Mobile technology is rapidly changing how companies interact with their customers. Tech research firm eMarketer has estimated that the mobile marketing industry will see at least a 400% increase over the next four years, with around 37 billion dollars in mobile ad spending by 2016. This is why retail brands are transitioning their customer relationship management efforts away from traditional techniques, such as punch cards or rewards cards, and into mobile marketing strategies, such as frequent shopper mobile apps, quick scan features, and text message exclusive offers.
With more than 98% of text messages being read, SMS messaging has indeed become a significant component of the expanding mobile marketing platform. Boasting a conversion rate of approximately 8.2%, according to a 2010 report by the Direct Marketing Association, mobile SMS converts at around six times the average conversion rate of both email marketing and traditional direct mail marketing. Companies find that text messages offer a quick, non-intrusive but ultra personal way of interacting with customers. Since text marketing must be performed with an opted-in list of consumers, SMS has been especially useful for building customer loyalty. The more often customers receive texts, the more repeat business the companies receive. In fact, a recent study by Leads 360 shows that customer conversions actually quadrupled when sending a customer three texts as opposed to a single text. Below are a few SMS marketing strategies brands have used in building customer loyalty.
Customer Loyalty Strategies
SMS Messaging is one of the most personal ways of connecting to a consumer. When building a customer loyalty program, it’s important to gather as much information as possible on each customer—their shopping habits, interests, location, etc., so that a company can target particular text offers to the right individuals. Segment text marketing lists appropriately so that an offer for shoes, for example, goes to the individuals who are most likely to buy that product. Behavioral targeting and subsequent personalization is a key facet of any marketing strategy, but especially for such an intimate method of engagement as text marketing.
2. Thank You Messages
When cashiers or eCommerce sites incentivize customers to join their mobile loyalty programs, companies can express gratitude to their repeat customers with special offers for making a purchase or with further information about upcoming products, services, and events. With creative integration possibilities, using applications like EzTexting’s SMS API, companies can automate thank you messages to be sent to customers after purchasing products. Making consumers feel appreciated and valued is crucial when developing long term customer relationships.
3. Special Offers
One of the key ways to build a company’s opt-in Mobile Loyalty or Rewards program is to offer membership into an exclusive club in exchange for a phone number. Consumers must trust the brands to which they give their phone numbers—that these companies will use their numbers respectfully and that there will be a significant value provided for this intimate opportunity to engage. Sending monthly or weekly special offers, exclusive to members in the loyalty program, is a fantastic way of both encouraging loyalty program signups and incentivizing repeat business.
4. Coupon Codes
Regular coupon codes sent via text message, using a keyword and short code combination, is an important factor in any brand’s customer loyalty program. Customers who receive reminders to purchase, using coupon codes as incentives, have proven to purchase more often than when left to their own devices. And with emerging geo-targeting capabilities, now retail-based brands can build systems that automatically send text messages to an opted-in consumer when he or she has entered into a distinct radius of a retail location.
5. In-Store Incentives
When customers come to a retail location to browse or make a purchase, it’s important to upsell products and services that add value to the products they were already interested in. Advertise a short-code throughout the store offering exclusive offers and coupons, or promote targeted keywords on particular items that can target interested consumers. For instance, if a woman is looking at a new dress, the brand might put a short code on the dress’ tag that encourages her to text a keyword and receive a special offer on shoes and belts that go with that dress. A plethora of creative upsell opportunities exist with in-store SMS services.
How do you use text marketing to build customer loyalty? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop a comment below!