The Many Genres of Redbox’s Marketing

No channel plays a starring role in Redbox’s marketing strategy. The movie and video game rental company relies on a multichannel cast to help consumers discover new titles and transact easily.

But Redbox’s multichannel motivations dive deeper than that. Not having its own brick-and-mortar stores makes creating seamless experiences that much more important to Redbox, notes VP of Digital Marketing Mike Wokosin, because its digital touchpoints and rental kiosks are the only things connecting the brand to its consumers.

“We don’t have a greeter at the door, someone at a checkout, or someone within an aisle,” Wokosin says. “So, it’s of paramount importance that the experience consumers have [and] the communication we deliver to them feels like the right message, at the right time, with the right content.”

Consequently, Redbox relies on data from its on- and offline channels to determine how best to satisfy customers’ needs and enable transactions no matter where its customers are.


With nearly 36,000 locations across the United States, Redbox’s movie and game rental kiosk is a central point of interaction. There are two ways people can use the kiosk: walk up and make a selection; or create a Redbox account and reserve movies or games via Redbox’s website or app before picking them up.

Redbox knows a great deal about consumers who create accounts and reserve products online, such as their game and movie preferences, previous transactions, and geographic locations. As for consumers who go straight to the kiosk, Redbox can only identify them by their credit card number.

As a result, the brand encourages customers to reserve films before visiting the kiosk by promoting the option in its email marketing or by offering discount codes exclusively available through online reservations. Marketing the ability to reserve products ahead of time also educates new customers unfamiliar with this capability, Wokosin notes. Today about 60% of consumers access a digital touchpoint before going to the kiosk, he says.

Still, Redbox is working to better identify its kiosk mystery customers. “Personalization at the kiosk is definitely something that we’re exploring,” he says.

Granted, Redbox does learn from consumers who visit kiosks directly. The company runs kiosk analytics in a subset of its locations and tracks transactional data—such as which titles consumers purchase—as well as their paths to purchase, including the length of their browsing sessions. It also can use cart data to cross-sell customers during an interaction.


In addition to interacting with consumers at the kiosk, Redbox engages its audiences through email. Its emails primarily fall into two buckets: transactional emails like digital receipts and promotional emails. The company sends its promotional emails every Tuesday and Friday for new releases.

To ensure that customers who receive the emails actually want them, Redbox enforces a triple opt-in. The result is open rates of between 18 to 22% for its promotional messages. “We want to make sure that consumers are really committed to the communication,” Wokosin says.

Redbox also works with ExactTarget to send dynamic emails based on consumers’ behaviors and preferences. For example, if a customer abandoned his shopping cart, Redbox may send a reminder email that includes recommendations based on previous purchases or preferences. According to Wokosin, these emails generate Redbox’s highest conversion rates.



Along with its kiosk and email touchpoints, Redbox has a robust mobile presence for consumers looking to grab a flick on the go. The brand has a mobile app consumers can use to see which products are available, reserve them, and find the closest kiosks. Redbox also sends push notifications through the app to generate awareness and alert customers of new releases. Consumers who prefer not to receive push notifications can opt to receive them through Redbox’s text club. About five million people are enrolled in its text club, according to Wokosin; about 25 million people have downloaded its app.

As with its kiosk, Redbox tracks customer behavior on its digital channels. Specifically, it uses Adobe Target and Adobe Analytics to assess how consumers are browsing and discovering products on its mobile and online platforms.


However, balancing a multichannel strategy isn’t easy. Redbox strives to be “respectful” to its customers, Wokosin says, by focusing on its communication cadence and frequency. For example, the company aims to only send consumers the communications that they want and to ensure that its brand messaging is consistent across channels to avoid confusion.

But because Redbox offers so many different access points, ensuring that consumers aren’t bombarded with messages can be challenging. “We want to make sure that we continue to evolve these channels so we’re one Redbox to consumers, we’ve got consistent messaging across all channels, and they’re receiving the messages that they want [and] are the most helpful and useful to them at the times that they want,” he says. “We’ve come a long way in accomplishing that, but, like every other retailer, we’ve got a long way to go. We’re all evolving along with the consumer.”

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