Surf shop uses text messages to pull in waves of customers in just five hours

The retailer paid $215 for a text promotion that helped garner $6,000 in sales.

Katie Evans

It’s easy to forget where mobile commerce started.

With the alluring mobile technology available on smartphones today—from augmented reality that uses a smartphone’s camera to transform static images into video to m-commerce sites that use the HTML5 programming language to exploit a smartphone’s GPS technology—mobile marketing and sales basics like text messages and short codes can easily get shoved to the background.

However, 50% of U.S. mobile phones still are basic feature phones, according to market research firm Nielsen, so there’s still much to be gained through simpler forms of mobile marketing.


Jack’s Surfboards, a Southern California retail chain of surf shops that sells surfboards, clothing and accessories, used basic SMS, or short message service, and multimedia messaging, or MMS, for a recent promotion at its Corona Del Mar store. The retailer, which sells the popular Tom’s brand of shoes, had commissioned a local artist to customize every pair of Tom’s shoes purchased.

Jack’s Surfboards used the Trumpia mobile marketing platform to send out 4,023 text messages and 8,114 e-mails to its opt-in database on the day before the event. Jack’s Surfboards sold about $6,000 or 140 pairs of Tom’s shoes at the five-hour, one-day event.

Jack’s Surfboards conducted five similar campaigns for several of its stores over a period of about a month. For a total cost of $215, Jack’s Surfboards sent out a combined total of nearly 50,000 e-mails and more than 13,000 SMS text messages.

Using SMS, Jack’s Surfboards also has been able to significantly grow its opt-in list by advertising all of its upcoming VIP discount and promotional events on in-store posters. Those posters encourage new customers to opt in to receive information by texting JACKS to its telecommunications short code, 69302.

Before using Trumpia, Jack’s Surfboards only captured customer data by requesting e-mail addresses at checkout.

“We can now reach more customers in less time,” says Nicole Stratton, marketing coordinator for Jack’s Surfboards. “Our mobile keyword JACKS and the short code allow us to continuously capture data from our target customers. Since we began sending out multichannel campaigns, our message open and customer response rates have greatly improved in comparison to the results that singularly focused, e-mail-only campaigns produced for us in the past.”





e-mail marketing, m-commerce, MMS, Mobile, mobile commerce, Mobile marketing, mobile text messages, Multimedia Messaging Service, opt-in, short message service, SMS, Trumpia