Consumers Prefer SMS for Loyalty Program Updates - eMarketer

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Consumers Prefer SMS for Loyalty Program Updates

Only 21% of brand marketers use SMS for their loyalty program

August 19, 2016

Nearly half of US internet users said they prefer receiving loyalty-related messages via SMS, March 2016 research found. Yet less than a quarter of US brand marketers use SMS for their loyalty program, that same study revealed.

Mobile marketing company 3Cinteractive surveyed 3,500 US internet users and 250 US brand marketers. SMS was clearly the largest preference in how internet users want to receive communications from brands. In fact, more than twice as many internet users preferred SMS as email, and the same went for app notifications.

But also according to 3Cinteractive, the top three mobile channels used for loyalty by brand marketers are the mobile wallet, push notifications and SMS. Surprisingly, the channel most internet users want to be communicated with for loyalty programs is also among the least used channel by brand marketers.

SMS is likely the preferred channel for consumers because not only is opting in easy, but they don’t have to download a brand’s app to receive app notifications. And, though opting in to a loyalty program via email is easy as well, SMS is a more direct push notification, and won’t get lost in someone’s inbox like email might.

Overall, US marketers plan to invest more in loyalty programs by 2017, a survey from multichannel loyalty and analytics company CrowdTwist, in partnership with Brand Innovators, found. More than half of respondents said they plan to put more dollars into their loyalty programs next year. And almost half of all respondents said they will somewhat increase loyalty budgets. Meanwhile, a mere 4% said they anticipate lowering investment.

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