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6 Steps to Improve Your Mobile Coupon Redemption Rates

By Dan Slavin

Digital coupons delivered via email and accessed through a mobile device typically have a redemption rate of 2 percent or less. By delivering those coupons via text marketing promotion, marketers can increase redemption rates to 10 percent or more.

Retailers and marketers alike are moving toward mobile coupons for some very good reasons. Digital couponing is much less expensive than traditional print coupons. Mobile coupon campaigns can be better targeted to audiences based on demographics, consumer preferences and location.

There is also the fact that traditional printed coupons have long had a dismal return rate and ROI. Perhaps most important is that mobile coupons are reaching the tipping point in consumer preference. Recent research shows consumers are split 50/50 on their preference for mobile as opposed to printed coupons. That ratio is expected to continue to improve in favor of mobile.

Digital coupons delivered via email and accessed through a mobile device are typically redeemed within a range of 0.5 to 2 percent. But by delivering those coupons via text marketing promotion, marketers can increase redemption rates to as much as 10 percent or more. In fact, according to research, 85 percent of consumers will redeem a coupon delivered via text within one week.

With the move to mobile coupons a foregone conclusion, what are other ways retailers can improve their redemption rates? Below are six proven methods that not only bump up your rates but also generate actionable data in the process.

1. Employ higher-value coupons that can only be used once.

Consumers overwhelmingly prefer a higher-value coupon that they can use only once over a lower-value coupon that can be used more than once (by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin, according to CodeBroker). To deliver single-use coupons, retailers must have the ability to generate a “smart,” single-use mobile coupon with a security model that ensures …

  • The customer always receives the same mobile coupon regardless of the number of times the coupon is requested and the number of channels chosen to receive the coupon.
  • Once the mobile coupon is used, it expires and is marked as redeemed across all distribution channels to prevent reuse.
  • It is difficult for a consumer to obtain a second copy of the coupon unless specifically allowed by the retailer.

2. Leverage 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.

Research firm Aberdeen Essentials found that redemption rates for coupons where customers perform an action to request a coupon can approach 50 percent. CodeBroker coupon research indicates that 60 percent of consumers would plan to redeem such a coupon within one week, which is slightly above observed redemption rates of 30 to 50 percent.

3. Conduct brief promotions.

Create promotions with a short redemption period, preferably 10 days or less. Creating a short window of opportunity inspires urgency among consumers to use their coupon offers quickly, which will drive higher redemption rates.

4. Don’t forget the reminder message.

For longer promotions (two to three 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.

The best time to deliver the reminder message is two or three days before the promotion expires. Reminders are proven to increase redemption rates by as much as 70 percent.

5. Make content exclusive.

When subscribers receive exclusive, “members-only” offers, it makes them feel special, making them more inclined to redeem them. Text is an ideal vehicle to spur urgency and a sense of exclusivity; for example, you could send a heads-up note informing customers of upcoming sales or events and delivering content that is only available to those on the subscriber list. Produce content and offers that consumers can only access by becoming a member of your program.

6. Keep content timely.

Another way to improve mobile coupon redemption rates is by making your messages timely and newsworthy. Grand openings, new product or service offerings, even seasonal specials can be an effective means for capturing the interest of recipients. Another way is holding occasional text-only sales. Using text messaging as a vehicle can keep customers checking back frequently and has proven to be a great way to drive urgency, getting consumers to respond quickly.

Learn more

Of course, as in all of your mobile marketing efforts, you’ll want to test ways you can specifically improve your results to fine-tune them. To learn more about increasing your redemption rates with mobile coupons, download the whitepaper “Best Practices for Increasing Text Message Opt-Ins and Mobile Coupon Redemption.”

January 4, 2019
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Retail Shoppers Prefer Email Offers, But Text Is Gaining: Study

By Ray Schultz

Email is still the leading retail message channel — but it may soon be overtaken by text, judging by Consumer Mobile Engagement, a study by CodeBroker.

Email is favored by 41% of consumers for receiving sale, discount and coupon offers. Second, chosen by 38%, are text messages and app push messages are third, with 21%.

But text messages are gaining on email on mobile devices, with 34.85% of consumers who desire them, compared to 35.24% for email. Push/app messages are third, preferred by 22.92%. At the bottom are websites (6.98%).

Email fares more poorly when it comes to accessing loyalty rewards from a mobile device — 37% prefer a link in a text message, 32% prefer a mobile app on their device and 29% an email to the phone. Only 2% choose a mobile website.

What to send them via text? Of those polled, 53.29% prefer coupon offers, 23.82% sales or discounts, 6.52% prefer a new product announcement and 5.36% prefer special events.

Moreover, 60.44% have opted in to a brand or retail text messaging list. And 100% of millennials have done so.

In addition, 75.49% will provide their name and address in return for a high-value mobile coupon.

The study states that retailers can also offer coupons to collect “demographic information during list sign-up,” and that they can “add the record to the CRM system, to target text messages more granularly, such as by location – and also augment text marketing with other channels, such as direct mail or email.”

CodeBroker surveyed 1,552 consumers.

January 4, 2019
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How to Better Connect with Consumers via Mobile Coupons

By Dan Slavin

Cell and smartphone use is up markedly since 2011. In fact, Pew Research says smartphone use has more than doubled in the past seven years with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. That number is even higher in attractive demographics like 18- to 29-year-olds (94%). Even smartphone use in the 50-64 age group is strong at 73%.

Smartphone-only users

Pew also noted another trend in its research called “smartphone-only” users, defined as a group that relies exclusively on handheld devices to access the internet, bypassing a cable service. As of 2018, this accounted for one in five smartphone users, an amount that has doubled in the past five years. Smartphone dependency is strongest among younger users ages 18-29 years old (28%) and expanding.

The point is that it’s not just smartphone use that is growing—the number of people totally dependent on these devices to access the internet is rising as well. Both segments are projected to continue to show strong growth. Yet some marketers and retailers are struggling with attracting these users with offers and coupons.

It is with this thought that CodeBroker launched its mobile marketing research series, including its newest report, Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results. The survey involved 1,552 participants of which 53% were female and 47% male. Its goal was to determine how to best appeal to consumers through mobile marketing efforts like coupons and offers. The results may change the way you reach mobile users.

The survey results show the power of a multi-channel approach to mobile marketing and how best to use the various channels available. It also provides powerful insights into how to effectively expand marketing list sign-ups and even demonstrates consumer willingness to share more personal data based on an attractive initial sign-up offer.

How Consumers Prefer to Receive Mobile Coupons

The significance of using a multi-channel approach with mobile marketing is evident when looking at the data collected behind the question, “How do you prefer to receive mobile coupons from retailers?” Survey respondents were virtually split between email and text in their priority for receiving mobile coupons.

  • 35.24% – Email
  • 34.85% – Text Messages
  • 23% – Push/App
  • 7% – Website

While a first glance may suggest email and as the number-one choice for most, using it exclusively would ignore 65% of a retailer’s potential audience. In other words, marketers that take a single channel approach in their outreach efforts are missing a majority of their target base.

These results were further validated with responses to the question, “What is your preferred way to receive retailer messages promoting sales, discounts, and coupons on your mobile device?”

  • 41% – Email
  • 38% – Text Message
  • 21% – Push/App

Again, a limited approach using a single channel leaves marketing to large segments of consumers behind.

The Power of Text Messaging for Coupons, List Sign-ups

The research delved into the power of text messaging in reaching consumers with coupons and offers. When asked, “Which type of text message do you find most valuable to receive from a retailer?” 53% said a coupon. That was followed by 35% who responded with a sale or discount info. The remaining 12% were split between special event details and new product news. Clearly, consumers find texted coupons and offers valuable.

Gathering More Data From Consumers

The report also found that mobile users could be prompted to share more valuable personal data if prompted by the right offer. When asked: “When signing up for a retailer’s text message marketing list, are you willing to provide your name and address if you receive a high-value mobile coupon in return?” a whopping 76% said yes. This is important for marketers and retailers looking to expand their marketing lists and improve demographic and geographic data.

Key Takeaways

  • Smartphone use continues to increase; “smartphone-only” users are a growing segment
  • A multi-channel approach is best when pitching mobile coupons and offers
  • Text messaging is in a dead heat with email for communications preference according to consumers
  • Text messages are powerful in building marketing lists

The research also contains valuable information for retailers and marketers looking to rejuvenate stagnant loyalty rewards programs. To access the full report, download Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results.

May 8, 2019
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Try a Multi-Channel Approach to Mobile Engagement

 

Mobile needs to be treated as a marketing mix to appeal to all consumer preferences. If you’re not using all available channels, you may be marketing too narrowly.

Today we have more platforms and data available than ever before to best help us choose and reach target consumers. Is it possible, though, to zoom in too narrowly? Are we potentially missing opportunities to reach customers because we are not using enough channels, especially when it comes to mobile marketing?

CodeBroker found some intriguing and valuable answers from its recent Consumer Mobile Engagement research. The survey polled 1,552 American consumers, 53 percent of whom were female and 47 percent were male. Before getting into details about the results and what they mean, it can be helpful to take a step back and remember a few things about best practice marketing.

In an article in Business.com, Ryan Ayers, a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, said that while marketing has changed significantly through the years, some basics have not. He reminds us that among other things, marketing requires a balance between what is best for consumers and what is best for advertisers. He uses the example that free products may be terrific for consumers, but giving away merchandise may not work for an advertiser (ignoring free samples, of course).

We should listen to consumers and do what will be most effective in getting them to take action, as long as their desires fall within our own goals. That’s where knowing consumers’ attitudes toward mobile can help. Consumers remind us that mobile is a multichannel platform and each consumer has her engagement preference – some may respond best to text messages, while others to mobile email or app. To reach the broadest range, we have to appeal to each individual’s preferred mobile channel. If we don’t use all the available channels, we may be marketing too narrowly.

One example of this possibility was shown when survey respondents were asked, “What is your preferred way to receive retailer messages promoting sales, discounts, and coupons on your mobile device?” While mobile email comes out on top at 41 percent, significant numbers prefer text (38 percent) or an app push message (21 percent).

Here’s another way to look at the data: If you were to rely solely on mobile email marketing, you would forgo 59 percent of available mobile options. Likewise, if you just utilized texting to reach consumers, you’d be ignoring 62 percent of available outreach options.

The survey digs even deeper, asking participants, “Which type of text message do you find most valuable to receive from a retailer?” More than half said they found receiving coupons most valuable, whereas 35 percent said they prefer “sale or discount information,” and the remaining 12 percent said they liked to learn about new products and special events via text message.

The CodeBroker survey may provide the answer to marketers and advertisers who are not getting the desired results from their rewards programs.

When asked, “How do you prefer to access loyalty rewards from your mobile device?” survey participants chose a wide variety of channels, with a “link in a text message” leading the preferred way at 37 percent. An additional 32 percent of those consumers polled prefer accessing loyalty rewards information through an app, while 29 percent mostly prefer email. It may be good to point out that most companies believe that they have mobile loyalty covered with an app – but they’re missing the majority of the market with an app-only mobile strategy.

Yet many loyalty reward programs only offer a single channel to access loyalty rewards. That may be easier or more self-serving for marketers or retailers but does not offer the “balance” Ryan Ayers discussed in his article mentioned earlier. It also may be the reason why a rewards program isn’t performing to expectations.

The survey may also hold the key for retailers looking to build their text message marketing lists. When asked, “Have you ever opted into a retailer or brand text message marketing list?” a whopping 60 percent said yes. While that 60 percent is impressive, it may be more impressive that 100 percent of millennials who responded said they have opted in to a text message marketing list.

Key takeaways

  • Mobile is a platform with multiple channels; consumers have a range of channel options for engaging with retailers over mobile.
  • Retailers can drive higher consumer engagement by employing a channel marketing mix over mobile.
  • SMS/text has surpassed both mobile email and mobile app push as consumers’ preferred mobile communications channel, including accessing loyalty rewards.
  • Though many retailers and brands make their loyalty programs available through a mobile app, many consumers indicate a preference for multiple mobile channels to access rewards.

In short, consumer preferences vary, therefore retailers must be able to address them all. When it comes to mobile marketing, give consumers a choice. If we focus too narrowly on the single best way to reach consumers, we may lose sight of the mark. Use all available mobile channels to reach and market to your desired audience.

Full contents of the Consumer Mobile Engagement research can be downloaded here.

December 5, 2018
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Why ‘Choice’ is so Critical to a Successful Loyalty Program:

By Dan Slavin

Choice is one of the foundations of consumerism. Give buyers a choice of colors, you can reach out to a wider audience. Give them a choice of sizes, prices or shipping methods and they are more likely to buy. A recent survey also indicates that giving consumers actual choices in how to engage with a loyalty program can be the difference between a stagnant program and a vibrant one.

The CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey of 1,287 U.S. consumers provides some interesting and valuable insights into loyalty program users. To fully appreciate the ramifications of the survey it helps to understand that loyalty programs are not a recent phenomenon. They have evolved through generations in the shape of cereal box tops, Green Stamps, cigarette coupons and other programs that have served to build brand loyalty.

Choice has always been a key in loyalty programs. Consumers could choose the type of program to join, how to access program info and how to redeem reward points. Now, with the advent of mobile, consumers should have more choices than ever to access their programs. Many brands, however are not offering this flexibility of choice. Some loyalty programs have stopped advancing and have stalled in their development. The survey suggests most loyalty programs aren’t offering the choices and versatility consumers expect from a modern loyalty program.

The survey shows that consumers have a range of preferences for accessing and engaging with loyalty programs via mobile, including SMS, app, digital wallet, and email. For the broadest reach, loyalty programs must allow consumers to access their rewards program details, rewards certificates and offers through several mobile channels to meet their expectations for ease of use. The consumer wants more convenient choices in interacting with their loyalty programs.

The Numbers

The CodeBroker survey results demonstrate the ramifications of loyalty programs that don’t offer a choice in how to interact with them. Almost two-thirds of respondents engage with less than half of the programs of which they are members and only 18% engage with all the programs of which they are members. Why the resistance to loyalty program use? The survey gives us even more details:

  • 31% were frustrated with losing loyalty points before they could be used
  • 23% didn’t even know when they had rewards available
  • 54% were discouraged that they couldn’t access loyalty program info easily from their mobile device or that the program forced them to download an app

The answer to this lack of involvement with loyalty programs would seem obvious: almost 75% of respondents said they would more actively engage with loyalty programs if they could access their rewards information from their smartphones.

Messaging to Members

It’s obvious to marketers that the goal is to connect and engage loyalty program members, not just acquire them. The survey tells us consumer preference for program communications as well, with 42% saying they prefer email contact and 32% responding that text messaging was their choice. Push notifications were the preferred option for 15% with “other” and social media mentioned for the remaining 11%.

By using these digital vehicles to better engage members, marketers can restore vibrancy to current loyalty programs. By establishing them at the outset, they can set proper expectations and encourage more user interaction.

From collecting box tops to swiping digital rewards cards, loyalty programs have always evolved to maintain their effectiveness. Giving consumers a choice on how they interact with their programs is the next logical progression.

About the CodeBroker Survey

The CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey was taken by 1,287 U.S. consumers 54% of whom were female and 46% were male. Of the participants, 30% were 18-35 years old, 34% were 35-50 and 36% were 50+. Of the respondents, 60% were members of a retail loyalty program, 54% joined a credit card loyalty program and 52% were hotel loyalty program members. When it came down to the number of loyalty programs respondents were members of, 88% said 1-5, 9% said 6-10 and 3% were members of 11 or more loyalty programs.

Those who are thinking of implementing a loyalty program and those looking to restore vitality to a stagnant program are invited to view the complete CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey. It is available as a free download.

October 21, 2018
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Use Mobile Coupons to Get Above the Noise this Holiday Season

By Dan Slavin

We are at that time of year when retail sales can be compared to heading up the first hill of a roller coaster. There are preparations being made, forecasts being cast, and marketing plans being implemented to make the most of the sales season ahead. This portion of the ride can be eerily quiet, with riders only hearing the ticking of the chain as it propels the coaster upward. Once that coaster hits the start of the holidays however, the noise will be deafening.

It’s no wonder. The winter sales season, defined by the National Retail Federation (NRF) as lasting from November through December, has a major impact on retailers. Some, like jewelers, can see as much as 30% of their annual sales take place in these two months. So the marketing screaming and shouting earnestly begins in an effort to grab the attention of fickle consumers. Since many of these retailers use the same strategies and tactics, rising above the noise happens only for a few. This may be the season to plan smarter, not louder, and the answer may be the use of mobile coupons.

Based on our own observations, the on-demand mobile coupon model, where consumers respond to a call to action to obtain a coupon, can drive significant traffic because they drive highly significant redemption rates of between 30-50%. Now that’s what you call ‘rising above the noise.’

Mobile Coupons Are Credible, Build Traffic

It is important for retailers to understand that mobile coupons are not a theoretical marketing tool that should be considered “sometime in the future.” A 2018 Mobile Coupon Survey of 1,204 U.S. consumers shows that 25% of people redeem on-demand coupons (coupons they request via text message in response to a call to action) within three days and a full 60% redeem this type of coupon within a week.

The coupon survey went on to report that while a minority of consumers (31%) still prefer to download and print coupons, 69% prefer to store and redeem coupons from their phones. More than half (57%) prefer to receive a text message with a link to the coupon. Presenting consumers with options is still key, with 28% preferring to store coupons in mobile apps and 15% choosing a mobile wallet.

Reach Consumers through Channels They are Comfortable Using

Choice and convenience are a key to mobile coupon efforts, especially during the holidays. Consumers are busy and may be less likely to download an app or log into a website. They will be more prone to use the channels they are already comfortable using.

These will include vehicles like text messaging, email, or Facebook Messenger. Once you understand and begin using their preferred channel, you have a far greater opportunity to interact with customers as opposed to trying to hit the traditional printed coupon direct mail lottery.

Start with Single-Use Mobile Coupons

Retailers may be reluctant to use mobile coupons for fear of the liability that may be associated with them. Digital coupons can too often be easily shared and, when valuable, could even go viral. This can be problematic for retailers who want to limit how many coupons are released and to whom.

The answer is single-use mobile coupons that expire after a redemption. Single-use means marketers can offer higher discounts and control who qualifies to receive them.

A single-use coupon redeemed during the holidays can lead to repeat purchases throughout the year, having an even greater return on investment.

About More Than the Holidays

Many retailers invest so much time, money, and effort trying to be heard above the noise during the winter sales season, there’s little left over after December 31. Instead, efforts to improve mobile coupon marketing can have long-lasting positive effects on your brand, providing a much better ROI.

The coupon survey for example found that mobile “welcome” coupons were a powerful way to entice consumers to join a retailer’s marketing list or loyalty program. When asked, “Are you more likely to join a retailer’s brand’s marketing list if you receive an instant coupon as an incentive to join the list?” 68% of respondents said “yes.” That’s over two-thirds. These are consumers who are not only likely to redeem that initial coupon, but also potentially interact with you more after the holidays given the establishment of a relationship.

October 15, 2018
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Why Consumers Want Mobile Coupons and Why They Will Use Them

By Dan Slavin

For retailers struggling with ever-decreasing coupon redemption rates, new research offers opportunity, inspiration, and direction. CodeBroker surveyed over 1,200 consumers on a wide range of topics related to traditional printed and mobile coupon use.

Topics involved everything from how consumers want to acquire and redeem coupons to the types of coupons they see as valuable. The survey even provides evidence as to what would encourage them to sign up for a retailer’s marketing list. Results also show that mobile coupons are reaching a “tipping point” over paper coupons and discounts and how retailers can use them to their advantage.

The Mobile Coupon “Tipping Point”

One of the primary results of the mobile coupon survey proves that digital and mobile coupons are now just about as popular as traditional printed coupons. While slightly more than half (53%) of respondents still prefer paper coupons, those preferring mobile coupons have now reached 47%. As time has progressed, the percentage has grown to this tipping point that mobile coupons will not likely relinquish for the foreseeable future. Those who have seen diminishing redemption rates now have an answer as to why. Fewer consumers prefer printed coupons.

Creating “Urgency” with Mobile Coupons

The survey findings may also hold the answer to how retailers may add sought-after “urgency” to their offers. It appears the answer is in mobile delivery via text message.

When respondents were asked how likely they would redeem a coupon that was text messaged to them, a whopping 60% said they would use it within a week. Perhaps just as interesting is the fact that 25%, or one in four people, would redeem a coupon they received by text message within just three days. Only 15% said it would take longer than a week to redeem a text messaged coupon.

Type of Coupons Users View as “Valuable”

CodeBroker’s research also provides insight into the type of coupons consumers perceive as having the most value. When asked what type of coupon they would prefer, 77% of respondents said they would rather have a one-time use coupon of more significant value, than a lower value coupon they could use time and again. This places a challenge on retailers to work with a coupon platform that can provide coupons with single-use reliability.

How to Acquire more Participants for your Branding List

Retailers are always looking for ideas to increase sign-ups for their brand’s list. The report shows that consumers are more likely to take advantage of instant gratification to encourage sign-up, rather than some lengthy or confusing loyalty plan.

When asked “Are you more likely to join a retailer’s/brand’s marketing list if you receive an instant coupon as an incentive to join the list?”, an impressive 68% indicated an instant discount would provide enough incentive. That’s a full two-thirds of respondents that are willing to join a list, based on an instant deal.

Consumers Want Mobile Coupons

The survey asked respondents about “pain points” when it comes to coupon use. Two predominant issues with printed coupons are that 77% of respondents indicated they didn’t have them when needed. The remaining 23% were frustrated with coupons that weren’t available via their smartphone. Timing and access are clearly problems with traditional printed coupons that can be resolved with digital, mobile alternatives.

The Bottom Line

Retailers looking for takeaways in the survey can get excited about the current strength and future potential of mobile coupons. The survey gives clear indications that consumers want and will use digital coupons when best practices are used. It shows how to increase brand list sign-ups and the best form of digital delivery.

Methodology

The survey involved 1,204 respondents of which 55% were male and 45% were female. 28% of those participating were 18-29 years of age; 36% were 30 to 44 years old; 22% ranged from 45 to 60 years old and 14% were 60 years and older. Income range of participants were as follows:

Less than $25,000 – 27%

$25,000 – $50,000 – 25%

$50,000 – $75,000 – 18%

$75,000 – $100,000 – 12%

More than $100,000 – 18%

For a more detailed look at what U.S. consumers really want from mobile coupons, read the complete 14-page 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report.

September 13, 2018
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How Millennials Want to Engage with Loyalty Programs

By Dan Slavin

CodeBroker surveyed more than 440 Millennials belonging to loyalty programs from retail, credit cards, restaurants, travel and other industries in a 2018 Millennial Loyalty report. These young consumers were asked about the top challenges they face in using the loyalty programs and how they would like to engage with them. They were also asked what changes they would like to see.

From the survey, some very interesting facts were determined. Only 11% actively engage in all of the loyalty programs in which they are members. Why is that? Before we answer that question, check out the next clue: 97% of Millennials said they would actively engage with loyalty programs if they could access their rewards information directly from their smartphones.

The answer for why engagement rates are low may be due to a matter of convenience. Millennials prefer that loyalty programs be simple, and they want them to operate on their own terms: 28% of Millennials say they want to access loyalty programs via nothing more than a text link on their smartphones.

The Engagement Factor

The survey also revealed that as many as 70% engage with less than half of their loyalty memberships. That’s a lot of revenue left on the table. While increased competition can certainly account for a decline in loyalty program engagement, indicators show that Millennials are very open to more engagement in general.

This is apparent when they were asked about their biggest gripe with retail loyalty programs.

Approximately 30% complained of having rewards expire before they were able to redeem them. Another 28% claimed that they didn’t know when their rewards became available. Some 14% stated that it was difficult to access rewards information. Another 13% stated that it was too much of a hassle to carry the loyalty cards. Once you eliminate the complexities and increase convenience, your consumers are more likely to engage in your loyalty programs.

Smartphone Access — Have It Your Way

Remember the Burger King ad slogan, “Have it your way”? This is how loyalty programs need to be when it comes to serving Millennials. Nearly 60% of survey respondents lacked basic insight into their rewards programs, such as point balances and expiration dates. Access to program specifics is key as to whether engagement increases or suffers a decline.

With that in mind, Millennials do have a wide range of preferences when it pertains to accessing and engaging with loyalty programs. These can include email, digital wallet, apps and of course SMS text. To experience the broadest reach, loyalty programs must be easily accessible to Millennials through a wide variety of mobile channels. This not only enables a wider reach, but also adds more appeal to each individual’s channel of preference.

It’s more than smartphone accessibility that Millennials want. The Millennial survey also revealed that they have different preferences for accessing via smartphones: 56% prefer not having to download and use an app. The other 44% said they didn’t like having to log into a web site.

When asked if they would be more likely to participate in retail loyalty programs if they could access the program easily from their phone, almost all said yes. No surprise that the vast majority of Millennials prefer to access their loyalty programs directly from their smartphones. However, mobile is a platform with several distinct communication channels (app, mobile web, text message, mobile wallet, etc.).

The New Imperative For Loyalty Programs

It is clear from the survey that consumers are looking for alternatives to apps and mobile web: each consumer has their own preference, therefore it is important to offer a variety of program access options to your customers. The study found that Millennials’ second choice for receiving their rewards was text messaging/SMS, which accounted for nearly 30% of the total. Mobile wallets, at 11%, were preferred next.

Loyalty programs aren’t just about rewards and points; they also are about meeting expectations and setting a high bar for the experience factor. The majority of today’s consumers want a buying experience that is almost customized per individual. They want a “make it my way” type of engagement with loyalty programs of their choice.

Because their preferences vary, it is both a challenge and a lucrative opportunity for loyalty leaders to include the right kinds of features for their program. Loyalty programs that win the hearts and minds of Millennials must give each member program access via their preferred mobile channel.

For more information please see the complete 2018 Millennial Loyalty Survey.

September 13, 2018
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How to Build a Quality SMS Subscriber List, Bridging the Gap Between Text and CRM

By Dan Slavin

Imagine a marketing tool that is available to you that nine out of 10 targeted people will read within three seconds.

Let me say that again. A marketing tool that 90% of those targeted will read your message within three seconds.

Are you ready for the next big reveal? Research indicates that eventually, 98% of those targeted through this digital vehicle will eventually read your message. To reiterate, this is a marketing technique that 90% will see within three seconds and 98% will eventually see.

Can you imagine telling that to an advertiser or marketing executive 25 years ago when they were planning expensive newspaper, radio, and TV campaigns? What would they say if they knew that, within decades, they wouldn’t have to waste their time or energy on an audience that would not likely respond to their efforts?

Of course, back then there was basically only radio, television, and static print options. Banner ads were pulled by an airplane over major events. Email hadn’t become popular yet, and Mark Zuckerberg was nine years old. Oh, they understood the vague concept of “targeting” to a specific demographic, but they didn’t have access to this powerful, under-used tool we have today. They would jump at the opportunity to use SMS or text marketing.

Here we are, nonetheless, with this magnificent marketing tool, yet many are treating it with less respect than a bulk email list. What are we missing here?

For retailers and marketers to take full advantage of SMS marketing, plans must start with building quality contacts. This is the starting point to build an effective bridge between text and CRM.

Quality vs Quantity

It wasn’t all that long ago that the goal of digital marketing was simply to acquire as many email addresses as possible. It didn’t really matter where they came from or who owned the email address. These email accounts provided “free” access, and targeting large quantities of them made more sense than paying for traditional direct mail pieces. It didn’t take long, however, for marketers to realize spending time marketing to people who didn’t and wouldn’t ever buy their product or service was wasteful, not free. Wasteful lists cost money in time and effort. It is like digitally talking to a brick wall.

As marketers began to realize this, the industry proceeded to qualify email lists, a natural next step. Get the email addresses of higher-quality prospects and improve your return on investment.

Then, the next generation of digital marketing channels became available, SMS or text marketing. As they did with email addresses in previous marketing strategies, SMS marketers gathered as many phone numbers as possible, without regard to qualifying real prospects. The process was straightforward; text a keyword, get added to the list. This made sign-ups easy, 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

A solution to building higher-quality lists may lie in a two-step process that better qualifies those who opt-in to an SMS list. Once an opt-in text is received by the marketer, a text is sent back immediately with a link to a sign-up page. 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 the simple text and capture process.

Marketers may at first be reluctant to adding a second step in the SMS sign-up process, feeling it may be a barrier resulting in fewer sign-ups. The fact is consumers have become used to verifying sign-ups and appreciate the secondary authentication to prove their identity. In the case of our company, we’ve been able to achieve a 90% sign-up completion rate, even with double-qualifying. This high sign-up completion rate combined with the far superior quality of subscribers is proving much more valuable than alternatives.

One final aspect to consider is offering coupons that can be used to not only engage subscribers, but also to obtain more subscribers. In the 2018 CodeBroker Mobile Coupon Survey, consumers were asked: “Are you more likely to join a retailer’s/brand’s marketing list if you receive an instant coupon or incentive for joining?” An impressive 68% of respondents said yes. A quality SMS subscriber list combined with a vibrant CRM solution is a powerful combination in digital marketing.

September 4, 2018
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10 Things I know about … Text message marketing

By Dan Slavin

10) Undervalued. SMS (text messaging) is a powerful and often overlooked marketing tool able to increase retailer’s foot traffic and enhance basket size, though it’s not limited to only retailers.

9) Dreamy stats. 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three seconds of being received, and a whopping 98 percent of them are eventually read. These stats spell a marketer’s ROI dream.

8) Support. When shopping for an SMS solution, inquire about account/project support, training and after-sales service. Ask whether you can use the system yourself in a self-service mode as this can often be a major time saver.

7) Grow your list. Successful SMS marketing starts with building and growing your SMS marketing list. Use a mobile coupon as a welcome incentive.

6) Coupon offers. Mobile coupons delivered via text message drive high levels of purchases and urgency; 25 percent of consumers redeem coupons within three days, and 60 percent redeem within one week.

5) Sign-up process. Process should be painless – don’t ask for too much info. Run through the sign-up yourself to assess it. It should include ability to collect end-user demographic info if that is important for your business.

4) Integrations. When evaluating SMS tools, look for minimal IT involvement and compatibility with existing systems.

3) Due diligence. Evaluate your SMS marketing solution for sign-up completion rates, redemption rates for mobile offers, and revenue generated from programs similar to yours.

2) Compliance. Regulations are prone to change often so ask about compliance. Look for credit-card worthy security to ensure your data is secure. You may still want to run your own security audits.

1) Tracking/reporting. Look for ability to track your SMS campaign performance using analytics in real-time, including list growth, consumer engagement, and opt-in/opt-out metrics.

August 20, 2018
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The Key Role Coupons Play in Retail

Many consumers will browse through print ads, online ads and even social ads to find a good deal

Author: Jen King

Consumers are always on the lookout for a good deal.

In fact, in a March 2018 survey from Valassis, in conjunction with The NPD Group, many mentioned looking for coupons during different stages of the shopping process, whether it was something they planned to buy (42%), something they actually didn’t intend to purchase (26%) or even a coupon that “planted a seed” in them to shop (25%).

So it’s not surprising that seeing a retailer’s print or online ad encourages potential purchases. Some 44% of internet users said it does, with millennial and millennial parents surveyed more likely to feel this way.

And it’s not just print or digital ads that get a consumer’s attention.

Amazon continues to dominate retail, accounting for about half of every dollar spent online in the US and by 2020, it’s predicted to account for 50% of US retail GMV. Make no mistake, Amazon’s going nowhere. So today, it’s not a question of ‘should’ your brand be selling on Amazon, but ‘how’ it’s selling on Amazon.

In a May 2018 survey from mobile coupon solution provider CodeBroker, the largest share of US coupon users said they would likely respond to a coupon offer they saw on in-store signage, cited by 57% of respondents. Other types of ads, like a Facebook ad (12%) or TV ad (7%) also encourage this kind of behavior.

Coupons are a great tool to not only drive planned purchases, but impulse ones as well. This mirrors findings from a January 2018 survey from Inmar, where nearly four in 10 US grocery shoppers said they had bought more than they intended because of a good deal.

July 16, 2018
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Half of US Consumers Prefer Mobile Coupons

Nearly half of all US consumers prefer mobile coupons to printed paper ones, according to a recent survey by CodeBroker. The study claims that the rise in mobile couponing has resulted in higher coupon redemptions and changing purchasing trends.

The study, which surveyed over 1,200 US consumers, found that when it came to coupons that had been delivered digitally, 69 per cent preferred to store and redeem them using their smartphone rather than download and print them at home.

Mobile coupons provide marketers with an opportunity to influence consumer behaviour, with 68 per cent of consumers saying they are more likely to join a retailer or brand’s marketing list if they receive an instant coupon, and 78 per cent saying they are likely or very likely to redeem coupons requested in response to an ad. This rate was significantly higher than the historical redemption rate for CodeBroker’s clients, which averaged between 30 and 50 per cent.

“We’re seeing a feeding frenzy among marketers jumping to exploit mobile coupons because the data supports the hype,” said Dan Slavin, CEO of CodeBroker. “25 per cent of consumers tell us that they redeem copouns they request via text within three days, and 60 per cent tell us that they redeem within a week. This corresponds well to our own observed redemption rates of 30 to 50 per cent for on-demand coupons.”

June 29, 2018
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