Scaling SMS to Meet Consumers Where They Are

Partnering with Attentive, MERGE launched luxury brand HOBO's new SMS program — and the results exceeded even industry standards.


  • SMS Marketing

  • SMS Strategy

  • Technology


Luxury fashion brand HOBO wanted to expand their reach and MERGE recommended launching a SMS program to engage shoppers with one-to-one communication since they were primarily on their mobile devices.

Since text messaging is traditionally regarded as a more casual means of communication, HOBO wanted to ensure the SMS program would accurately convey their sophisticated and refined brand voice. Additionally, HOBO did not want to over saturate customers with constant campaigns nor cannibalize their email program in terms of list and revenue contribution. Email is a very strong revenue driver for HOBO so they didn’t want to steal share from that channel, or any other media effort.


MERGE partnered with Attentive, a personalized marketing solution, to launch HOBO’s new text messaging program. With MERGE leading the SMS strategy, they executed a multi-touch approach that began with a mobile sign-up, website sign-up and swipe-up to join on Instagram. They offered a 10% off to subscribers who registered for email and SMS through any of these placements. By utilizing personalized copy and a unified tone across channels, new subscribers received a consistent brand experience.

Once a list was established, MERGE’s team of SMS strategists layered in more testing to gain deeper insights from their audiences so they could create stronger, more targeted messaging.

The A/B testing plan began with testing SMS against Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). Then, they moved into testing time of day and used CTA best practices to reach shoppers at the most opportune time for purchase conversion. The team collaborated with HOBO to review existing email touches so they could build SMS triggers that complemented the customer journey.


In the first six months of launching HOBO's SMS program, the luxury brand exceptional engagement and continue to experience success with this channel.



ROI, exceeding initial conservative estimates of 250%.


Average CTR, exceeding the average SMS CTR by 29%


Daily new subscribers

HOBO Website Landing Page

The MERGE team is highly responsive, flexible and hardworking. They are experts in the channel, always coming with new ideas and recommendations — I trust them implicitly in building an SMS program that is best for HOBO.

Jennifer Hoke, Senior Vice President Marketing, HOBO