Firstly, what is loyalty? I’ve been questioning what loyalty is both from a consumer perspective and as a provider, and the quote below got me thinking about it again today.

All real loyalty programs start in the same place: creating an experience or a product that is its own reward. We’re loyal because it makes us feel good, not because we’re being bribed.

While talking to my new Barista about why I was spending more of my money there now rather than spreading it around, we started to talk about what I do and he asked some great questions. It wasn’t until after I had finished my excellent coffee that I realised that my questions about loyalty were the answers to his questions about SMS.

  • Why would a small place like mine use SMS?
  • I can understand a large chain doing SMS to increase business but I am always busy so what is the point?
  • I don’t do any price promotions so is there any reason to use Bulletin?
Loyalty Cards

You know what? Sometimes SMS is not the only answer. However, by thinking outside the box just a little you realise that Bulletin.net is not just about SMS, but about building relationships using SMS. Bulletin can provide the tools to allow you to comunicate quickly and effectively with the people that are loyal to you.

Real sustainability comes from providing good product and service at a good price to create loyalty and an ongoing relationship – not just about discounting. Done properly, TXT messaging helps to promote this relationship at mimimal cost in your time and your customers attention and in financial terms.

So, why would a small business use SMS?  A small business is subject to market conditions and peaks and troughs of trade as much as a large place.  More so, when you consider that for a sole trader, just 20 small purchases a day can have a disproportionaly large impact on your revenue. A small outlet is more likely to have a personal relationship with their customers, one of the primary reasons for the customer to be loyal them rather than buy from a chain. Customers want to feel special so never forget that and treat them as you would like to be treated.

  • Send customers birthday wishes and a one day only birthday offer by TXT, get them in the door with a hook and (to be cynical for a moment) reel them in with an upsell .
  • Coffee shops can promote a mid afternoon ‘office shout’ cause we all need some caffeine at 3pm and the choices for the consumer are boundless so it pays to be top of their mind because it is not always about the price.
  • Repair shops can send daily updates to customers that might be missing their car, bike or PC, throw in a bit of humour and make the ‘healing’ process less painful to those missing their loved ones

Remember, it is easy to alienate your regulars if you dont prescribe to tight opt-in processes. This could be as simple as asking people to TXT in to a short code to get on the TXT list or go old school and have a separate bowl on the counter to collect business cards of people wanting to be on that list.

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Want to know how Bulletin can help your small business make the most of its tight budget to leverage one of the most effective channels available?  Leave a comment below or email Mitendra on mmdas@bulletin.net with any information and questions and he’ll try to assist.