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updated: 1/16/2014 4:33 PM

Geneva's e-specials via text a hit with local shoppers

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  • This is a copy of the poster used by the merchants during the Geneva's Gone Mobile campaign, where consumers received text messages on their smartphone that included specials at local stores.

      This is a copy of the poster used by the merchants during the Geneva's Gone Mobile campaign, where consumers received text messages on their smartphone that included specials at local stores.

  • Susan Huang

      Susan Huang

  • Graham's Chocolates sent out this text to subscribers of Geneva's Gone Mobile.

      Graham's Chocolates sent out this text to subscribers of Geneva's Gone Mobile.

  • Video: Geneva chamber video

 
 

The Geneva's Gone Mobile campaign, which provided coupons and other specials sent via text to consumers during the holidays, became such a hit that it will continue as a regular program.

The campaign, led by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, started Nov. 1 and garnered about 1,100 consumers who opted into the program by texting GENEVA to 223344. They then received full-color mobile messages from about 30 business members of the chamber. Each of those participating members sent at least one text out to the consumers, said Susan J. Huang, the chamber's administrator of the campaign and owner of Geneva-based Fox Valley eValues & Deals, a 7-year-old e-marketing firm.

About 150 e-coupons were then redeemed during the first 6 weeks, Huang said.

"Consumers love their phones and appreciate receiving valuable information from their favorite merchants without having to download an app," she said.

The program offers coupons, product offers, product or service information as well as event invitations from the participating businesses. Their specials included discounts at Cocoon, Graham's Chocolates, Geneva Cleaners and Geneva ACE Hardware; and an invitation to a Wildwood Restaurant event; among others, Huang said.

Each offer/message was tracked when merchants clicked on the mobile image for redemption and that data was collected. In addition, offers could be shared with a friend via phone to phone or posted on Facebook for all friends to view and join in, she said.

The Geneva merchants will continue offering mobile offers and information throughout this year and the campaign could be designed for other chambers as well, she said.

"The merchants know that consumers want information sent to their mobile phones, and are dedicated to meeting local consumers' needs with this new service. More Geneva Chamber merchants are joining each month," Huang said.

Huang presented the idea of Geneva's Gone Mobile to the chamber's Marketing Advantage Co-Op Committee, a group of merchants who pool resources to purchase advertising, offered at discount rates.

The program has helped to give members exposure and promoted Geneva, said chamber spokeswoman Laura Rush.

"I believe that with the opt-in numbers exceeding what Susan would have thought to be successful, the goal was met," Rush said. "With each message sent, each week, more opted in, thus more people are learning about Geneva and these merchants, which is also why we are continuing the program into 2014."

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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