Giving away stuff for free is harder than you might think.
Howards Storage World – an innovative International specialty retailer providing storage and organisation products for the home – realised this. And they did something about it.
In launching their Howards Inspirations Rewards Program, Howards wanted to provide a simple rewards program their customers could understand and utilise, a program that rewarded their customers’ much appreciated loyalty.
The program, which is completely free to join, offers customers a number of benefits, including a $10 Welcome voucher (redeemable in store or online). Which was gifted just for signing up. All customers had to do in order to claim their (free) voucher was click on the email verification link and fully activate their account. That’s how easy it was for people to get a free $10 Welcome voucher.
And yet, some people still weren’t clicking.
Noticing this trend, Howards decided to make it even easier for their customers to redeem their loyalty rewards and benefits. And they did so by implementing an SMS marketing communications process, to lend a helping hand to their already setup email platform.
Three months after introducing the SMS reminders, Howards saw their voucher redemptions increase by 25%.
Further to this, to complete a membership registration, Howards’ customers are required to accept Howards T&Cs and set an online password for their account. They do this through email. If the T&Cs weren’t accepted, or if the password wasn’t set, then the membership wasn’t properly activated.
Three months after Howards introduced SMS reminders to notify members that they had not yet activated their accounts, Howards saw an 11%increase in activation rates.
Pretty impressive, right?
Here’s how they did it.
First of all, they didn’t scrap their email campaign altogether. Howards’ customers still receive an email, which leads them to their free $10 Welcome voucher and activation of their member account. Instead now if the customer has not activated after 4 days, they receive an SMS reminder. In this reminder, they can simply click a URL (embedded into the SMS itself), to verify/activate the account.
Customers sign up to Howards’ Inspirations program in exactly the same way they did before, either in store or online. Implementing this strategy was simply done by integrating their website with SMSGlobal via an API. This API then seamlessly communicates with the data gathered and stored for their email marketing, generating SMS reminders.
What’s more? If a voucher has been verified and is on the verge of expiring, that customer will then receive a follow up SMS, 10 days before the voucher’s expiration date, informing them that their voucher is nearing its final breath.
And even better? Howards has implemented alpha-numeric sender IDs. This means that when Howards’ SMSs arrive in their customers’ SMS inbox, the name ‘Howards’ is displayed, a great way to engage with their customers through branding.
Pretty neat, hey?
The only time customers receive an SMS is to let them know their membership hasn’t been activated and they’re missing out on their (free) $10 Welcome voucher, or if any future voucher is due to shortly expire.
It’s a friendly little SMS, giving people a nudge, letting them know what’s going on.
Howards’ quick and attentive thinking is a great example of how SMS-marketing can not only work with, but also compliment and feed into, any sort of other marketing strategies you may already have in place. It’s also a great example of how businesses can effectively give their customers what they deserve.