who did not have an iOS 6 device, they were sent the same content via a mobile Web landing page.

The Veterans Day Passbook initiative generated a 37 percent pass installation rate, with 32 percent of users who clicked through redeeming the offer for lunch.

Additionally, 84 percent reported going to lunch because of the offer.

The Veterans Day promotion built on the early success Texas Roadhouse has had with a new mobile loyalty club that launched in June 2012.

Local messaging
The TextUs Loyalty Club was launched in 20 locations, with the restaurant using in-restaurant calls-to-action to drive opt-ins. This enabled local Texas Roadhouse locations to communicate unique promotions will still focusing on the national brand.

Texas Roadhouse also promoted the campaign via email and Facebook.

Once diners opted-in to the club, they received a welcome message with a free appetizer offer. Diners were given the option to visit a Web form to sign up to receive additional birthday and anniversary offers.

The TextUs Loyalty Club achieved a 45 percent net growth rate during its first six months and a 17 percent average offer redemption rate. Additionally, four percent of promotional sales were driven via mobile. 

“The ability to reach a national audience with a local message is critical for Texas Roadhouse,” Mr. Campbell said. “Mobile helps them do this by providing a national channel that can communicate custom content based on each specific location. 

As they finalize their marketing programs for 2013, retailers are including Passbook as a new activation channel for ongoing promotions, events and offers – and even looking to augment their loyalty programs with Passes,” he said.

“We believe Passbook is a game changer and expect marketers to take advantage of this exciting new channel.”

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

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