How to Implement Text Marketing Loyalty Program: Best Practices for Businesses
Loyal customers are a huge asset to any business. Repeat customers make more purchases, recommend your products or services to their friends, and leave positive reviews online. One of the most effective ways to draw in repeat customers is to reward them with a loyalty program. Many retail stores and restaurants already have loyalty programs involving cards that customers keep in their wallets or mobile apps that you keep on your phone.
Text marketing loyalty programs, however, are easier and more convenient for your customers because everything takes place within SMS (text message) conversations. Here’s how a text marketing loyalty program typically works:
- Customers sign up for your text marketing loyalty program by providing their phone number and consenting to receive your text messages.
- You send text messages to your loyal customers that contain rewards like discounts or exclusive products.
- Customers make more frequent purchases to redeem their text marketing rewards.
For customers, the process couldn’t be any easier. On your end, setting up a text marketing loyalty program is also very simple. All you need to get started is a text marketing platform and some creativity.
Best Practices for Implementing a Text Marketing Loyalty Program
Implementing a text marketing loyalty program doesn’t need to be complicated, but there are some best practices to follow to ensure success.
Naming Your Text Marketing Loyalty Program
You can name your text loyalty program whatever you want, but for the most impactful campaign, you should choose a creative and original name that’s relevant to your branding. Some examples include Petsmart’s “Treats” rewards or Books-a-Million’s “Millionaire’s Club” program. Ideally, your text marketing loyalty program will have a unique name that stands out from the competition and is easy to remember.
What Rewards Will You Offer?
There are a variety of ways to reward your customers for loyalty. The simplest is to give customers points every time they make a purchase and then offer discounts based on how many points they’ve accrued. You could also periodically surprise your text marketing subscribers with SMS-exclusive discount codes, give them advanced notice about new product offerings or pop-up sales, or entice them to complete SMS surveys in exchange for a prize entry.
It’s important to plan your rewards so you can provide this information to customers during the opt-in process, allowing them to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to join. You can always add on or modify rewards in the future if you want, though.
Creating Keywords and Autoresponders
SMS keywords are a great way to promote your loyalty program, and they provide an easy way for customers to join and opt-in to your text marketing campaigns. You should create a catchy SMS keyword that’s relevant to your business or your loyalty program and short enough for customers to quickly type into their phones. For example, if your business is a pizza chain and your loyalty program is called Extra Slice, you could use “slice” as an SMS keyword. Your loyal customers just need to text the word “slice” to your SMS number to join your loyalty program.
Autoresponders allow you to pre-write text messages that get automatically sent to your customers in response to certain triggers such as a customer texting in a keyword or reaching a certain threshold of rewards points. You can get creative with your autoresponders, both in terms of how they’re written and when they’re sent out. Maybe you want to automatically text customers on their birthdays or after they’ve abandoned an item in an online shopping cart, for example.
There are some best practices for what should be included in your welcome message autoresponder, both to stay legally compliant and to improve customer experience:
Opt-in and Opt-out – Your welcome message should inform the customer that they’re opting-in to receive text messages from you and provide instructions for how to opt-out if they want to leave your text marketing loyalty program.
Program Definition – You should briefly (in a few words) describe the purpose of your text marketing campaign so your customer knows what they’re signing up for.
Promoting Your Text Marketing Loyalty Program
Once your text marketing loyalty program is set up, you need to get the word out to your new and existing customers. You can promote your campaign in a variety of ways including:
- Adding signage with your loyalty program’s description and SMS keyword around your store and at the cash registers.
- Having sales reps and cashiers invite customers to join your text loyalty program at checkout.
- Including your loyalty program SMS keyword in marketing materials, social media posts, and calls-to-action (CTAs).
- Enticing customers to join your text marketing loyalty program by offering exclusive sign-on discounts or freebies.
Tracking Your Results
The best part about starting a text marketing loyalty program is seeing how the results benefit your business. You should track metrics such as:
- How many new subscribers you get every month.
- Where those subscribers are coming from (e.g., click-throughs on social media posts, in-store signups, etc.)
- How frequently your loyal customers are redeeming SMS discount codes and offers.
- How much money you’re spending to obtain each new subscriber (i.e., your acquisition cost).
You should measure the success of your text marketing loyalty program using standard SMS marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). Doing so will help you hone in on the most effective strategies for gaining new subscribers and getting them to make more frequent purchases.
Choosing the Right Text Marketing Platform for Your Loyalty Program
Developing and implementing a successful text marketing loyalty program requires that you use the right tools for the job. You need to choose a text marketing platform that supports your goals with features like unlimited SMS keywords, mobile landing pages, and multimedia (MMS) text messages. Your SMS service should also fit within your budget while leaving room for you to grow as your text marketing loyalty program takes off, with tiered pricing plans and volume discounts.
NorthText’s innovative SMS marketing platform checks all these boxes and more. We provide industry-leading text marketing tools and features supported by a live team of U.S.-based SMS marketing experts who are available to assist you by phone call or text at any time. We also offer three affordable SMS pricing plans along with fixed-price messaging and volume discounts, making it easier to manage your text marketing budget.