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Success in Text Message Marketing: a Case Study


In 2010, Yoss Thriftway wanted to find a new way to reach their customers. At the time, they weren’t interested in jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, but wanted to connect personally with their community in a different way than their competition in neighboring towns.


Store management was intrigued by the idea of text message marketing, which would give them access to their customers’ cell phones, an item nearly everyone keeps nearby. 97% of text messages are read within minutes of being received, giving Yoss Thriftway a way to immediately and directly reach their customers with special offers and store news.

To promote the program, Yoss Thriftway started with in-store signage, bag stuffers, and small signs at each register. To entice customers to sign up, each registrant received a text for 10% off a purchase of $50 or more, valid for the three days after they signed up.


In the nine years since it started the program, the store has more than 1,350 people signed up to receive text messages. The town’s population is 1,650. After opening a second location in a town of 2,250, that store has amassed 850 text subscribers in four years.

Redemption rates vary wildly depending on the product, price, and day of each deal. Yoss has seen the best redemption rates on special offers for bacon, bottled water, soda, Doritos, sugar, eggs, hamburger and hot dog buns. Weekend deals tend to be redeemed more often, but weekday deals have shown to bring customers in on slower days.

While redemption rates may vary between 1%-20% depending on the offer, the average basket size when a text deal is redeemed is $13 larger than the average basket size.

The program is popular in the community, as the number of subscribers compared to the size of the town suggests. Customers regularly comment outside of the store about the witty and funny text accompanying special offers. It’s become the talk of the town.

Why do I work at AWG? “I love being a part of a fun team that creates unique ways to help independent grocery stores grow their businesses. It combines a few of my favorite things: marketing, food, and fun. Who doesn’t want to talk about food all day?” -Jimmy