Omaha Cold Stone Creamery Stores Begin Texting!
It would seem questionable for an ice cream shop to kick off a text marketing campaign during September, let alone any ad program. Because in the Midwest, September is when hot days become warm, nights go from bearable to jacket weather and ice cream shops hunker down till the next spring. So when we met with Lon Nichols, regional manager with Cold Stone Creamery, about doing a future text coupon program with his three Omaha stores we were surprised when he wanted to start in September!
Lon was looking at the bigger picture. If he could begin now to slowly build up that customer data base over six months he would have a sizable bank of phone numbers to blast out text offers by next summer. And while the data base was growing, he could send out text discounts for buying Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cakes over the holiday season.
In our meeting with Lon, my text marketing partner Steve Morse recognized a great opportunity to jump start the sign-up process. On September 24th, all the Cold Stone Creamery stores nationwide were having their annual ice cream social for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That evening, when you donate to Make-A-Wish at the store, you get a free dish of their homemade ice cream. In previous years the turn out has been huge—even in Omaha in September. Steve proposed that we print up business cards promoting the text marketing to hand out that evening, encouraging customers to opt-in now for future text specials. He and I would attend and personally invite as many as possible to receive Cold Stone Creamery coupons on their phones.
The evening of Thursday September 24th was beautiful and the people came. Steve and I each took a store and handed out a bunch of cards. We watched some people opt-in right on the spot to get their first text coupon. The text promotion signage was also up in the stores and Lon made it a point for his employees to opt-in themselves and be more familiarto persuade customers to sign up. The kick-off effort was good. By the end of the weekend over 75 people joined in to receive the initial text coupon on their phone! So for September, the text marketing campaign for Cold Stone Creamery in Omaha is off to an encouraging start.