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How to Build an E-Commerce Loyalty Program With SMS

How to Build an E-Commerce Loyalty Program With SMS

Have you ever wanted to start a loyalty program for your e-commerce store? Learn what it takes as well as best practice right here.

Did you know loyal customers spend 67% more on products and services than new customers?

And while there’s nothing wrong with the old fashioned punch card, technology has given us a sleeker, more modern solution for customer loyalty programs that directly caters to online shopping.

These days, customers would prefer scrolling through their phones over rifling through their bags for a piece of paper anyway.

SMS loyalty programs are known to help businesses:

  • Drive sales
  • Increase online store traffic 
  • Encourage business during notoriously slow periods
  • Let customers know you’re listening to them
  • And so much more!

It’s all thanks to SMS’s high open rates, high response rate, and general accessibility. These three ingredients are the perfect recipe for cooking up a little loyalty for your e-commerce store.

How do you get started? We’re glad you asked!

How to Set up an E-Commerce Text Message Loyalty Program Step-By-Step

Before we get started, you’ll want to make sure you’re set up with a text marketing provider who can give you the features necessary to automate your loyalty program.

SMS software will allow you to send messages to large groups, schedule messages ahead, sort and prioritize your inbox, and more.

If you aren’t already set up, you can follow along with these steps by signing up for a free trial of SimpleTexting—no credit cards or commitment required!

Start Your SMS Loyalty Program Today

Get everything you need to engage individually with customers, or text thousands at once. Sign up for a free trial today and get 14 days of access to all of our features.

Grow Your List

Before you start sending out messages, the first thing your loyalty program needs is some subscribers, or contacts.

With text marketing, there are a few different ways you can do this. We suggest giving your customers more than one way to subscribe to capture as many people as possible.

Here are a few of your options:

  • Keywords: These short words or phrases can be texted in to your phone number or short code to sign up for future messages. For example, let’s pretend we’re a t-shirt shop looking to set up a loyalty program. We may use the keyword SHIRTS. You can watch a video that walks you through how to set up a keyword here.
  • Web Forms: You can copy and paste our pre-written code to put a web form on your site in just a few clicks. These forms function like any other contact form. Customers add their names, phone number, and other information you’d like to collect (such as email). After submitting, they’ll automatically be signed up to receive your future marketing messages! Learn more about setting up web forms here.
  • Mobile Sign-Up Widgets: Another fantastic tool for your website is a mobile sign-up widget. This allows people who visit your website from their cell phones to click a button that launches a pre-written text message with your keyword and phone number already loaded. All they need to do is click send and they’re signed up!

Set Up Autoresponders

Once you’ve determined how you’ll grow your list it’s time to set your autoresponders. Set up text messages that go out days, weeks, or months after someone has signed up for your program. Each of these messages should include a reason to come back to your website.

[Watch: How to Set Up Autoresponders for a Text Marketing Campaign]

Determine How You’ll Offer Rewards

The key to a successful customer loyalty program is to offer variation and frequency. For an e-commerce store, this could look like a rotation of coupon codes, giveaways, tips/tricks, and sales promotions.

The key is to pepper in those rewards around the promotions, so your customers derive value from staying involved.

The best way to know what works? Just ask! You can use our polling or text-to-vote features to ask your subscribers what they’d like to receive from you.

Today 10:53 AM
Homesick candle crew, what would you most like to see from our text messages?
A. Deals and discounts
B. Styling Tips
C. Votes on future scents

Advertise Your Program

Visibility is key. Now that customers have a way to join your loyalty program and their first message is scheduled out, you need to share with them that you have one.

Some excellent ways to do this include:

  • Above the fold advertising of your keyword (on a banner at the top of your website is a great spot)
  • Include directions to subscribe on your checkout confirmation page.
  • Share information to subscribe in emails and newsletters
  • Put your keyword and phone number on the contact portion of your site
  • Place your keyword in product packaging and on packing slips
  • Hire a skywriter

Kidding with that last one, but you get the idea. The more you advertise it, the more subscribers you’ll have. And once word of mouth kicks in, the ball will start rolling.

Start Sending Messages

You’ve done the leg work, and it’s time to see the results. You’re officially ready to start sending your messages! Some quick bits of housekeeping to remember:

In addition to the suggestions we made earlier for the types of rewards you can send, here are some more ideas on neat ways to engage with your customers via SMS:

  • Send special birthday and anniversary texts
  • Send a text message survey to customers asking them to vote on future products
  • Send a campaign with trivia questions and only send a reward to those who answer correctly
  • Use our URL shortener to send messages with links to your store and send messages to those that clicked them
  • Invite customers to text you product photos to feature on your social media pages
  • Share links for customers to leave you ratings and reviews

Take your online store to the next level with an SMS loyalty program. You never know, you could join the ranks of stores like Eu Natural who earned a 563% ROI with just one text campaign to their loyalty club.

Or Baby Tula, who made enough sales to drive a 1,668% ROI with just one text message.

When it comes to what you can do with an SMS loyalty program and your e-commerce store, the sky is the limit!

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