How to build customer loyalty using post-purchase text messaging

When it comes to retaining customers, your brand's last impression is as important as its first—every interaction a customer has with your brand adds up.

It's long been reported that acquiring new customers costs about five times more than keeping them, but the value of customer loyalty is measured in far more than day-to-day operating expenses. Existing customers are 50% more likely to purchase new products from you, spending 31% more than other shoppers. That's how a 5% boost in customer retention can translate to an increase in profits of 25% or even as high as 95% depending on your brand's average order value and customer lifecycle.

Plus, your happy, engaged customers are more likely to act as brand ambassadors. With 97% of consumers seeking out customer reviews before making a purchase, brands would be wise to ensure their customers are motivated to advocate products and services to friends and family.

So the question isn't why your brand should focus on building customer loyalty—but how. The answer is personalized text message marketing.

Text messaging isn't just the most popular smartphone feature among consumers—beating out internet use, voice calls, and email—it's also how 79% of your customers prefer to hear from you. And while all SMS communications should drive brand affinity, post-purchase messages have the most potential to leave a lasting impression that reinforces customer loyalty.

That's why post-purchase text messaging should be part of any customer retention strategy to drive brand loyalty and increase lifetime value.

Seasonal SMS loyalty perks

Recognizing the value of post-purchase text messaging

Awareness, consideration, and purchase decisions may receive the most attention throughout the customer journey, but retention—optimized via post-purchase text messaging—is key to maintaining and increasing customer lifetime value.

Once a customer has proven intent to buy from your brand, your objective should be to build on that goodwill to encourage repeat purchases and brand advocacy. This can be accomplished in multiple ways using post-purchase text messaging, such as by:

  • Inviting customers to join a loyalty or rewards program
  • Helping customers track existing loyalty points
  • Highlighting new product arrivals or making recommendations based on customer orders
  • Providing exclusive discounts or special offers for future purchases
  • Encouraging customers to share reviews of their most recent purchases
  • Reassuring customers via transactional updates related to shipping or delivery times

Text messaging is a direct communications channel, and creates a sense of immediacy. When your customers sign up to get texts from you, they know they will see them and your brand's messages won't get lost in their inbox. Think about how many unread emails you have vs. texts—the average email marketing open rate for retail businesses is 19%, whereas the average open rate for text messages is 99%.

When brands have near certainty that their messages will quickly reach and be seen by subscribers, it's essential to make sure those communications are personally relevant and focused on developing long-term loyalty.

Establishing best practices for post-purchase text messaging

Text message marketing powered by Attentive® not only makes it easy to grow your SMS subscriber list, but gives you robust functionality to automatically send triggered post-purchase messages to customers immediately following a purchase.

Timing: While transactional updates may be sent the moment a customer completes their purchase, more in-depth messaging—such as asking for a review or feedback—should be sent about one week or so after a product arrives and your customers have had some time to experience their purchase. If you're asking them to write a review or sign up for a rewards program, end with a clear call to action and a direct link to guide them.

Format: Keep the format of text messaging in mind when creating content for post-purchase text messages. Your copy should be succinct, containing powerful, emotional words to capture subscribers' attention as quickly as possible. The first few words of your message are what your customer will see as a preview in their text message inbox—think of them as you would an email subject line.

Targeting: Plan out your post-purchase messages to make sure customers receive them at optimal times. Time zone-based sending and quiet hours will help you ensure messages aren't accidentally delivered too late at night or too early in the morning.

Personalization: Make sure your post-purchase messages are relevant to subscribers—personalized text messages are much more impactful than generic communications. Segment your post-purchase messages based on subscriber clicks, purchases, locations, preferences, and more.

Optimization: Consistently evaluate the performance of your post-purchase messages via A/B testing, measuring click-through and conversion rates based on messages that feature different copywriting, image, or CTA variations.

Using post-purchase text messaging to encourage upsells

Consumers who sign up to become text message subscribers have demonstrated a strong interest in your brand, showing a willingness to engage with updates and offers. And a subscriber who's purchased one of your products or services demonstrates high intent to purchase again.

By approaching upsells strategically—in a way that rewards trust and prioritizes personalization—you can drive revenue growth while ensuring your subscribers feel like valued customers.

Remember that text messaging is a more personal communication channel than email—it's vital to ensure all upsell promotions are hyper-relevant to your customers to reinforce brand loyalty. And just as with any digital commerce tactic, it's essential to make the process of upselling as seamless and pain-free for customers as possible.

By integrating your personalized text message marketing solution with the right e-commerce application, you can instantly capture purchase history to trigger post-purchase text messages and quickly build customer segments based on purchase data.

Consumers have made it clear text messaging is their preferred communication channel. By engaging your customers via text message—and approaching post-purchase messaging with customer experience in mind—you can drive revenue growth while boosting long-term customer loyalty.

Attentive¬Æ is a personalized text messaging platform for innovative brands & organizations that can quickly become a top 3 revenue channel—with results like 30%+ click-through rates and 25x+ ROI. Contact Attentive for more information, view recent case studies, or explore our 2020 Holiday Hub to discover how to sleigh your revenue goals this holiday season and beyond.

Eric Wendt is a Content Marketing Manager at Attentive¬Æ—a CartHook Technology Partner and the most comprehensive text message marketing solution.

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