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Loyalty Blinks: Leveraging SMS & MMS to Grow Loyalty Programs: The Best Friend Approach

Modern loyalty programs aim to build lasting relationships, and SMS has become a powerful tool. SMS makes these programs feel like a best friend—regularly staying in touch, knowing you well, and sending you things you love. However, this constant contact raises questions: Is it always beneficial, or does it sometimes border on intrusive?

Personalised Communication: Helpful or Creepy?

SMS enables brands to send targeted messages based on customer behavior and preferences, making customers feel valued and understood. For instance, a coffee shop might send a personalised coupon for a customer’s favourite drink on their birthday, enhancing the sense of a personal connection. Yet, this level of personalisation can also feel invasive. How much information is too much? At what point does knowing someone’s preferences cross the line into privacy invasion?

Regular Engagement: Engagement or Annoyance?

Consistent communication through SMS keeps brands top-of-mind. Regular updates, promotions, and reminders foster reliability and trust. A steady stream of relevant content, like new product announcements or exclusive deals, ensures that customers feel continuously engaged, much like a friend who always checks in with exciting news. However, there is a risk of over-communication. Bombarding customers with too many messages can lead to annoyance and a negative perception of the brand.

Exclusive Offers and Rewards: Genuine Value or Manipulation?

Time-sensitive promotions or early access to sales via SMS create a sense of exclusivity and urgency, making customers feel special. For instance, a retailer might notify loyalty members of a flash sale or limited-time offer before it’s advertised to the general public. This VIP treatment reinforces the feeling of being part of an elite group. However, are these offers truly beneficial, or are they manipulative tactics to create a false sense of urgency and drive impulsive spending?

Immediate and Convenient Communication: Helpful or Overwhelming?

SMS is immediate and often read within 90 seconds, making it ideal for time-sensitive communications. Flash sales, expiring points reminders, and new perk notifications ensure prompt action. This immediacy mirrors the responsiveness of a supportive friend who is always there when needed. Yet, the constant influx of messages can also be overwhelming. Is the convenience worth the potential stress of constant alerts?

Feedback and Interaction: Valued Opinions or Data Mining?

SMS allows for two-way communication. Brands can solicit feedback, conduct quick surveys, or ask how they can improve their services. This interaction shows customers that their opinions matter and that the brand is committed to continuous improvement. However, is this feedback genuinely valued, or is it just another way to collect data and further target customers?

Reinforcing Brand Loyalty: Building Bonds or Dependency?

By regularly interacting with customers through SMS, brands can reinforce loyalty and encourage repeat business. Notifications about loyalty points, upcoming events, or special rewards remind customers of the benefits they enjoy as part of the program. This continuous engagement builds a stronger bond, much like the ongoing support and attention from a close friend. But does this loyalty foster a healthy relationship, or does it create a dependency on the brand for perks and recognition?

…..are we still friends?

Using SMS or MMS in loyalty programs offers personalised, consistent, and convenient communication, making customers feel special and valued. However, it’s essential to balance engagement with respect for privacy and avoid crossing the line into intrusiveness. While SMS can foster loyalty and brand advocacy, brands must ensure they don’t manipulate or overwhelm their customers. Treating customers like best friends can create meaningful connections, but it’s crucial to maintain a respectful and balanced approach.

Author: Karl Deitz, Tall Bob

Photo by kuu akura on Unsplash

Karl Deitz
Author: Karl Deitz

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