August 12, 2011

Mobilizing Your Loyalty Program Acquisition

by Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

Ground Stop. Reagan National Airport, D.C. I take the break to go grab some food ...and low and behold I get a chance to evaluate a loyalty program acquisition via mobile!

While enjoying a healthy snack of fried mozzarella at a very busy T.G.I. Friday’s, a woman sat next to me and ordered, telling the multi-tasking master server that she was part of the “Stripes” V.I.P program. This cued the server to start asking everyone if they were part of the program. As I mentioned in my last post about a birthday email program, having your in-store team prepared to not only ask customers to opt-in to your programs but also be able to communicate the value of doing so.. is key! This server may have needed a prompt to go into acquisition mode but she was more than able to go through the list of perks and even had a business card sized hand out to share with everyone.

SMS Promotion - Front

Reading the front of the card had me intrigued. A simple text would complete my loyalty program enrollment and I would receive perks, coupons, rewards, etc… I thought about enrolling just to evaluate their acquisition process but stuck the card in my wallet and waited for my check. When I received my check, I considered what would have happened if I enrolled? Would I have been able to get perks for this particular visit? Would I get a discount already? Would there be an option for a free dessert? Any of these would have made my enrollment a no-brainer.

We often discuss how important it is to communicate the value proposition of your email program during sign up and this should be carried over to any acquisition method for any program. Answer the question “What’s in it for me?” by detailing benefits, setting expectations, etc.. which T.G.I. Friday’s did very well, but also give that extra incentive of instant gratification. This is commonly done with email sign up “10% off / Free Shipping on your first order.” As mobile adoption continues to grow, the heightened variable that the customer is in your store and in the buying mood increases the chance of converting a prospect to a first time buyer!

Here are a few quick pointers to consider when promoting acquisition via mobile:SMS Promotion - Back

  • Communicate the benefits of signing up. Let the customer know that they will receive coupons, exclusive offers, the latest updates. “TXT _____ to get our mobile alerts” will not lead to a high adoption rate from your customers.
  • Factor in the immediacy of the device. Having the customer take an action on their mobile device should result in an immediate response. Maintain the high level of engagement while your customer has their device in hand.
  • Provide an immediate offer/reward during sign up. This will demonstrate the benefit of your program to the customer and help increase ongoing engagement. If you can’t offer a discount, perhaps your loyalty program has points that can be offered for new enrollments.
  • Try using QR codes to push customer to web based enrollment forms if you don’t have full SMS capabilities.

In the end, I did enroll in the T.G.I. Friday’s Stripes program and the subsequent emails did provide coupons and special offers (including that free dessert!) which will encourage a repeat visit. Have you seen any great mobile acquisition programs that got you to sign up on the spot? If so, share below!

Jim Davidson
Manager, Strategic Services at Bronto

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Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Research

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Comments

I couldn't agree with you more, Jim. Give your customers a good reason to enroll in your programs, use your QR codes or join any of your contests. They should know "what's in it for them". You may be missing a chance to convert a prospect to a first time buyer if you don't explain the perks that they may get well.

Submitted by Jim Davidson on

Plus the consumer could have some fun trying something new if they know they will benefit from the extra effort. In addition to converting first time buyers, a well-worded plan with defined expectations can give your loyal customers another way to engage with your brand.

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