Customers are Telling Us How to Contact Them. Perhaps We Should Listen

According to Statistica, smartphone ownership in the United States has grown from just over 60 million in 2010 to an estimated 237.6 million in 2018. If that sounds like the market is saturated, the statistics portal says, “Not so fast.” Over the next four years, smartphone use is expected to grow to over 270 million. That’s an additional 30 million users in the U.S. alone.

Every consumer has certain preferences on how they prefer to be connected with marketers on their mobile devices. These mobile channels range from email to SMS texting, apps and social. The question is if your customers and potential customers were to tell you the best way to reach them via their mobile devices, would you listen?

They’ve done exactly that in a just-released Consumer Mobile Engagement research study. This report surveyed 1,552 U.S. consumers on a range of mobile engagement topics in an effort to gain a better understanding of the mobile channels preferred most by consumers for various communications, ranging from coupons to loyalty program rewards. Here is some of what the survey uncovered.

Consumers will opt in to a retailer’s marketing list

When asked, “Have you ever opted into a retailer or brand text-message marketing list?” nearly two-thirds (60.44 percent) said yes. Of particular interest was that 100 percent of the millennials who participated in the survey responded yes. Your potential customers are saying text messaging is a powerful channel to build your retail marketing list, especially if you want to reach millennials.

Email and text messages are an effective way to deliver coupons to mobile users

The survey indicates that 70 percent of consumers would prefer to receive mobile coupons digitally through texts and mobile email. The channels were virtually split 50/50: 35 percent responded they would prefer email and 35 percent stated they would prefer receiving discounts via texts.

A push message via an app was third at 23 percent followed by a mobile website at just 7 percent. It is clear consumers are embracing mobile delivery, storage, and access to their coupons and loyalty programs. Text coupons have the additional benefit of adding a sense of urgency to redemption. The CodeBroker Coupon Research report released earlier this year indicated 85 percent of consumers use a text coupon within one week after receiving it.

A multi-channel mix is needed to reach the largest segments of mobile users

When survey participants were asked “What is your preferred way to receive retailer messages on your mobile device promoting sales, discounts, and coupons?” the responses show the need for retailers to employ several mobile channels. Email was preferred by 41 percent, just slightly ahead of text messaging at 38 percent. Push messaging (app) was not quite as popular, only being chosen by 21 percent. With such large segments choosing differing mobile channels, it is important marketers employ a strategy that uses a mix of mobile channels.

How much are consumers willing to share with you?

If consumers are willing to tell us how to reach them via mobile devices, are they willing to disclose other pieces of information? It appears the answer is a resounding yes. The surveyed asked consumers, “When signing up for a retailer’s text message marketing list, are you willing to provide your name and address if you receive a high-value mobile coupon in return?” Over three-quarters of respondents (75.49 percent) said yes.

This is good news for retailers looking to build high-quality SMS marketing lists as opposed to gathering lists of phone numbers. Marketers and retailers can build lists that include demographic and geographic data. All it takes is a coupon or discount that has a higher perceived value.

Key takeaways

  • Mobile and smartphone usage continues to grow and has yet to peak.
  • Text messages are a powerful tool to build opt-in marketing lists.
  • Email and texts are an effective way of delivering mobile coupons to consumers.
  • A multi-channel approach is required to reach large segments of mobile users.
  • Consumers are willing to provide more personal data if they receive a high-value coupon/discount in return.

The CodeBroker survey also reveals some interesting data on how loyalty programs can benefit from a multi-channel approach as well. To learn more about that survey and see data on survey participant demographics, marketers can download a free copy of the Mobile Engagement survey.

Potential customers are telling us how to contact them. Perhaps we should listen.



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