The holiday season is upon us. For retailers, the season represents a few short weeks to generate as many purchases as possible in an environment where digital and brick and mortar worlds collide. But whether trying to drive store traffic, or generate online sales, more and more retailers are leveraging the power of mobile marketing to connect with consumers who basically live on their phones.

With consumers tethered to their phones, retailers have ample opportunity to connect and engage with this on-the-go audience. But only if they follow best practices that have been shown to connect and compel mobile consumers to action—some of which may be counterintuitive.

Our recent research into consumer mobile behaviors, Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results is based on input from 1,552 U.S. consumers. The insights they provide are enlightening—in some cases startling and defying commonly held beliefs about what works and what doesn’t in terms of mobile marketing.

This holiday season retailers have an opportunity to leverage this research to adopt some uncommon mobile marketing tactics that can help boost engagement and purchases with holiday shoppers.

Consumers Will Readily Hand Over Their Personal Information

While privacy and security concerns were top of mind for consumers in 2019 as several large and very high-profile organizations suffered data breaches, our research demonstrates that consumers are more than willing to share a bit of personal information to gain access to good deals. The yeahs have it here. More than 75% of consumers indicate that they would be willing to provide their name and address in exchange for a high-value coupon. Only about 24% said they would not. Some of our clients have seen adoption rates for their offers go as high as 85-90% with this type of offer.

This is a great way to build more robust mobile profiles, beyond just a phone number, allowing you to take a customer-centric approach to mobile retail by appealing to each shopper’s mobile preference—from SMS to mobile app; email to wallet.

Companies are legally required to seek explicit permission to add consumers to their lists; they were initially met with concerns that building lists would become an insurmountable task. That’s proven to not be the case. In fact, research shows that more than 60% of consumers have opted-in to a retailer or brand SMS/text message marketing list. That number rises to 100% when looking at millennials.

Consumers are looking for value this holiday season; it’s prime time to leverage that tendency to help build stronger mobile consumer profiles.

Opting-in to a Retailer’s Text Message Marketing List

The holidays represent a great time to offer this opportunity for consumers as they look for unique products, gift ideas and special deals to delight their families and friends during the season. Our research indicates that a majority of consumers are willing to opt in to a marketing list for the right incentive.

Survey response: “Have you ever opted-in to a retailer’s text message marketing list?”

SMS Catches Up to Email

Texting has become the go-to communication channel for many consumers and, according to our research, is poised to surpass email as a preferred channel among consumers. Text and email are virtually tied in terms of preference with 35.24% of respondents indicating a preference for email messages and 34.85% preferring text messages. Savvy marketers must use both to increase the likelihood that consumers will engage with their messaging.

Text messaging preferences may surpass email in the future but this holiday season both are great ways to connect with audiences wherever they are—at home, at work and even in-store (or near your store). Offer mobile coupons via either channel and you’re likely to see a significant uptick for both in-store and retail traffic according to research my company’s done on mobile couponing.

Mobile Coupons Rule

Consumers like a good deal but how they receive that deal matters. Respondents told us that they far prefer receiving a mobile coupon than a print coupon. More than half (53%) say they found a mobile coupon to be most valuable. Mobile coupons are easy to use whether in-store or online.

Survey response: “Which type of text message do you find most valuable to receive from a retailer?”

Retailers, of course, want to ensure the integrity of their offerings—ensuring that recipients can only redeem the coupon once (aka “single-use”) and that they’re unable to pass along or share with others.

This is the kind of marketing wisdom that can shift holiday marketing efforts into overdrive.

[Graphics: CodeBroker]