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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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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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Build a High-Quality SMS Subscriber List with Double-Qualification

By Dan Slavin

For retailers and marketers to take full advantage of SMS marketing, plans must start with building quality SMS subscriber lists. This is the starting point to delivering more personalized text message marketing promotions and building an effective bridge between text lists and CRM systems.

Quality vs Quantity

For several years now, SMS marketers have been content to gather as many phone numbers as possible, without regard to building quality contact records behind the phone numbers. The process was straightforward; text a keyword and get added to the list. This made sign-ups easy, for consumers, marketers got lots of phone numbers but, again, without regard to list quality.

Today, marketers are recognizing the value of quality over quantity when it comes to building their SMS lists.

Double-Qualifying Prospects

The solution lies in a two-step process that collects data from those who opt-in to an SMS list. And it’s a simple process. Once an opt-in text is sent in by the consumer, a text is sent back immediately with a link to a sign-up page, where marketers can collect name and address – and even other info. The information gathered during sign-up can be added to a CRM system to give marketers more data on each subscriber, resulting in a higher quality list that is far superior to a mere phone number.

Marketers may at first be reluctant to adding a second step to the SMS list sign-up process, feeling it may be a barrier resulting in fewer sign-ups. The fact is that consumers have become used to verifying sign-ups and, appreciate the secondary authentication to prove their identity. In the case of retailers using CodeBroker’s SmartJoin SMS List Sign-Up solution, we’ve been able to achieve a 90% SMS list sign-up completion rate due to the fact that CodeBroker’s proprietary SmartJoin can pre-populate the sign-up form with the consumer’s mobile number received in the initial opt-in request, eliminating the need for any further confirmation. This high sign-up completion rate combined with the far superior quality of subscribers is proving valuable to retailers.

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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

https://codebroker.com/mobile-coupon-software/mobile-coupon-platform/

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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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Are You Seeking a New SMS Marketing Solution?

By Jeff Weiner, CodeBroker

If the answer is yes, then you’ll be interested in what we hear from other retailer and brand marketers who are searching for a new SMS marketing solution.

Every potential new client with whom we speak tells us the same thing – that evaluating SMS marketing solutions definitely is not easy. The reason…there are so many text message marketing solutions out there and, on the surface, they can be hard to differentiate.

In this post, I thought I’d share five of the most important criteria we hear from marketers who are looking to bring a new text marketing solution into their organizations. For the complete list, along with some helpful tips, I invite you to download this paper: How to Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions.

1. Ease of use

Marketers want a self-serve SMS marketing solution so they can quickly implement campaigns in response to market conditions. But, in order to do this, they want a solution that, first and foremost, is easy to use. According to the mobile marketers with whom we work, ease-of-use comes down to two factors: 1) an intuitive interface, and 2) strong vendor support should they need assistance.

2. An SMS marketing vendor that can grow your SMS subscriber list fast while ensuring list quality

Many SMS marketing vendors will tell you that they can help you to quickly grow your SMS subscriber list but, more often than not, the quality of the list suffers. Most sms marketing solutions have a list sign-up process that goes like this:

  • User texts in a keyword
  • User receives a text message to confirm
  • User replies by texting back a “Y”
  • User receives a message back confirming their opt-in

And the user is now on the list. The only problem is that all the marketer has only a phone number, with no demographic data whatsoever. It’s like just an email address.

Marketers now realize that they need more than just a phone number that opted in. Marketers want to collect demographic info, such as name, zipcode, and other info that will help make their marketing more effective. And they want a more robust sign-up process that, not only facilitates the ability to quickly build SMS marketing lists, but also has demographic capture as part of the process – with an easy-to-use form that the recipient fills out during the opt-in process.

3. Tight integration with a mobile coupon solution

CodeBroker’s customers have found that mobile coupons tied to an SMS campaign are a highly effective way to improve customer engagement and to drive purchases. According to a recent research report, mobile coupons delivered via text message drive high levels of purchases and urgency, with 25% planned redemption within three days, and 60% planned redemption within one week.

4. Works with your marketing infrastructure

It’s mission critical for marketers to have an SMS solution that has APIs to enable the system to easily share data with your other systems – CRM, loyalty, analytics, and websites – with minimal IT support.

5. A true partner that helps you become successful

With many SMS marketing solutions, marketers are on their own. Many solutions are quite technical, or the marketer may be new to text message marketing and, for these reasons, marketers tell us that they want an SMS marketing vendor who will help make them successful.

From project support, to advice on best practices, to proactively ensuring TCPA and CTIA compliance, marketers increasingly are looking for an SMS marketing solution that is more than a software product…but one that also includes expert help to ensure what CodeBroker calls SMSuccess.

We at CodeBroker always encourage marketers to take a hands-on approach when assessing a new SMS marketing solution – to get their “hands dirty” with the system before making a decision.

If you’re in the process of looking for a new SMS marketing solution, I invite you to download How to Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions for more help, including a helpful vendor checklist.

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Text Message Marketing Tips from the King of Retail

By any measure, Wal-Mart Inc. is enormous. With 5,000 stores employing 1.5 million workers in the U.S., the King of Retail generated almost half a trillion dollars in revenue in 2016.

As you might imagine, that level of sales did not happen by accident. Founder Sam Walton was a tireless and bold innovator in marketing and, as his company’s success indicates, many of his ideas were good ones. This innovative approach was carried down to the present day after his retirement. Although Walmart is largely associated with traditional “big box” retailing, the company continues to adopt new technologies to increase business efficiency and expand sales.

One of these areas of innovation is in Walmart’s use of text message marketing programs — marketers would be wise to emulate them for similar success. Below are four effective SMS marketing practices employed by the company:

Distributing In-Store Product Info

The average Walmart store is 104,000 square feet (roughly two football fields) and contains over 100,000 products. Given these numbers, it is not difficult to imagine customers sometimes having difficulty locating the product they are seeking. Walmart addressed this issue through a clever use of SMS called Simple Text that functions much like Siri, the virtual personal assistant in Apple’s iPhone.

The way it operates is a specific Simple Text phone number is posted in the store. Customers text “hi” to start the system and can then ask a Walmart associate via SMS where a specific product is located. Shoppers can also download a map of the store. If they need further assistance, typing “chat” connects them to a live customer agent.

E-Receipts

Walmart is now using e-receipts to provide additional ease and convenience to customers. Shoppers at checkout have the option to receive a digital receipt, in place of a paper one, delivered to their phone via SMS if they register. With their cell phone number linked to their registered account, customers can then easily track their past purchases.

This digital record of purchase information also gives Walmart a wealth of data to use in future marketing efforts. Using this knowledge, Walmart can deliver targeted marketing messages to interested customers via SMS, email, and regular mailings.

Encouraging Shoppers to Download the App

Walmart uses SMS autoresponders to boost subscriber numbers to their mobile app. In-store advertising encourages shoppers to text “APP” to a specific number to get started on downloading and registering. After customers perform this operation, they are sent detailed instructions for downloading.

Reducing Wait Times for Prescription

At many Walmart store pharmacies, customers can submit their cell phone number along with their prescription, to receive SMS notifications when their drug order is ready for pick-up. The program has been a tremendous success in freeing up customers to continue shopping instead of idly waiting around. Nearly 30 million of these reminders are sent each month and over a billion have been sent since its creation.

Now that’s a billion reasons why text message marketing should be a central part of your marketing efforts.

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Does your wallet resemble George Costanza’s?

In the classic Seinfeld episode, George’s wallet is so comically overstuffed with junk that it made him sit at a tilt when it was in his back pocket. In an effort to balance it out, he would stuff the other pocket with napkins.

This humorous skit became famous because it exaggerated a situation experienced by many—left untended, our wallets can become cluttered with bric-a-brac. Often, this collected junk crowds out and obscures the useful pieces.

A lot of wallets feature a huge collection of seldom used plastic cards, many of which were used once and never again. The CodeBroker Mobile Loyalty Survey of 1,207 U.S. consumers across all age groups and income levels bears out this uncomfortable conclusion, especially when it comes to customer loyalty cards.

Our poll found 43% of those surveyed said that loyalty cards themselves were the biggest hassle with these programs. The survey also found that a majority (60%) of respondents felt that carrying cards and retrieving them at POS was by far the biggest hassle of existing programs.

The survey likewise revealed a huge disconnect between loyalty programs and consumer usage. Of those surveyed, 65% of shoppers attempting to redeem a reward at POS found it had expired, and 43% say rewards expire before they can be redeemed. Another 38% claim no knowledge of a reward’s existence. Clearly, these plastic cards are a poor facilitator of loyalty.

What could be the solution to this state of affairs? Consider two other findings in the survey:

  • 70% of shoppers say they would use a mobile version of their loyalty cards if they didn’t have to sign into a website or download an app.
  • 71% say they would be more likely to use their loyalty cards if they could access these cards and rewards from their mobile phone.

This makes a certain amount of sense—carrying a mobile phone has become as ubiquitous an activity as carrying a wallet and keys. In many consumers’ lives, their phone acts as the hub for handling their daily transactions, and that includes the ability to exploit rewards, digital coupons, discounts and other shopping incentives.

Based on these findings, we recommend the following steps to improve customer loyalty:

  • Incorporate mobile loyalty programs into your overall customer loyalty program.
  • Phase out the use of plastic cards and begin using a digital card. This digital card should allow members to access rewards, balances, and directions on how to earn points in real-time using their mobile phones and other internet-connected devices without logging in.
  • Give customers access to loyalty programs via all the popular mobile technologies including text messaging, mobile apps, email, digital wallet, and Facebook.
  • Allow customers to easily engage with a loyalty program across all retail channels including desktop, mobile, in-store, and online.

Transitioning from plastic cards to a digital mobile solution is a win-win for both customers and merchants. Consumers enjoy greater convenience and a reduction in the amount of “friction” present in transactions. On the merchant side, switching to digital facilitates more transactions, increases the effectiveness of marketing outreach, and drives greater revenue.

In this new model, George Costanza’s overstuffed wallet would not even be possible. All the things he needed to effectively participate in a loyalty program would be managed and contained on his mobile device.

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