Acquisition efforts are top of mind for many marketers, but they will prove futile if your engagement is decreasing and your opt-out/unsubscribe rates are rising. The best strategy to encourage longevity for your customers is to prioritize engagement strategies over acquisition. Keeping an active user base is less expensive for your brand and you can put those marketing dollars to better use, particularly via mobile channels, by investing in customers who have already shown some affinity for your brand. We’ve identified four ways to keep your existing customers engaged considering timing, loyalty and segmentation/targeting.
Given the reduced frequency in comparison to email, brands should shy away from standard, generic and repetitive SMS messages. With the user giving you access to their most personal device by opting in to SMS marketing, use that opportunity to identify messages that are tailored to their needs.
Timing is Everything
Collect preferences so subscribers can choose a time they prefer to receive messages. You can ask them to include a specific time or time blocks for ease of filtering.
Many brands send marketing emails and SMS messages during the day time, but the peak online shopping time has proven to be 4pm – 9pm, with nearly 50% of eCommerce happening during those hours. In addition, for U.S. consumers, Sunday is the most popular day for online shopping.
Loyalty programs continue to rise as brands have identified that the level of data you can glean from these programs is worth the discounts and incentives provided to loyal consumers.
In addition to this built-in audience, this group of consumers can help test new product launches, gauge response for specific promotions and offer advance feedback on new features and functions on your website, mobile site or app.
Digital loyalty cards are one of the main ways brands can combine personalization and loyalty using mobile wallet. Everything your customer loves, returns and buys again is all linked to one loyalty number. No more trying to combine various consumer records, link multiple email accounts, etc. A reported 62% of consumers make more purchases because of mobile-enabled loyalty programs, and SMS remains the preferred mobile communication among consumers for loyalty information. If you don’t have a loyalty program, now might be the time to stand out with one.
According to the 2017 Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes, 70% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a brand that allowed them to save a loyalty card in their smartphone.
You don’t have to simply give out discounts for loyalty – brands are getting creative by offering points for sharing personal information, giving feedback on products and completing surveys to inform future brand strategy.
Segment and Target
Now that your brand has honed in on the right timing for each subscriber and engaged them with a loyalty program to learn more about them, you can use this data to properly segment and target.
Targeting is typically the first step in personalizing brand messages. It can be as simple as identifying which portion of your subscriber base is interested in a specific brand or product based on previous purchases, then messaging them about the recent markdowns of ‘X’ brand/product. These tactics will typically have better engagement than a generic sale message.
Segmentation takes these smaller groupings a step further by identifying multiple data points including location, past behavior and other traits to hone in on an offer that is compelling to a smaller subset of users.
The perfect trifecta of the right timing, a compelling loyalty program and a personalized message can drive fewer unsubscribes, higher engagement and higher mobile conversion rates for your brand. Invest in your current customers now with these tactics rather than trying to manage difficult acquisitions throughout a growing number of channels.
Zoë Lefeuvre is Senior Mobile Strategist at Cheetah Digital and has over 14 years of sales and marketing experience, working with brands across verticals like retail, finance and media. Zoë specializes in the development of cross-channel marketing strategies, with an emphasis on mobile. Understanding the capabilities and importance mobile carries as a marketing channel, Zoë is credited for creating and evolving mobile strategies for some of the world’s largest retailers, global beauty conglomerates and major magazine publishers.