Message Promotions to Engage Consumers
Written by: Stefanie Gray
If you’re looking for new ways to engage with your customers using text message promotions or are interested in learning how other retailers use SMS, following are 5 promotion types our retailer customers use and realize real ROI.
Two of the more popular ways you can deliver mobile coupons to your customers include ALERTS sent to an SMS marketing list and ON-DEMAND.
ALERTS are sent to customers who want to actively receive offers from you on an ongoing basis. Your customers will sign-up to your SMS marketing list by providing, at a minimum, their mobile device number. By signing up to your list, your customers are giving you express permission to communicate with them via text message promotions including marketing messages and periodic offers.
ON-DEMAND coupons are delivered to consumers who respond to a call-to-action. For example, an in-store sign reads: “Text PARTY to 78527 for 10% OFF party supplies.” Consumers will text-in the keyword PARTY and receive the advertised mobile coupon. ON-DEMAND offers are a one-time occurrence. Meaning, you cannot continue to send text messages to the consumer’s mobile device number.
There is no question that mobile offers work. Based on recent CodeBroker research, average redemption rates range between 3 – 10% for an ALERT promotion and between 30 – 50% for an ON-DEMAND offer. These numbers are far greater than redemption rates seen for traditional paper-based coupons which average 1.6%.
Service alerts are the perfect channel to personalize customer engagement. Based on a recent Retail Info Systems News report (Forget Omnichannel, Customer Engagement is the Goal), “…shoppers are willing to pay up to a 31% premium for an excellent customer experience, which refers to contextual, personalized engagement across retailer touchpoints.”
Examples of personalized service alerts include:
- Order online / pick-up in-store: “Joe, order #1234 is ready for pick-up. Please bring your receipt and ID to customer service to claim your merchandise.”
- Based on a customer’s past purchases: “Ginny, fresh tuna is on sale this week. Hurry as we don’t want you to miss this special offer.”
- Gift card balances: “Matt, current PAYSONS gift card balance is $38.50.”
- Prescription refill: “Rx # 12345678 is ready for pick-up at the 123 Main Street store.”
- Credit card payment due notices: “Stephanie, your PAYSONS credit card has a balance of $75.00 and is due on May 15. Click http://paysons.com/credit to pay online”
These are just a few examples of how CodeBroker retailer customers use text message promotions service alerts to communicate with their customers. Personalized messages can be used to nurture a retailer’s most engaged customers towards the goal of increasing a customer’s lifetime value.
Using text message promotions to announce exclusive offers or special events such as concerts, celebrity sightings, or store openings is great way to create a sense of exclusivity among your customers. Examples of marketing alerts include:
- Welcome message when a new customer signs-up to receive text messages: “Welcome to Payson’s mobile alerts! 5% OFF next purchase for signing up.”
- Offers are about to expire creating a sense of urgency: “PAYSONS: Your Payson coupon is about to expire on 5/15! Use it or lose it.”
- Announcing a new product: “PAYSONS: New bedding collection will be online + in stores Sun May 17. While supplies last.”
Marketing Alerts allow you to readily communicate with your customers. With a 99% open rate and a 30+% click-thru rate, text message promotions can be one of a retailer’s most effective channels.
Retailers use data exchange promotions to collect information from their customers, about their customers. The data a retailer decides to collect will depend on the goal of the campaign (e.g., update customer CRM records or increase customer engagement by playing a game). For example, a CodeBroker retailer customer recently initiated a data collector campaign to collect email addresses. Signage is placed throughout all of the retailer’s stores asking customers to text in their email address to the retailer’s shortcode. As a thank you, the customer receives a mobile coupon good for merchandise they purchase that day. The promotion results include updating customer CRM records with new email addresses as well as seeing an increase in basket size.
Another retailer uses the data collector for hiring employees. Based on in-store signage, interested candidates text in a keyword and their email address to the retailer’s shortcode. The keyword represents both the job and store location (e.g., the keyword CASHIERATL tells the retailer the prospective employee is interested in a cashier position in the Atlanta store). In response, the retailer delivers a “thank you for your interest in the cashier position” text message with a link to an online job application form. The retailer successfully hires the majority of their seasonal workforce through this process.
Sweepstakes are yet another great way to engage with your customers, especially while in-store. One of our retailer customers hosts an annual after-hours sweepstakes that draws thousands of customers to their stores to shop and win prizes throughout the event. Not only does the program bring new customers into the stores for the special event but it also keeps the customers in the stores buying merchandise and food for the duration of the sweepstakes.
Another form of the text-to-win promotion is text-to-vote. One CodeBroker retailer customer recently ran a sweepstakes program giving away cash prizes to charities that received the most votes. Customers were able to nominate their favorite charity as well as rally votes among their family and friends. Each mobile device was able to cast one vote per day over the course of the program for the charity of their choice. At the end of the sweeps, cash prizes were given to the five organizations that received the most votes. The retailer deemed the promotion a huge success – worthy causes received much needed funds and recognition, customers were able to support their favorite charity, and the retailer received a lot of good will from everyone involved.
These are only a few examples of how some retailers use text message promotions to engage with their customers. Depending on the goal of the campaign (drive in-store conversions, collect information, build relationships, or just have fun), there’s a way to use SMS for the desired outcome.