Cavender's – Client Engagement - SMS Marketing

Cavender's Boot City and Cavender's Western Outfitters

For over 45 years, Cavender's has been a trusted outfitter of cowboy boots and western wear for the entire family. Known for establishing long-term relationships and taking exceptional care of their customers, Cavender'sis a family owned business operation with several family members involved in the day-to-day operations. Spanning Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Louisiana, Cavender's has 50+ stores, 800+ employees and a strong presence on the Internet.


The bulk of Cavender's sales come from their bricks and mortar stores, but their strong retail footprint has helped to expand their rapidly growing online business. Rather than using mobile marketing solely as a way to measure and quantify the effectiveness of traffic to the website or sales in their stores, we chose to use mobile marketing as a tool of engagement to strengthen our relationship with our loyal customers.


Cavender's rolled out their mobile marketing program slowly and strategically. We're aware of just how personal it is to send someone a text message. So a lot of thought was put into making our text messages as relevant as possible. Text messages are only sent when it is particularly important to that customer, andusually only one or two messages are sent in a month. We're even careful about what time of day it is when we send messages. Great care is taken to show respect to the customer who has entrusted uswith their mobile number. The message might be about a special celebrity event at a nearby store or free tickets being given away for a summer concert series. Whatever the text message is about, we want the customer to feel an increased sense of trust and loyalty.

The Marketing Mix:

Cavender's uses both non-traditional media and traditional media, such as print, radio and billboards, TV Ads, radio ads, print display ads; outbound marketing via telephone, email blasts;and social media Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Mobile marketing is just another piece of the puzzle. We wantto be where our customers are located and using SMS is another way to reach them.


Part of how we have chosen to roll out our mobile program was to send a prompt when we know our customer is interested in a radioshow ora concert series. We didn't place any large signs in stores asking customers to text to get a percentage off the sales prices for that day. We want to ensure that customers who are signing up really want to engage with us and are not just interested in getting an instant discount. We're interested in building relationships and not just "selling." We would rather have 5000 fully engaged subscribers than 50,000 coupon seekers.To track our customer's interests, they can sign up for particular key words. Sometimes we offer a promo code that is only for our text subscribers. We use a planned promo code to roll out for the web, then another for the text. We can track the promo code according to the media that was used.

For example, we just sent out a text message promoting a music recording contest that we andWrangler partner with to support. We included a link to vote and a link to register to win tickets. Since we use to encode both the links, we can watch in real-time as users click the individual links in the text message. We sent the message tothe keyword groups that subscribed via a country music radio station promotion and the summer concert series last summer. That way the message got to our customers who were the most likely to respond to something music related.

Here is our exact text message:

The Wrangler Retro Live at Billy Bob's Texas Recording Contest is back for 2012!
Win tickets:
Vote here:


Our main goal was to increase awareness to our customers that text messaging was a new way to stay up-to-date with Cavender's. Our customers are paying attention to our text messages because they're showing up and enjoying events. Specifically, with SMS we haven't focused on getting an exact return because we're just creating another avenue for communication. Still, we are very careful of how we craft our text messages and how often we send them. One of the ways we are able to measure customer engagement is we have a very low opt-out rate. Sometimes our customers just want to feel like they can be heard and texting is a great way to engage!


When used correctly, text marketing has proven to be the most economic and effective way to increase relationship building, with the ultimate goal being to drive trafficand increase sales. We have just really started to see what we can do with a mobile platform. So now that we have our base programs down, we can add on to see what will be of value to our customers. One thing we know for sure: our customers are thanking us for our messages and looking forward for good things to come.

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