In 2020, consumers made a tectonic shift to digital as their primary means to shop and receive orders. But now that we’ve had time to digest how exactly consumer behavior changed, we’ve found shoppers are turning to one method in particular to connect with brands: Mobile Messaging. Businesses have used SMS to communicate with customers 7% more than in 2019. With messaging, brands drive customers to their website, deliver order updates, and deploy personalized offers to keep customers spending.
In 2021, brands who utilize an omnichannel acquisition strategy will have more visibility everywhere their customers are. To make sure you capitalize on this opportunity, here’s 7 ways you should be acquiring new mobile subscribers through digital and physical channels right now:
Accelerated by the pandemic, mobile shopping was set to reach 45% of the total ecommerce market in the United States by the end of 2020. As consumers reach for their phones when motivated to shop, make the most of their intent by placing CTAs to join your mobile audience everywhere they scroll.
Utilizing high-visibility locations on your mobile-optimized website is key for audience acquisition. Here’s how you can convert scrolling browsers into subscribers:
- Include a header and/or footer on the home page of your website
- Host a pop-up overlay web form to opt customers into the program
- Have a separate FAQ page dedicated to answering questions on the mobile program
Place CTAs near the top of your website and emails for highest visibility
For ecommerce point of sale, include a checkbox to opt customers into the mobile program. A confirmation opt-in message will be triggered via API calls, allowing consumers to seamlessly and conveniently join the program and receive order status notifications on their phones.
While emails have high reach, they aren’t always read by your customers. For a boost to your SMS database growth, convert email subscribers to your SMS program and even match back phone numbers to emails to start building a deeper customer profile and enhance identity resolution. Follow these tips on how to convert email subscribers to SMS:
- Dedicated emails calling out the text program within the title of the message
- Include header and footer CTAs for the text program
- Reference the text program in the body of each email send
- Social Media
It’s no secret social media is instrumental in reaching consumers in 2021 – 40% of consumers spent more time on messaging services and social media applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, further accelerating behavioral shifts as with everything else digital. Reach customers who are already browsing your brand by promoting SMS in the sweet spots of your social accounts. Key acquisition points include:
- In-feed social media posts, with keyword and short code graphics as the visual and benefit information and/or compliance language as the caption
- Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat Stories detailing the program and how to join. Influencer partnerships are a great opportunity to broaden reach.
- Instagram “Swipe Ups” that link to a web form for opting customers into the mobile program directly
- Short codes and keywords included in all social media bio descriptions for followers to use to immediately opt-in.
- Utilizing bio links or LinkTree to direct customers to an opt in web form
Whether pursuing digital or in-store acquisition, use Vibes’ Tap-to-Join offering to make shopper opt-ins frictionless. This seamless acquisition tactic is an embedded string of code that when tapped on or accessed, pre-populates an opt-in message within the native messaging app on a consumer’s phone. All consumers have to do is hit send to join. Tap-to-Join can be embedded on a brand-built webpage or using Vibes Mobile Page Builder. Ideal placements for Tap-to-Join range from social media Swipe Ups, email header buttons, or QR codes at the point of sale.
Use Tap-to-Join mobile pages to send shoppers directly to a pre-populated opt-in stream
Link an opt-in webpage into your social stories to drive sign-ups
Though brands are flooding the digital space, many U.S. states have eased or removed store capacity limitations. Funnel these shoppers into your digital channels using on-site mobile acquisition. For example, one Vibes customer promoted their SMS program through in-store signage, shelf displays, and promotions tied to select products using a robust store associate contest program, rewarding the store associate who generated the most opt-ins. Through these efforts, this customer saw 94% of its total opt-ins come from in-store and resulted in its annual mobile audience growth goal being surpassed within three months. To emulate some of the same success you should use your physical retail space to promote your mobile program with CTAs and train staff to support these efforts.
- Point of Sale
While consumers are at check-out, have store associates collect shopper phone numbers and consent to join the SMS program. Store associate contests incentivizing data collection and driving opt-ins are a proven growth tactic. Here’s an example:
Associate: "Would you like to join our text alerts program? You can receive exclusive offers and insider updates."
Customer: "Sure, what do I need to do?"
Associate: "Please provide your cell phone number for me, and we will send you a message confirming your interest. Once you receive the message, reply "Y" to receive an instant offer."
Customer: "Thanks! I'm in."
To make opt-ins even quicker, utilize QR codes for seamless SMS database acquisition. The pandemic has revitalized use of QR codes — usage is projected to increase to 11 million scans, up 12% from 2019 and will only increase in 2021.
- Shelf Signage
Offer consumers instant satisfaction with exclusive offers in-store. When customers are shopping, promote SMS via visible signage, including:
- On-self signage promoting deals on select products after joining your brands mobile audience
- Mirror stickers to engage consumers to join the SMS program while they try on items that include short codes and keywords or a QR code for immediate sign-up.
- General signage or dressing room signage directing customers to opt into the program and shop online if specific styles or sizes are sold out in-store
Place high visibility in-store CTAs to drive mobile growth
- Parcel CTAs
Keep in-a-rush customers connected to your brand by placing a print item within their shopping bag with a CTA to opt-in to your mobile audience. Using printed CTAs in combination with in-store signage can maximize visibility and value of your mobile program. Also, include a Mobile Wallet welcome offer to drive customers back in-store sooner. When a welcome offer was present in an acquisition flow, a Vibes customer experienced a 41% growth rate and generated $120M in mobile attributed revenue as compared to a -3% growth rate and $411K in mobile attributed revenue when no welcome offer was present.
Additional Tips on Scaling Acquisition
One last note on acquisition – it is important to remember the TCPA and CCIA compliance rules required on any call to action. This involves, but is not limited to, the inclusion of:
- Prior Express Written Consent
- Auto-dialed marketing messages
- Message frequency
- Terms & Conditions
- STOP/HELP messaging
Vibes has a robust and experienced compliance team ready to assist you in evaluating compliance and providing recommendations for improvement (we just can’t give full legal advice, of course!)
Don’t wait – start building your mobile audience today and improve your market position with mobile as a key revenue driver. Contact us and schedule a demo today.
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