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7 Best Examples Of SMB Loyalty Programs [Retail & Hospitality]

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that will inspire your own loyalty and rewards program.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

When set up correctly, loyalty programs are one of the best tools for customer retention. 

Every business owner knows that bringing in new customers is more expensive than encouraging repeat business from existing customers. That’s why customer loyalty programs are particularly beneficial for smaller businesses, where money is tight and building a loyal customer base is crucial. 

Successful loyalty programs spark an emotional connection that brings in repeat customers — which translates to greater revenue. 

While bigger companies tend to steal the limelight for their membership programs (e.g., Sephora’s Beauty Insider program), SMBs have cool strategies too!

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that would hopefully inspire your initiatives. 

Whether an award-winning, family-owned bakery or a homegrown fashion label — these businesses demonstrate the power of personalized loyalty rewards, community engagement, and seamless digital experiences in cultivating brand loyalty. 

Let’s dive in.

 


 

1. Pinjarra Bakery

Pinjarra Bakery, led by the Pantaleo family, is renowned for Australia's top meat pie. It has garnered over 700 state and national accolades, making it one of WA's most decorated bakeries. With over 25 years of satisfying customers, locals and tourists equally flock to enjoy its delectable treats.

pinjarra-bakery-winning

Program purpose:

The company used to have an outdated point-of-sale system when it recognized the need for a more efficient sales and marketing approach. It wanted a cloud-based solution to streamline its operations and decided that Lightspeed was the perfect choice.

The bakery also wanted to integrate its loyalty and marketing with its chosen POS. So it partnered with Marsello to integrate its rewards program seamlessly into its existing tech stack consisting of WooCommerce, Bopple, and Lightspeed (O-Series).

With the loyalty program, it hoped to gather customer feedback and purchase data to enhance the customer experience and tailor offers. It also wanted to use the data for automated marketing, such as sending $10 vouchers to encourage repeat visits from inactive customers.

Program style:

Pinjarra decided on a points-based loyalty program where customers receive 1 reward point for every dollar spent. Bonus points could be earned through referrals and by sharing on social media. Members can then redeem their accumulated points for free products, exclusive benefits, and member-only special offers.

pinjarra bakery loyalty program

Here’s why its loyalty program succeeds:

  • Pinjarra Bakery recognizes the importance of cultivating a robust database of loyal customers. A point system is simple enough for program members to understand — earn certain points and get rewards. This encourages more customers to sign up.
  • It simplifies customer engagement by offering effortless QR code-based sign-ups at its locations.
  • The loyalty rewards program cleverly doubles as a referral program. It’s also a useful strategy for social media marketing.
  • One of the program’s main aims is to harness data from an active database. This helps to drive revenue during campaign launches.
  • The program offers a delightful user experience as well. Check out the fun names of its rewards — “Magic brew to kickstart your day. Caffeine hit!” or “Pop it like it’s hot with PB pop socket - phone grip & stand.” 

Program results:

Pinjarra attained a 66% repeat purchase rate and increased revenue significantly via targeted marketing campaigns and automation, generating $100k from a single automation.

 

2. Scotty's Makeup & Beauty

Over four decades, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty has been a cornerstone of the Aussie beauty industry. Established in 1980 by founder Scott Lattimer, the company introduced global makeup brands to Australia, becoming integral to various sectors including beauty salons, film, TV, and theatre.

scottys-makeup-and-beauty

Program purpose:

Initially, Scotty’s was searching for an effective email marketing solution. When the team learned about Marsello, they decided to set up a loyalty program as well. It aimed to establish a vibrant, involved customer database. Like Pinjarra Bakery, it also wanted to implement targeted marketing tactics tailored to customer buying behaviors and preferences.

scottys makeup and beauty program

Program style:

Currently, the Marsello app works smoothly with Scotty’s Shopify and Lightspeed (X-series) setup. The brand has chosen a tier-based or tiered loyalty program where certain loyal customers (Artistry Insiders) get exclusive access to better discounts. 

Program results:

63% of Scotty’s marketing-driven revenue originates from email campaigns. Its loyalty program efforts have also enhanced customer lifetime value and purchase frequency. Best of all — it has doubled its end-of-financial-year revenue.

 

3. Pace Athletic

Pace Athletic was founded by fitness enthusiasts, Will and Stu. They loved the welcoming atmosphere in surf stores and wanted to introduce the same to running stores which felt more exclusive.

Program purpose:

The co-founders knew they needed to build a loyal customer base to make running feel more inclusive. This is where Marsello came in. With its help, Pace Athletic created — what easily qualifies as — one of the best customer loyalty program examples on our list. 

Competing in a market overshadowed by major chains posed a significant challenge for the brand. Nevertheless, it cultivated a loyal customer base by prioritizing the overall experience.

pace athletic loyalty program and running club

Program style:

Pace Athletic implemented a simple points-based loyalty system that worked wonders. Customers earn points corresponding to the amount they spend. They can earn more points from social media engagement, referrals, etc., and redeem them for exclusive products and discounts. 

The loyalty program aims to seamlessly merge online and in-store sales data, providing a comprehensive overview of customer shopping habits. This integrated approach paves the way for personalized marketing messages and promotions based on customer data. That way, Pace Athletic can enhance customer engagement and drive more sales.

Program results:

Pace Athletic’s loyalty program account helped drive 28% of its total revenue. Because customers are highly engaged, its marketing emails yield impressive conversion rates. In fact, its email marketing campaigns contributed over 40% of its revenue, underscoring the program's impact on sales.

 

download free loyalty program roi calculator

 

4. ALPHA60

Founded in 2005 by enterprising siblings Alex and Georgie Cleary, ALPHA60 has created a unique narrative since the very beginning. With a solid focus on customer happiness and an unwavering creative vision, the brand has shown that you can find success by traveling the unbeaten path.

Alpha60 rewards

Program purpose:

The company was determined to follow a customer-first approach and wanted the brand experience to be consistent for all shoppers. It started using Marsello along with Lightspeed (X-Series), Shopify, Wrapped, and Klaviyo to help with its loyalty program strategies.

On brand with its customer-first approach, ALPHA60 wanted to make its sales, marketing, and rewards programs more efficient. It also wanted to streamline its gift card usage across platforms and synchronize customer data between its online and in-store channels.

Alpha60 rewards program

Program style:

The rewards program is simple. Customers earn points based on how much they spend and for engaging with the brand on social media. For every 1000 points earn, they get a $50 voucher. 

The purpose of this loyalty program is twofold. First, it excites customers at the point of sale but rewarding them for every purchase. Secondly, the program enables the brand to utilize data for segmenting customers, which then makes it easy to launch targeted campaigns.

Program results:

Every aspect of ALPHA60's business revolves around the customer and the results of its strategies speak for themselves. With a customer-centric approach, it maintains a repeat purchase rate of around 70%, surpassing the typical range of 20% to 40% considered good for retail enterprises.

 

5. Brandini Toffee

Brandini Toffee is a family-operated company that excels in crafting artisanal toffee through time-honored techniques and top-notch ingredients. It wanted a loyalty program compatible with its tech infrastructure and operational model, requiring seamless integration, in-store and online.

Program purpose:

The loyalty program was meant to capture purchase behaviors and preferences, grow the database, and enable tailored rewards to enhance customer retention rates. This involves integrating data across all channels to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience for Brandini’s customers.

brandini toffee rewards and loyalty program

Program style:

Using Marsello, the company set up a simple, yet effective loyalty program system. Like certain brands on this list, Brandini Toffee offers customers 1 Brandini Point for every dollar spent. Bonus points can be earned on birthdays or by completing certain actions, such as sharing on social media.

Program results:

Brandini’s revenue doubled within the first eight months of implementing Marsello. Since then, it has experienced nearly triple revenue growth from 2019 to 2023.

 

6. TennisGear

Started by accountant and avid tennis player Mark, TennisGear is a tennis center that offers coaching, four tennis courts, and an attached retail store. The company needed the right tech for its multi-channel businesses and wanted to make shopping easier in stores and online. With Lightspeed POS and Marsello, it manages all its data in one spot, helping create customer groups.

Tennis-Gears-Onichannel-Customer-Data-Lightspeed-Shopify

Program purpose:

The loyalty program serves multiple purposes. It centralizes sales data from all channels into one platform, aligns transactions with customer profiles, and fosters a seamless omnichannel experience. 

Plus, it facilitates database growth and utilizes customer interaction data to enhance product offerings and marketing strategies.

TennisGear rewards

Program style:

Tennis Gear created a points-based loyalty program. Every $1 spent earns customers 1 point. Reviews, social shares, and other actions earn bonus points. All are redeemable for discounts.

Program result:

TennisGear gains full sales visibility across all channels via multi-site reports and dashboards. On implementing Marsello’s prompts for Lightspeed POS, it saw a 2.5% increase in its customer database. Additionally, Marsello's automation tools efficiently recover abandoned carts and entice lost customers to return, alongside other effective campaigns.

 

7. HobbyTech Toys

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Hobbytech Toys specializes in radio control products. The brand has recently broadened its inventory to encompass toys, games, Lego sets, model kits, model trains, and more. It has also prioritized improving its online presence.

hobbytech toys rewards

Program purpose:

Year after year, the business experienced rapid growth. About two years ago, they transitioned to a new ERP, leading to a new point-of-sale system. This prompted integration with Marcello to link Lightspeed and Shopify, enhancing the omnichannel experience.

Program style:

The store recently introduced a $5 discount voucher reward system, replacing the previous 1000-point threshold for a $10 voucher. See, many regular customers weren't reaching this threshold within 12 months due to their frequent but lower-spending visits.

Program results:

The $5 reward significantly boosted redemption rates, enhancing customer satisfaction and the store's reputation. The brand has also used its omnichannel data to improve its email marketing campaigns.

 

Customer loyalty webinar (1)


Final words

All the examples mentioned above demonstrate a crucial point — customer reward programs that fit the unique needs of small businesses can work wonders. 

Special loyalty programs, easy omnichannel shopping, and automation can help grow your business and keep customers happy. That’s why if you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to launch a loyalty program that helps you reach your marketing goals. 

To learn how Marsello can help, talk to one of our experts today.

 


 

Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Book a demo

 


 

Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    How Big-Box Merchants Are Dominating With SMS: And How You Can Too

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    We analyzed SMS campaigns run by the giants. We put together our learnings into this article for you to read, examine and test yourself. Read on.

    Quick links:

     


     

    Massive international businesses like Dominoes, Sephora, Uber, and Airbnb are all using SMS to increase their revenue and efficiency. By leveraging text marketing, they have been able to reach their customers, boost engagement, and drive sales. If SMS marketing didn't work, these brands would not be using it.

     

    So what do they know that we don’t?

    We’ve looked at some of the world’s most successful brands to look at the anatomy of an SMS strategy that converts.

     

    What did we learn? 

    1. The science behind running high-performance SMS marketing campaigns actually isn’t as complicated as it looks.

    2. By not leveraging SMS marketing, we’re missing out on a powerful tool that can help us reach our business goals faster and more efficiently.

    So, we’ve wrapped up the know-how in this article, so you can see how they’ve cracked it. Inside you’ll find practical tips and strategies that you can use to create high-performance SMS campaigns that deliver results.

    Best of all, it won’t cost you much to give the big-brand tricks a go.

     


     

    1. They use the right tool for the job

     

    Big box retailers aren’t afraid to try something new or unorthodox if they think it will get the job done. They just ask—what is the best way to reach our customers to achieve this goal?

    This is one of the biggest perceived challenges for SMBs. When you’re time-poor, it’s easier just to stick to what you know.

    The reality is, it doesn’t cost much (time or money) to test a new channel like SMS. And the learnings are worth their weight in gold. If you chat to one of our SMS experts, you can even be in to win 1000 free credits to play with.

     

    Email or SMS?

    EmailVSSMS

    When choosing between sending an email or sending a text, the main consideration should be time. Does the customer need to act on this right away? If so, use SMS.

    If you’re running lots of these time-sensitive campaigns, though, be careful that you’re not overloading your customers. SMS is extremely targeted and almost always opened, so it should be used sparingly for one-off blast campaigns. We’d recommend sending no more than 2 of these to your customers per month.

    Another good way to use SMS is for notifications. These only trigger when customers act, so they won’t be as intrusive or annoying (customers will understand why they’re receiving the message). While emails can be used too, they can sometimes get lost in the inbox. SMS will ensure important messages get where they’re meant to go in a near-instant fashion.

     

      Email SMS
    You’ve got a special offer for your top customers, but it’s only available today.   ☑️
    You want to showcase a range of new products. ☑️  
    Delivery updates and order notifications.   ☑️
    You want to let customers know that they’ve just unlocked a new reward in your loyalty program.   ☑️

     

    Chatbots or SMS?

    Chatbot-VS-SMS-Message

    Chatbots are great when a customer is looking for answers in real time. They work well on messaging apps (Messenger, WhatsApp) and on your website. This is mostly inbound, although you may have a chatbot notification to communicate something when customers visit your online shop.

    SMS is better for outbound notifications, like when you’re running a sale or have a personal, time-sensitive invitation or offer to share. You can also use SMS for automated messages, for example, let a customer know delivery updates on their order.

     

      Chatbot SMS
    A customer needs to find something on your website. ☑️  
    Let your customer know about a deal in-store.   ☑️
    Send a special offer to customers who haven’t shopped in 60 days.   ☑️
    A customer wants to learn more about your shipping policy. ☑️  
    A customer wants to receive an update when their order is delivered.   ☑️

     

    Digital advertising or SMS?

    Digital-Ads-Vs-SMS

    I’ve heard merchants say, “Why would I send a text when it’s so much cheaper to run ads on social media?” I’d respond to this in two parts.

    Firstly, is it really cheaper? On average, it costs $17.60 to reach 1000 people on Facebook. For Instagram, it’s $8.30. SMS sits almost bang in the middle—from around $10.00 per 1000 recipients. And that’s not even taking cost per conversion into account. 

    Secondly, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, SMS can drive conversions through high personalization. You have more scope to get really specific to the customer; you know more about them because they’re in your database.

    You could use this same idea for secret menu items or order freebies too.

     

      Digital Advertising SMS
    A brand awareness campaign to introduce new people to your brand. ☑️  
    Retargeting ads to remind people about specific items they were browsing. ☑️  
    An abandoned cart notification letting the customer know there’s a 10% discount code in their inbox.   ☑️

     


     

    2. They use customer data for lazer-focused personalization

     

    If you’re tracking sales (i.e., if you have a digital POS system and/or an online store) you own a lot of customer purchase data. Now, let’s put it to use!

    I’ve just been looking at a merchant account where they’ve automated more than 25% of the revenue. That’s purely just from sending campaigns when customers hit specific criteria or make a particular action.

    This business is sending automated emails and SMS messages to customers who haven’t shopped in a while, giving them a small discount, and generating revenue from that.

    They’ve also got automated SMS campaigns going out to their loyalty members, letting them know when they have points they need to redeem, or when they’ve unlocked a reward.

    This is exactly what the big brands do—they put their data to work. It’s really exciting seeing smaller retailers take that concept and run with it. The set-up time is so minimal, especially because SMS doesn’t require any design work. And the results are incredible.

    There are also businesses who are dipping their toe in the water, giving SMS a go with a one-off campaign, and being absolutely blown away at the impact.

    Pinjarra Bakery is an example that comes to mind. This is an example of a merchant taking a step back and thinking: what’s the best channel for this campaign?

    Limited-Time-Pinjarra-Bakery-SMS-next-to-man-eating-a-pie-1

    Every month or so, they’ll make a once-only, off-menu meat pie. They wanted to let their regulars know about it, but the promotion needed to reach them at exactly the right time.

    So they sent an SMS, just before lunch time, to encourage customers to come in and try this one-off pie.

    After just two SMS campaigns contributed to 15% of revenue over a 3-month period… it’s safe to say, SMS marketing is yet another Pinjarra success.

     

    “Sometimes, I've got to look twice and go—Is this actually real?”

    “Sometimes, I've got to look twice and go—Is this actually real?”

    - Daniel Pantaleo, Pinjarra Bakery

     

    Another bonus learning: Don’t just track customer purchase data, track the brands and products they’re buying too. With SKU-level data, you can pitch co-marketing campaigns to wholesalers, negotiate better stock prices, and just generally deepen your relationship with your vendors.

     


     

    3. They give compelling reasons for customers to opt in (and stick around)

     

    If you already see the value in texting your customers, your next challenge is: how do build my SMS database?

    The big brands know that people will sign up to get an offer, but will opt out if they aren’t promised continuous benefits. If you want people to stick around (and you want to keep reaping the rewards of high conversion rates), you have to make an offer they can’t resist.

     

    Case study: Sephora

     

    Sephora has a finely-balanced strategy to keep a regular stream of SMS subscribers coming in, while sending exclusive offers and insider info to keep them there long-term.

     

    Opt-in incentive: Sephora uses a 10% discount code to get customers signed up for SMS marketing.

    Sephora-Welcome-SMS-Discount-Code

     

    Continuous benefits: Then, Sephora shows the value of being on the list. Their SMS subscribers and beauty insiders get access to all sorts of exclusive offers, as well as being kept in the loop with new stores and events.

    Sephora-Personalized-SMS-Message

     

    Case study: Domino’s

     

    Domino's takes a slightly different approach. The incentive to sign up is access to the deals themselves… and they’re very good deals.

     

    Opt-in incentive & continuous benefit: Exclusive access to time-sensitive deals.

    Dominos-SMS-discount-codes

    These deals are so good, you wouldn’t find much better. While smaller retailers and hospitality businesses can’t compete with the big brands on price, you can still use this method. Even if you don’t want to offer 50% discounts, your database will still appreciate a $5 voucher or small freebie.

    Finally, to make a lasting impression on your audience, don’t be afraid to lean on your customer experience, product quality, and level of service as your point of difference in these kinds of campaigns.

     


     

    How SMB Merchants Can Leverage SMS Marketing

     

    1. Build Your SMS List: Start by building your SMS list by obtaining your customers' opt-in consent. You can do this by offering a discount or promotion in exchange for their phone number.
    2. Expire Discount Codes: When you use discount codes for campaigns, make sure you set an expiry date to make the offer time sensitive.
    3. Personalize Your Messages: Use customer data to personalize your SMS messages and offers. This could be based on their purchase history, location, or interests.
    4. Time Your Messages: Send timely and relevant messages to your customers to maximize their impact. This could be about promotions, new products, or special events.
    5. Keep It Short and Sweet: Keep your messages short and concise, with a clear call-to-action. This will encourage your customers to take action and engage with your brand.

     


     

    Meet with one of our experts and be in to win 1000 free SMS credits.

    Discuss how SMS could work best for your business. Meet with an SMS expert before the end of June and be in to win 1000 SMS credits.

    Talk to an expert

    Standard T&Cs apply. Additional competition terms: 1) Offer not available for SHAFT-regulated merchants. 2) To be eligible, you must book and complete a call with a Marsello SMS expert before UTC 11:59pm, 30th June, 2023. 3) Only one entry per eligible business will be accepted.

     


     

    Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

     

    5 SMS Campaigns That’ll Have Customers Eager to Share Their Number

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    Here are 5 creative, tantalizing & clever SMS campaigns that you can use or modify and promote as part of your brand’s customer experience. Read more.

    Quick links:


     

    We all know what bad marketing looks like. It’s the emails we bulk delete, the text message that gets us up on the wrong side of the bed, and the intrusive ad in the middle of your Facebook message inbox.

    We sign up for things left right and center, opting into emails when we buy something, accepting SMS marketing when we make an appointment… Then before we know it we’re inundated with marketing messages and we’re subjected to a total advertising overload.

    That’s why, as business owners, we’re hesitant to send too many emails, or annoying texts, or set up pesky retargeting ads that don’t turn off even when customers have already bought the dang thing.

    However, when marketing is done well, we don’t see it as marketing. We see it as a story, or a relatable anecdote, or a club we are genuinely excited to be part of.

    So how do we take SMS—one of the more intrusive forms of marketing—and make it exceptional? How do we make SMS marketing so good that customers will be throwing their mobile numbers at us, begging to be part of our list?

    The fact is, SMS has a reputation as one of the most annoying forms of marketing because it is the most direct. It comes right to the user's personal device, without the need for an internet connection or mobile data. It’s almost guaranteed to be delivered and opened. There’s really no barrier shielding the recipient from an annoying message if they’re opted in.

    But what makes SMS annoying also gives it its edge.

    So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to design 5 creative, tantalizing & clever SMS campaigns that you can use or modify and promote as part of your brand’s customer experience.

     

    Ready to say goodbye to SMS opt-outs?

     

    Goal: To attract new text subscribers and build up a marketable database for SMS. 

    Benefit: Better engagement, higher read rates, and more return on your marketing investment.

    Understand that these campaigns should be exclusive (or at the very least first access) to text message subscribers. In return for their mobile number and marketing consent, you want to make it well worth their while. Customers need to know that opting out means they will no longer have access to these incredible offers and campaigns.

    Here are 5 SMS Campaigns That Will Have Customers Eager To Share Their Number.

     


     

    1. The Very Secret Sale

    Woman-holding-a-phone-receiving-a-secret-sale-sms-discount-code-1

    Every month, 1 text subscriber is chosen randomly to participate in a secret sale. This creates hype and excitement within your database, and you can use it in your list of amazing things your subscribed customers get access to. This campaign creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency, while also encouraging customer engagement, referrals and social shares.

    Yep, it’s pretty much just a one-off discount or voucher for one person, once a month. But make the offer tantalizing enough that everyone wants it.

    Steps: 

    1. Export a list of your SMS subscribers as a CSV file (or download a full list, and sort by SMS subscribers, deleting the rest).
    2. Use a Random Name Picker like this one, where you can upload a CSV file of your database
    3. Pick a name at random (or as many as you like).
    4. Create a campaign list or segment with that customer.
    5. Generate a single-use or customer-specific discount or voucher code. Adding a time limit or expiry date creates urgency.
    6. Send an SMS campaign (copy the text below and modify to your liking).

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    [YOUR COMPANY]: Hey [name]! You're in the Secret Sale! Here’s your code for [$50 off]: [XXXX]. But hurry, it expires in 24hrs! T&C Apply.Reply STOP to opt-out

     

    2. Mystery Discounts

    Man-at-laptop-on-an-ecommerce-store-with-a-discount-on-shoes

    This campaign creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for customers, as they wait for periodic messages with surprise discount codes. By keeping the value of each code a mystery, you’ll incentivize customers to jump online and add items to their cart to apply the code.

    You can use this type of campaign alongside other campaigns and releases, for example for early access to new collections, to further increase customer engagement.

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    [YOUR COMPANY]: Mystery Code Alert: [XXXX]. Will you get 10% off, 20% off, or even more? It's a mystery! Expires in 8hrs! T&C Apply.Reply STOP to opt-out

     

    3. Secret Menu Items or Freebies

    Limited-Time-Pinjarra-Bakery-SMS-next-to-man-eating-a-pie-1

    In one of the most creative SMS campaigns we’ve seen, Pinjarra Bakery promotes exclusive meat pies to their local customers. They’ll create whacky recipes and do a one-off batch, then send a text just before lunch to let customers know.

    Campaigns like this are great. they’re time-sensitive, they’re fun, and they get customers excited to try something new and different.

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    **LIMITED TIME** [SECRET MENU ITEM]. Visit [YOUR COMPANY] today. Hurry, we always sell out fast!Reply STOP to opt-out

    You could use this same idea for secret menu items or order freebies too.

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    Say “[PASSWORD]” when you order from [YOUR COMPANY] today and we’ll add a large fries to your order for free. Offer ends 5pm today.Reply STOP to opt-out

     

    4. Pop-Up Store Google Maps Link

    Clothes Rack with Women's clothing and a pin icon with an address

    Running a pop-up store? Offer first access to the pop-up store Google Maps location to SMS subscribers. When promoting your pop-up store, you can create a landing page or add a form to your Link In Bio. Ask customers to add their mobile number to receive the location 24 hours before the store opens.

    Pop-up stores can offer an air of mystique and exclusivity. They’re outside your usual store location, run for a limited time, and often promise the best deals and last-of-run items.

    I was recently out shopping and needed a different size in the hoodie I wanted. I was told that there was only one left, that it wasn’t available online or in any of the physical other stores, but that it would be at the pop-up, happening later that week. Plus, the store assistant whispered as an aside, it would be half the price.

    I got there on the day and the line was halfway down the street.

    Pop-ups and markets are a popular way for stores to run sales and move stock quickly. Having everything for sale in one place, and for a limited time, creates urgency and demand. They are also great for ecommerce/DTC brands who want temporary, cheaper floorspace to build their brand presence in a particular market.

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    **THIS WEEK ONLY**[YOUR COMPANY] pop-up store.Location: [LINK]. Open 10-5 until Friday or while stocks last. Reply STOP to opt-out



    5. The Birthday Offer

    Woman-taking-photo-of-cake-and-a-happy-birthday-SMS-discount-code-notification-2

    Last but certainly not least! Most customers expect birthday offers when signing up for a loyalty program or marketing emails these days. But why not offer something extra to SMS subscribers?

    This campaign creates a personalized experience for customers, making them feel valued and appreciated on their special day. Additionally, by setting a time limit on the offer, you’ll create urgency and encourage customers to take advantage of the offer before it expires.

    Message copied to clipboard!

    Now paste into your next SMS message.

    Happy Birthday Frances! Enjoy a coffee at any Flora's Cafe this week, on us! Just show this text at the counter. Reply STOP to opt out

     


     

    Before you begin: Tips From The Experts

     

    Wildfang-15%-off-SMS-discount

    Above: Wildfang leads with the benefit of opting in when promoting their SMS marketing program at checkout.

    1. Be upfront. Dominoes lead the charge in transparency, letting customers know before they subscribe to expect no more than 6 text messages a month. If you’re open, people know what they’re signing up for and will be less likely to opt-out.
    2. Lead with the benefit. Retailer Wildfang asks customers to opt-in by self-selecting whether or not they want a discount. Be clear under the initial copy/headline that customers are signing up for SMS marketing, and make sure you deliver the discount in the first SMS message you send them (automate it to be extra certain).
    3. Keep compliant. Make sure you’re staying within global, regional and industry SMS legals. While we stay up-to-date with the rules and regulations, we’re not legal experts, so make sure you check the TCPA and other legislation and guidelines to make sure your campaigns don’t miss the mark.

    Final words

    SMS marketing campaigns can be highly effective if they are designed well, creating a sense of excitement and exclusivity among customers. As SMS is the most direct form of marketing, it is important to ensure that campaigns are designed with care to avoid being seen as intrusive. The campaigns outlined above all offer creative and tantalizing options for customers to engage with a brand through SMS. By providing exclusive access to offers and campaigns, customers are more likely to opt-in to SMS marketing, leading to higher engagement and return on investment.

     


     

    Meet with one of our experts and be in to win 1000 free SMS credits.

    Discuss how SMS could work best for your business. Meet with an SMS expert before the end of June and be in to win 1000 SMS credits.

    Talk to an expert

    Standard T&Cs apply. Additional competition terms: 1) Offer not available for SHAFT-regulated merchants. 2) To be eligible, you must book and complete a call with a Marsello SMS expert before UTC 11:59pm, 30th June, 2023. 3) Only one entry per eligible business will be accepted.

     


     

    Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

    SMS Product Update: 50% Reduced Rates, Automations, Merge Tags, and Emojis

    ClockIcon  READ
    We've introduced new features to make SMS marketing smarter and improve ROI, including SMS automation templates, automation library, merge tags and emojis

    “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one” - Mark Twain

    Apparently, Mark Twain hadn’t heard of pre-built SMS templates, something we’ve just added to Marsello alongside the automations template library, emojis, merge tags for SMS, and to make your SMS marketing go even further cut SMS rates by up to 50% on some pricing plans.  

    Here's what's new in SMS:

    We’ve cut SMS rates by 50%*, doubling SMS credits across some plans

    We’ve cut SMS rates by up to 50%* on some pricing plans, starting from our base $25/month plan. That means some plans will receive more than double the SMS credits per dollar.

    Previous pricing  New Pricing 

    Cost

    Credits

    Cost

    Credits

    $25.00

    700

    $25.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    3,500

    $100.00

    3,100

    $100.00

    8,500

    $200.00

    6,500

    $200.00

    18,000

    $300.00

    10,000

    $300.00

    30,000

    $400.00

    13,700

    $400.00

    41,000

    $500.00

    17,500

    $500.00

    52,000

    $600.00

    21,000

    $600.00

    63,000

    $800.00

    29,500

    $800.00

    84,000

    $1,000.00

    38,000

    $1,000.00

    105,000

    $1,250.00

    49,000

    $1,250.00

    132,000

    $1,500.00

    60,000

    $1,500.00

    158,500

    $1,750.00

    71,500

    $1,750.00

    185,500

    $2,000.00

    83,000

    $2,000.00

    212,000

    SMS credits can be added to your Marsello Pro Plan from your account and will be added to your monthly subscription from the date you select your monthly SMS plan. 

    New SMS plans are available now, and existing plans will be updated as your monthly plan rolls over.

    Add SMS


    Pre-built SMS automation templates

    Sometimes you need to get a message to your customers that is short, sharp, and to the point. That’s where SMS comes in, the perfect communication tactic to drive action quickly. But saying less isn't always that easy, so we’ve introduced over 20 new pre-built SMS templates, including loyalty program messages, refer friend requests, Google Review requests, and more.

    Automation Template Library 

    You can now access all your email and SMS templates in the Automation Template Library. You can search the Template Library by communication channel, campaign type, industry and more. As you build out your SMS automation templates, and we add more, you’ll be able to deploy any SMS automation in just a few clicks. 

    SMS Automations

    Oh, and by the way, we’ve already added 10+ SMS automation templates to the library which you can access now. 

    Loyalty Notifications now in Automations Library

    We’ve added automated loyalty points notifications for SMS, and migrated all loyalty points notification templates to Marsello’s Automations Library. This allows you to track all sends, opens, and clicks.

    Plus, enjoy the new emojis and merge tags! 

    Even short messages should be personalized, so we’ve introduced merge tags in SMS automations and campaigns. Merge tags enable you to include the recipient's own details in the messages you send them, including first name, last name, loyalty points balance and VIP tier. We’ve also added emojis, so you can set the tone of your message without saying a word. 

    Want to get started with SMS, but not sure how? Take a look at the Marsello help center for practical step-by-step guides for setting up automations and campaigns. 

    *Note: 50% discounted rate is based on a regional send to the United States and priced in USD.

     

    SMS: Have you forgotten about this powerful marketing tactic?

    ClockIcon  READ
    Used in the right context, SMS is a truly powerful marketing tactic. The key? It all comes down to following the tried-and-true recipe for success.

    SMS might feel like a throwback, but savvy business owners are still using this direct, punchy channel to drive revenue.

    There are an overwhelming number of marketing and advertising channels these days. You’d be forgiven for thinking you have to invest in every latest and greatest platform or social media app to reach your audience.

    Email, SMS, Display Ads. Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Each one of these has taken the advertising world by storm at some point. 

    Of course, as business owners and marketers, we need to keep our finger on the pulse. But we also need to step back and think—Who is our customer? What is the purpose of this campaign? What channel is the most effective and appropriate way to deliver this message?

    Let’s explore examples of when SMS might be the most effective channel for your campaign. Together, we’ll look at how businesses across different industries can see success from SMS (including several examples of real merchant campaigns) and round off with some inspiration and ideas for SMS campaigns.



     


    Quick Links:



     



    SMS-Relaunch-Man-on-phone

    “I've got to look twice and go—Is this actually real?

    – Daniel Pantaleo, Pinjarra Bakery

    No, this is not a line from a 2am infomercial.

    This is a real quote from a real Marsello merchant who couldn’t believe the results he saw when he sent an SMS campaign.

    There’s a common misconception out there about SMS—that it’s a spammy, outdated marketing channel. However, SMS is often misunderstood.

    2 things you must understand before you try SMS

     
    • It works best if the offer is time-sensitive, so if your campaign doesn’t drive urgent action you won’t see as much impact.
    • It has a high delivery rate (98%) but that doesn’t mean people who open it will engage. Your message must be enticing, concise, and clear.

    Think about the SMS messages you get that are helpful, and those that aren’t. It’s highly likely that the most helpful ones are transactional - an update on a parcel delivery, for example.

    The least helpful SMS messages are probably generic promos - a hairdresser you went to once, over two years ago, who keeps blasting you with offers that aren’t relevant to you.

    The trick is to make your offer as personalized and urgent as possible, so much so that it’s as helpful and welcome as a transactional SMS. Maybe even more so.

    The best SMS campaigns we’ve seen yet

    Hospitality: Pinjarra Bakery


    Every week, Pinjarra Bakery invent a wacky meat pie flavor. They’ve been doing this for years. But one day one of the owners, Daniel, decided to try this offer out with an SMS campaign.

    Pinjarra-SMS

    Simple right? 

    50.1% of those SMS messages sent converted to a sale. That’s HUGE.

    Here’s why it worked:

    • It’s urgent. 
    • It was sent just before lunchtime.
    • It was sent to regulars (those most likely to be closest to one of their stores).
    • It includes the merchant name (too often, SMS campaigns leave this key element out!)

    SMS was the perfect tactic for this campaign. The time was right, the audience was right, the offer was right.

    We were on a call with Daniel, and he told us he just couldn’t believe it. The revenue Pinjarra got from an SMS that took a few minutes to write and send was astonishing.

    Daniel could define the perfect audience using Marsello’s custom segmentation. He used the built-in SMS wizard to make sure the SMS met best practice. Then he was easily able to test and measure the direct impact of his first SMS campaigns on revenue.

    He saw it worked. Now, SMS is becoming an integral part of their marketing strategy.

    Like many merchants, Daniel is keen to keep his business up to speed with marketing tactics and technology.


    Retail: Scott Home Delivery


    Scott Home Delivery uses SMS for time-sensitive campaigns, with incredible results. Some of their campaigns see up to a 26% click rate — much higher than the average email click rate (around 3%).

    Scott-SMS

    The two campaigns above are amongst the top performers; however, Scott Home Delivery regularly uses SMS for exclusive offers and limited-time-only campaigns. In fact, SMS makes up more than 40% of all revenue generated from their Marsello marketing campaigns. 

    Both of these campaigns follow a tried and true formula:

    • The sender’s brand name is stated upfront for immediate recognition
    • There’s one clear offer
    • One call-to-action
    • Urgency
    • A link to drive conversions
    • And there are instructions for how to opt out (a necessary inclusion)

    Using this recipe, Scott Home Delivery has found that SMS is an even more powerful marketing tool than email.

     

     

    Did you know? 

    According to Business.com, SMS messages have an average response rate of 45%, compared with an average email response rate of just 8%. Why? When we’re given a strict character limit, we drill down to the essence of the marketing message and give a single, clear call-to-action.

     

     

    Is SMS right for my business or industry?

     

    Hospitality

    The benefits of SMS are abundant in hospitality. SMS is well-suited to last-minute discounts and exclusive or limited-time offers—all great tactics for restaurants, cafes, and bars. Location segmentation can provide relevant offers to the right audience, and scheduled sends can ensure the messages are delivered at the right time.

    Retail 

    SMS is widely used in transactional retail communications. Delivery updates and other important transactional messages are a common use of this direct channel, as emails can get lost to spam filters. However, there are also wider marketing use cases for SMS in retail. One example is using SMS as part of a loyalty or customer marketing strategy: using the channel to provide VIP offers, exclusive discounts, loyalty points updates, and more.

    Grocery

    SMS works well as a direct channel for transactional communications such as delivery updates. But, like retail, grocery stores can also use SMS as a broader loyalty and customer marketing channel. Small-to-medium grocery stores can use SMS to enhance their loyalty programs and provide a rich, personalized customer experience.

    Healthcare & Pharmacy

    SMS has a high deliverability rate (98%), and most messages are read within minutes. This makes SMS the perfect tool for important transactional messages such as script updates and appointment reminders.


    Want to future-proof your marketing?

    Jump onto a call with us. We’ll listen to your goals, learn about your business, and help you set your marketing strategy in motion.

    Book A Demo

                                                                                      

    Some SMS campaign ideas to get you started

     

    1. Send a Personalized ‘Welcome’ Message

    When customers sign up to your marketing list or loyalty program, welcome them and thank them for joining. You can even send a discount code or freebie for signing up—see how Taco Medic do this with huge success.

    2. Send Time-Sensitive Abandoned Cart Reminders

    We know that the best SMS campaigns have a clear call-to-action, and are time-sensitive. Ozzie Collectibles uses automation to remind shoppers about their abandoned cart, but adds in a follow-up email that their cart will only be saved for a limited time. This adds urgency and increases conversions.

    3. Deliver VIP Offers

    Use SMS to promote exclusive offers to your loyalty customers, or other customer segments. This could include exclusive access to new product releases, invitations to closed events, discounts to mark special occasions, or any other time-sensitive offers.

    4. Run Customer Feedback Campaigns

    Every once in a while, send an SMS with a short poll or survey (as best practice, offer an incentive for a higher response rate and more engaged, thoughtful responses). Customer feedback is highly valuable—you can get a temperature check on your customer base, and catch negative feedback before it turns into a negative review. You can also gain more insights, such as consumer preferences or market trends.


    Give your SMS campaigns new life with Marsello

     



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