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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 02, 2015

How to use rewards messaging this holiday season

Rewards messaging may be a new tactic for marketers to make this holiday season. While most campaigns are already firmly entrenched, one expert believes rewards messaging can help brands better connect with loyal shoppers.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in rewards messaging?

Mike Polner, Director of Product Marketing at FiveStars: In general, more small businesses are sending rewards messages and connecting with their customers than ever before. In November, our small businesses sent over 7.5 million rewards messages to customers with special deals and offers. This is a 28% increase from October and this number continues to increase every month, as we're seeing that small businesses are leveraging the same sophisticated marketing techniques that Fortune 500 companies use. This means fewer paper fliers, sign spinners, etc. and more direct, digital reward messages over multiple channels: push, SMS, or email. The other major trend we're seeing is the continued move towards automation. Small business owners are incredibly busy and spend between 1 - 3 hours a month using marketing tools. Having messages fire based on customer visit behaviors or scheduling special deals to send later will only become more popular as small business owners remain bandwidth constrained.

Kristina: How do you think rewards messaging will impact the 2015 holiday season?

Mike: With more small businesses leveraging digital tools to send rewards messages than ever before, small businesses can now compete with big chains for a bigger share of holiday foot traffic. Consumers have more choices on where to shop than ever before and knowing they can visit a store and be rewarded for their patronage will mean just as many people shopping small and local as shopping in chains and with big retailers.

Kristina: How can retailers do more with rewards messaging?

Mike: Customers get bombarded with discounts, deals, advertisements, and rewards in the holiday season, so it's important for retailers to stay above the noise. The first thing retailers should do is target their most loyal customers - not just potential customers. Bain & Company published research that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 75% increase in profitability, so focus on your existing customers first. Also, we recommend leveraging those customers to spread word of mouth and grow traffic with offers like buy one get one deals.

Kristina: What are your top 4 tips to better use rewards messaging?

Mike: 1. Target your best, most loyal customers first and send them your best deals and promotions. Retaining those customers will provide more value than trying to acquire new customers.

2. Use the buy one, get one deals to increase foot traffic and bring new customers in store.

3. Make sure to send your deals at the right time when your customers will actually be receptive to receiving your messages.

4. Keep your foot traffic up even after the holiday season by using marketing automation and triggered messages based on customer behaviors.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: FiveStars, loyalty marketing, loyalty marketing tips, rewards messaging

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