September 2, 2010, 10:49 AM

Text P for Pizza

A pizza franchise boosts sales during slow periods using text messages.

Lead Photo

Shakey’s USA Inc., operator of the Shakey’s Pizza Parlors franchise, has found a way to boost sales during its slow periods. The secret ingredient? Text messages.

For three months the company posted advertisements promoting its text message campaign in 30 Shakey’s restaurants in Southern California, as well as in print and outdoor media. The campaign sought to build a database of mobile consumers.

The ads asked consumers to text particular words to a specific short message service (SMS) text message number to receive coupons or discounts for the restaurant.

Each ad featured different words so the results of each ad could be tracked. For example, one ad asked consumers to text the word “party” to the SMS code to receive information about throwing a pizza party. Lansman says the ads with the highest text-in rates were the ones that appeared in Shakey’s restaurants. By responding to the ad via text, consumers also opted in to receive more promotional messages from Shakey’s.

One promotion, which offered a coupon for a discounted pizza purchase, received a 10% response rate even though the coupon was valid for only one day and ran when Shakey’s expected business to be slow.

In total, the ads recruited more than 16,000 pizza fans to receive Shakey’s offers.

“All told, franchisees were pleased with the success of our mobile advertising efforts and we will continue to expand this strategy,” a Shakey’s spokesman says.

Options Media Group provided the mobile application to run the text campaign and built the resulting database. 

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