How To Use Mobile Marketing To Increase Retention

You’ve done your job and convinced the customer to complete the transaction. Now how do you keep them coming back for more? Here are simple ways you can leverage mobile marketing to develop a cost efficient, and impactful, retention strategy.

Know when to push — and when to pull back

“Push messaging” by way of mobile apps or SMS messages sent to your customer’s mobile device can be an inexpensive way to stay top-of-mind with your customers, but it requires truly relevant promotions based on their online search and purchase behavior. Without this relevance, your risk is not just that your message is ignored; your brand will become a “push pest” that they’ll eventually disengage with altogether. Of the two types of push messaging most mobile marketers use (ad- or content-based), content-based push messaging is generally better received — but it’s only a successful mobile retention tool if what you’re “pushing” captures the recipients’ interest. For example, Ripenn recently analyzed linguistic headline data collected from four highly viral sites. Its findings indicate that there are some common elements behind the headlines that capture interest, including “name dropping” (if you can legitimately associate with a celebrity or recognizable brand, all the better), and writing headlines that spark emotion and feel “human” — even if it means violating the traditional axioms of ideal word count and sentence structure.

Capitalize on the recency effect

If you took Psychology 101 in college, you might remember the idea behind the “recency effect”: People tend to recall and favor the information that they’ve seen most recently. Thanks to the fact that 47 percent of email is now opened on a mobile device, according to April 2014 data gathered by email testing and analytics provider Litmus,mobile marketers have a prime opportunity to use this psychological response as an advantage in building retention with a low-cost email marketing campaign that kicks off shortly after a customer purchase. Additionally, this follow-up communication can mitigate any “post-purchase dissonance” (i.e., buyer’s remorse) by using the email to reinforce their purchase decision, offering insightful and proactive ways to help them get the most out of the product they’ve purchased, or sharing how and why the product they’ve just purchased is popular.

Establish two-way communications

By leveraging email marketing campaigns that users will likely receive on mobile devices, you can also build retention strategies using “drip campaigns” that essentially move customers through a relevant sales funnel based on their purchase and search history, email open rates, and click-through activity. For example, customers who’ve just visited your store might receive a welcome email within 24 hours of purchase, a second email reinforcing their purchase within 48 hours, and a special invitation to attend a VIP shopping event with the third email. A customer who hasn’t purchased or visited in several months and whose open rates have dwindled over time, on the other hand, might receive a series of emails offering a series of more aggressive discount offers aimed at tempting them to return. Additionally, remember the importance of using your retention emails as a form of two-way communication: Send messages with a recognizable “from” address, give recipients the ability to respond to the email you send and reach a live person who will respond to customer inquiries. Ensure the layout is appropriate for various mobile device screen sizes.

Focus as much on service as sales

Though a mobile marketing retention strategy is about giving customers a reason to build loyalty to your brand, offering them exceptional service — not selling — could lead to a more successful strategy because it’s a point of differentiation your brand can leverage for competitive advantage. Ideally, it will trump your competitor’s lower prices, similar products, or bigger marketing budgets when the customer is forced to make a choice.

To offer the kind of service that leads to customer retention, your mobile strategy must be anticipatory. Consider all the customer problems you can help to solve before they happen, including mobile reminders of any information they need to bring with them for an appointment, updates on possible wait times, and the opportunity to change or cancel an order or appointment from their mobile device. Likewise, allow mobile users to access their personalized account information, including purchase history, order tracking and live chat. Provide the ability to store encrypted billing information for one-step “reordering” from a smartphone or tablet device.

Image via jhaymesisvip

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.


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