Personalize Consumer Messaging With Information They've Already Shared

Permission-based marketing and zero-party data will be key for going cookieless

Personalized marketing is a proven way for brands to catch consumers’ attention; after all, 62% of consumers expect personalized ads. However, brands must proceed with caution, as consumers lose trust in brands that aren’t transparent about how and when they use personal information. This is evidenced by the demise of third-party cookies, harmful data leaks, unwanted communication and marketing that seems just a little suspicious. The problem is that this lack of trust erodes marketing influence over the long term.

As brands continue to push the limits of personalization and data collection, they must seek and confirm consumer consent. Marketers must deliver personalized messages while strengthening consumer trust.

Enter the mobile phone. Mobile makes it possible for brands to collect and use consumer data and create a personalized experience all while building trust with consumers.

The key is for mobile marketers to use permission-based marketing to create authentic, trusted relationships with their customers—one that doesn’t rely on identifiers for advertisers or other third-party data sources and is instead based on zero-party data directly from the consumer.

Getting permission is essential to successful mobile marketing

Permission means permission. It’s a black-and-white issue, meaning you either have it or you don’t.

Essentially, permission means consumers need to perform an action that clearly reflects a willingness to receive marketing from a brand, such as checking a box on a website or replying “Y” to opt into personalized marketing.

At Vibes, we watch SMS subscriber churn rates very closely, and we’ve learned that if a brand has a monthly churn rate that is higher than 1%, that’s a sure sign the brand did not get consent from consumers.

Only 40% of consumers say they trust brands to use data responsibly, so brands can’t afford to trick people into opting in. For example, it’s long been understood that pre-checked web form boxes asking users for permission to target marketing are not an accurate way to ensure permission. With pre-checked boxes, many users sign up for marketing emails without realizing it, a sure-fire way to erode consumer trust.

SMS marketing provides a better way because it’s 100% permission-based. Brands can use a double opt-in to confirm the customer wants mobile messaging. For example, when a customer signs up for a loyalty program or an email subscription through a brand’s website, the brand can ask if the user wants to receive text message alerts. Then, the brand can send a text message telling the user to reply to confirm. The communication is transparent and puts consumer preferences front and center, helping build trust between brands and shoppers.

Leading the way to personalized communication

When brands have permission, they have more leeway to reach out to customers, which becomes valuable during the purchase funnel. Communications can be triggered based on key events, allowing brands to influence and measure customers in the funnel.

For instance, if brands have permission to market directly to a customer, they can send birthday messages and use the customer’s name without the customer wondering how they got that information. Vibes’ data shows that birthday-triggered messages have a 16.4% clickthrough rate, so it’s evident that permission-based personalization adds value.

It can also help drive engagement and revenue. According to our data, personalized messages get more than twice the engagement rates as nonpersonalized messages. The more personal the content, the better it performs. Retailers who use personalization have an 18% higher CTR than average marketing campaigns. It’s even higher with restaurants, with a 56% higher CTR with personalization.

67% of consumers say that they want personalized offers based on their individual spending habits both in-store and online. More and more, AI is powering that personalization and represents one of the biggest opportunities in marketing.

With permission, brands can engage with customers using a “propensity to buy” model. With this tool, brands can anticipate what a customer will purchase in the future based on purchase history. They can then send relevant messages to customers at the right times to encourage them to buy a product, knowing there’s a chance they’ve already thought of it.

Ensuring loyalty down the pipeline

A compliance-first mindset is necessary to increase customer loyalty in a digital world. Having permission to gather first-party data is critical for a brand to retain customers in its loyalty program.

If brands have personalization and clear permission, they will get loyal customers for years to come, resulting in an increase in engagement and purchases. At Vibes, we’ve seen this to hold true: A handful of our customers have average subscriber lifespans of over five years.

Permission-based marketing is the ultimate goal

Customers expect personalization. However, they like to be in control of what information the company has on hand. Marketers must embrace permission-based marketing to better engage with existing and potential customers because it builds trust, engagement and ultimately the bottom line.

Obtaining a consumer’s permission to market to them should be a primary goal of every brand. While this may be new territory, permission-based marketing should be viewed as a positive step forward rather than something they have to do now that platforms are reining in cookies.

With permission, brands can engage with active consumers who have “raised their hand” to show they are interested in learning more about the brand. They can then use mobile to connect with consumers on the one device that’s with them no matter where they go.