Auntie Anne’s Gives Away ‘Pretzel Perks’

Soft pretzel maker Auntie Anne’s this week debuted a text messaging campaign, offering consumers coupons and discounts.
Developed by on-demand e-mail marketing solutions company ExactTarget, the campaign asks consumers to text “PRETZEL” to 80565 to receive coupons on their phones. Auntie Anne’s, which operates more than 1,000 stores in malls, airports and lifestyle centers, is looking to target hungry holiday shoppers.

Upon receiving the text message, Auntie Anne’s will send back an automated response asking consumers to reply back with a “defined keyword and e-mail address.” The technology then generates a downloadable coupon link, and users can share the offers with friends, per the company.
The campaign follows previous efforts by Auntie Anne’s to test the effectiveness of mobile couponing in local markets, said Emily Hopkins, consultant at Richards Relationship Marketing, which handles Auntie Anne’s e-mail marketing strategy. In August, the pretzel maker also ran an e-mail campaign where users received an automated welcome e-mail and birthday message. That campaign has posted “open rates in excess of 50 percent,” the company said.
The new effort aims to build consumer brand loyalty by having a coupon “waiting for them in their e-mail inbox, ready to drive them back in to the store,” Hopkins explained. The program targets consumers “at the point of purchase, literally at the exact moment they are experiencing the brand,” she added.
Auntie Anne’s is also driving the campaign via messaging on pretzel sleeves and cups. The pretzel company spent $105,000 on advertising in 2008, excluding online, and $107,000 through September of this year, per Nielsen.