Last updated on January 7, 2024

Lindsay MacDonald
Content Manager @ Yotpo
March 4th, 2021 | 5 minutes read

It’s time to double down on a retention strategy powered by your two most important retention channels: SMS and loyalty.

Table Of Contents

According to Forrester, spend on loyalty and retention marketing in 2021 will increase by 30% — meaning every brand everywhere is competing for consumer attention, and once they have it, they’re hyper-focused on maintaining it. But, with so many brands distracting consumers every day, how can your brand be sure you’re building a retention strategy that’s able to keep their attention? 

The strategy is simple: Spark a relationship by building experiences that create an emotional connection. And, to create those experiences effectively, brands need to get hyper-personalized via the two most effective components of a successful retention strategy: loyalty and SMS.

With the combined power of both channels, your brand can deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time. A loyalty program captures your most loyal customers, and SMS builds those connections to drive continued engagement.  

According to our recent consumer survey, almost half (49%) of consumers have already signed up to receive SMS messages from their favorite brands, and loyalty updates are among the top messages consumers prefer to receive. In fact, over 76% of loyalty members want to sign up to receive SMS messages if they’re available. 

Loyalty members expect the exclusivity and personalized experiences that texting provides — they want to hear from you directly about the information that matters most to them (80% of consumers say they’d be more loyal to brands that deliver tailored experiences!).

To show just how easy it is for brands to deliver these personalized experiences with Yotpo’s combined solutions, here are three powerful ways to use loyalty and SMS together to drive retention.

1. Incentivize loyalty members to opt in to SMS

An easy way to retain engaged shoppers? Reward loyalty members for subscribing to your SMS channel. 

Your members already want to hear from brands via SMS; in fact, over 63% loyalty members are already signed up to engage with brands via SMS, and loyalty updates are among the most preferred messages, just behind discounts and promotions. With special loyalty rewards and perks for signing up for SMS, your brand can give members the VIP treatment they expect.

The more loyalty members that are signed up to receive SMS messages from your brand, the more opportunities you have to continually increase program engagement and maximize repeat purchases.

“It’s such a huge value for our brand to be able to use the entire Yotpo umbrella of products.  With all the solutions and unique synergies between products under one roof, led by one team that truly knows our brand and understands what strategies work best has been invaluable.  Choosing Yotpo was a no-brainer.”

— Anthony Ridley, Til You Collapse 

By rewarding customers for opting in to SMS, brands can transform your most loyal customers into SMS subscribers. We’ve integrated subscriber collection directly into the rewards page experience to create a frictionless experience that allows loyalty members to simply click the loyalty campaign to subscribe.

Throughout a customer’s loyalty journey, you’ll be able to send personalized messages based on loyalty event triggers, like VIP tier upgrades, birthday rewards, points reminders, and points redemption updates. And, by driving shoppers to engage with loyalty campaigns, your brand can increase program participation, and most importantly, repeat purchases.

2. Trigger timely SMS flows based on loyalty program behavior

With perfectly triggered flows, your brand can send the right message at exactly the right time to increase engagement. Encourage shoppers to interact with your program by sending personalized messages based on loyalty event triggers, like VIP tier upgrades, birthday rewards, points reminders, and points redemption updates. By driving shoppers to engage with loyalty campaigns, your brand can increase program participation, and most importantly, repeat purchases.

Using Yotpo’s combined SMS and Loyalty solutions, outdoor energy and performance nutrition brand MTN Ops texts shoppers at key conversion touchpoints. To maintain program engagement, they send loyalty members texts when they reach a new VIP status, a strategy that’s driven over 125x+ ROI. In addition, they send personalized text campaigns to drive non-rewards members to join their loyalty program — campaigns that result in over 25X ROI

And, once these shoppers have been converted into loyalty members, MTN Ops can continue to build retention by engaging them via SMS throughout their customer lifetime with offers, promotions, education campaigns, and more. 

“We’ve really been able to engage with our loyalty customers through SMS — it’s been a game changer and has helped us drive even more repeat purchases. It was really simple to set up. We used the guidance from our CSM and it’s been running itself ever since.”

— Chris Neff, MTN Ops 

A brand can have a perfectly tailored loyalty program that provides motivating incentives that drive participation, but without the proper messaging channel in place to inform customers of their loyalty status, a loyalty program can’t reach its ROI potential. With an 8x higher engagement rate than email, SMS is the ideal channel to send those messages in the most effective way. 

3. Leverage loyalty data within your SMS segmentation to personalize texts

With two retention channels, your brand can easily collect and leverage more valuable customer data. 

Think about everything you know about your customer through your loyalty program: rewards status, purchase history, VIP tier, birthday information, and more. Combine that data with your customer behavior and purchase data, and now you’re able to send out even more personalized, loyalty-specific texts throughout the customer journey. 

For example, you can send targeted early access campaigns to loyalty members, remind your VIP members of their tier-specific perks, and let customers know how many points they can earn with new product launch purchases — just to name a few.

How to get started?

Ready to take your retention strategy to the next level with the combined power of loyalty and SMS marketing? Request a demo to get started.