Welcome to a new series from MobileDemystified, Client Spotlight, where we’ll detail client case studies that highlight best practices for succeeding in mobile marketing. If you have a client spotlight you would like to submit, please drop us a note in the comments. 

Client Spotlight: Q-Piedmont Restaurants
Location: Advance, North Carolina

As a franchise owner of several Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina, Jamey Horton makes it his full-time job to understand his customers inside and out. For example, he knows they’re college educated, mostly white collar, and their usage of laptops is on a steady decline. Instead, these days as Jamey looks around his restaurants (in which he offers free Wi-Fi), he sees more and more tablets and smartphones. To adjust to this growing trend, Jamey has incorporated SMS – using Waterfall’s Platform – into his marketing program in order to reach his customers where they “hang out” most – on a mobile device.

Before Waterfall, Jamey was using what he calls “basic guerilla marketing,” which included direct mail and radio, but he found that direct mail was too expensive, and yielded only one-time customers, and radio was basically “an expensive way to reach very few customers.” By implementing an SMS program with Waterfall, Jamey has grown his subscriber list in the last year and a half from about 1,500 subscribers to more than 8,000 – and counting.

As one can imagine, personalization is a very important part Jamey’s business, which is why one of the key features he likes best about the Platform is that he’s able to curtail his program to any demographic he wants, which he decides based on how he crafts his messages.

The Program

With a main objective of driving traffic into the store, Jamey sends out two texts a week with deals. One is the same every week – $1 tacos on Tuesdays – and the other Jamey determines later in the week, based upon sales numbers. So, for example, if sales are looking a little sluggish by Friday, he might send out a deal intended to increase traffic in the store that day, thus meeting his weekly sales goals before he moves into the weekend.

In addition to the weekly deals, Jamey has also instituted a rewards program, whereby rewards members are also qualified to receive additional deals via SMS. With this program in the mix, Jamey’s total customer list is currently at more than 13,000 subscribers.

A couple times a year, Jamey also adds a keyword to text and sign up for his distribution list into his email newsletters. By doing this on a regular, yet infrequent, basis, he finds that his customers don’t feel like they’re getting a constant reminder (i.e. badgering) to sign up, which makes them more willing to opt in.

The Results

So is it working? Jamey says absolutely. A couple of times, just as an experiment, he’s either not sent one at all, or only sent one text a week, instead of two. Both times not only did customers approach him asking where the texts were, he also saw a noticeable difference in his bottom line.

With the Waterfall Platform in place, Jamey is currently experiencing a rate of 15-25% subscriber growth per year. As such, he believes Waterfall’s Platform is the best, most economical way to continue building sales and long-term sustainable growth for his business, and he’s looking forward to more exciting things to come from Waterfall in the new year.


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