February 2023

New Feature

Engage customers with SMS

Engage your customers the way they prefer

Delivering outstanding customer experiences touches all aspects of your business, including how you communicate. Not every customer prefers the same communication channel. Some may prefer email, others may prefer text messages (SMS).

The SMS Add-On allows you to set your customer's communication preference, and LoyaltyLoop will take it from there. Communicating with customers in the way they prefer, can help deliver a better experience for them, and produce better feedback results for you.

How does it work?

When you add SMS to your plan, you'll select a local phone number that will be used to send your feedback and review requests. Just like how you can configure your LoyaltyLoop emails with personalized messages, you can personalize SMS messages too. However, unlike email, each SMS message is limited to 160 characters. You can still send longer messages, but it will be sent as more than one SMS. When your customer clicks the link in the text message, it will open your survey. Since SMS messages are mostly used on mobile devices, when you add SMS we'll ensure your survey is using our mobile-friendly template.

How much does it cost, and how does billing work?

SMS can be added to any LoyaltyLoop plan at only $15 per month, and includes 500 Base Credits per month, where one (1) credit equals one (1) SMS sent. If your message is longer than 1 SMS, it will use multiple credits. On the first of each month your Base Credits reset to 500.

As LoyaltyLoop engages customers for feedback and reviews, any customer you set to receive SMS will be engaged via SMS. Remember, there are multiple messages that can be sent to a single customer during a single survey launch sequence. For example, a customer would be sent your initial request for feedback (1 credit), but if you have the 7-day reminder turned on and this customer did not respond to the first SMS survey message, the system will automatically send the reminder SMS (1 credit). If you have the Review Reminder turned on, this customer may be sent that SMS message too (1 credit). Your Base Credit balance decreases with each SMS sent.

SMS texting

Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on Unsplash

What happens if I run out of credits during the month?

Don't worry. In your SMS Settings you can choose to either have LoyaltyLoop revert to sending email when you run out of Base Credits, or you can opt to let LoyaltyLoop continue sending SMS. If you exceed your Base Credits but opted to keep sending SMS, you will generate an SMS Overage.

Overages are billed at the same per-SMS rate as your Base Credit plan, and are automatically added to your next month's bill. Want to set an Overage upper limit? No problem. In your SMS Preferences, you can set an Overage upper limit, after which the system will automatically revert to sending via email.

Watch our video explaining how to enable and use the SMS Add-On. Or follow the steps below.

How to enable the SMS Add-On?

Step 1

Sign in as an Admin User. Click your email address in the upper-right and then click Settings. In the Admin grouping, click SMS settings.

loyaltyloop sms settings

Step 2

Choose how LoyaltyLoop should handle any SMS Overages. Then click the button “Add to my subscription”.

loyaltyloop sms settings

Step 3

Choose a phone number from which your text messages will be sent. Consider choosing an area code that matches your company phone number. Once you've chosen a number, click “Register Now”.

loyaltyloop sms settings

Step 4

Confirm all your chosen settings, and click “Save Changes”. If you change your mind, check the “Cancel my SMS service” and then “Save Changes”.

loyaltyloop sms settings

How to I configure my text messages?

Step 1

Once SMS is added to your plan, go to Settings and review your outbound messages: Survey Invitation, Survey Reminder, and Review Reminder (Promoter plan only).

In the upper-right of the edit window, you’ll see a toggle switch allowing you to edit either your email or SMS message. Choose SMS, and edut the text message to your liking. Take note of the character count at the bottom. If your message exceeds the limit of 1 text message, LoyaltyLoop will break the message into multiple text messages. Remember, each text message uses 1 SMS credit.

loyaltyloop sms settings

Step 2

Send yourself a test SMS to make sure your message appears correctly. At the bottom of the edit screen, click on the “Send Test” button, and then enter your cell phone number. Look at the text message to ensure it's how you want it to appear.

loyaltyloop sms settings

Step 3

The final step is to tell LoyaltyLoop which customers prefer SMS. By default, all customers are set to receive email even if SMS sending is enabled. Make sure you enter a correctly formatted mobile number for customers, then set the customer's preference to SMS. First, click Customers from the left main menu.

Single customer

  1. Click the row of the customer in question
  2. Click "Edit Customer Details"
  3. Click SMS and confirm their mobile number, then click Save Changes

Multiple customers

  1. Click the checkbox next to one or more customers
  2. Click on the pull-down menu that reads, “Set Communication Preferences” and choose SMS
  3. Notice the Communication Preference column
loyaltyloop setting contacts to get sms

The value of SMS engagement

Let’s ask a couple quick questions: Do you have any unread emails in your inbox? Do you have any unread text messages on your phone? You most likely answered yes to the first question and no to the second question.

What’s happening is that texting, or SMS (Short Message Service), is one of, if not, the most popular methods of communication today. Incredibly, 23 billion texts are sent each day, which is an average of about 270 thousand each second! And when those texts are sent, they have an open rate of 98%. Compare that to the email open rate of 18%! Text messages have a response rate 8 times higher than email, and results in engagement rates 6 to 8 times higher than retailers normally achieve via email marketing.

Texting is fast and convenient. In less than 5 minutes you can confirm you are going to that party on Saturday, that you can pick up the kids, grab take-out for dinner, and provide feedback to a local business who delivered a product or service. Texting is a way to stay connected. People get news, interesting links, make plans, share pictures of their kids, flirt, and so on. Neither good nor bad, it’s a part of life; it’s simply the way people communicate today.

loyaltyloop sms

Now, this doesn't mean you should abandon all other forms of communication. What it does mean, is you should asking customers if they prefer SMS to other forms of communication. Given the fast growth of SMS, there's a good chance some do prefer SMS. We said this many times in our posts, and it's most applicable here, every business is different and what works for one might not be right for you. But if some of your customers prefer SMS, you would be wise to engage them this way given the incredible stats.

The important thing is to remember is texting your customers is not an intrusion, if SMS is the way they prefer to be reached. If you choose to contact your customers via text, there are all pros and no cons. Check out these other SMS stats: 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery. 91% of Americans keep their mobile devices within arm’s length at all times. 80% of people check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up, and another 10% check in the next fifteen minutes. That's almost 100% visibility of your messaging. Plus, SMS as a method of contact is growing every day.

As for cost savings, Oracle did a study that showed that support via text could reduce a $20 support call to pennies. Can your support team answer questions in seconds instead of minutes? They can with texting. One support representative can manage only one support call at a time. Not only can support issues be resolved by text, but your support reps can multitask, solving multiple issues at once. Pennies.

For most, mobile phones are within arm’s reach during all waking hours, and the convenience and immediacy of texting is the preferred method of communication among growing numbers of people today. At one point it might have felt strange contacting customers via text, but it should no longer. Reaching out to customers has never been easier. But we will all be served well to remember to communicate with customers in the way they prefer, not in the way you prefer.


Did you know you can send test emails and SMS?

The best way to ensure your emails (and text messages) appear the way you expect, is to send yourself a test message. This allows you to view the message in your email client software (or on your phone). It’s a good habit to send yourself a test message when modifying your messages. Remember, you can also preview your survey.

loyaltyloop send test message

Visit the "Franchise Strip" at IFA 2023 Convention

IFA - International Franchise Association - Logo

If you're planning on attending IFA 2023 in Las Vegas, please come see LoyaltyLoop in booth 225.

This year, we're partnering with a handful of great companies during IFA 2023, calling ourselves the “Franchise Strip”. Our goal is to showcase a one-stop-shop for all of your franchising needs. Come visit us, and let LoyaltyLoop and our partners explain how we can provide real growth for your brand.