16 May Keep Customers Engaged with an SMS Loyalty Program
Recruiting devoted customers to your business and then making sure they keep coming back are two of the most important factors to growing your business. Loyal customers purchase consistently, post positive online reviews and become active brand advocates to refer new business to your door.
Building up a loyal customer base takes time in earning people’s trust but the effort and investment in attracting and retaining customers are worth the dividends.
As with any successful marketing campaign, a key strategy is to connect your brand with the right people. Timing and how you approach them should also be carefully considered too.
One of the best ways to do this is to create an SMS loyalty program using an SMS gateway.
How to Create an SMS Loyalty Program Customers will Love
An SMS loyalty program is a marketing strategy that uses text messages to reward customers for their interactions with your business, the main aim being to encourage them to choose your brand over competitors when they make future purchase decisions.
As an added bonus, well-run loyalty programs often encourage positive word-of-mouth marketing whereby customers willingly recommend companies with good loyalty programs to their friends and family.
Follow these tips to create an SMS loyalty program your customers will love.
Choose a Creative Name
Your SMS loyalty program should have a short, descriptive, and memorable name. It should also be impactful to stand out from your competitors.
Linking the name to core value propositions makes a loyalty program relatable. Use phrases like “Rewards”, “Points”, Circle”, “Stars” and “Club”. For example, Woolworth’s loyalty program is called “WRewards”.
You could also use emotion to connect with your customers. For example, The Body Shop’s “Love Your Body” attracts customers who believe in taking care of their body and Pick n Pay’s “Smart Shopper” appeals to customers who are savvy about shopping deals.
If creativity allows, including your company name in the title can be good too as this makes it even easier for customers to connect the program with your brand. For example, “Clicks Club Card”
For best results, make sure to test your loyalty program name on front line staff and customers for feedback before making your SMS loyalty program’s name a permanent fixture.
Decide What Rewards to Offer
Anything that is deemed “Free” often makes customers wary, so the more you can position your text-based loyalty program to benefit your customers directly, the better. Use a bit of imagination and base your rewards program on your customer behaviour. You want to offer them real value so that they stay with the program. Depending on customer preference, you can offer points, discounts, gifts and promotional offers related to their favourite products from their purchase history.
To help you determine the best course of action, you could ask customers to tick a few extra boxes when signing up so you are aware of what will be of the most interest to them. Always be upfront and transparent about what they can expect and highlight any specific terms or conditions.
Ask for Permission
Once you have decided on the basics of your SMS loyalty program, the most important step to action is to ontain consent from customers before contacting them via SMS. You can achieve this in several ways and also take advantage of other marketing channels to help promote your SMS loyalty program.
Make your SMS program attractive by describing what speciality offers you will give customers just for signing up. This could be an additional percentage off your product, a free trial, exclusive offers or another high-value item.
- Let your email subscribers know about your SMS loyalty program and include instructions to opt-in
- Add a sign-up form to your website as a footer or use pop-ups where a customer can leave their phone number in exchange for an incentive
- Promote your program in-store using a keyword that customers can text to your shortcode.
- Hold a ‘text-to-win” competition on social media and invite followers to participate by texting a keyword to your shortcode.
Timing and Frequency
Determining the right frequency and timing of your SMS messages is essential. Too many at the wrong time can increase your SMS opt-out rates.
The rule of thumb for the frequency of SMS messages is approximately 4 to 5 messages a month or 1 or 2 per week. Make sure to let subscribers know how often they can expect to hear from you right from the get-go. You could include this information in your welcome message.
When it comes to timing, the best time to send SMS messages will depend on your business and your customers. It is, however, recommended to stick to business hours.
Keep Customers Engaged
Rewards programs are designed for repeat customers so it’s important to keep your customers from getting bored by making sure to supply them with engaging and exciting content. With SMS marketing, the opportunities for on-going customer engagement are virtually limitless; all you need is a little creativity.
You could create a trivia question where a correct answer by the first 50 people results in a reward. Send out a poll for a featured product. Offer discount codes for customers who make referrals.
Spoil your customers on their birthdays with exclusive discounts or promotions. Feature an offering addressed to “loyal customers only” for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or for holidays such as Easter and Christmas. The more you include rewards that highlight the benefits of being part of your loyalty program, the more people are likely to spread the word about your brand.
Track Your Results
As rewarding as engaging with your customers can be, tracking how successful your loyalty program is will make sure that you are getting the best value out of it as well as highlighting where you need to improve.
These are the metrics that you should keep an eye on:
- Subscriber Growth Rate
- Click-through Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Attrition Rate
- Acquisition Cost Per Subscriber
- Return of Investment (ROI)
When it comes to your SMS loyalty program make sure to keep your messaging and tactics focused on building benefits and deepening engagement with your existing customer base as a priority. For more advice on how to set up the best SMS gateway to drive your SMS loyalty program get in touch with us and let our helpful staff guide you.