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Town East Mall drives mobile text club with Father’s Day, graduation sweepstakes

June 1, 2012

The mall is promoting a Father’s Day, graduation mobile sweepstakes

The Town East Mall in Mesquite, TX, is running a text-to-win sweepstakes that encourages shoppers to join the mall’s mobile club for a chance to win a gift for Father’s Day or someone who is graduating.

The Dads & Grads Sweepstakes gives shoppers a chance to win daily prizes as well as one of several bigger prizes by texting DADS112 to the short code 50304. Tying the mobile promotion to events such as Father’s Day and graduation is a great way to grab shoppers’ attention while they are in the mall looking for a gift.

“Collecting opt-ins is key for longer-term marketing initiatives, and a text to win promotion is a strategic jump start to any mobile relationship between a retailer and its consumers,” said David Wachs, senior vice president of mobile  and general manager at Cellit: ePrize Mobile Solutions, Chicago. “Because mobile phones are a very personal device, consumers always expect to get extra value from the exchange, so a chance-based program is a very smart tactic.

“Retailers should look at chance-based promotions as an opportunity to be top of mind during key holiday shopping opportunities,” he said. “EPrize has many retail clients using short-term promotions to increase their databases and start a dialogue in the mobile space.”

Mr. Wachs is not affiliated with the Town East Mall and spoke based on his experience in mobile.

The mall’s operator General Growth Properties was not able to respond to press inquiries by the deadline.

Daily prizes
The promotion is running between May 21 and June 17.

Each day that someone texts in, that consumer will be entered to win one of several prizes such as a golf trip for two, a Dell laptop computer or a Weber Grill that will be given away at the end of the promotion.

Customers are limited to one entry per person per day.

There are daily prizes as well, with one entrant winning a $25 gift card at the end of each day.

The sweepstakes is being promoted on the mall’s Facebook timeline and on the events page of its Web site.

Shoppers can enter without texting by visiting the site

General Growth Properties has been active in mobile, using it  to build a relationship with shoppers and, as a result, helping to drive sales and traffic for its retail tenants. For example, the mall operator offers an app that includes a game that gives users a chance to win a prize and which 18 percent of users play every day (see story).

Mobile promotions such as the Dads & Grads Sweepstakes is another way the company is trying to initiate an ongoing dialogue with mobile users.

“We see a three-pronged approach to our most successful text-to-win programs,” Mr. Wachs said. “First, target your key consumers with an appealing prize lineup, and keep the entry method simple.

“Second, don’t turn out the lights,” he said. “Going dark after a successful promotion means you’ll risk missing out on the opportunity to keep the mobile conversation alive.

“Develop a strategic CRM program with highly relevant content. Finally, fine tune the right offers against the right communication cadence to best leverage mobile in your marketing mix.”

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