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7-Eleven propels mobile efforts with timely SMS campaign

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is leveraging its SMS database this holiday season to drive consumers in-store with a time-sensitive campaign.

On Dec. 1, 7-Eleven sent an SMS message to its opted-in users to promote its peppermint bark donut. 7-Eleven has dipped its toes into multiple mobile channels to drive foot traffic.

?7-Eleven?s marketing campaign for this holiday season is ?Done. Done. Done,?? said Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas.

?Because our customers are always on the go, we are a great place for them to finish off their gift list by purchasing gift cards, stocking stuffers or indulge in a little self-gifting by treating themselves to a peppermint-mocha cappuccino or a peppermint bark long john,? she said.

?This particular holiday offer is for all customers.  The incentive is to share a new, seasonal bakery item with a ?buy one, get one for $.50 off? with friends or family members at the office, school, home or to consume themselves.?

Tis the season
The 7-Eleven message reads, ?Coupons! Buy 1 peppermint bark donut, get 50 cents off the second.?

The message includes a link that users can click to unlock the mobile coupon.

The offer runs through Dec. 15.

When users click on the link, they are directed to a mobile landing page that asks if it is OK to use the mobile device?s built-in GPS to find the nearest store.

The mobile site then features a 7-Eleven mobile coupon with the company?s logo and the details of the offer.

To redeem the coupon, users swipe across the screen to validate the offer.

The coupon then becomes time-sensitive and must be used within 15 minutes.

SMS is traditionally used by marketers to push out timely offers, but 7-Eleven?s initiative takes it a step further by adding location to the mix.

Essentially, 7-Eleven is closing the loop on its mobile coupon efforts with location and time.

Mobile past
7-Eleven has been active in the mobile space for a while.

Often times, the company?s mobile initiatives tie into broader, multichannel campaigns.

For instance, 7-Eleven used the recent presidential election to spark interest in a new Slurpee flavor and build the company?s SMS database. The initiative also wound into social media (see story).

Additionally, the brand used an interactive Pandora campaign over the summer to drive users to try new Slurpee flavors. The campaign also included rewards and sweepstakes (see story).

Furthermore, 7-Eleven partnered with Coca Cola?s Powerade brand earlier this year on a QR code initiative around March Madness (see story).

?7-Eleven launched mobile coupons this past summer as a way to engage customers in new products and offers,? Ms. Chabris said.

?The strategy is to use SMS to continue driving new and engaged customer traffic to our stores for product trial and awareness,? she said.

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