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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 11, 2010

Marketing Sherpa: Combine direct mail, SMS for engagement

Engagement is a huge buzzword for 2010 and marketers everywhere are trying to not only engage but more deeply engage consumers all over the web. According to a new report from Marketing Sherpa, one way to engage consumers with a loyalty program is to combine direct mail and SMS texts.

by Kristina Knight

The report is based on a trial by zpizza, which used a combination of direct mailings, SMS texts and a contest to engage consumers with their loyalty program. The result: a 5% overall increase in loyalty program membership.

First, the marketing team created the loyalty program to identify 'heavy users' of their pizza chain. They used a cash prize, direct mailings and text messages to encourage consumers to sign up for the loyalty program. The mailings included postcard coupons and gave information about the cash prize. They included shortcodes for texting and requested consumer's email addresses.

Before the direct mail/SMS campaign, loyalty program registration rates increased by 17% with an overall sign-up increase of 5%.

Marketers have been buzzing about loyalty programs for about the last six months as research has begun trickling in that consumers are either ignoring most loyalty program messages or are unsubscribing after a short time. The gist of the reports seems to be that consumers want more - and less - from the programs: they want marketers to stick to their stated email practices, they want special offers that are for loyalty program members only and they want offers specifically targeted to their purchasing history.

The zpizza campaign is a good indicator of how to increase loyalty program signups, but it doesn't address the problem of retention. Although consumers will always sign up and sign off, the general perception is that only mailing at certain times and making offers more lucrative to the consumers on the list will help with retention.

Tags: direct advertising, direct mail, loyalty marketing, loyalty programs, SMS text, text messaging

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