As a smaller and more exclusive toy store, Learning Express Toys of Lake Zurich needed a creative, effective marketing tool to compete with large big box stores.  Particularly around the holidays, they needed a way to move their “hot” inventory and keep loyal customers informed when in-demand toys arrived.

After joining CloseBy® Text Marketing in December 2013, owner Rick Derr committed his team to invite every in-store customer to their new text loyalty program and receive an exclusive same day discount.  This simple consistency in inviting store customers to join his text list has helped rick grown his list to over 2,670 subscribers.  At the moment of Rick’s choosing, he can put an announcement or a special offer on the phones of those 2,670 clients, and when those texts arrive with a ‘ding’ they creates a great return for every message he sends.  In his own words, he had this to say:

“It’s really easy to tell you what I love so much about this program, from a small business perspective, not a major retailer – it’s quite clear that the way to communicate in this day and age is on mobile devices and if you’re not putting most of your resources into delivering information, events, & deals LITERALLY in the hands of your consumers, then you’re falling behind. I think there are two huge reasons why text marketing works so well:  First, it’s the only truly instant form of marketing out there.  You get to immediately get what is happening RIGHT NOW to your customer, whether its new products, specials, deals…all of those intangible things people want to know about.  Secondly, it works best for today’s mothers in particular, our target audience, and their overloaded schedules.  If we have an event or activity happening, we need to tell them within 24-36 hours or else we will lose their interest because they’re juggling so many different things.  Email doesn’t work anymore for that – there’s a lagging effect because emails aren’t often read until long after they’re sent.  We’ve also tested Facebook, particularly with a princess event we had, and in two weeks we received 2 sign-ups for the event through Facebook – when we sent a text out we SOLD OUT that afternoon… our staff was swamped.  The people on our program are a different level of customer, they’re our elite group.  The nice thing about text is how viral it is – if I can get a few hundred elite customers on my list who pass it along to another few hundred and so on, I’ll reward my current customers and attract new ones in at the same time. We WELCOME people and get excited when they show us their opt-in offer, I can’t stand when you walk in to a store and hand the cashier a coupon and they just scan it and throw it away. Let them know that they’re a VIP and this is an exclusive thing that they’re now a part of!  We have the Premium Program and while we’ve only had our birthday club for a few months, we’re seeing great results from it. We offer a heavy $25 off of $50 offer for it so it doesn’t generate a ton of revenue, but we get raving feedback from customers and huge smiles when they redeem it. Building a strong relationship with them is more valuable than anything. I tell business owners all the time that they NEED this program – even if they think they’re doing well now without it, why not be great? Why not make more money – because this program will do that for you. You have to get your staff on board, be mindful of what you’re sending and when, and use your CloseBy Text Specialist and resources available to you. This program is a no-brainer.  Learning Express Toys started with one location on the program and are now up to thirteen.  My advice would be to immediately evaluate your marketing budget and find a way to get this program, move away from out-dated traditional advertising, and allocate funds so that you can utilize text marketing too. We plan on growing this even more than we have and will not go without it.”