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Single-Use Mobile Coupons Are Being Embraced by Retailers

By Jeff Weiner

Retailers are seizing on the use of single-use mobile coupons, and moving away from using generic promo codes due to the fact that these “coupons” are really unlimited offers that customers can reuse, to the detriment of retailers.

There are several benefits of using single-use mobile coupons:

  • Improve the marketing department’s personalization efforts.
  • Eliminate coupons and offers from going viral.
  • Enable A/B offer testing to identify (versus guess) which offers drive the best returns.
  • Attribution of redemptions to individuals and segments.
  • Customers prefer single-use coupons with a high-value offer (see the research).

To provide true single-use mobile coupons, there needs to be an integrated security model that ensures:

  • The customer always receives the same mobile coupon regardless of the number of times and channels in which she requests the coupon.
  • The coupon expires simultaneously, and is marked as redeemed, across all channels to prevent re-use.
  • That it is impossible for a consumer to obtain a second copy of the coupon unless specifically allowed by the retailer.

So, what are the characteristics of a true single-use mobile coupon? It must:

1. Contain a unique code, to track the offer from issuance through redemption and expiration.

2. Be delivered to a specific device and/or individual, to allow the retailer to track all coupons the customer has received.

3. Support simultaneous multi-channel delivery, redemption and expiration. Simultaneous expiration ensures the coupon cannot be used more than once, eliminating coupon fraud.

Retailers benefit significantly from deploying single-use mobile coupons. CodeBroker customers routinely see up to 50% redemption for on-demand coupons, significantly higher than paper-based coupons. Effective offers are helping retailers build brand loyalty with their customers, increasing their lifetime value. With single-use coupons, retailers are also able to track the entire purchase funnel – from delivery through redemption – creating a comprehensive picture of consumer purchase behavior. And finally, CodeBroker customers have realized significant savings by reducing print spend when delivering offers via a text message marketing program.

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Five Tips for A Successful Mobile Coupon Strategy

By Jeff Weiner

Consumer demand for mobile coupons is on the rise. When we surveyed 1,204 U.S. consumers for our 2018 Mobile Coupon Survey, nearly half said they prefer mobile coupons to paper.

Mobile coupons create a sense of urgency, helping retailers to drive short-term spikes in revenue, and they give marketers new opportunities to collect data, track usage, and target the right customers. But how do you build a successful mobile coupon strategy? Here are five tips based on our research.

1. Send coupons in text messages

Interestingly, 57% of consumers prefer to receive a mobile coupon in a text message – accessible via a link.

2. Use mobile coupons as a sign-up incentive

Welcome coupons are effective as incentives to encourage customers to sign up for marketing lists and loyalty programs. More than two-thirds of consumers are more likely to join a list when an instant coupon is on offer.

3. Advertise mobile coupons in store

You might think online ads or even Facebook would be the best way to advertise mobile coupons, but in-store signage tops the list by a large margin. If customers are already in your store, there’s a much higher chance that they’ll be responsive to a coupon offer.

4. Employ on-demand coupons

Time and time again we’ve seen the effectiveness of on-demand coupons. More than three quarters of consumers said they were likely or very likely to redeem a mobile coupon that they requested – with 60% saying they would redeem a coupon they receive via text message within one week.

5. Employ high-value, single-use coupons

Given the choice, consumers overwhelmingly prefer higher-value coupons that they can use only once, versus lower-value coupons that they can use multiple times.
For a more detailed look at what U.S. consumers really want from mobile coupons, you can read the complete 2018 Mobile Coupon Survey.

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Retailers Use Text for Many Use Cases

By Dan Slavin

Text message marketing has evolved from a standalone marketing tactic to a key component of many mobile marketing use cases. More and more consumers prefer the easy access that a simple link in a text message gives them, leading marketers to use text message marketing software in innovative ways. Here are a few of the top text message marketing use cases that we at CodeBroker are seeing with our retail clients.

To deliver mobile coupons

Nearly half of consumers prefer to receive mobile coupons rather than paper coupons. And 85% of consumers say they’ll redeem a coupon that they receive via a link in a text message within one week. We’re seeing more and more retailers take advantage of this shift to mobile coupons.

To improve mobile loyalty program engagement

Most retailers and brands now make their loyalty programs available through their mobile app. This is a great step in the right direction to appeal to consumers who want to engage with loyalty programs from their smartphones. What loyalty program leaders have learned, however, is that more of their members prefer to access their rewards information from a link in a text message rather than through an app.

For more control over mobile wallet promotions

Consumers love Apple Wallet and Google Pay, but they present limitations for marketers because consumers have complete control over what goes in their wallet. Marketers can’t directly push new offers or rewards into them, limiting marketer’s promotional opportunities.

CodeBroker’s clients have overcome this obstacle with the MyOffers Mobile Wallet, which can be added with one click right into a consumer’s Apple and Google Pay walets. This gives marketers the ability to send new offers, or update existing offers. Consumer can be informed of updates via various methods, including text messages.

These are just three examples – there are many more. Consumers respond well to text message promotions, as well as text using text as an access point for a range of use cases. I encourage you to consider ways to incorporate text message marketing into your communications mix and, if you’re like other retailers who have, I expect that you’ll see great results.

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New Research Provides Insights into Mobile Engagement Preferences

By Dan Slavin

I’m pleased to announce the availability of CodeBroker’s latest research: Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results. You can get it here on our Resources web page.

For the past two years, our team here at CodeBroker has conducted a wide range of consumer research, on topics such as loyalty programs, text message marketing, and mobile coupons. What make this new research so interesting is that it addresses mobile engagement more broadly across all of these topic areas.

In our latest research, we surveyed 1,500 shoppers to gain insights into their preferred way to receive mobile offers, coupons and loyalty info from retailers. The research gives the answers, and you may be surprised by some of the results – particularly on the feedback relating to the use of mobile apps.

We continue to learn that every consumer has his or her preferred way to be engaged via mobile – SMS, wallet, app, email – and when a retailer uses a consumer’s preferred mobile channel, that consumer is more likely to make a purchase and stay engaged.

Some of the highlights:

Text messages are almost even with email as the preferred way consumers want to receive promotional messages, coupons and offers from retailers.

When signing up to a retailers SMS marketing list, 75% of research participants are willing to provide their name and address in exchange for a mobile coupon. This is great news for marketers who are looking to build higher-quality SMS marketing lists.

Mobile apps are not the preferred way for most consumers to access their loyalty program rewards information from their phones.

This is just a preview. There’s a great deal of insights on mobile engagement in this research report – you can access it here on our website Resources page.

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5 Tips for Successful Mobile Coupon Promotions

By Dan Slavin

Consumer demand for mobile coupons is on the rise because they offer a better experience than paper coupons, and they’re much more convenient. When we surveyed 1,204 U.S. consumers for our 2018 Mobile Coupon Survey, nearly half of them said they prefer mobile coupons to paper.

Mobile coupons also create a sense of urgency, helping retailers to drive short-term spikes in revenue, and presenting marketers with new opportunities to collect data, track usage, and laser target the right customers. But how do you build successful mobile coupon promotions?

Here are five tips for you based on our survey data.

1. Offer, and deliver, mobile coupons via text messages.
It’s no surprise that people prefer to receive coupons on their mobile phones and that they want the convenience of being able to redeem the coupon directly from their phone. Fifty seven percent of respondents prefer to receive the mobile coupon in a text message so that it’s accessible via a link. Sixty percent of respondents said that they would redeem a coupon delivered via text message within one week; 25% within three days.

2. Use mobile coupon promotions as an incentive to grow your SMS subscriber list.
Welcome coupons are a great way to drive new business, but they can also be very effective as incentives to encourage customers to grow SMS subscriber lists and build membership for your mobile loyalty program. More than two-thirds of consumers we surveyed told us that they are more likely to join a list when an instant coupon is on offer.

3. Employ on-demand coupons.
Time and time again we’ve seen the effectiveness of on-demand coupons. More than three quarters of people we asked said they were likely or very likely to redeem mobile coupons that they requested. Combined with the fact that 60% of consumers told us that they are likely to redeem a coupon they receive via text message within one week, on-demand coupons can be a powerful tactic for retailers and have proved to be a great traffic driver.

4. Advertise mobile coupons in store.
In today’s digital world, it comes as a surprise that in-store signage still rules when it comes to mobile coupon promotions – with 57% of research respondents saying that they are most likely to respond to a coupon promoted via in-store signage versus out-of-store advertising. This is good news for retailers that offer in-store marketing programs to suppliers, and helpful insights for suppliers looking to offer coupons to drive purchases and build marketing lists.

5. Employ high-value, single-use coupons.
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer higher-value coupons that they can use only once, versus lower-value coupons that they can use multiple times. The important thing here is for the retailer to accurately track coupon requests and usage to ensure that the customer receives the same single-use coupon regardless of the channel used to request the coupon. That mobile coupon must also expire upon use across all channels, so that customers can’t use it more than once.

For a more detailed look at what U.S. consumers really want from mobile coupons, you can read the complete 2018 Mobile Coupon Survey.

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5 Tips to Drive Holiday Purchases with Mobile Coupon Marketing

By Dan Slavin
Though the summer heat is still upon us, the holidays are just four months away and, if you’re a retail marketer, you’re already knee deep in planning for the holiday sales push.

If mobile is part of your holiday marketing strategy, you may want to consider adding mobile coupons to your holiday marketing mix. According to recent research, nearly 50% of consumers prefer mobile coupons over printed coupons.

If you’re considering mobile coupons in your holiday marketing plan, here are some tips give you a mobile coupon marketing advantage.

1. Send coupons via text message. Paper coupons have extremely low redemption rates – typically between 0.5% to 1%. Mobile coupons delivered via SMS have redemption rates that range from 2%-10% for coupons sent to a list. An impressive 60% of shoppers who receive a mobile coupon via text message say they would redeem the coupon within one week.

2. Offer higher value, single-use mobile coupons. High-discount, single-use mobile coupons have more value to shoppers than lower discount, multi-use coupons.

3. Employ on-demand mobile coupons. On-demand mobile coupons, in which the consumer responds to a call-to-action to obtain a mobile coupon, have a much higher redemption rate, typically 30% to 50%, making them a great way to drive store traffic.

4. Make coupons available across all your mobile channels. Mobile is a platform with several channels (SMS, app, mobile wallet, web, social), and each consumer has his or her channel preference. To improve results, you will want to make your mobile coupons available via all of your mobile marketing channels.

5. Make mobile coupons redeemable in-store or online. Mobile coupons can drive more traffic in brick-and-mortar stores, but many people prefer to do their shopping online. That’s why it’s important to offer mobile coupons that can be redeemed both in-store or online.

Mobile coupons are about to surpass traditional paper coupons in consumer preference. And what better time to deploy mobile coupon campaigns than during the holidays. Here are some CodeBroker resources that can help you further as you think about driving purchases during the upcoming holiday season.

Best practices for increasing text marketing list opt-ins and mobile coupon redemption

How today’s shoppers want to acquire, store and redeem coupons

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Consumer Preference for Mobile Coupons Reaches a Tipping Point

By Dan Slavin

CodeBroker’s recent 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report shows that the battle between mobile coupons and traditional printed coupons is about to reach a tipping point. The survey indicates that while 53% of consumers still prefer paper coupons, the percentage of those who prefer mobile coupons is now at 47%, and that preference is growing.

The research shows that mobile coupon redemption rates are very high, which is compelling news for retailers looking to create short-term traffic surges: 25% of the research participants said that within three days they would redeem a mobile coupon they received via text message; 60% said they would they would redeem the mobile coupon within a week.

Convenience plays a large role in the growing acceptance of mobile coupons. The survey shows that while 69% would prefer to download mobile coupons to their phone, only 31% said they would prefer to download and print it.

How Retailers Can Maximize the Impact of Mobile Coupons

While the coupon research offers news that should re-energize retailers about mobile coupon use, it is how these coupons can be specifically used that should add to the excitement.

Based on the information the survey provides, the following strategies should be effective:

  • Send coupons via text. Since consumers prefer the convenience of mobile coupons and place a high sense of urgency on text messages, SMS coupons can prove very valuable.
  • Grow your SMS subscriber list through instant gratification. Offer a mobile coupon to incentivize consumers to sign up for your SMS subscriber list or loyalty program. You can also grow your SMS subscriber list by offering on-demand coupons.
  • Employ higher value, single-use mobile coupons. High-discount, single-use mobile coupons have more perceived value than lower discount, multi-use coupons.

Check out the research report for insights into additional strategies.

For retailers and marketers, the trend is undeniable and irreversible. As mobile coupons continue to grow in popularity, they will increasingly attract new customers and build repeat business for stores while enabling retailers to differentiate themselves from competitors.

For a more detailed look at consumer’s preferences for accessing and using mobile coupons, read the 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report.

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Tips for Increasing SMS Subscriber List Opt-ins and Coupon Redemption Rates

By Dan Slavin

CodeBroker clients are finding that digital coupons delivered via SMS drives more sales, increases loyalty and improves the customer experience. Unlike print coupons, SMS coupons are always accessible when the customer needs them, since nearly everyone takes their mobile phone with them when they shop. And consumer acceptance of mobile coupons is expected to continue to rise.

A 2018 report from research firm PRRI indicates the use of mobile coupons will surpass print coupons within the next year, while a study by Juniper Research predicts the value of digital coupon redemptions will surge to $91 billion by 2022, up from $47 billion in 2017. We’ll be publishing CodeBroker’s mobile coupon research in the coming weeks so be sure to check back as it includes some compelling insights into mobile coupon usage.

CodeBroker has found that coupons delivered, for example, via email accessed through a mobile device were typically redeemed within a range of 0.5-2 percent. But by delivering SMS text coupons, CodeBroker found that retailers could increase digital coupon redemption rates to as much as 8 percent or more.

Those are pretty significant bumps in redemption rates, and they don’t happen by accident. It takes a plan. Here are some of the actions that we encourage our clients to take to get their customers to opt in for text marketing lists and to improve mobile coupon redemption rates in the process:

To increase SMS subscriber list sign-up:

#1. Make it easy and quick for consumers to sign up – Don’t ask customers to enter too much info. Customize your sign-up form to capture only the minimum relevant information.

#2. Provide an incentive – Coupons are proven incentives to drive list sign-ups. Our research indicates that 68 percent of respondents would join a brand’s marketing list if they receive an instant coupon.

#3. Create an SMS content plan – Create an SMS content plan and implement it consistently. Before long, customers will look forward to receiving regular content.

#4. Generate exclusive content – People want to feel special and you can do that by providing information and rewards that are exclusively available to SMS list subscribers.

#5. Optimize the customer experience – Personalize the SMS experience to strengthen the relationship you have with the customer. For example, let a customer know that an item on her wish list is on sale.

To improve mobile coupon redemption rates:

#1. Make use of higher value single-use coupons – Customers have demonstrated that they prefer higher-value mobile coupons that they can use only once over lower-value mobile coupons that they can use multiple times.

#2. Employ a single-use security model – To guarantee that coupons can be redeemed only once, regardless of the number of channels by which a consumer receives that coupon.

#3. Use on-demand coupons – While redemption rates for mobile coupons are high compared with those for print coupons, redemption rates for on-demand coupons (which consumers specifically request in response to ads) are even higher.

#4. Employ brief promotions – Create mobile coupon marketing promotions with a short redemption period, preferably ten days or fewer to drive customer urgency.

#5. Send a reminder message – For longer promotions (2-3 weeks) send reminder messages to people who have not yet redeemed a coupon. Inform the consumer they have only a few days left to take advantage of the offer. Reminders have proven to increase coupon redemption rates by as much as 70 percent.

In Closing

With more than three-quarters of Americans now owning a smartphone, and nearly half of consumers now preferring mobile coupons, retail and brand marketers should be looking at delivering mobile coupons via SMS, not only to drive purchases but to improve the customer experience as well.

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5 Quick Tips to Accelerate Text Message Marketing Conversions

By Jeff Weiner

For several years, CodeBroker has worked with many of the world’s top retailers and brands on visible text message marketing and mobile coupon promotions. We’ve learned a great deal about what works best to quickly build SMS subscriber lists, drive higher mobile coupon redemption rates and incremental revenue – for short-term promos and longer-term text message marketing initiatives.

Here are five quick tips based on our experiences to consider as you develop SMS marketing and mobile coupon promos.

1. Capture Demographic Info During SMS List Sign-Up

By collecting demographic information during text message marketing list sign-up, you can add the record to your CRM system to help you target your text messages more granularly based on the information you collect. This will no doubt be more effective than just collecting a mobile phone number during the sign-up process for high-volume, generic text blasts.

2. Take an Omnichannel Mobile Marketing Approach

Don’t limit your SMS marketing campaigns to traditional text messages. Mobile is a platform with several channels beyond SMS, including mobile app, mobile wallet, and social. When your SMS campaign leverages all of these channels, you can drive better results.

3. Deliver Exclusive Content to SMS Subscribers

text message marketing is the ideal vehicle to create a sense of exclusivity among your customers. Consider employing, for example, early notification of discounts or special offers, and delivering those offers only to your SMS list subscribers.

4. Use Timely Content in Your SMS Promotions

Deliver timely messages to your SMS list to announce new store or restaurant openings. Using SMS to deliver well-timed messages can keep customers checking back frequently.

5. Integrate SMS Marketing Software with a Mobile Coupon Solution

Mobile coupons tied to an SMS campaign have been found by our clients to be an effective way to improve customer engagement, increase store traffic, and grow basket size. SMS text coupons also help to improve the customer experience while giving you a way to track the complete path to purchase.

To drive urgency (and also to ensure that a coupon is used only once), you will want to employ a security model that guarantees secure, single-use mobile coupons that can be redeemed only once, regardless of the number of channels a consumer views her coupon.

For a deeper dive into tips and strategies for sms marketing and mobile coupon marketing, I invite you to download our new ebook: How To Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions For Your B2C Enterprise.

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4 Tips to Drive Store Traffic with SMS Coupon Promotions this Holiday Season

by Dan Slavin

The holiday season is the biggest time of the year for retailers and can account for as much as 30% or more of a retailer’s annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. It’s the perfect time of the year to roll out mobile coupons and SMS coupon promotions to create a sense of urgency in your customers. Balance the need for convenience by engaging customers on multiple channels, with a secure single-use system that limits your liability and watch your sales climb.

Smartphones have changed the way people shop – especially during the holiday season, 96% of consumers plan to use their mobile devices to find better retail bargains, according to Shopular. Consider also that 72% of consumers say they have looked for coupons or offers while in-store via their mobile device, a figure that rises to 90% for Millennials, according to Valassis.

There are lots of compelling reasons for retailers to add mobile SMS coupon promotions to their marketing mix instead of using traditional coupons this holiday season. Through SMS coupon promotions, you can target precise demographics, boost redemption rates, and offer customers easy access. Mobile coupons also offer an opportunity to engage with customers which can last beyond the coupon use, and the chance to analyze and track the entire funnel by individual.

Done correctly, mobile coupons can drive holiday store traffic and incremental sales. Here are four best practices that offer significant benefit for both retailers and customers:

Employ on-demand mobile coupons

Traditional paper coupons have extremely low redemption rates that typically range from as little as 0.5% to 2%. Shifting onto mobile devices, and pushing mobile coupons out to consumers subscribed to your text message marketing list, brings greater convenience that can raise redemption rates to around 10%. But there’s an even better way.

An on-demand mobile coupon model, where the consumer responds to a call-to-action to obtain a mobile coupon, can increase average redemption rates to between 30% and 50%. Because the mobile coupons live on their phones, consumers can access them at any time. Also, depending on the delivery process, you may have the ability to continue communicating to a consumer on their mobile device, which you certainly can’t do with paper.

Redemption rates are highest for on-demand access. Graph below is based on a CodeBroker ROI study and analysis of hundreds of mobile promotions and subsequent delivery of 150 million mobile coupons.

A significant payback is possible to retailers who bear in mind these factors: the value of the offer, the level of consumer engagement with the brand, the sense of urgency the retailer creates with the promotion, and the mobile coupon delivery channel.

Make mobile coupons single use

It’s important that retailers limit coupon liability, particularly with high value coupon offers. Digital coupons can go viral and without some form of security they can be used multiple times.

The smart play is to issue single-use mobile coupons with unique identifiers. Every single-use mobile coupon should be validated and cleared at the point-of-sale, so that you know it has only been used once. You want the flexibility to issue coupons across various channels, and you want coupons to expire simultaneously across your omnichannel strategy the instant they are redeemed.

You want flexibility built-in. It’s imperative to find a partner that can help you to securely distribute your coupons via multiple channels, and if your POS does not have the capability, a partner who can help you to validate and clear them. The goal is for consumers to receive and redeem offers only once while allowing you to track their behavior from end to end. This enables you to limit fraud and liability — particularly with high-value offers.

Take an omnichannel approach with mobile coupon promotions

Mobile loyalty is all about providing consumers with multiple ways to interact with your loyalty program on their mobile devices. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that will work here. Choice and convenience are key to securing the engagement you want. Don’t force them to sign into your website or download an app.

Especially during the holidays, consumers will use the mobile channel they feel most comfortable with. That might be text messaging, email, a mobile wallet, a specific app, or even Facebook Messenger. If you can open a dialogue on their preferred mobile channel, you have a much greater chance of engaging with them than you do sending out direct mail and hoping they’ll react.

An omnichannel mobile loyalty study compiled by industry analyst EKN Research shows that retailers now rank omnichannel-related loyalty as their number 1 capability in improving loyalty and engaging customers.

Mobile coupons should work in-store or online

Mobile coupons can drive more traffic in bricks-and-mortar stores and enhance the in-store experience, but many people prefer to do their shopping online. That’s why it’s important to offer mobile coupons that can be redeemed both in-store or online. In simple terms, supporting both provides greater convenience and choice for consumers, which makes them more likely to engage.

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