University's local e-coupon scheme growing fast
The subscriber base of the University of South Florida's (USF) wireless coupon and information service, 'MoBull Messenger', has grown by 700% since its launch in September 2002, now adding 10 subscribers a day, and having reached a total membership of 6500 students and staff to-date.
MoBull Messenger, which uses a wireless platform provided by Air2Web, enables USF's students, faculty, staff, alumni, and even Tampa Bay residents to use their mobile phone, PDA, e-mail account, or pager to receive electronic discount coupons for local restaurants, sporting events, nightclubs, and retail stores. Subscribers can also sign up for real-time campus information updates including class meeting changes, school closings, emergency alerts, and payment deadline reminders.
Coupon success More than 100 vendors in the area have registered to advertise through MoBull Messenger, including restaurants, clothing stores, bike shops, nightclubs, and hair salons. The participating retailers are experiencing redemption rates between 10% and 20%, while paying a minimum of US$10 for each permission-based marketing message sent through the system.
Communications But USF is not only getting results from the coupon side of its service. The information-providing aspect of the service is also popular. The system has proved very efficient in notifying students of class cancellations, and USF now plans to connect the university's core administrative systems with MoBull Messenger to provide another information path to students, faculty and staff.
"We are really pleased with the number of subscribers and vendors we have added to the MoBull Messenger service and the return our retailers are seeing," said Michele Joel, marketing manager for USF's IT department. "Traditionally, most direct marketing vehicles only see a 2% return at best. The fact that our wireless coupons are being redeemed at a rate between 10% and 20% is tremendous."
MoBull Messenger was developed by USF's IT Division, and uses Air2Web's Wireless Platform to send text messages to any wireless device.