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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 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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A New Imperative When Building SMS Subscriber Lists…Quality

By Dan Slavin

In our conversations with SMS marketing pros, we’re seeing more and more emphasis on quality when capturing new SMS list sign-ups.

What’s been the norm for much too long, is that retailers and brands have been somewhat content to simply get someone to opt-in to their SMS subscriber list by capturing just a phone number.

I’m old enough to remember the days when we marketers were overjoyed to simply capture an email address. But then, as we started to use CRM systems, we no longer were content with just an email address. We wanted to know the human being behind that email address: name, company, job title, and more.

Well, the same is happening now with SMS subscriber lists. There’s way too much competition out there, and to simply capture an anonymous phone number is no longer enough when trying to grow a quality SMS subscriber list. And, it’s also a huge lost opportunity.

I’m pleased to say, that CodeBroker’s retail clients have been at the forefront of SMS marketing list quality for years through the use of our SmartJoin intelligent list capture, which is part of CodeBroker’s text message marketing platform.

Here’s how the “old” way works – and then we’ll take a look at how SMS list capture works with SmartJoin:

The Old Way

  • The consumer sees a promo and texts a keyword into a short code
  • She gets back a text message to opt-in
  • She replies with a “Y” and they’re on your list

It’s quick. It’s easy. But all you get is an anonymous phone number.

The New Way

  • The consumer sees a promo and texts a keyword into a short code
  • She gets back a text message with a link
  • She clicks the link, which opens a form
  • She fills out and submits the form

That’s it. With this short process, CodeBroker’s SmartJoin solution enables a secure double opt-in so no further confirmation is required. Although it takes the consumer a little bit longer, the quality of each record is leaps and bounds better. And by connecting the data to your CRM, you now have a much more powerful engine for your sms marketing programs.

By collecting demographic information during text message marketing list sign-up, you can add the record to your CRM system for a powerful marketing tool – way beyond sending text message marketing promos to anonymous phone numbers. You can target your text messages more granularly based on the information you collect. You can send personalized text messages; product offers based on purchase history; discounts based on the consumer’s preferences, and so on.

I encourage you to think “Quality” when looking to grow your SMS subscriber list. Quality records can help you drive more effective text message marketing programs and much higher ROI.

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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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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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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.


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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4 Steps to a Stronger Brand with SMS

The value of a strong brand is how it inverts the traditional sales model. In the traditional form, a company employs a sales staff to actively search for customers and persuade prospects to buy their product.

A strong brand switches that relationship.

A name like “Apple”, “Coca-Cola”, or “Toyota” is so strong it makes customers seek the company out with the expressed purpose of buying their products. In this fashion, the sales staff working for a strong brand are converted from order makers to order takers.

How does one do this? In one word – “repetition.”

There is a big step between recognition (when a person remembers something from a previous encounter) to recall (when a person remembers something independently without a prompt) — and it is bridged with repetition of a message.

While the “HeadOn – apply directly to the forehead ads” were annoying, people remember this questionable product and its commercial to this day.

Is it possible to do something similar using SMS marketing? Yes, through four simple steps:

Determine an official program name and use it consistently

This step is the cornerstone in any brand-building marketing exercise. There should be one program name repeated and cross promoted across all marketing channels. This includes web, email, social media, print, radio, television, and SMS.

Only by following this market saturation tactic can marketers hope to break through the noise with their message. The intent is for your SMS subscribers to see the same message referenced in multiple channels. GAP and Dress Barn are good examples, taking advantage of popular social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. While many retailers will not disclose how large their SMS lists have grown, it is not uncommon for large retailers to exceed one million opted-in SMS subscribers.

Promote the SMS program on your social media channels

Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or Pinterest, and ideally all of the above, a customer who receives communication from your company through multiple channels is your most engaged customer with high recognition and high recall for your products. For this reason, marketers should post regularly promoting the company’s SMS program and the benefits of subscribing.

Rewards can go a long way in boosting subscriber numbers—consider offering a discount when they sign up. Further, set up your SMS marketing program to make it function as an “insider’s club” that receives exclusive offers and promotions, but make sure non-subscribers know about these benefits of joining.

Marketers can also increase their SMS subscribers through the use of their in-house email marketing list. In this way, a large percentage of your email subscribers can be gradually added to your SMS list, which is a medium proven to have higher conversion rates.

Establish a Regular Cadence

The goal in establishing a regular cadence for SMS messages is for the brand to become part of the customers’ daily routine. That said, you don’t want to rely too habitually on sending messages the same day every week. The key is to establish regular, recurring offers that customers learn to anticipate. While setting up a set pattern is logistically easier to do, having too much regularity may be seen as annoying, as when the same offer is being pushed each week. It’s smart to break up your SMS campaign in unexpected ways. No more than four times per month and a minimum of twice per month is our rule of thumb, while throwing in an extra few during high traffic times like the holidays.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Customers will take as much time as you allow them. For this reason, mobile coupons and deals are highly effective if they are valid for a short time. Short-term offers have been proven to drive customers into stores quickly. Reminder messages that inform customers the promotion is about to end are also very effective. The goal is to inspire immediate action.

Following these four rules of SMS marketing will help you leverage text message marketing to transition your company’s brand from ordinary to extraordinary. Create a strong enough brand and you won’t have to seek customers out any more, they will seek out you.

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