Don’t listen to us, listen to Richard Thaler, a leading behavioral economist.
“If you want to encourage someone to do something, make it easy.”
- Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize Recipient and distinguished behavioral economist
He co-wrote a book based on research about on how people make everyday decisions. The book considers some weighty topics, but we want you to consider a key principle that is one of his mantra’s: Make it simple!
We provide digital loyalty programs for small businesses and that simplicity is what we focus on for business owners and your customers:
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One theme of the book focuses on the area of choice architecture. When a decision is presented, the signal you receive ought to be consistent with the action that is desired. When the signal is not consistent, people are led to less-wise decisions or even make no decision at all.
The book, “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness”, was written with Cass Sunstein, and focuses on how to make better decisions. Marketers can also learn from the simple notion of how a choice is presented matters – a lot. In addition, the book covers the significance of the order of choices when made available to customers. Which choice is available first can make a huge difference.
Thaler came up with an acronym for Nudges. He describes nudges as “any small feature in the environment that attracts our attention and influences the behavior that we make.” We thought we would develop our own acronym for NUDGES related to design and implementation of loyalty programs. Here is our version:
Often, consumers need a little nudge to make a decision. How a choice is presented and what options they are offered are critical factors. For loyalty programs that are integrated with SMS text, the first decision for consumers is to present required disclosure as part of the opt-in process. Customers must be aware of what they are signing up for. This “opt-in” process is simple, often covered by customers simply replying “Y” or “Yes” to a text to indicate their acceptance and granting permission to be reached via text.
One of the best ways to reward customers in exchange for being able to contact them in the future, is to offer a join reward or incentive. It sets a positive tone for the program. We work with you on custom scripts to present the offer first. It is also critical to provide information on the benefits of the program -we help you reinforce the benefits with signage about the benefits of your program.
For example, inform customers: You can receive a 20% OFF Coupon to SAVE on one item, if you join today, how does that sound? or How would you like to be the first to know about our flash sales, Sound good? Our VIP’s get early notification!
Each join offer can be customized for your particular requirements ($ OFF, % OFF, Discount on a minimum purchase amount, Maximum discount allowed, expiration dates, etc.) A custom designed kiosk can prompt customers for their mobile number and provide those required opt-in disclosure. Customers can then complete the opt-in process, on their mobile phone -right there.
Here’s additional context for factors which reinforce the concept of nudges:
N - Nudges, iNcentivize- Our system provides subtle Nudges that remind customers about your brand, such as a reminder that the customer had a reward that will expire in x days, or a special “we miss you offer” if they have not been to your store in the last 30, 45 60, etc. days. Make the join offer juicy enough to iNcentivize the desired action. We find it is best to test with various options to see what resonates with your customers -then stick with the option that works best!
U – Urgency - Create a sense of Urgency by periodically offer flash sales that are only available to your mobile subscribers that is good for a limited time like 1, 2 or 3 days.
D - Delight - Provide your customers with some rewards for being part of the insider’s club - this can be an early preview day, so they get best choice for sales, an extra percentage discount, or a gift with a minimum purchase amount. Those “insider” benefits create a sense of exclusivity and membership. You know when customers are Delighted when they walk in, phone in hand, with an offer that they are ready to redeem!
G - Giving, Gifts, Generosity - We can label your rewards as “My Gifts” to reinforce the value and generosity you provide for customer’s repeat business and loyalty. Your Giving and Generosity will come back to you in spades.
E - Easy, Engagement - Make the process Easy for customers to use. A key feature is to provide mobile offers that are delivered to their phone and easily retrieved with our web-based application that requires a simple bookmark to their home screen. A little recognized component of customer branded programs is the brand reinforcement that occurs. Not every offer may appeal to all customers, but delivery via SMS text results in a 98% open rate (within 5 minutes) where customers readily recognize the message is from your company. These messages are quick and easy to review, and it keeps your brand top of mind. Text offers and notifications result in immediate Engagement, as they are often perfectly timed, include a call to action and an incentive.
S - Strategy, Sales, Segment - A program is only valuable if it is well designed and reaches your objectives. Make sure your program is Strategic and has both loyalty rewards for thanking customers for repeat business and a way to provide incentives to drive them back in for special offers, increasing your Sales revenue! Also review if a program has ways to send offers only to certain Segments of your customer lists. It is critical to confirm how robust your options are to segment.
You see, all those periodic messages and offers are the little nudges. They remind your customer you are there, that you love them and appreciate them so much, that you reward them for their repeat business. Very powerful stuff. The bottom line: well designed customer loyalty programs really work when implemented and executed properly. Mobile High 5 makes it easy for business owners: You simply have to talk about the program, expound on the benefits and invite each and every customer to join. Easy!
There are a number of ways we allow for easy sign-ups, each designed to take only a few seconds:
customer enters their mobile number on a custom kiosk;
staff enters the customer’s number on an employee-facing app;
customer scans a QR code from a sign at check-out at the store or at your table at a local seasonal fair;
customer enters their mobile number from a web-form we provide that is placed on your website or
customer texts in a keyword i.e. High5 to a short code like, 55678 (yes, it works-try it!)
Message & Data Rates May Apply
Text STOP to Cancel, HELP for HELP
Remember, only after a customer opts-in can you send them offers via text. Customers receive rewards based on their spending or visits and periodically, you extend special offers via text message with mobile coupons. We typically see a 3x increase in customer visits on the day and next day after sending a text offer.
Your primary focus is on building up your customer list, which is simple! Then you can nudge them!
P.S. Stay-tuned for a future article that talks about feedback mechanisms related to nudges. We provide insights and outline how to easily show customers a simple way they can check their progress in your loyalty program.