At the heart of a mobile strategy is your ability as a marketer to get someone to give you his or her time and willingness to interact. A mobile phone is a consumer’s most personal possession. About 91 percent of Americans keep their cellphones within three feet of them 24/7 and a third say they would rather be without theirwallets than their phones.
The Power of the First Impression
When a person sends his or her first message to a brand, it’s like they are raising their hand and saying, “I’m interested.” The worst thing for a brand to do is to scare them off with either bad content or poorly timed messages. For example, if someone sends your brand a message and you don’t reply, the person is left hanging. He or she doesn’t know what’s going on and they are likely to be less connected and therefore less loyal.
If instead your brand goes the other way, and over communicates, sending four messages in response to the one that was sent, that’s a bad brand experience as well. The person is likely to opt out.
The text messaging dynamic is a lot like starting a relationship; you have to nurture it from the beginning. If you wait too long to send a second message, instead of feeling like you’re hearing from a trusted brand, the recipient might not even remember opting in and think the brand is spamming them. The result-another reason to opt out.
Mismanaged and mistimed messaging is all about the creative and strategic meeting point of providing value. As a brand, you have to think about the value exchange between you and the consumer. If the value exchange isn’t obvious-fleeting consumers have no good reason to remain interested. Like a relationship, the tolerance for mistakes at the beginning is extremely low.
There is an Art and a Science to Winning a Consumer’s Loyalty
As a brand, you must have the foresight and the strategy around when to send messages and what kind of messages to send.
At the beginning, the opt-out rate actually increases due to consumers having a heightened judgment in the early days of interaction. All interaction is still “on trial” with the consumer. After a period of time or a certain number of interactions, there is an inflection point where you’ve earned the consumer’s trust and earned the right to communicate with them. The consumer is getting useful information, so the opt-out rate starts coming down.
Once you build a trusting relationship, it’s a powerful connection. Remember that text message open rates are more than 90 percent and are typically read within four minutes. This is a stark comparison to the typical response rates from email and banner ads. Perhaps smaller databases, but certainly more intimate.
Bottom line: Winning loyalty is both art and science. To learn more about successfully adopting and executing mobile, be sure to download a copy of our new e-book, “Activating Your Marketing Mix with Mobile: Five Lessons for Increasing Engagement, Sales and Loyalty.” In upcoming blog posts, we’ll take a closer look at each lesson, and next up, learn why only to use mobile when time, location and interaction matter.