Here’s a recap of our webinar entitled “Secrets to Scaling Up Sales Growth Using Engagement Marketing” brought to you by Exclusive Concepts and our partners at LoyaltyLion and Attentive.
Together, we tackled how important SMS, loyalty, and email are in your engagement marketing strategy, especially during the holidays:
- SMS Trends You Can’t Ignore
- Using Sms and Loyalty During the Holidays
- How to Coordinate Remarketing, SMS, and Email
- Integrating Email, SMS, and Loyalty
- Holiday Tips and Offers
Our Team of Experts
- Nik Rajpal, VP of Marketing Sciences at Exclusive Concepts
- Beth Wells, Partner Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion
- Blake Imperl, Manager of Partnerships Growth & Insights at Attentive
Read on for highlights from their presentations.
Harnessing the Power of Engagement Marketing: SMS Trends and Holiday Ideas
2021 has been a year of change for many business-to-consumer (B2C) brands. Most changes in acquisition and retention were driven largely by updates in data and privacy policies worldwide.
As a result, many brands found themselves rerouting budgets and strategies from performance marketing to their own marketing channels like email and SMS. These channels are built on zero and first-party data, such as behavioral interactions and preference data.
Top Retailers Use SMS Marketing
SMS has emerged as one of the top-performing channels. According to research by Attentive, over 50% of the top 1,000 online retailers use text message marketing.
Consumers Want to Receive Texts From Brands
Retailers considering upping their SMS game will be interested to know that customers prefer receiving texts from businesses. Another study by Attentive states that over 90% of consumers answered in the affirmative when asked if they would sign up to receive text messages from businesses. The study covered 2,000 consumers between 16 to 75 years, and only 9.6% said they preferred not receiving SMS updates from brands.
Messaging Tops Smartphone App Usage
Another reason consumers prefer text is because the smartphone app for messaging remains the most-used app, with a utility rate of 98%. It’s a built-in app that nearly everyone uses, is unlikely to be deleted, and with everyone using the app to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, it only makes sense for brands to connect with their consumers through SMS as well.
Consumers Want Personalized Messages
It is hardly surprising that customers prefer personalized messages. When it comes to customer experience, SMS isn’t just a promotional sales channel anymore. An Attentive survey states that consumers have come to expect more out of SMS communications from their favorite brands. This includes:
- Transactional updates
- Customer service over SMS
- Two-way communication
- Limited-time promos
- Product launches and updates
- Exclusive content
Mobile Phone Identity Is Unique
Phone numbers are a great opportunity for brands to connect with consumers because:
- The average US consumer has 6 to 10 email addresses, but only one phone number
- Customers rarely change their phone number
- Phones are seldom shared devices
- People are constantly on their phones
SMS Can Deliver What Consumers and Brands Need
Many consumers prefer SMS because it delivers what they want, such as mobile-friendliness, ease and accessibility, easy opt-in and opt-out, personalized experience, and interactivity.
SMS provides an effective channel for reaching customers. According to research by Attentive, SMS:
- Drives ten times more revenue than email per message.
- Has an open rate of 99%.
- Has a click-through-rate (CTR) of over 30%.
Key Tactics for Using SMS
Here are some tips from Attentive on how you can maximize SMS this holiday season:
- Keep an SMS calendar. Plan when you’re going to send SMS and emails and the type of mix you will use (promotional, loyalty, content, etc.).
- Communicate Urgency and Exclusivity. Use SMS to remind customers of promotions and sales on the day or earlier to encourage engagement and conversion.
- Manage Shipping Expectations. Use SMS to remind consumers to purchase early. Inform them of shipping updates, so they know when to expect their orders.
- Increase Message Frequency During the Holidays. Increase the frequency of text messaging around the holiday season to drive traffic and maximize revenue.
- VIP Treatment. VIP offers communicated via text help create a sense of exclusivity. SMS subscribers are some of the most engaged audiences, and VIP deals are the impetus that drives traffic and last-minute conversions.
Ensure deliverability of texts to maximize campaign efforts. Deliverability tools guarantee messages are delivered on time.
The Power of Loyalty in Post-Holiday Strategies
According to Beth Wells of LoyaltyLion, 64% of retailers attest that shoppers acquired during Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) have a lower lifetime value than those obtained at other times of the year.
- Marketing to consumers over the BFCM period is pretty expensive, and hence consumers obtained during this period are equally expensive. Discounts or promos offered during this time also affect overall profit.
- Deal-seeking consumers can be quite fickle. Discount shoppers, for example, have very little emotional attachment to brands. According to research shared by Wells, 60% of consumers say that BFCM discounts negatively affect their trust in a brand.
So how can brands avoid being negatively impacted by BFCM deals? The answer is securing long-term loyalty.
Three Ways to Power Retention Using a Loyalty Program
- Incentivize Repeat Purchases With Loyalty Points: Loyalty points create a clear path to a customer’s heart. Shoppers who redeem points spend 2.5% times more than non-members, shares LoyaltyLion. Brands can transform newly-acquired customers into repeat purchasers through post-purchases emails or text messages, informing them of the points they’ve accumulated and encouraging them to build up points further.
- Encourage Your Customers to Level Up: 74% of customers are loyal to a brand when they feel they are working towards a goal or a reward. Brands can encourage customers to shop with them more often by giving them something to aspire to. To keep your customers loyal even post-holidays, introduce a tier system in your loyalty program. Offer bigger and better benefits with each tier to encourage them to level up within the program. As a result, they will be encouraged to engage, return, and spend more.
- Offer Experiential Points and Rewards: According to LoyaltyLion, 68% of customers purchase from brands that share their values. Amplify your brand values by creating experiential points and rewards within your program that resonate with your customer base. This will allow you to stand out and also strengthen emotional ties with your customers. Offer high-value rewards, and focus on charities and causes that are close to your customers’ hearts.
Email and SMS as Part of Remarketing Strategies
According to EXCLUSIVE’s Nik Rajpal, performance marketing dictates the need for three marketing machines: top of funnel, nurture, and repeat. Both SMS and loyalty marketing fit quite nicely within the three categories.
Planning Across Remarketing Channels
Now that you know how to maximize SMS and emails, it’s really good to plan ahead while looking at the big picture. Get the full rubric by watching the webinar replay and downloading the slides.
Creating Customer Lists for Facebook and Google Ads
Don’t concentrate all your efforts on one channel. Have a coordinated strategy, so all platforms are effectively utilized. For example, as you start to create customer lists for Facebook and Google Ads, think about how they can both be 1) targeted separately and 2) targeted together.
Create lists for exclusion, and study how you can apply multiple strategies to each list.
The 4 Most-Important High-Engagement Automations
The four most important automation for email and SMS are:
- Abandoned Cart
- Browse Abandonment
- Post-Purchase Series
Looking for More Ways to Harness the Power of Engagement Marketing? Take These Next Steps.
Catch the full webinar replay and download the slides for “Secrets to Scaling Up Sales Growth Using Engagement Marketing” Or, if you’re ready to dominate digital marketing, reach out to us for your free eCommerce growth analysis.