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Build opt-in contact lists and conduct surveys with free mobile coupons
Image credit: Jack In The Box mobile coupon offering

Businesses use mobile coupons to attract customers and build opt-in contact lists. The same technique works for political campaigns and nonprofits too.

Mobile coupons give people an incentive to opt-in to be contacted.

How much does it cost to get a new customer for a burger or to find a new campaign supporter? Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are key. Track your CAC to compare which approach works best for your campaign. Running a TV ad, mailing a flyer, advertising on Facebook or canvassing?

This opt-in information lets campaigns contact them later by phone call and texts. Phone numbers collected with mobile coupon offers have to be valid in order to get the special offer, unlike a web based form where any number can be entered.

Cost of customer acquisition lets you compare different marketing approaches.

Mobile coupons

Mobile coupons help businesses collect opt-in customer details

List building with mobile coupons

Promotion - Offerings are publicized through flyers, signs and on social media. Give people an incentive to opt-in to your campaigns - send them a coupon right to their phone. "Text YES to 12345 to get a free soda!"

Receive the mobile coupon - People text the keyword to the short code and get a text message with a link to view their coupon. Mobile coupons can include an image, terms & conditions and expiry dates.

Open mobile coupon - Respondents get a text message with a link to the one-time redeemable Mobile Coupon. Clicking on the link displays the Coupon in a web browser on their phone - without the need to download any app. They are automatically added to a marketing database once they accept the offer and opt-in to use the coupon. Coupons can only be redeemed once.

Redeem coupon - People redeem them their coupon and get their special offer at a designated store. Offers can be very targeted to a community and coupons can direct respondents to a nearby store or restaurant that you're working with. This helps drive sales to friendly store owners your campaign is working with.

Offer fulfillment - Stores where the mobile coupon is redeemed do not have to instal any software. Customers just show them their coupon and press redeem. A list of all the redemptions is tracked to pay the merchant or store handling the redemptions.

Mobile coupons

Disclosing Terms & Conditions

Make sure to let respondents know that they are opting in to be contacted, the costs and how they can opt out at any time. This is how Jack In The Box describes its terms & conditions for Mobile Coupons:

By providing my email address and clicking “SUBSCRIBE” on the next page, I agree to receive emails, promotions, and general messages from Jack in the Box at the email address provided when signing up.  I further agree to the Jack in the Box Privacy Policy found here. View Privacy & Terms for more information.

By entering my phone number and clicking on “SUBSCRIBE” on the next page, I consent to receive recurring automated promotional and personalized marketing text messages from Jack in the Box at the mobile number provided when signing up. I further agree to the Jack in the Box Privacy Policy found here. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. Msg frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. View Privacy & Terms for more information.

Cost comparison

Targeted Facebook ad campaign
The average CPM and CPC on Facebook are around $5.31, respectively $0.43 (Social Insider)
CPM = Cost to deliver a thousand ads. CPC = Cost per click from a respondent.
This means that it will typically cost a campaign 43 cents to get a person to a web page where they might be asked for their contact details such as name and phone number or to fill out a survey. The number of responses collected varies based on the appeal. It is also hard to validate if the phone number they enter is even valid.
Assuming that 10% of the people on the web page collecting their information is valid, means that it cost $0.43 x 10
= $4.30 per response collected through Facebook campaign

Mobile coupon campaigns
Mobile coupon campaign are inbound. People respond to the offer being advertised.
Mobile coupons cost about 5 cents to send a mobile coupon to a respondent plus the cost of the special offer (say $1.00 for a soda).
Costs are only incurred when someone texts in to the number to get the special offer.
The quality of the data collected is better as the phone number being texted from is automatically validated.
The cost of a validated, opt-in contact with a mobile campaign = Cost of coupon offer ($0.05) + Cost of offer ($1.00)
= $1.05 through mobile coupon offer

TakeAway: Try mobile coupon offers to build your opt-in contact lists and conduct surveys. Learn more.


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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.