Mobile Mario: Mario Tricoci Takes Mobile Marketing to the Next Level


I spent some time recently with Mario Tricoci’s Marketing Manager Giancarla Owca, talking mobile. She generously shared details of MT’s “Mobile Mario” program—an “insider’s club” that sends text (SMS) promotions to a permission-based opt-in list.

Nancy: Please give us some details about “Mobile Mario.”

Giancarla: Mobile Mariois Mario Tricoci’s “Insider’s Club” catering to our most loyal and engaged clients by sending special text (SMS) alerts and offers. We started the program in 2009 in partnership with EPrize. It was successful from the start, and has been steadily growing ever since. Today we have more than 30,000 guests enrolled in the program across our 16 locations in the Chicagoland area.

Mobile Mario insiders receive monthly promotions once a month. We try to promote every department at least once a year. The kind of discount or value-added offer is specific to the promotion. A sample promotion would be, “receive a haircut and get percentage off a massage.” The program is ideal for introducing Mobile Mario members to new services.

Nancy: How do clients sign up? How do you promote the program?

Giancarla: Guess text “PERKS” to 77953 . MTs’ Facebook fans can also enter their mobile phone number on our page to receive a text invitation to join the program. When a guest opts in to the program for the first time, they get an offer for $20 off any service.

We promote the Mobile Mario program through multiple channels – in-spa displays, at the front desk, on our website. The program is ideal for adventurous guests who want to be among the first to try our newest and most innovative services.  

Nancy: Mobile programs can build the relationship or turn clients off? How do you guard your clients’ privacy and avoid abusing the relationship?

Giancarla: First, we don’t send unsolicited texts. To join the Mobile Mario program, you must text us first. We also look to Eprize’s legal department to keep abreast of the latest SMS spam laws.

Second, we are vigilant about guest privacy. MT staff members are trained to deal with concerns immediately. Guests can text “STOP” to 77953 to unsubscribe from the program at any time. Occasionally, a guest will forgot that they signed up, or are not aware of the ongoing nature of the program. We take care of the issue immediately.

Nancy: Like any successful marketing endeavor, it’s all about building relationships and engagement. Thanks for the great info Giancarla--congratulations on leading the mobile marketing revolution! 

Have a mobile marketing strategy you would like to share? Email me at [email protected]. We would love to hear how you are making the most of mobile!