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Starbucks relies on SMS to help promote Frappuccino Happy Hour

Starbucks is letting coffee lovers know about its upcoming Frappuccino Happy Hour via an SMS initiative that sends out daily reminders to consumers.

Starbucks sent out an email blast to its My Starbucks Rewards consumers earlier this week. The email included an SMS call to action.

?Long before SMS was so widely adopted, I worked at an agency on a campaign that reminded consumers with a reveille call in front of coffee houses that they needed an afternoon wakeup,? said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at Hipcricket.

?Starbucks? unrelated program takes into account the fact that mobile users quickly look at text messages,? he said.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Starbucks. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Starbucks did not respond to press inquiries.

Cup of mobile
Via the email campaign, Starbucks is encouraging consumers to text the keyword HAPPY to the short code 697289.

When consumers text-in they receive a message thanking them for signing up for a Frappuccino Happy Hour reminder.

Additionally, if consumers want to opt out of the reminders they can reply STOP HAPPY.

The campaign is a great way for Starbucks to keep its users in the know of any ongoing promotions.

Although an email campaign is a good way to let consumers know about the promotion, SMS is ideal for keeping that conversation going.

By having consumers opt-in, Starbucks is also building a relationship with both new and existing customers.

From there, the coffee giant is able to send other relevant messages to engage consumers.

King of SMS
Starbucks is no stranger to SMS.

Earlier this year, the company ramped up its mobile strategy and encouraged consumers to sign up for its My Starbucks Rewards program via an in-store call to action.

Via the My Starbucks Rewards program, consumers can earn rewards when they pay with their Starbucks Card. Free drinks and refills are one of the perks of the program (see story).

?It also plays on the effectiveness of a permission-based SMS that gives a consumer what he or she wants,? Mr. Hasen said.

?Email doesn?t provide such immediacy, so employing SMS in this case is smart,? he said. 

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York