May 12, 2011, 11:14 AM

Retailers drive traffic and sales with text messages

Up to 34% of consumers who receive text ads redeem them, survey reveals.

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Up to 35% of consumers who have opted in toreceive targeted promotional text messages from a retailer or brand subsequently visit that store or e-retail site, according to research conducted by Placecast Inc., a vendor of text-based marketing services.

And among consumers who visit a store or web site, up to 34% report redeeming the coupon or promotion offered in the text. Placecast surveyed a panel of consumers to understand their actions and also analyzed its clients’ redemption data and analytics to come up with its findings.

Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman says redemption rates can vary, from 11% on the low end to more than 65% depending on how appealing the offer is.

“We’ve seen some outliers, as high as 65%, when a retailer delivers a great promotion for an impulse item,” he says.

Placecast clients include outdoor gear retailer The North Face and apparel retailer White House Black Market. The North Face is a unit of VF Corp., No. 138 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. White House Black Market is a unit of Chicos FAS Inc., which is No. 129.

AT&T also entered a partnership with Placecast earlier this year to provide consumers a way to deliver messages from retailers or brands to AT&T customers when they are near store locations or stores that sell the brand’s products. A consumer within a certain geographic range of a Kmart store, for example, may receive a coupon or other offer to redeem with the retailer. Or the consumer might receive an alert from home cleaning products manufacturer S.C. Johnson about a special on its Pledge furniture cleaner at the nearby Kmart. Up to 90% of consumers surveyed indicate they find the text message alerts useful.

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