Sandbar’s Marketing Director, Vid Bahadur, grasped the value of wireless communication when used for direct marketing. He also saw huge future growth potential: powerful marketing tools such as multimedia messages (hyperlink to MMS), including streaming commercial clips. Bahadur decided that the time was right to start turning Sandbar’s customers into subscribers, and recognized the potential to then leverage that existing subscriber base for future projects.
In this case study, you'll see how Sandbar set up a direct, personalized system for delivering marketing messages to a targeted group of opt-in subscribers using group texting.
In order to segment their customer base by demographic, Sandbar chose four keywords: SPLASH (Fridays) and SALSA (Saturdays) for their general mailing lists, and SANDBAR and BOTTLES for their VIP reservation mailing lists.
Although Sandbar had an existing phone database of over 10,000 numbers, they recognized the strategic importance of growing 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, specifying that this channel 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 took 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 leveraged available resources. Other campaigns included:
- In-venue ticket giveaways: They 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: distributed 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. At the present time-- after three months of use -- their text message campaigns reach over 4,500 subscribers. On average, subscribers receive 1-2 messages per week.
Sandbar made 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 was able to run successful marketing campaigns without printed materials or online support -- they are instead able to rely exclusively on the Club Texting system.