How Delta Sonic Got More Than 50,000 Text Subscribers

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With a text marketing club nearly two years old, Delta Sonic communicates with thousands of their customers each week to promote deals and share important updates.

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Delta Sonic runs some of the most popular car washes, gas stations, and convenience stores across the northeast and midwest. They have over 29 locations that span across three states.

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In an industry where factors such as the weather and time of year can impact business, Delta Sonic needed a way to drive customers to their locations during notoriously slower times.

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By providing a complimentary snack as a reward for texting in their keyword, Delta Sonic received a bump of nearly 20,000 subscribers. A number that continues to grow daily.

If you’ve found yourself driving through parts of New York, Pennsylvania, or Illinois, there’s a good chance you’ve seen or even visited a Delta Sonic Car Wash. With 29 (and growing) locations across these three states, Delta Sonic is one of the most popular car wash, gas station, and convenience store combos out there.

In the last year they have received several accolades for their customer service, and it’s no coincidence that text marketing has played a large role in their communications strategy. According to Marketing Director Kim Allen and Social Media Manager David Cervi, texting has been an excellent tool for speeding up notoriously slow days at the wash.

Why Texting At Delta Sonic?

When Kim and David sought out a text marketing platform during the summer of 2017, they were already experiencing success with email marketing. However, the more they discovered about text marketing and its ability to reach people quickly and while they’re on the go, they decided to expand their communications out to SMS.

As folks in the carwash business know to be true, the weather tends to have the final say on sales. So the Delta Sonic team needed a way to reach people quickly with updates and offer that could combat any kind of weather related stagnation.

Now, with their text marketing club just shy of two years old, Delta Sonic is communicating with over 50,000 customers each week through their platform.

Delta Sonic: Due to the potential of an ice storm, ALL New York Delta Sonic locations will be closing at 2 pm today. Thank you

From Zero Subscribers to Tens of Thousands

These numbers didn’t appear overnight. An impressive marketing blitz executed by Kim and David in addition to continuous advertising are the ingredients in their secret sauce. But their effort to collect subscribers had to begin somewhere, and for them it all started with a slushie.

By simply offering a free bottle of water or slushie from their convenience store in exchange for opting in to their text club, Delta Sonic saw a bump of nearly 20,000 subscribers. However, David was interested in not only insuring compliance, but in compiling a list of contacts who would be active participants in the program.

So Delta Sonic utilized a double opt-in method upon sign up that made sure customers were prepared to receive up to six messages a month from them and not just walk away with their free snack. From there, consistency was key. Delta Sonic’s sweet spot is around 3-4 messages each month.

"We thought if our customers are willing to join our text clubs it means they want our offers, and we’re going to utilize that."
Kim Allen
Kim Allen

Marketing Director

While message content varies, they’ve found that content containing offers and deals seem to perform the best. Especially the quick, today only types of specials. “We try to get them in the hands of our customers right away,” notes Kim. “We run them [deals] for shorter amounts of time as opposed to maybe an email offer which we’d have to at least run a couple days because not everyone is on their email, or people are out of their office, whatever it is.”

Delta Sonic Special: Save up to 75 dollars on Rustproofing service! Offer:

Sustaining Growth

What began as a marketing blitz has become a full blown model for sustaining subscriber growth. Not only do they still offer perks for signing up, but they have plenty of on-site signage, a web sign-up form, regular social media posts about the program, and even regular involvement in yearly community events where they advertise their text marketing with copious signage. “We try to stay active throughout the year with events in the community,” says David. “People have kept up and caught on but we always try to stay top of mind with the program and with the customers.”

In return, David is always thoughtful about the content they send out, ensuring it has value for each customer. They keep a calendar which allows them to plan content weeks in advance. Now, with the ability to segment lists, David and his team can even create campaigns specific to each area code personalizing their offers even more.

Delta Sonic: The SeaWolves won, so you win! Claim your prize here:

Using Texting to Drive Sales

Delta Sonic’s text marketing club has become a way to share information, updates, and offers with customers across three different states. But its true powers have shown through in the form of commanding audience’s attention and driving them to action at critical points.

SMS alone has given Kim and David the power to turn slow days into profits. Kim recalls one rainy day in particular where they sent out a rich offer to their subscribers for an interior cleaning. In that one day they did over 1,000 cleanings. On similar days, without the text blast, they would have done a fraction of that, if any at all. Staff that were otherwise unoccupied due to the lull were back in action. In short, they were given lemons and they turned them into lemon scented air fresheners to hang on the rear view window!

We love watching the subscriber list at Delta Sonic continue to grow each day, and their impressive retention and conversion rates have continually sent our jaws to the floor.

If you’re interested in following the model set forth by these car washing catalysts, get started with a free 14-day trial today!

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