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    How mobile can reward loyalty - through thick and thin

    Mobile has become a great tool for brands to reward loyal customers. A faithful customer is not only one who will stay loyal to a brand, but will also steer future business in the right direction.

    Loyalty programmes on mobile allow the customer to receive specific deals customised for them, allow the client to access their account details at any time, anywhere and also makes advertising your brand to the customer much easier.

    Faithful customers stay loyal to a brand - and help attract future business.
    Faithful customers stay loyal to a brand - and help attract future business.

    The top three benefits offered in mobile loyalty programs are discounts, free products/premiums and loyalty points for future merchandise. 39% of customers say they prefer discounts and savings from a retail store. Mobile has made loyal customers more accessible to the business. Having certain goods on sale for an extended period will almost assure that customers will come in and ask specifically for that item.

    Free products or premiums came in a close second at 34%. The shopping retailers have this technique down to a T - like when you get a free air freshener with a surface cleaner. Points for future merchandise came in at a respectable third, presumably because of the fact that you need a ridiculous amount of points to buy the smallest product in the store.

    61% of marketers believe that loyalty program participants are the most profitable customers. A great loyalty program can be set up in minutes with a good provider. An unstructured supplementary service data system, also known as a USSD, works great for loyalty programs. One company called Channel Mobile can set your loyalty program up for as little as R5250 and have your customers earning loyalty points by later that day. Most marketers see loyalty program investments as essential. Get your brand to start thinking 'loyalty' and you could increase sales!

    What consumers don't want

    One key thing you need to keep in mind: Not everything a brand does to reward its customers goes without scrutiny. 44% of consumers report excessive spam, so be careful not to bombard your customers too much. 38% complain there are too many terms and conditions - keep it simple when communicating with customers and allow them to access the fine print via a link.

    35% had a hard time redeeming points, make it easy! Allow people to view and access their points at any time. 32% say there is little to no added value to becoming a member of a loyalty program - make your customers feel like they're adding value to their lives.

    What they do want

    Unsurprisingly, 70% of consumers want to see more discounts and savings. Customising different discounts on certain products throughout the month allows your customer to feel that the business is helping them stretch their salary further through the month. 58% of consumers want more personalised benefits and services like these.

    Bang for your buck

    Allow your other platforms to assist your loyalty program. 60% of your consumers use the internet. The key with social media marketing is making the mobile the customer's friend - allow customers to check-in via their mobile when at a location purchasing your product. User-base-building methods include competitions with which to grow your online presence by encouraging users to share or add content regarding your brand to a particular social platform.

    Crowd sourcing is another clever way of generating hype about your brand. What better way to mine for innovative ideas than to go directly to the source itself: the customer? Crowd sourcing not only rewards the contributors with discounts or free swag, it indirectly benefits end users who get to see their ideas in motion.

    So the next time you receive an SMS to sign up, think about how it could benefit you and how you could be rewarded for your loyalty.

    About Craig Rossouw

    Digital Manager, devising strategies, improving usability, design and content is all in a day's work. I also ensure management of the various digital platforms and responsible for online reputation. Social Media SEO Mobile Marketing Content Marketing Blog Event and charity sponsorship's
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