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Lindsay MacDonald
Product Content Writer @ Yotpo
August 9th, 2021

Why It’s Important to Have a Mobile-First Loyalty Program

We’ve entered the age of the empowered consumer.

Table Of Contents

The global pandemic did more than just change the way we shop — it changed the way we think about shopping altogether.

A shift to primarily online shopping reminded consumers of the wealth of options available at their fingertips. Browsing online, they’re presented with a multitude of brands selling the products they’re looking for, and once they make a choice, it’s up to the brand to deliver a superior customer experience to hook them (or risk losing them to a competitor). 

Better customer experiences are the engine that drives a successful retention strategy. With goals of retention top-of-mind, eCommerce brands generate the loyalty that leads to increased revenue and higher lifetime value from every customer. 

But what does an amazing customer experience look like?

For enterprise brands, a loyalty program is the ideal experience a customer is looking for — it’s a key strategy for earning customer loyalty that lasts. And, to be most effective, a loyalty program needs to be tailored to fit every type of consumer, especially the majority of consumers who prefer mobile, with SMS marketing. (Over 76% of loyalty members prefer to engage with a brand via SMS!)

Integrating your loyalty program with your SMS marketing strategy is the ideal way to engage shoppers before, in between, and after purchases with highly personalized and relevant messages. Not only can you segment customers based on loyalty data, like VIP tier or point balance, but you can motivate those mobile-first shoppers to engage at exactly the right moment with the right reward experiences, and you can do it all quickly and easily via text. 

Leveraging a loyalty program and an SMS marketing strategy together is the ideal way enterprise brands can up-level their experiences to keep customers coming back. 

Here are some of the customer experiences you can build when these solutions are working together.

Engage customers in more direct, one-on-one conversations

By integrating your SMS strategy with your loyalty program, businesses can learn essential information about shoppers by simply texting them and asking questions. Collecting this freely offered information about customers, also known as zero-party data, helps your brand to build more detailed customer profiles that your loyalty program can leverage.

Once your brand has that customer data on hand, you can send more personalized recommendations directly to each shopper via text. In a survey recently conducted by Yotpo, over 43% of consumers said they want the ability to quickly communicate with a brand one-on-one via two-way text conversations, and over 31% of consumers prefer SMS because they can communicate with a brand in real-time. For loyalty members especially, the experience of accessibility to a brand is the differentiator between good CX and forgettable CX.

Deeper emotional connections based on personalized messages

A business builds the foundations of loyalty through recognition: by knowing what each shopper likes, what types of messages they engage most with, which products they prefer, and which recommendations to make and when. These moments make a customer feel special and more connected to a brand, increasing their emotional loyalty, which, according to Forrester, is the strongest driver of retention, enrichment, and advocacy for eCommerce brands. 

Throughout a customer’s loyalty journey, your brand can send tailored SMS messages that keep them engaged. In between purchases, your brand can text shoppers to remind them of engagement-based behaviors that can earn them points, like following your brand on social media, reading on-site content, or leaving a review.

In addition, your brand can use loyalty data to personalize your texts to increase engagement. Let VIP tier members they’re close to leveling up, or invite new members to take a quiz for extra points. More than 47% of consumers said that receiving a text about their loyalty points or rewards would encourage them to make a purchase — and the more personalized the message, the higher that number gets. 

When a brand cares to get to know its customers, especially on their preferred mobile channel, those customers feel stronger feelings of brand advocacy and loyalty. According to Forrester, when a brand delivers experiences that make customers feel appreciated, 76% will keep their business with the brand, 80% will spend more, and 87% will recommend the brand to friends and family members.

Low-effort ways to engage with time-sensitive promotions, offers, and more

One of the primary ways SMS marketing can maximize the value of a loyalty program is by leveraging the sense of urgency that a text evokes. Especially in comparison to email, engagement with a text happens in real-time — over 90% of messages are read within 3 minutes of being received. 

This sense of timeliness is what leads many consumers to opt-in to receive texts from a brand. According to data from Yotpo, over 58% of consumers would sign up for SMS marketing messages from a brand in order to know immediately about promotions, offers, and updates even if they already receive emails from the same brand.

Texting is a low-effort way for consumers to constantly engage and earn rewards. Loyalty members especially care deeply about early access to sales, product drops, and other exclusive events. SMS enables VIP members to cut through the noise of additional marketing communications and interact with the brand to enjoy their benefits right away.

Incentivize ideal behaviors by sending time-sensitive offers via text. Over 40% of shoppers said a text with a countdown to when a sale or offer expires would encourage them to complete a purchase. 

Get started 

With a loyalty program and SMS marketing working together, enterprise brands can deliver superior customer experiences and long-term value. Leverage loyalty program data to engage shoppers with loyalty-specific messages, and use SMS to conduct meaningful conversations — capitalizing on every single interaction between your brand and your loyalty members.

Looking for some text message inspiration? Check out these A+ texts from eCommerce brands we love. 

To get started with SMS and loyalty today, book time with us to talk to a specialist.

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