Tommy Ryan wanted a way to communicate with his Pizza Shoppe customers that wasn’t annoying or would go unnoticed. Ryan recently found the solution when he signed up for BuzzMeDo, a direct-to-mobile communication tool created by Kansas City web development company Red Nova Labs.
BuzzMeDo is still in beta and in the process of going from local to national. The marketing tool provides businesses with the ability to collect mobile phone numbers from their customers and send out alerts.
Ryan has used the product for four months and already has 14,744 subscribers at his 16 Pizza Shoppe locations throughout the Kansas City area that are on BuzzMeDo. Three more locations are set to join this month.
Ryan started with one store on Dec. 1, 2011, and the results have convinced him to continue adding the rest of his stores. On Leap Day in February, Ryan ran a buy-one-get-one-free text campaign that had nearly a 1,000 percent return on investment. Pizza Shoppe had 117 BuzzMeDo customers visit the restaurant, accounting for 43.8 percent of tickets that day with gross sales of $3,881.19 and a net sale of $2,712.36.
“BuzzMeDo drives traffic,” Ryan said. “It’s that simple.”
What makes BuzzMeDo different from other direct-to-mobile communication tools, which typically use short codes, is the use of long codes instead. Long codes allow for the use of unlimited keywords and the ability to send out a message to only a segment of a subscription base.
How BuzzMeDo works is businesses collect phone numbers through their customers opting in with a unique keyword, such as “pizza.” At Pizza Shoppe, Ryan has encouraged customers to opt in with table tents and a server-incentive program in which servers encourage their tables to opt in, using the server’s name as a keyword. After one month at Ryan’s store in Platte Woods, Mo., they had 2,145 active subscribers and 1,950 of those subscribers came from the server incentive program.
When Ryan is ready to send an alert – BuzzMeDo suggests two to three alerts per month – Ryan can pick and choose which subscribers to send a message through who opted in to which keyword.
“We analyzed numerous text messaging platforms prior to partnering with BuzzMeDo, who is hands-down the ideal organization for my company’s needs,” Ryan said. “BuzzMeDo’s professional, turn-key program combined with our exclusive deals have definitely had a positive impact on our businesses.”
Unlike a service like Groupon, the power of BuzzMeDo rests entirely with business owners and managers. They write and send the texts; the BuzzMeDo team only assists with best practices.
“We can’t tell people what’s best for their business,” said Katelyn Stone, BuzzMeDo Project Manager. “They do.”
The BuzzMeDo beta had mostly restaurants on board, along with several grocery store chains. Grocery stores can handle a larger capacity of clientele in one day than restaurants and they saw an even better return on investment.
Country Mart sent out an alert at four locations for a pound of bacon for 99 cents. The alert prompted 323 customers to come in for the bacon, and managers said it increased the guest check average and overall traffic that day.
“BuzzMeDo has created excitement with our customers,” said Dante Passantino, Country Mart owner. “They look forward to receiving their text messages. I have had customers make comments to me about how convenient the messages are as they consider them like paperless coupons.”
Red Nova Labs built BuzzMeDo using the latest in database technology, powered by MongoDB. MongoDB is part of a movement in technology that powers some of the most popular and successful web companies, such as Facebook and Google.
The back-end of the site is built for owners and managers to easily schedule texts with real-time analytics to check who is opening the messages, subscribing or un-subscribing. Text messages have a 97 percent open rate, compared to only approximately 4.8 percent for emails.
“The BuzzMeDo platform is simple to use,” Passantino said. “When you want to set up a campaign, it only takes a few seconds. It graphs out all the statistics for each store so we can track exactly how many subscribers we have at each store which is extremely helpful.”
If your business is interested in using BuzzMeDo, contact Katelyn Stone at kstone(at)rednovalabs(dot)com.