Caribou Perks Ping Customers With Suprise Text Messaged Rewards

Caribou rolled out its new loyalty program that allows shoppers to enroll and manage rewards with mobile devices via text messages, and surprised them with gifts via unexpected texts.

Consumers can either connect their loyalty account to an existing Caribou card or they can use their mobile phone number to check-in at stores, according to Mobile Commerce Daily. Consumers enroll by texting "ENROLL" to 65017 or by visiting the Web site.

"We've tested and tweaked this program, and text messages have been an effective way of connecting with customers for sign-ups, and of informing them the instant they receive a reward," said Michele Vig, vice president of marketing at Caribou Coffee. "Guests can also alter their communication method preferences if they would rather receive emails instead." Caribou is testing the program before rolling it out chain-wide.

Whereas other retail loyalty programs let members track points and see rewards, Caribou plans to surprise its guests with messages via SMS or email, announcing they've earned a gift. Those that register for the program and answer a series of optional questions, receive a free medium beverage of their choice.

Both Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Dunkin' Doughnuts (NASDAQ: DNKN) operate robust loyalty programs that let customers pay and earn rewards with a mobile app integrated into Apple's Passbook. Starbucks recently ran a tweet-a-coffee program in which customers could buy and send a Starbucks gift card through Twitter.

The Caribou Perks program is a bit late to market. In April 2013, the chain closed 80 stores – exiting some markets completely – and rebranded another 88 locations as Peet's Coffee & Tea.

For more see:
-This Caribou Coffee press release
-This story from Mobile Commerce Daily

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