Furniture shoppers are responding brilliantly to messaging campaigns from the retail chain Broad River Furniture of Charlotte, N.C. and upstate South Carolina. And mobileStorm 4.0 gets part of the credit.

Hey, we can\’t help but brag when ROI includes a whopping $20,000 in one day\’s revenue (!) generated when the chain announced a 12-hour sale by subscription message, sent out only the evening before the sale began.

It\’s an inspiring case of a seasoned marketer unfamiliar with digital messaging who quickly – thanks to an easy, all-encompassing platform and the wise use of best practices – executes successful campaign after successful campaign.

The Charlotte-based Broad River Furniture regional chain came to SMS marketing a bit reluctantly. Admits co-owner and COO Charlie Malouf, \”We were initially against the concept, because we thought that text message marketing was just annoying spam. Then we found out that it\’s not spam; instead, it\’s based on highly regulated permission marketing principles where you only send text messages to people who have opted in to subscribe and receive special offers.\”

This particular franchisee, which caters to mostly middle-class mainstream customers, wanted to get into text-messaging because they\’d heard of successful efforts from other owners in the network. Also, newspaper advertising no longer offered the same results. \”We wanted to find more effective means of advertising. We made the decision to shift dollars in our advertising budget to new media,\” Mr. Malouf said. He researched digital messaging extensively and, after contacting mobileStorm, realized the 360-degree difference between permission-based messaging and spam.

Once convinced, the company decided to engage in a multi-channel campaign. The hook? A text-messaging contest promising, \”Win Free Gas For A Year.\” The furniture chain ran TV, radio, newspaper, and even Facebook ads promoting a short code to which the gasoline-thirsty consumers could text keywords like GAS, PRIZE, and DRIVE in hopes of winning a year\’s worth of petroleum.

The campaign was beneficial in several ways. First, Broad River Furniture gathered contact information from consumers interested in subscribing to receive future messages. Second, the retailer was able to extrapolate which ads (and thus which TV stations and newspapers) generated the most response from consumers. Thus, the mobileStorm platform helped the furniture chain in both creating a permission-based database of subscribers and in measuring results from different aspects of the multi-channel campaign.

\”I wanted to know what\’s working by measuring which elements of our advertising were driving results. We had specific text keywords for each newspaper in our market and for each TV station in our market. This gave us never-before-seen insights into which of these specific traditional media avenues are most effective for us. I thought this was a huge benefit – using new media to test the response rates of traditional media,\” Mr. Malouf said.

The Free Gas Giveaway contest generated over 1,000 text-messaging subscribers. It was so successful that the company is quickly delving into other new media marketing strategies with mobileStorm; for example, it has added email campaigns powered by mobileStorm to its ad mix, beginning with a permission marketing coupon email sent to 27,000 customers last month. Mr Malouf said, \”Communicating with our customers via text messaging and email is so much more cost effective than standard direct mail, the reporting analytics are superb in determining the success of a promotion, and these efforts allow us to extend our reach of customers who are not reading the newspaper or watching TV.\”

Future plans for new media marketing include:

  • Special secret sales sent only to text and email subscribers.
  • Announcements of new furniture collections, since as Mr. Malouf said, \”We get new products in all the time and have no way of telling people\” about them immediately.
  • If amazing ROI, database-building, and improved customer relations weren\’t enough, the COO can think of one more positive reason for engaging in digital permission-based message marketing: \”One of the most fun parts of this is watching people sign up, watching the emails open from the mobileStorm platform\”¦ and, of course, watching customers when they get the text message!\”

    Eydie Cubarrubia
    Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
    “I’d rather you text me”