Learn how Wallace’s Garden Center has used text messaging to grow its’ customer base and sales
Average monthly subscriber growth of
of sales came from text
Conversion rates on shares as high as
Wallace’s Garden Center is a garden center and home store located in Bettendorf, Iowa. For years Wallace’s relied on traditional media like newspapers, direct mail, tv, and radio to advertise in their community. One tactic they used to keep customers engaged and coming in regularly was printing annual calendars with a unique coupon for a free item each month. Printing was incredibly expensive, designing the calendar was time-intensive, it was hard to stay top-of-mind, and difficult to track, and they often felt taken advantage of when customers would re-use the same coupons multiple times.
Wallace’s came to TapOnIt looking for a way to get in front of their customers more often, learn about who was shopping with them, and use that customer data to their advantage to grow their business.
“Right now, the best way to communicate with people in our area is definitely through text messaging. Television advertising is too fragmented, and print is really on the decline. Texting is convenient for both marketers and consumers.
TapOnIt has a unique space in texting because they offer MMS and not just the borning SMS that is prevalent in the marketplace now. Garden center products are very visually appealing; being able to text multiple images to a customer really grabs their attention.”
– Kate Terrell, Owner, Wallace’s Garden Center
The Impact SMS Marketing and MMS Marketing Has Had for Wallace’s Garden Center:
Using MMS and SMS, Wallaces texts their customers exclusive discounts, features, updates, giveaways, and more to help drive brand awareness, traffic, and sales into their store.
“It’s actually been time-saving for my staff and me. I work with the team at TapOnIt to put together a plan each month. The promotions are quick to create and schedule. The cadence of when and what we send can be flexible depending on the season and what my business currently needs. We often use similar content to what we post on social media and our email newsletter because sending it in a text guarantees visibility. We tend to increase campaigns during our busiest seasons to really maximize results.”
Wallace’s database has grown from zero to over 18,000 subscribers
(as of March 2023).
“I was very thankful for our Garden Party Text Club in 2020, as it gave us a way to stay engaged and to let people know that they could shop online or call to place orders and then pick items up curbside. We had to adapt our business throughout the pandemic quickly; texting our customers made it easy to let them know what was happening. Many people started gardening as a hobby throughout the pandemic, and luckily, they still are.”
Wallace’s employs a powerful marketing tactic that incentivizes customers to share their promotions with friends via text. By doing so, they’ve been able to gain a significant number of new customers over the years. In fact, 42% of all shares result in a new subscriber, making this one of the primary ways they acquire new customers.
Thanks to this effective sharing feature, 16% of their text database has grown organically over the years. According to Kate, the $5 off bonus offer included in each share has been instrumental in encouraging customers to spread the word about Wallace’s Garden Party.
“I absolutely love the sharing feature. By offering a $5 off bonus for sharing Garden Party with friends, we’ve been able to tap into a powerful network effect that has helped us grow our customer base and increase brand awareness.”
Text Sweepstakes for Database Growth
Wallace’s also conducts several sweepstakes throughout the year, offering subscribers the chance to win a themed package, gift card, or unique item. In March 2023, they ran a “Rare Plant Giveaway” campaign that incentivized subscribers to share the promotion with their friends in exchange for additional entries. This tactic proved highly effective, resulting in over 900 new subscribers and the creation of a new segment of subscribers interested in rare plants.
By tagging these new subscribers, Wallace’s can leverage this information to target specific promotions to this segment in the future. This approach enables them to deliver highly personalized and relevant marketing campaigns, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
Easy to Track SMS and MMS Coupons
The trackability of their text database and coupon redemption has allowed Wallac’es to able to measure and directly tie sales back. This has enabled the business to directly attribute an average ticket increase of nearly $20 to product promotions sent out through the text database. By enticing customers to try new items and purchase items they may not have been planning to buy, the text promotions have been instrumental in boosting sales.
To address the issue of customers taking advantage of coupons by using them multiple times, Wallace’s has implemented TapOnIt’s coupon feature.
“For my team, redeeming coupons at the cash register is quick and straightforward. Once a coupon is redeemed, it is grayscaled, date, and time-stamped so the staff immediately knows if it has already been used, so people can only use the “Free Item” coupons once, which is a relief.”
A detailed report of coupon redemption is generated and emailed to Kate each month, with real-time results available in her TapOnIt admin dashboard. These reports are used to track the success of each coupon, which helps determine future text campaigns and what products are performing best. She can also view subscriber-level details to gain insight into customer behavior, such as how often they visit, what coupons they use, and any other text-related activity.
13% of all sales
in 2021 came from their text club
“I can tell when a text offer goes out because cars immediately start rolling into the parking lot, and the phone starts ringing. It’s the only advertising I’ve ever done where you can literally watch it work in real-time. People actually change their plans. I hear things like, “I wasn’t going to leave the house today, but then I got your text and had to come in.” It’s actually kind of crazy!”
Over the years, for Wallace’s Garden Center, text messaging went from something that was brand new and a test to see if it could gain some traction to being directly tied to over 13% of all sales in 2021.
“It’s been incredible to watch our database grow, the people in the database stay engaged over the years, and our revenue increase as a direct result of the program.”
Text messages have a 99% open rate
Take the content you’re sending in emails, posting on social media, or sending through direct mail and text it directly to your customers to guarantee visibility.
MMS Messages containing 1-4 images have
higher Click-Through Rates when compared to SMS
MMS texts containing three images have the lowest opt-out rate
SMS, or texts with no images, have the highest opt-out rate