As SMS marketing opportunities continue to grow, and as text messaging becomes the preferable means of communication for more and more people, we’re seeing retailers and brands of all sizes jump into the mobile marketing universe via text-based promotions. And while SMS campaigns have proven to be highly effective in attracting new customers and growing a company’s consumer database, they are also being used to reward existing customers, thus building brand loyalty into the mobile experience.
Consumers have many purchasing options today, and with permission-based marketing like SMS, people can opt into and out of company marketing lists at will and whim. Rewarding existing customers, therefore, is just as important to as attracting new customers. And the new ones will be far more likely to forge long-term relationships with a brand or company or store if they believe that customer loyalty is recognized and appreciated.
Mobile Marketer reported this summer about a program launched by Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spas that was designed to build loyalty through SMS. The program invites the clients to become Mobile Rewards Insiders, giving them access to mobile-only incentives and giveaways. The VIP nature of the campaign not only invites customers to return to the spa, but also shows them that their business is recognized and valued by the company and rewarded with exclusive incentives. The Red Door Spa website calls the program “Red Door on the Go,” and offers easy opt-in and opt-out instructions.
The incorporation of exclusive offers is one way to generate loyalty. Making certain offers available only to mobile subscribers gives people an incentive to stay opted-in and rewards their continuing patronage. From a marketing standpoint, another important (but oftentimes underutilized) way to reward loyalty is through individually-customized offers. While SMS gathers consumer data all together into a database, companies should keep in mind that each client is an individual with unique habits and interests. Thus, marketing strategies that tailor promotions to the uniqueness of its clients produce high redemption rates as well as that sense of customer appreciation that underlies loyalty. For this purpose, an SMS application that tracks and analyzes customer data is most helpful in segmenting and sorting client lists according to known interests and purchase habits. Not every person will respond to the same offer, and the more a company knows about connecting each client with the right promotion, the more successful the SMS campaign works for both parties.