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Money Mailer revamps mobile strategy to increase reach

Money Mailer jumped head first into mobile this summer with a new mobile strategy that increases the reach of its coupons via a mobile Web site, an application and QR codes.

Previously, the direct marketer of coupons for local business looked to mobile only for some SMS messaging campaigns. However, now it is making a significant push into mobile because of the benefits to local businesses and consumers.

?This is definitely the start of an increase focused on the mobile side for Money Mailer,? said Chris Rimlinger, senior vice president of marketing at Money Mailer, Garden Grove, CA.

?Mobile is a huge part of our focus because it can help our small businesses and franchisees improve their reach from a mobile perspective,? she said.

?In addition, when we did consumer research, our consumers said they definitely want to hear from us when they are on the go using an app and that they are getting a lot more comfortable using smartphones to execute coupons.?

Mobile complements mail
Focus groups conducted by Money Mailer this spring showed that consumers remember the offers because they received them in the mail.

However, the Money Mailer audience also wants the ability to access the ads when they are on the go, the research showed.

?Consumers search online for a coupon because they?ve seen it before and know it?s out there since they?ve received our envelope,? Ms. Rimlinger said. ?But maybe they?ve misplaced it or didn?t bring it with them, so mobile helps increase reach of our coupons to consumers. ?

The iPhone app launched two weeks ago and has already had more than 1,000 downloads. An Android app will follow this month.

?The app gives consumers the opportunity to find businesses offering deals outside of where get they receive the Money Mailer envelope,? Ms. Rimlinger said. ?If they are at work or on vacation, they can find Money Mailer deals for those locations.?

In the app, coupons are sorted based on subcategories such as dining, auto or entertainment and distance.

The app is also geo-based, with users able to search for coupons from businesses up to 25 miles away.

Users can view the details of the offer using the app and see the physical coupon.

The coupons can be redeemed either by showing the app at a store or restaurant or via the code at the bottom of the coupons.

The thousands of businesses currently showing up in the Money Mailer envelope can be found in the mobile app.

Once the Android app is launched, Money Mailer will begin making its audience aware of the new offering with messaging in the physical mail piece.

In 2009, Money Mailer partnered with Coupons Inc. on an iPhone app enabling consumers to browse local businesses for savings (see story).

QR code strategy
The company also recently introduced its first national QR code campaign.

The mobile bar codes are appearing on the front of the Money Mailer envelope between June 30 and August 31.

Money Mailer recipients will be able to scan the QR codes with their smartphones and be directed to the mobile Web site for MoneyMailer.com. Here, consumers will find coupons for local businesses such as retailers, restaurants and home improvement that they can access and redeem while on the go.

The QR codes are being promoted via point-of-sale table tents that have been distributed to restaurants and other businesses.

The company is looking into building out its app presence by providing services around QR codes for local businesses so that can place QR codes on their coupons that will take consumers to a menu or Web site.

The mobile Web site has just launched. It takes users to page where they can key in their ZIP Code and then they can search for coupons based on their location.

?We feel that mobile piece is a huge complement to what we do,? Ms. Rimlinger said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer