Sandbar USA Text Messaging Case Study
Sandbar is a two acre entertainment complex on the water overlooking Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. A New Jersey landmark for over 20 years, Sandbar annually leads beer & liquor sales for the entire state of New Jersey—operating only 6 months out of the year.
Sandbar’s Marketing Director, Vid Bahadur, saw the value of wireless communication when used for direct marketing. He also saw huge growth potential for the future: powerful marketing tools such as multimedia messages, including streaming commercial clips. Sandbar decided that the time was right to start turning their customers into subscribers, recognizing the potential to then leverage that existing subscriber base for future projects.
When Sandbar decided to setup a direct, personalized system to deliver marketing messages to a targeted group of opt-in subscribers, they partnered with Club Texting.
In order to segment their customer base by demographic, Sandbar chose four keywords: SPLASH (Fridays) and SALSA (Saturdays) for their general mailing lists; SANDBAR and BOTTLES for their VIP reservation mailing lists.
Although Sandbar had an existing phone database of over 10,000 numbers, they wanted to grow a 100% opt-in texting list from scratch. They kicked off their campaign at the start of the 2007 season with three mailers: direct mail, hand delivered fliers, and email messages. The initial push offered all subscribers free admission, adding that this was the only way to gain free admission to the club. Within one month, they amassed 1,500 numbers.
Over the next few months, Sandbar expanded their texting promotions to include in-venue signage, radio, online, and all print materials. Sandbar’s text campaigns often take advantage of circumstances. If they had surplus supplies, ongoing promotions, or spare capacity, they used a text messaging campaign to address or exploit the particular situation. The results have shown that these campaigns were both effective, and efficient, as they took advantage of available resources.
- Other campaigns included:
- In-venue ticket giveaways: Announced a sponsored Yankees ticket giveaway during club nights, selecting one lucky winner the following Monday.
- VIP bottle service for a lucky winner on slower nights
- Last-minute text at 11pm to increase traffic on a rainy Friday night. Offered free shuttle service from parking lots to venue with text coupon: sent to 1,500 subscribers, 200 people showed up (13% Response Rate).
- In-venue offers: handed out on business cards to push a specific product at a discounted price for text subscribers
Within the first month of using the service, Sandbar collected over 1,500 numbers in total. At the present time, after three months of use, their text message campaigns now reach over 4,500 subscribers. On average, subscribers receive 1-2 messages per week.
Sandbar makes a point to give back to their customers, offering something in almost every one of their text blasts.
For the first time in its history, Sandbar has been able to run successful marketing campaigns without printed materials or online support. Instead they are able to rely exclusively upon the Club Texting system.