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Learn how Direct Mail is used to connect with clients at every stage of the customer journey, whether you're building awareness or encouraging long-term loyalty.

The Path to Loyal Customers: Email & SMS Marketing for Success

tags Email & SMS Loyalty Programs

When it comes to marketing your brand, the ultimate goal is to create loyal, engaged customers. However, that goal isn’t achieved overnight. To understand the destination you’re working toward, you need to back up and consider the entire customer journey. 

As you plan a route that leads to engaged and loyal customers, look for ways to leverage email and short message service (SMS) marketing. Let’s look at how these marketing channels can support a multichannel strategy that promotes loyalty at every turn.

Understanding Your Customer Journey

You’ll hear marketers refer to general stages—or positions—of the customer journey. However, the journey can look a bit different from brand to brand. The path to becoming a loyal subscriber of a streaming service will likely differ from becoming a repeat customer at a restaurant or an active retail loyalty program user, for example. 

Start by understanding what a typical journey looks like for your customers through customer journey mapping. Remember that your different customer segments may take different paths, so it’s smart to create separate customer journey maps for each buyer persona in your customer base.

Once you understand your customer journey, you can find ways to nurture customers along the path and encourage them to develop a stronger relationship with your brand through strategic marketing campaigns. Don’t stop at that first goal of getting a first-time customer to make a purchase—look for ways to propel that relationship forward, achieving:

  • Repeat purchases.
  • Loyalty program engagement.
  • Re-engagement for inactive customers.
  • Higher transaction values.
  • And, ultimately, a high customer lifetime value (CLV).

How do you achieve these goals? With the right marketing strategy.

Why Use SMS and Email in Your Marketing?

One thing all customer journeys have in common is that they should involve multiple marketing channels for maximized touchpoints. Email and SMS (also known as text messaging) are both great marketing channels to help you engage customers every step of the way, keeping your brand top of mind and achieving customer loyalty goals. 

Email marketing is tried and true.

Brands earn $36 on average for every dollar spent on email marketing. That ROI is even higher for the retail, e-commerce, and consumer goods sectors! Plus, most consumers are willing to share their email addresses with brands to unlock savings or personalize their experience. 

That means you can easily build your email list and reach customers with personalized promotions, product recommendations, and other messages to enhance their experience and encourage loyalty. 

With all the possibilities (and potentially high ROI) it offers marketers, email marketing is a no-brainer. It’s a great way to engage customers at every stage of the journey.

SMS marketing is gaining popularity for good reason.

Marketing through text messaging is a newer phenomenon compared to email, and it’s gaining traction. One sampling found that e-commerce brands deployed 62.3 percent more SMS campaigns in 2022 compared to the year before.

Why the uptick in SMS marketing? This medium can be especially attractive to marketers looking to promote customer loyalty.

Compared to email, consumers tend to be more discerning about who they give their phone numbers to. That can create a challenge for SMS marketing. However, it also means if you do get that contact, you now have an inside track you can use to create a close brand relationship. 

One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is that you can feel confident recipients will see every message you send. Consumers may be comfortable with hundreds of unread marketing emails in their inboxes, but people tend to read nearly every text message sent to their phones. It’s no wonder SMS marketing boasts open rates as high as 98 percent!

How Can You Use Email and SMS Marketing to Create Loyal Customers?

Let’s look at a few examples of how you can use email and SMS marketing to create rich customer experiences and achieve customer loyalty. 

You could use text or email to:

  • Remind a customer about items in their cart.
  • Let them know when an item they viewed has gone on sale.
  • Educate them on your loyalty program and invite them to enroll.
  • Share special discounts or promotions.
  • Deliver personalized product recommendations.
  • Provide early access to pre-orders, event registration, or other VIP privileges.
  • Ask customers for their input through surveys and reviews.
  • Provide order and shipping updates.

And the list goes on! Any time you want to connect with customers, email and SMS marketing can provide ways to make those touchpoints happen. 

Enriching the Customer Journey with a Multichannel Approach 

When you want to meet and influence customers along their journey with your brand, consider using a combination of channels for the strongest impact. SMS and email are great options, alongside other channels like direct mail, which boasts its own advantages. It may take many touchpoints to get a customer to make that first purchase, so anywhere you can make an impression should be incorporated into your overall marketing strategy.

Want to learn more about instilling customer loyalty? Check out our eBook, Customer Loyalty Programs: What You Need to Know.

Customer Loyalty Program eBook

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