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Express taps rich media messaging to activate GQ Magazine contest

Fashion retailer Express is betting on rich media messaging for a seasonal campaign with Condé Nast?s men?s magazine GQ that awards one selected entrepreneur with a grant based on public votes submitted via text. 

Leveraging Iris Mobile's Rich Media Messaging platform, the Back-to-Business campaign will award one voter with a trip to New York City for a tour through GQ?s headquarters and a $1,000 Express shopping spree, creating incentive for the public to participate. Users will receive optimized images and video when sent a response, which will seek to entice them to respond further compared with ordinary text-only experiences via SMS.

?The campaign is a great way to promote the contributions of the entrepreneurs, while allowing Express customers to get engaged and participate in the experience,? said Cezar Kolodziej, president, CEO and co-founder of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

Text to win
Users can learn more about the four finalists in the September issue of GQ, where there is a spread about each finalist and prompts for readers to cast their vote.

To participate, voters submit their vote by texting a unique code for each participant to Express at 397737.

Express then sends a shareable video message from their chosen contestant, and Express encourages users to share this video on social Web sites to spread awareness.

Once users vote, they permanently opt into Express? messaging registry, enabling the retailer to retarget those users for future campaigns, incentives and coupons.

The Iris Mobile platform supports the collection of votes, the collection of sweepstakes entries and the delivery of engaging video content as it relates to each finalist. 

Pushing towards mobile
Express has made a recent priority to incorporate mobile in its bricks-and-mortar establishments to drive more interactive engagement. 

In March, Express doubled down on mobile in-store offers to drive sales across channels while at the same time attracting new customers.

While the retailer pushes offers through its own application and site, the retailer saw increasing value in promoting the offers through third-party app RetailMeNot. By tapping into RetailMeNot?s audience, Express was able to attract new consumers who otherwise would not have noticed the retailer (see story).

In July, retailer Wet Seal used Iris Mobile for a campaign using Rich Media Messaging as well.

The retailer elevated its mobile messaging strategy with rich media, including images, video and social links, to meet the increasingly sophisticated mobile needs of its target audience.

With a predominantly young female customer who actively embraces mobile for staying in touch with friends, the latest trends and their favorite brands, retail chain Wet Seal recognized a need to evolve beyond its previous text-based SMS strategy. The new Rich Media Messaging program was also provided in partnership with Iris Mobile, which has seen similar programs for other clients double response rates (see story).

?Rich media messaging is the only messaging technology that enables the distribution of optimized images, video and content to each user?s device, resulting in engagement rates that are typically double those of SMS due to a seamless user experience and interactive content,? Mr. Kolodziej said. 

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York