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Automating the Resolution of Customer Conflicts to Boost Satisfaction
May 27, 2021

Customers are the lifeblood of organizations of any kind and any size. Certainly, organizations and their leaders know this, yet many often fail to ensure a positive experience. Worse, even more organizations fail to respond appropriately, and in a manner that will satisfy — or even delight — customers when there has been a service breakdown.

The power of appeasing customers

A recent survey on how customer call centers can turn unhappy customers into happy customers provides support for the importance of automating the resolution of customer conflicts to shorten the timeframes for addressing customer concerns and increasing the odds that appeased customers become loyal brand ambassadors.

Other research also supports the big benefit of taking the right actions to turn a bad situation into a positive one. For example, according to Bain, a customer experience promoter (someone who has had a positive experience, even after experiencing a service breakdown) has a lifetime value of 600-1400% more than a detractor (someone who has not been satisfied).

Customers who are not appeased, though, are likely to make a bad situation worse. Those dissatisfied customers are more likely to share their poor experiences with others than satisfied customers are likely to share theirs.

Clearly, customer satisfaction is important — Gartner predicted back in 2014 that 89% of companies will be competing mainly on customer experience. Many businesses have broadly learned this the hard way during the pandemic when services were most challenging to deliver, and in some cases almost impossible to ensure.

Customers are also likely to leave. When asked, "Have you stopped doing business with a company because they made an error with your order or service?" 78% responded with a "yes."

Today's consumers have choices.

During the pandemic call centers were especially challenged to keep up with a sudden increase in call volume. The most successful organizations have long acknowledged that it's far less costly to retain existing customers than it is to close on new ones. These organizations recognize the power of appeasement.

The use of coupons and gift cards can go a long way toward maintaining, even boosting, customer satisfaction. Our research yielded insights from 1,225 consumers on just how powerful this sort of appeasement can be. But not all appeasement efforts pack the same punch.

Consumers want something more than problem or issue resolution

For instance, here's a startling statistic: 98% of our respondents said "yes" to this question: "When a company makes an error with your order or your experience, if they fix the error and also give you a discount coupon or gift card, would that satisfy you and help to keep your business?"

That's a statistic you can't afford to ignore, but also one that should come as no surprise.

What may come as more of a surprise, though, is how rapidly that yes response declines when a coupon or gift card is not part of the appeasement process.

Thirty-seven percent of consumers responded "no" to this question: "If a company makes an error with your order or service, if they fix the error but do not give you a discount coupon/gift card, would that satisfy you and help to keep your business?

Even customers who stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience could be convinced to return, according to our survey.

An error with an order can be enough to get 78% of consumers to stop doing business with you — but 81% say they would consider staying with the company in the future if a high-value coupon or gift card were given out.

Importantly, though, appeasement isn't just about receiving a coupon or gift card at some point in time. Timing matters. The more quickly you can act to appease customers who have had a bad experience, the more likely you are to retain them. And the better the odds they will not write negative reviews, instead becoming brand advocates spreading positive word-of-mouth.

Timing matters

When asked whether they preferred receiving a coupon or gift card immediately via email, text message or online chat, instead of waiting for a later date, 86% said "Yes."

The time to satisfy a dissatisfied customer is in the moment. This not only helps to de-escalate difficult situations but also shows your customers that you value their business and that you're willing to take immediate steps to keep it.

For call centers and staff, an automated process for issuing and tracking appeasements can reduce delays and administrative steps while ensuring accountability.

In an environment where consumers have more choices and options than ever before, you can't afford to overlook the power of appeasement. Going beyond a simple apology to quickly offering a reward will help to ensure their continued support and loyalty.

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Appeasement is the Name of the Game for Flipping Disgruntled Customers
February 25, 2021

We all have them. None of us wants them. But, if we manage them effectively, they can turn into our strongest brand advocates. Who are they? Disgruntled customers.

Disgruntled customers are inevitable. As the saying goes: “you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Because disgruntled customers are inevitable, it’s important for business owners and managers of all kinds to have plans and processes in place to act quickly and appropriately when a service problem or communication breakdown occurs.

Addressing problematic customer issues generally involve some type of appeasement—a forward, good faith gesture designed to express apologies for the breakdown in some way that is meaningful and valuable to the customer. And in the end, results in their satisfaction with your product or services.

Making Amends Can Strengthen a Threatened Relationship

When your customer service or customer-facing staff members—whether in-person, in a call center or online—are faced with a disgruntled or dissatisfied customer, their ability to mollify or appease them can make a world of difference between a lost customer (and related negative word-of-mouth) and a fierce advocate for your business.

That doesn’t happen automatically, of course. Your staff need to know what remedies are available to them, what policies and processes they need to follow to use these remedies, and to what extent they’re empowered to act immediately to rectify a negative situation.

To appease the unhappy customer in the moment, it’s important that the service rep be empowered to choose among several options that will get the job done seamlessly and that will have a high probability of satisfying the customer without delay.

You also need to the ability to track and manage these customer-relationship containment efforts to control costs and identify areas where problems or breakdowns may be more frequent.

Single-use digital coupons (or gift cards) can be a great go-to solution. But not all digital coupons are created equally and some pose serious liability and risks that are helpful to be aware of. Here are some things to look for when seeking a digital coupon solution for your customer appeasement efforts.

Digital Coupon Do’s and Don’ts

There are some important best practices to follow when using digital coupons. Most importantly, the coupon should be a single-use coupon, meaning it can be used only once and not proceed to go wildly viral. Single-use coupon models ensure that:

  • Your customer will only receive one barcode or online promo code—and the same barcode/promocode—no matter how many times they may request it.
  • Once used, the coupon automatically expires—whether used in-store or online.
  • Customers cannot procure a second digital coupon without express permission from the company issuing the coupon.

With those safeguards in place, single-use digital coupons can be your best defense against lost customers, irate complaints and negative word-of-mouth. That’s not hard to understand. With so many consumers tethered to their mobile phones and other electronic devices, digital coupons can be issued and redeemed immediately; they can also be tracked, providing your business with important back-end information on redemption rates.

Another consideration is the particular communication channel the service rep is using while in conference with the customer – whether that’s by email, phone, text or social media -- the appeasement should ideally be delivered via the same channel.

It’s important, though, to ensure that your service reps understand when coupons should be appropriately used for appeasement, what their level of empowerment is in terms of the value provisioned for these coupons or gift cards, and how to track and report on their use.

Appeasement Done Right

Appeasement really is the name of the game when it comes to turning disgruntled customers into fierce allies, but appeasement needs to be done right. That means using a solution that allows your staff to issue coupons immediately at the point of contact, while allowing you the peace of mind to know that these coupons can only be used once and only by the customer they were intended for.

Single-use digital coupons can provide not just peace of mind but a convenient strategy for dealing with unhappy customers and a valued acknowledgement that they, and their continued business, matter to you.

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Yes You Can Compete Against Amazon_Recent Studies Suggest Retail Strategies
January 19, 2021

When it comes to ecommerce, retailers — especially small retailers — have long felt that attempting to compete with Amazon is a losing proposition. Recent research from CodeBroker, however, reveals some opportunities for retailers to stand up against Amazon in meaningful ways. The study, Consumer Shopping Habits During the Covid Pandemic, is based on input from more than 1,400 U.S. consumers.

While 65% of respondents indicate that since the pandemic started they are shopping more at Amazon and less with their favorite retailers, 75% said they would shop more at their favorite stores — both in person and online — if they received mobile or digital coupons, or free shipping on returns.

COVID Fears Still a Concern

It comes as no surprise that shopping, in general, has been down since the pandemic. With many people out of work or on furlough, consumers have been to a large degree limiting their spending to the essentials. In addition, respondents to CodeBroker’s research indicate that they still do not feel safe shopping at physical stores unless it’s for something they absolutely need. Again, necessity is a driver of many purchases these days.

Consumer comments are telling:

  • “I can’t afford to risk my life for shopping in person. I have already lost a friend so this is very real.”
  • “I’m not comfortable yet.”
  • “Not while people aren’t adhering to proper social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.”

However, not all consumers are avoiding in-person shopping; 53% say that, now that their favorite stores have reopened, they’re planning to shop at these stores’ physical locations.

High-value coupons can be a powerful incentive to drive in-person visits and online purchases.

Competing With Amazon: The Power of High-Value Coupons

Whether for in-store or online use, coupons can be an effective way for retailers to compete with Amazon. High-value coupons will get consumers back into stores, representing an opportunity for retailers to leverage their CRM systems to send personalized coupons and offers to customers based on their shopping history.

In fact, 61% of respondents in the study indicate that even if they hadn’t been planning to shop at their favorite stores’ physical locations, a high-value mobile or digital coupon for in-store use would get them to change their minds.

Coupons are as popular as they’ve ever been. Coupon offers are the key for retailers to retain customers and defend against Amazon during the pandemic.

Free shipping is another driver of consumer behavior: 70% say that free shipping on returns would motivate them to buy online from their favorite retailer instead of from Amazon.

With online purchases being at their highest levels for many shoppers, high-value coupons and free shipping can go a long way toward driving purchase decisions.

Additional Competitive Options

In addition to the use of high-value offers, research from McKinsey on how COVID is changing consumer behavior recommends other ways to attract and engage consumers during and after the pandemic is to “Ensure first-class customer relationship management system, foster trust through communication and provide incentives for first-time shoppers.”

The bottom line, and an important takeaway for retailers of all sizes — yes, you can compete against Amazon. Consumer spending is down, but even amid a pandemic and related financial impacts, consumers indicate that given the right incentives — like high-value mobile coupons — they would be likely to purchase from trusted retailers, online and off.

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Leveraging Your CRM to Send the Right Offers in the Right Way at the Right Time
December 18, 2020

Today’s retailers are benefiting from robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems to better understand their customers and to readily share news about new products and special offers. But they need to think strategically about how to leverage the information available to them to connect with consumers at the right time, in the right way, with offers that will compel them to take action.

Changed Shopping Habits

It’s not surprising that COVID has had a major impact on shopping preferences since March 2020. What may be surprising, though, is that retailers can still generate sales—online and in-store—by focusing on the right consumer drivers.

A study from my company, CodeBroker, based on responses from more than 1,400 U.S. consumers, offers insights into exactly what retailers can do to spur sales, even during the pandemic. The report, titled “Consumer Shopping Habits During the Covid Pandemic,” takes a look at the changing attitudes among retail shoppers and what businesses can do to reinvigorate retail spending, even during these trying times.

It’s all about extending the right offers in the right way at the right time.

The Right Offers

What can prompt consumers to make purchases even in these uncertain times? There’s some variation between what might prompt online vs. in-store purchases, but there is one commonality: digital coupons.

When asked whether mobile or digital coupons from their favorite retailers would encourage them to purchase from online stores other than Amazon, 75 percent of respondents said yes. Free shipping on returns was another big motivator for this group, with 70 percent saying this would encourage them to buy from retailers other than Amazon when shopping online.

Interestingly, while 47 percent of respondents said that now that their favorite stores had reopened, they were not planning to shop there, 61 percent of respondents said that a “high-value mobile or digital coupon for in-store use” would get them to change their mind and make a visit to a physical location.

Other research supports these findings. According to Big Commerce, “63 percent of shoppers say they want coupons to be more available” and “emails with coupons have a 48 percent increase in revenue per email.”

Your CRM can give you insights into which customers have responded to high-value discounts in the past; it can also help you identify customers for special offers based on their past purchases. These discount offers can furthermore be used to help you reach out to customers who may not have been active for some time. Given a generous offer, the lapsed customer can be reactivated.

The Right Way

While traditional print coupons still exist, they’re far from ideal, according to CodeBroker research. In fact, when asked whether consumers prefer mobile or paper coupons, 77 percent said they preferred mobile coupons. That’s a trend that has been on the rise; in 2018, 47 percent of consumers indicated a preference for digital; in 2019, that figure jumped to 67 percent.

Consumers are embracing mobile for the entire “coupon” experience—access, storage, and redemption. Mobile coupons represent benefits not just for consumers but for retailers as well. Retailers can leverage mobile/digital coupons to collect data and track usage—and use that data for future targeting and to reassess balance in the marketing mix. In fact, it’s been long known that coupons increase sales even after the promotional period is over.

According to Binghamton University, “Mobile coupons can affect both short- and long-term sales goals” and boost revenue. “People check their phones constantly, and messages containing mobile coupons are hard to ignore,” said Binghamton professor Chang Hee Park.

Your CRM system can help you determine customer preferences based on past coupon use so you can effectively target customers with relevant, and valued, promotions.

The Right Time

As marketing tools, one of the benefits of using mobile/digital coupons is that they can be scheduled to be delivered to consumers at specific times, or in specific places. Mobile couponing allows retail marketers to reach consumers when they’re on the go. In-store offers can prompt impulse buys.

Coupon offers also can be supported in-store through product placement and signage. The repetition and reinforcement of coupon offers through in-store channels can be powerful drivers of shopper behavior.

Your CRM system can give insight into what time of day, day of week, or seasons of the year shoppers are most likely to redeem in-store coupons; other in-store communication messaging can be coordinated to support coupon offers.

There is a wealth of information available to retailers in their CRM systems. Research suggests ways in which that information can be best leveraged to take advantage of consumer shopping preferences, even during the pandemic. Connecting with consumers with the right offers in the right way at the right time can boost your bottom line and drive consumer satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.

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The 3 C’s of Nurturing Millennial Loyalty: Choice, Convenience, Communication
August 21, 2020

Millennials represent a notoriously fickle market, but CodeBroker shopper loyalty research proves that it doesn’t have to be this way. Retail marketers can effectively connect with, engage and nurture the millennial market—if they follow some core strategies that are foundational to moving millennials down the path to purchase.

Here we take a look at the 3 C’s of nurturing millennial loyalty: choice, convenience, and communication.

Choice

One-size-doesn’t-fit-all, especially when it comes to millennials. They’re a varied market—all 72.1 million of them in the United States—and they’re not all created equal. In fact, our research results were all over the map in terms of millennials’ most preferred methods for receiving communications—from 42% saying email, to 32% saying text message, 15% mobile app,and 2% Facebook Messenger.

Truth is, we can’t afford to alienate or miss out on the opportunity to connect with any members of our potential audience, so it pays to offer them choice.

Loyalty marketers can take steps to identifying members’ preferred communication channel by providing a range of sign-up options on the front-end. Consumers will more often sign up via their preferred channel, giving marketers the information they need to communicate effectively.

Convenience

The KISS method—keep it simple, stupid—has been around for a long time and has resonated with everyone from traditionalists to baby boomers to millennials. We live in a fast-paced society and juggle many demands in both work and personal lives. When we undertake a task of any kind—including making a purchase—we want it to be quick, painless and convenient. We heard that loud and clear from survey respondents.

Here are some of the common sentiments they shared:

  • “I don’t like that I have to download 80 different apps and waste space on my phone to participate in rewards programs.”
  • “I would prefer a mobile website with no log-in.”

Respondents express frustration with offers that make it difficult to access their personal information, the retailer’s website—or the offer itself. They want to access rewards easily from their mobile devices and they don’t want to be required to log in or download an app to do it.

Fully 75% of respondents indicated that they would be more likely to participate in a loyalty program if they could access the program easily from their smartphone. Too often, unfortunately, they can’t.

Communication

Communication matters most of all to millennials but, again, not in terms of a one-size-fits-all solution. Millennials value flexibility and the option to interact and engage with retail offers in whatever manner makes the most sense in the moment. Sometimes that’s email. Sometimes that’s a website. Sometimes a link in a text message.

What that means for retailers is that they need to vary their communication channels and offer a range of alternatives to address millennial needs in the moment—what works at 2:00 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, may not work at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night.

Measurement Matters

That’s what our respondents had to say, but what do your customers think? There’s only one way to find out. Putting in place methods of measurement that are reliable, timely and precise.

One way of doing this is through single-use coupons that can be delivered via a variety of channels, but only used once by a specific recipient. It’s a great way to manage access to offers and to effectively track which channels get the most traction and are, therefore, most valued by your customer.

In order to fully understand how single-use coupons work, we have to break the problem down into two basic capabilities: secure redemption and secure distribution.

Secure redemption is the core technology component that is required in order to be able to deploy single-use coupons. Secure distribution provides the ability to limit distribution and accurately attribute single-use coupons to individuals and marketing programs. Both are important. Both need to be effectively managed not only to provide a great customer experience, but also to protect your business interests.

Juggling the ability to meet varying consumer needs, especially among sometimes hard-to-please millennials, can be challenging. The right approach supported by the right technology can make it happen.

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Why Consumers Want Coupons (And What Kind They Value Most)
June 11, 2020

Amid ongoing reports of consumer fatigue with coupons and declining coupon redemption rates, there is a ray of hope for retailers—mobile coupons. While consumers have a wide range of preferences in terms of their mobile engagement, CodeBroker’s mobile consumer research, based on input from more than 1,500 consumers around the country, offers one takeaway that applies to the masses: Mobile couponing works. There are a variety of reasons that this is the case.

Ready Access Drives Results

Consider the way traditional coupons have worked. Consumers would receive or find the coupon, put it somewhere, then later while in a retail setting either remember the coupon and frantically search for it (often finding that they’d left it at home), or forget entirely that they had a coupon in the first place and never make the purchase.

Not having the coupon available when they needed it is, in fact, one of the biggest drawbacks to coupon use, consumers say—77% indicated that they didn’t have coupons available to them when needed. The other 23% of respondents expressed frustration that they didn’t have coupons available via their smartphones. Considering the widespread adoption and virtual 24/7 connection with smartphones, mobile couponing makes a lot of sense.

For retailers, couponing success is all about ensuring ready access at the point in time when consumers make a purchase decision.

Consumers Respond to a Sense of Urgency

Unlike traditional coupons, mobile coupons can create a sense of urgency and can be strategically delivered to consumers to drive real-time behavior. In fact, mobile engagement research shows that mobile couponing strategies designed to drive consumers to in-store deals can be particularly effective.

Sixty percent of respondents indicated that they would respond to a mobile coupon within just one week. Perhaps even more compelling, 25% say they would redeem coupons received via text message within three days.

Creating that sense of urgency can be driven through delivery via text message or email (preferred by 34.85% and 35.24% of consumers, respectively) and limited-time offers.

Exclusivity and Scarcity Drive Action

Not just any coupon offer will drive sales, though.

One important finding points to exclusivity as a driver of consumer purchase behavior. Receiving a coupon that is only intended for them based on signing up to be on a list or past purchase behavior is compelling. Of those surveyed, more than 60% say they’ve opted into a text messaging marketing list offering a coupon. Even more striking, 100% of millennials say they have done this.

Another drive of positive purchase behavior—single-use coupons. Perhaps counterintuitively, consumers indicate that they prefer single-use coupons that offer higher redemption value over lower-value coupons that can be used more than once—77%, in fact, indicated this preference.

The idea of scarcity also drives action and is a proven marketing strategy based on the economic principle of supply and demand. The lower the supply, the higher the demand. This applies to coupons as well as physical products. The power of scarcity represents a double benefit for retailers—an opportunity to drive action and the ability to lessen bottom-line revenue impact from consumers who use coupons over and over again.

Personalization Matters

Overall, coupon offers are the most valued text messages that consumers say they receive from retailers—at 53.29%, compared to general sales or discounts, the second highest source, at 34.82%. The key takeaway here is that today’s consumers want to feel special. When coupons are delivered to them through their channel of preference, for products that they highly value, they’re exceedingly likely to take prompt action.

One final data point: When asked, “If a retailer that you shop with regularly sends you a high-discount coupon for a product that interests you, how likely are you to use that coupon?” 99% of respondents said “yes.”

Coupons are still a very viable way to drive consumer purchase behavior, but their form and function have changed dramatically from the days of coupon clipping. Today’s consumers value the easy access, personalization, and time-sensitive options that savvy marketers are using in a mobile-first market.

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10 Ways to Evaluate Text Message Marketing Tools
February 17, 2020

By Dan Slavin, CodeBroker

With millions of promotion text messages read every day, text message marketing software is a powerful, and often under-utilized, marketing tool. Clearly it makes sense to employ text promotions, but the challenge for marketers is that text marketing software is often technical and complex to use, and with so many options to evaluate in the market it can be daunting, making it difficult to choose one.

To engage your audience with promotion text messages, and drive positive campaign results, here are 10 criteria to consider as you shop around for the ideal text message marketing platform.

Ease of use

Look for text message marketing software with an intuitive interface that’s easy for marketers to use. How much in the way of self-service does it offer? Don’t be swayed by a great sales pitch – make sure that you take your chosen system for a test drive. A hands-on demo is essential, and you’ll want to inquire about aftersales service.

Account support

A truly great text marketing software vendor will be available whenever you need them. When tight deadlines loom, you’ll want to reach out and get instant answers. They should also provide training, recommendations on effective techniques, and any other information you might need to fully leverage their text message campaign software.

Frictionless SMS sign-up

For a successful text message marketing program, you need to be able to grow your SMS list swiftly and the right vendor will help you do that with a slick SMS sign-up process. Run through the sign-up yourself to assess it. Flexibility is important, too, so look for a sign-up that can cover email sign-up and collect demographic information, deliver SMS coupons, and a digital loyalty card.

SMS coupons

SMS coupons can be a powerful way to boost customer engagement, increase store traffic, and enhance basket size. Let customers use SMS coupons directly from their phones at checkout. You should also consider incorporating single-use coupons, particularly when offering higher-value discounts, to limit their redemption to one per customer.

Integration support

The text message marketing software  you choose must play nicely with your other systems with minimal IT support. Look for robust APIs and simple integrations.

Compliance

It’s crucial to ensure that your promotion text messages adhere to relevant legal regulations, which are constantly changing. Look for a partner with TCPA expertise and ask about CTIA compliance.

Data security

Protecting your customer’s data must always be a priority, so look for strong security credentials. Your chosen text message marketing software should support PCI level 1 security — the same security required for processing credit cards. You should also conduct your own security audit, don’t take the vendor’s word for it.

Omnichannel scalability

In today’s evolving landscape, an omnichannel approach is vital. You need to use text message marketing software that can scale as your needs expand. Look for text message marketing software that goes beyond the basics; consider single-use coupons, loyalty program access through SMS, and transactional alert capabilities. When Codebroker surveyed 1,287 US shoppers the top preferred channel for loyalty programs on smartphones was text message.

Tracking and reporting

To measure SMS marketing success or assess the effectiveness of SMS coupons, you must be able to accurately track their performance. Look at the reporting system and ask your prospective vendor for examples of the data you can extract. The ideal text message marketing platform will give you a real-time big picture view of campaign performance.

Proven results

If you want to know how effective any text message marketing software might be, then you need to ask the vendor for real metrics that show what they’ve achieved for other companies. Ask about new adds per week or month, the monthly opt-out rate, and how quickly a list can be grown. Look for the sign-up completion rate, the redemption rates for mobile offers, and revenue from similar programs to yours.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re shopping for text message marketing software but taking time out for due diligence will help you pick the right tool for your business.

For more tips, download the eBook, “How to Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions for your B2C Enterprise.”

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Mobile Coupons | 6 Steps to Improve Redemption Rates
January 4, 2019

By Dan Slavin

Digital coupons delivered via email and accessed through a mobile device typically have a redemption rate of 2 percent or less. By delivering digital coupons via text marketing promotion, marketers can increase redemption rates to 10 percent or more.

Retailers and marketers alike are moving toward mobile coupons for some very good reasons. Digital couponing is much less expensive than traditional print coupons. Mobile coupons can be better targeted to audiences based on demographics, consumer preferences and location.

There is also the fact that traditional printed coupons have long had a dismal return rate and ROI. Perhaps most important is that mobile coupons are reaching the tipping point in consumer preference. Recent research shows consumers are split 50/50 on their preference for mobile coupons as opposed to printed coupons. That ratio is expected to continue to improve in favor of mobile.

Digital coupons delivered via email and accessed through a mobile device are typically redeemed within a range of 0.5 to 2 percent. But by delivering mobile coupons via promotional text messages, marketers see redemption increases of ten percent or more. In fact, according to research, 85 percent of consumers redeem mobile coupons delivered via promotional text message within one week.

With the move to mobile coupons a foregone conclusion, what are other ways retailers can improve their redemption rates? Below are six proven methods that not only bump up your rates but also generate actionable data in the process.

1. Employ higher-value coupons that can only be used once.

Consumers overwhelmingly prefer a higher-value coupon that they can use only once over a lower-value coupon that can be used more than once (by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin, according to CodeBroker). To deliver single-use coupons, retailers must have the ability to generate a “smart,” single-use mobile coupon with a security model that ensures …

  • The customer always receives the same mobile coupon regardless of the number of times the coupon is requested and the number of channels chosen to receive the coupon.
  • Once the mobile coupon is used, it expires and is marked as redeemed across all distribution channels to prevent reuse.
  • It is difficult for a consumer to obtain a second copy of the coupon unless specifically allowed by the retailer.

2. Leverage on-demand mobile coupons.

While redemption rates for mobile coupons are high compared with those for print coupons, redemption rates for on-demand coupons (which consumers specifically request in response to ads) are even higher.

Research firm Aberdeen Essentials found that redemption rates for coupons where customers perform an action to request a coupon can approach 50 percent. CodeBroker coupon research indicates that 60 percent of consumers would plan to redeem such a coupon within one week, which is slightly above observed redemption rates of 30 to 50 percent.

3. Conduct brief promotions.

Create promotions with a short redemption period, preferably 10 days or less. Creating a short window of opportunity inspires urgency among consumers to use their coupon offers quickly, which will drive higher redemption rates.

4. Don’t forget the reminder message.

For longer promotions (two to three weeks), send reminder messages to people who have not yet redeemed a coupon. Inform the consumer they have only a few days left to take advantage of the offer.

The best time to deliver the reminder message is two or three days before the promotion expires. Reminders are proven to increase redemption rates by as much as 70 percent.

5. Make content exclusive.

When subscribers receive exclusive, “members-only” offers, it makes them feel special, making them more inclined to redeem them. Text is an ideal vehicle to spur urgency and a sense of exclusivity; for example, you could send a heads-up note informing customers of upcoming sales or events and delivering content that is only available to those on the subscriber list. Produce content and offers that consumers can only access by becoming a member of your program.

6. Keep content timely.

Another way to improve mobile coupon redemption rates is by making your messages timely and newsworthy. Grand openings, new product or service offerings, even seasonal specials can be an effective means for capturing the interest of recipients. Another way is holding occasional text-only sales. Using text messaging as a vehicle can keep customers checking back frequently and has proven to be a great way to drive urgency, getting consumers to respond quickly.

Learn more

Of course, as in all of your mobile marketing efforts, you’ll want to test ways you can specifically improve your results to fine-tune them. To learn more about increasing your redemption rates with mobile coupons, download the whitepaper “Best Practices for Increasing Text Message Opt-Ins and Mobile Coupon Redemption.”

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Retail Shoppers Prefer Email Offers, But Text Is Gaining: Study
January 4, 2019

By Ray Schultz

Email is still the leading retail message channel — but it may soon be overtaken by text, judging by Consumer Mobile Engagement, a study by CodeBroker.

Email is favored by 41% of consumers for receiving sale, discount and coupon offers. Second, chosen by 38%, are text messages and app push messages are third, with 21%.

But text message marketing is gaining on email on mobile devices, with 34.85% of consumers who desire them, compared to 35.24% for email. Push/app messages are third, preferred by 22.92%. At the bottom are websites (6.98%).

Email fares more poorly when it comes to accessing loyalty rewards from a mobile device — 37% prefer a link in a text message, 32% prefer a mobile app on their device and 29% an email to the phone. Only 2% choose a mobile website.

What to send them via text? Of those polled, 53.29% prefer SMS coupon offers, 23.82% sales or discounts, 6.52% prefer a new product announcement and 5.36% prefer special events.

Moreover, 60.44% have opted in to a brand or retail text messaging list. And 100% of millennials have done so.

In addition, 75.49% will provide their name and address in return for a high-value mobile coupon.

The study states that retailers can also offer mobile coupons to collect “demographic information during list sign-up,” and that they can “add the record to the CRM system, to target text messages more granularly, such as by location – and also augment text marketing with other channels, such as direct mail or email.”

CodeBroker surveyed 1,552 consumers.

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How to Better Connect with Consumers via Mobile Coupons
May 8, 2019

By Dan Slavin

Cell and smartphone use is up markedly since 2011. In fact, Pew Research says smartphone use has more than doubled in the past seven years with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. That number is even higher in attractive demographics like 18- to 29-year-olds (94%). Even smartphone use in the 50-64 age group is strong at 73%.

Smartphone-only users

Pew also noted another trend in its research called “smartphone-only” users, defined as a group that relies exclusively on handheld devices to access the internet, bypassing a cable service. As of 2018, this accounted for one in five smartphone users, an amount that has doubled in the past five years. Smartphone dependency is strongest among younger users ages 18-29 years old (28%) and expanding.

The point is that it’s not just smartphone use that is growing—the number of people totally dependent on these devices to access the internet is rising as well. Both segments are projected to continue to show strong growth. Yet some marketers and retailers are struggling with attracting these users with offers and coupons.

It is with this thought that CodeBroker launched its mobile marketing research series, including its newest report, Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results. The survey involved 1,552 participants of which 53% were female and 47% male. Its goal was to determine how to best appeal to consumers through mobile marketing efforts like coupons and offers. The results may change the way you reach mobile users.

The survey results show the power of a multi-channel approach to mobile marketing and how best to use the various channels available. It also provides powerful insights into how to effectively expand marketing list sign-ups and even demonstrates consumer willingness to share more personal data based on an attractive initial sign-up offer.

How Consumers Prefer to Receive Mobile Coupons

The significance of using a multi-channel approach with mobile marketing is evident when looking at the data collected behind the question, “How do you prefer to receive mobile coupons from retailers?” Survey respondents were virtually split between email and text in their priority for receiving mobile coupons.

  • 35.24% – Email
  • 34.85% – Text Messages
  • 23% – Push/App
  • 7% – Website

While a first glance may suggest email and as the number-one choice for most, using it exclusively would ignore 65% of a retailer’s potential audience. In other words, marketers that take a single channel approach in their outreach efforts are missing a majority of their target base.

These results were further validated with responses to the question, “What is your preferred way to receive retailer messages promoting sales, discounts, and coupons on your mobile device?”

  • 41% – Email
  • 38% – Text Message
  • 21% – Push/App

Again, a limited approach using a single channel leaves marketing to large segments of consumers behind.

The Power of Text Message Marketing for Coupons, List Sign-ups

The research delved into the power of text messaging in reaching consumers with mobile coupons and offers. When asked, “Which type of text message do you find most valuable to receive from a retailer?” 53% said mobile coupons. That was followed by 35% who responded with a sale or discount info. The remaining 12% were split between special event details and new product news. Clearly, consumers find texted coupons and offers valuable.

Gathering More Data From Consumers

The report also found that mobile users could be prompted to share more valuable personal data if prompted by the right offer. When asked: “When signing up for a retailer’s text message marketing list, are you willing to provide your name and address if you receive a high-value mobile coupon in return?” a whopping 76% said yes. This is important for marketers and retailers looking to expand their marketing lists and improve demographic and geographic data.

Key Takeaways

  • Smartphone use continues to increase; “smartphone-only” users are a growing segment
  • A multi-channel approach is best when pitching mobile coupons and offers
  • Text message marketing is in a dead heat with email for communications preference according to consumers
  • Text message marketing is powerful in building marketing lists

The research also contains valuable information for retailers and marketers looking to rejuvenate stagnant loyalty rewards programs. To access the full report, download Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results.

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Mobile Engagement Channels Preferred By Consumers
December 5, 2018

Mobile needs to be treated as a marketing mix to appeal to all consumer preferences. If you’re not using all available channels, you may be marketing too narrowly.

Today we have more platforms and data available than ever before to best help us choose and reach target consumers. Is it possible, though, to zoom in too narrowly? Are we potentially missing opportunities to reach customers because we are not using enough channels, especially when it comes to mobile marketing?

CodeBroker found some intriguing and valuable answers from its recent Consumer Mobile Engagement research. The survey polled 1,552 American consumers, 53 percent of whom were female and 47 percent were male. Before getting into details about the results and what they mean, it can be helpful to take a step back and remember a few things about best practice marketing.

In an article in Business.com, Ryan Ayers, a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, said that while marketing has changed significantly through the years, some basics have not. He reminds us that among other things, marketing requires a balance between what is best for consumers and what is best for advertisers. He uses the example that free products may be terrific for consumers, but giving away merchandise may not work for an advertiser (ignoring free samples, of course).

We should listen to consumers and do what will be most effective in getting them to take action, as long as their desires fall within our own goals. That’s where knowing consumers’ attitudes toward mobile can help. Consumers remind us that mobile is a multichannel platform and each consumer has her engagement preference – some may respond best to text messages, while others to mobile email or app. To reach the broadest range, we have to appeal to each individual’s preferred mobile channel. If we don’t use all the available channels, we may be marketing too narrowly.

One example of this possibility was shown when survey respondents were asked, “What is your preferred way to receive retailer messages promoting sales, discounts, and coupons on your mobile device?” While mobile email comes out on top at 41 percent, significant numbers prefer text (38 percent) or an app push message (21 percent).

Here’s another way to look at the data: If you were to rely solely on mobile email marketing, you would forgo 59 percent of available mobile options. Likewise, if you just utilized texting to reach consumers, you’d be ignoring 62 percent of available outreach options.

The survey digs even deeper, asking participants, “Which type of promotional text messages do you find most valuable to receive from a retailer?” More than half said they found receiving mobile coupons most valuable, whereas 35 percent said they prefer “sale or discount information,” and the remaining 12 percent said they liked to learn about new products and special events via text message.

The CodeBroker survey may provide the answer to marketers and advertisers who are not getting the desired results from their rewards programs.

When asked, “How do you prefer to access loyalty rewards from your mobile device?” survey participants chose a wide variety of channels, with a “link in a text message” leading the preferred way at 37 percent. An additional 32 percent of those consumers polled prefer accessing loyalty rewards information through an app, while 29 percent mostly prefer email. It may be good to point out that most companies believe that they have mobile loyalty covered with an app – but they’re missing the majority of the market with an app-only mobile strategy.

Yet many loyalty reward programs only offer a single channel to access loyalty rewards. That may be easier or more self-serving for marketers or retailers but does not offer the “balance” Ryan Ayers discussed in his article mentioned earlier. It also may be the reason why a rewards program isn’t performing to expectations.

The survey may also hold the key for retailers looking to build their text message marketing lists. When asked, “Have you ever opted into a retailer or brand text message marketing list?” a whopping 60 percent said yes. While that 60 percent is impressive, it may be more impressive that 100 percent of millennials who responded said they have opted in to a text message marketing list.

Key takeaways

  • Mobile is a platform with multiple channels; consumers have a range of channel options for engaging with retailers over mobile.
  • Retailers can drive higher consumer engagement by employing a channel marketing mix over mobile.
  • SMS/text has surpassed both mobile email and mobile app push as consumers’ preferred mobile communications channel, including accessing loyalty rewards.
  • Though many retailers and brands make their loyalty programs available through a mobile app, many consumers indicate a preference for multiple mobile channels to access rewards.

In short, consumer preferences vary, therefore retailers must be able to address them all. When it comes to mobile marketing, give consumers a choice. If we focus too narrowly on the single best way to reach consumers, we may lose sight of the mark. Use all available mobile channels to reach and market to your desired audience.

Full contents of the Consumer Mobile Engagement research can be downloaded here.

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Why ‘Choice’ is so Critical to a Successful Loyalty Program:
October 21, 2018

By Dan Slavin

Choice is one of the foundations of consumerism. Give buyers a choice of colors, you can reach out to a wider audience. Give them a choice of sizes, prices or shipping methods and they are more likely to buy. A recent survey also indicates that giving consumers actual choices in how to engage with a loyalty program can be the difference between a stagnant program and a vibrant one.

The CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey of 1,287 U.S. consumers provides some interesting and valuable insights into loyalty program users. To fully appreciate the ramifications of the survey it helps to understand that loyalty programs are not a recent phenomenon. They have evolved through generations in the shape of cereal box tops, Green Stamps, cigarette coupons and other programs that have served to build brand loyalty.

Choice has always been a key in loyalty programs. Consumers could choose the type of program to join, how to access program info and how to redeem reward points. Now, with the advent of mobile, consumers should have more choices than ever to access their programs. Many brands, however are not offering this flexibility of choice. Some loyalty programs have stopped advancing and have stalled in their development. The survey suggests most loyalty programs aren’t offering the choices and versatility consumers expect from a modern loyalty program.

The survey shows that consumers have a range of preferences for accessing and engaging with loyalty programs via mobile, including SMS, app, digital wallet, and email. For the broadest reach, loyalty programs must allow consumers to access their rewards program details, rewards certificates and offers through several mobile channels to meet their expectations for ease of use. The consumer wants more convenient choices in interacting with their loyalty programs.

The Numbers

The CodeBroker survey results demonstrate the ramifications of loyalty programs that don’t offer a choice in how to interact with them. Almost two-thirds of respondents engage with less than half of the programs of which they are members and only 18% engage with all the programs of which they are members. Why the resistance to loyalty program use? The survey gives us even more details:

  • 31% were frustrated with losing loyalty points before they could be used
  • 23% didn’t even know when they had rewards available
  • 54% were discouraged that they couldn’t access loyalty program info easily from their mobile device or that the program forced them to download an app

The answer to this lack of involvement with loyalty programs would seem obvious: almost 75% of respondents said they would more actively engage with loyalty programs if they could access their rewards information from their smartphones.

Messaging to Members

It’s obvious to marketers that the goal is to connect and engage loyalty program members, not just acquire them. The survey tells us consumer preference for program communications as well, with 42% saying they prefer email contact and 32% responding that text messaging was their choice. Push notifications were the preferred option for 15% with “other” and social media mentioned for the remaining 11%.

By using these digital vehicles to better engage members, marketers can restore vibrancy to current loyalty programs. By establishing them at the outset, they can set proper expectations and encourage more user interaction.

From collecting box tops to swiping digital rewards cards, loyalty programs have always evolved to maintain their effectiveness. Giving consumers a choice on how they interact with their programs is the next logical progression.

About the CodeBroker Survey

The CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey was taken by 1,287 U.S. consumers 54% of whom were female and 46% were male. Of the participants, 30% were 18-35 years old, 34% were 35-50 and 36% were 50+. Of the respondents, 60% were members of a retail loyalty program, 54% joined a credit card loyalty program and 52% were hotel loyalty program members. When it came down to the number of loyalty programs respondents were members of, 88% said 1-5, 9% said 6-10 and 3% were members of 11 or more loyalty programs.

Those who are thinking of implementing a loyalty program and those looking to restore vitality to a stagnant program are invited to view the complete CodeBroker 2018 Shopper Loyalty Survey. It is available as a free download.

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