Don’t Interrupt Me: Best Practices for Loyalty In Mobile

Mobile marketing is like the game Operation. If you’re spot-on, you make a vital connection with your consumer. If you miss, even by a little, the buzzer goes off, your customer lights up, and you lose—not only for this transaction, but maybe for the life of the consumer.

While sitting home at dinner recently, I got an alert on my phone from my American Express app telling me I was right near an Italian restaurant in town. Naturally, I think, “Why does American Express care? I’m already a loyal customer to their cards.” But I move on and decide to turn off that function. Well, after ten minutes of searching in notifications and other settings, I come to the conclusion that there is no way to turn off the notice. The difficulty in opting out coupled with the fact that I never said I wanted them to notify me could only lead to one thing: I deleted the app.

With mobile usage at an all-time high, stories like this one are happening every day, making it a tricky channel for marketers and increasing the need to get it right when it comes to mobile engagement. Here are some questions to ask yourself while you’re developing your mobile strategy:

Did the customer ask to be notified? Whether it’s through an opt-in or an app download, make sure you’re reaching out to customers who are eager to hear from you.

Is my message relevant to that consumer/persona? Using data to drive your messaging will help you hit the target in a timely, meaningful way. A message about a nearby restaurant is less impactful when I’m at home than if I’m at a meeting across town just before lunchtime.

Is there a way within the notification or via text to turn off or limit notifications? If you’re successfully optimizing the mobile channel, it’s not likely customers will want to silence you, but customers like to be in control, especially in a space as personal as mobile—so give them some freedom to decide how often they want to hear from you.

Are you creeping out your consumers out? Beware of automation! Does your offer make sense? Is it well-timed? Mobile is sacred ground for consumers. Tread lightly.

Marketers are scrambling to establish best practices for mobile, particularly when it comes to loyalty. This is a prominent channel, but with high risk attached to it. That is, if you’re going to ping customers in the most present, targeted way to reach them, your messaging better be spot-on and, most of all, of value to them. Moreover, the consumer needs to feel in control of the engagement process.

Without a carefully thought out strategy that is segmented based on consumer type, lifestyle, and level of technology adoption, more firms are going to find their apps being deleted. The result? Creating more distance between the consumer and the brand in a space that has the potential to greatly increase engagement.

Mike Caccavale is CEO of Pluris Marketing and an expert in cross-channel offer optimization.

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