How to Use Text to Manage a Retail Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty lists can be gold for small businesses. After all, it’s a list of people who love your product and who are willing to engage. And because these loyalty program lists are so valuable, it’s important to treat them with care. Too many texts can turn off even the most loyal customer; texts without valuable information will cause people to tune out.
That’s where strategy comes into play. You want to develop a rapport with customers, engage them with news, and provide valuable services, discounts, and insider information that make your text messages a must read.
Here, five elements to consider to make your retail loyalty texts shine.
Think About the Why
Why are customers signing up for the loyalty program? The answer to this depends on what you offer. Some retailers may focus on discounts, while others may have a loyalty program that unlocks perks, such as early bird access or inside scoop on store events via online newsletters. That can determine the messaging that your customers expect from you. Then, use these as guardrails. The “why” can also let you assess what info to skip and what is essential. Does your loyalty program customer need a text reminder about an in-store event or would that be better shared on your social media platform, while you use text the loyalty program primarily to encourage people to take advantage of sales and savings?
Have a Voice
Know who you’re texting. This means thinking about the demographics of your loyalty list, and finding a “text voice” that sounds authentic to that group. For example, if your loyalty list skews older, you may want to keep GiFs, emojis, and slang to a minimum. Have a local audience? Talk up local events. And you can always change your text voice as you assess engagement. And have fun with it. Your loyalty program customers signed up because they like your business, so lean into a personality.
Let Your Retail Loyalty Program Help You
Your loyalty program customers can provide valuable intel and support to your business. Use them as a sounding board. Ask them to follow you on social media, take surveys, or provide feedback or reviews online. But it’s just as important to provide value in return. Offering discounts or freebies in exchange for help solidifies your relationship with your customers, and reminds them how important they are to you.
Create Room for Spontaneity
Excess inventory? Lower than expected reservations? Use your loyalty list to fill spots and drive sales. Loyalty list promotions can be informal and last minute, which is part of the fun. Invite customers to a pop-up flash sale. Share that spots just opened up in a program or event, and the first five people to register get discounts. Make things fun and exciting, and also consider putting “easter eggs” in your texts. These are surprises buried in your messaging that encourage people to keep reading. Maybe it’s a trivia question about your brand. Maybe it’s a contest. But keeping things fun will keep customers reading your texts.
Create and Message to Groups
One of the huge advantages of texting is that you can stratify groups within your loyalty program. You may have a group of local customers and visitors. You may have frequent shoppers and browsers. You may have a group that comes to events or groups that make corporate orders. The more you can segment, the more you can customize and drive curated news and promotions that matter to them. This can also be crucial in making sure you develop a cadence where you’re not messaging groups too frequently.