Zaxby?s strengthens SMS efforts via in-store calls-to-action

Fast food chain Zaxby?s is rolling out a mobile campaign that aims at helping franchise owners build their mobile databases to send out targeted SMS messages.

Zaxby?s is loading its collateral with SMS calls-to-action with keywords that are specific to individual stores. Zaxby?s is working with Hipcricket on this initiative.

"Quick-service restaurants wisely use mobile to reach consumers at the right time with the right offers,? said Doug Stovall, executive vice president of sales and services at Hipcricket, New York.

?Mobile is a valuable way to keep the brand top-of-mind with consumers at all times of the day,? he said.

Athens, GA-based Zaxby?s is a fast food chain that specializes in chicken dishes, including sandwiches, wings and salads. Zaxby's operates more than 560 locations in 13 states, primarily in the Southeast. 

Fast fingers
With the new program, Zaxby?s will let franchise owners leverage mobile to target its database of users. Zaxby?s claims to have a database of 50,000 users.

Franchise owners will be able to place mobile calls-to-action on marketing collateral and bags.

The calls-to-action will be rolled out across counter cards that are placed near the point-of-sale, drive-thru signage, cards on tables and bag stuffers.

Consumers will be prompted to text in a unique keyword to the short code 56593.

Users then opt-in to an SMS program to receive updates from the location.

The goal of the program is to build up Zaxby?s databases at a local level. Franchise owners can then target local consumers with restaurant-specific news.

Zaxby?s developed the mobile program with its agency ? St. John & Partners ? and is using Hipcricket?s Ad Life platform to roll out the campaign.

Zaxby?s is also currently developing other mobile initiatives with the mobile advertising and marketing company, per Hipcricket.

In addition to SMS, Zaxby?s also has a mobile Web site and applications for Android and iPhone devices that let consumers place online orders for in-store pick-up in participating locations.

Additionally, consumers can download ringtones for BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices from the company?s Web site.

Online ordering on Zaxby's mobile site

Long-lasting relationship
SMS is a workhorse when it comes to mobile marketing.

In this case, Zaxby?s is able to build a one-on-one relationship with consumers via SMS at a local level.

Zaxby?s is not the only quick-service restaurant to ramp up its SMS efforts lately.

For example, White Castle recently rolled out a customized mobile alerts program that sends opted-in users alerts and unique coupons (see story).

Additionally, KFC recently used SMS to increase participation for a sweepstakes around the Country Music Awards (see story).

"SMS is universal and is a fast way for consumers to interact with a brand. Its ease of use allows consumers to quickly opt into the Zaxby's mobile program while waiting to place an in-store order or receiving their meal,? Mr. Stovall said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York