Subway Taps Mobile Coupons

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Select Subway restaurants are using a new tool to reach consumers with discount coupons and menu specials— cell phones.

This week, Buffalo, NY-area consumers can sign up for the Mobile Alerts Club at any one of the 12 Buffalo restaurants or by sending a text message from their cell phone with the code 7299 to 35562. Under the program, consumers can receive coupons, last-minute specials and event alerts on their cell phones. Customers redeem coupons by entering their cell phone numbers at Subway cash registers. The program is free to join, though standard text message rates apply.

The 12 Subway franchises, owned by Buffalo-based QSR Brands, are the first to market mobile coupons to opt-in customers. The goal of the program is to help merchants like Subway increase store sales and improve customer loyalty. MobileLime, a Watertown, MA-based mobile technology service provider, handles.

“Most people carry around cell phones with them,” MobileLime CEO Robert Wesley said. “We’re trying to rid clutter in [customers] wallets. This really creates a one-to-one relationship with customers.”

The program is designed to help Subway franchisees better communicate with customers and understand their buying habits, Wesley said. Subway launched the Buffalo-area program in an attempt to gain an edge over competitors. Typically, paper coupons earn a 2% to 3% redemption rate. Mobile coupons normally have a double digit response, Wesley said.

“It’s all about delivering the right information at the right time,” he said. “There’s nothing to carry. The information is all at your fingertips.”

During a test of the mobile program in select Buffalo-area Subway restaurants this year, some 30% of customers reported a positive reaction to the technology, Wesley said.

The program is on-going. In-store signage supports.

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