Retailers: It’s time to mobilize your loyalty programs

Let’s get right to the point: Loyalty has changed. Today’s empowered buyers have high expectations and a multitude of choices and desires for control. Relationships are the only true differentiator; therefore, a stronger focus on engagement and advocacy has become critical to gain a competitive advantage and drive loyalty.

As the retail landscape shifts – and differentiation presents one of the most significant hurdles to success – our team has recognized a tool that can help (but is currently underutilized): non-payment mobile wallets. Mobilizing your loyalty programs with Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook apps is a win-win solution for both brands and consumers.

So…ditch those plastic cards!

Digitized programs not only offer new, more interactive ways for consumers to engage with your brand, but also help you build lasting loyalty. We all know it’s a struggle today to capture – and keep – your customers’ attention. And the research backs it up: Survey data from Forrester Research, Inc. shows that 41 percent of marketers have said ensuring member awareness/understanding of a loyalty program (and its benefits) is the greatest challenge, while 29 percent cite delivering offers with a high-perceived value as their biggest battle.

The bottom line: Just having a loyalty program is not enough of a competitive advantage – and based on this data, it’s hard for brands to build a program that stands out and captures significant mindshare.


But a loyalty program delivered through mobile wallets…

If you’re like most retailers, you have spent considerable amounts of money and resources to create and roll out your loyalty program(s). Now, for a relatively low cost, you can drive deeper engagement with your customers and provide greater value at the same time – it’s a tremendous opportunity across the board. For the consumer, there’s the convenience factor – having your loyalty card with you at all times – whenever you need it. For the retailer, you can now drive higher engagement and encourage loyalists to redeem more and see the true value of the loyalty program.

Mobile wallets work

Our team has documented and analyzed more than 320 successful mobile wallet campaigns since 2012. Not only do mobile wallet tools work, but they drive incredible results, such as 64-percent higher conversion rate over static Web coupons, 14-percent in-store redemption rate and 72-percent offer retention after an offer has expired.

Vibes has added Loyalty to Wallet Manager

Today, I’m excited to announce that Vibes has enhanced Wallet Manager which allows you to mobilize your loyalty program with Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook. With Wallet Manager, you can now manage your entire mobile loyalty program in one integrated platform – and get rid of the plastic cards for good! To learn more about how you can mobilize your loyalty program, check out our Wallet Loyalty page or visit Or, check out the recording of our recent webinar about loyalty with Forrester Research’s Emily Collins.

Introducing Vibes Connect: Removing Aggravation from Aggregation

In the SMS aggregation market, there is a long history of questionable quality and lack of commitment to service from many aggregators. Unfortunately, this has led to many companies thinking they must choose the ‘least bad’ vendor, when, in reality, they really want the best, fastest, strongest and most stable partner.

For years, I have shared the frustration of the market. Anecdotally, the failings of aggregators have been too frequent and easy to find and relay. An (unfortunate) example is a tier 1 aggregator whose short code campaign submission solution only works on a Microsoft computer and Internet Explorer. It’s 2014! My aggregator should not dictate my OS and browser.

With this slightly tarnished history, it is with a massive amount of excitement and pride that Vibes introduces Vibes Connect.  Click here to read the press release.

How are we different from the other aggregators out there? First, let’s look at the numbers:



-  Our VP of Operations, Cheryl Sanders is renowned in the industry by her honesty, professionalism and capabilities;
-  Our technology is unrivaled, handling more short codes currently than any other aggregator;
-  We have the fastest short code approval time by a country mile (largely due to the operations team and carrier trust built over years) and
-  We have the DNA of a company that, for more than 16 years has had an unerring focus on service and support.

We invite you to find out more about what Vibes Connect can do for you – even on Sundays. Take the Pepsi challenge; let Vibes take the aggravation out of your aggregation.

John Glennon
Vice President, Vibes Connect
Office 415.799.7975
Mobile 617.800.9240


UPCOMING WEBINAR: Mobilize Your Loyalty Program with Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook


We would like to invite you to our upcoming webinar with Forrester, Inc. In this webinar, I will outline how new mobile technologies, such as Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook, are transforming retailer’s ability to deliver value to their most loyal customers. When used in tandem with loyalty programs, these innovative mobile wallets can amplify loyalty programs by making them more relevant, contextual, timely and useable.

I am really excited to co-present on the benefits of mobilizing your loyalty program with Emily Collins, analyst at Forrester, Inc. Emily is an expert on loyalty and has authored numerous papers on the topic. We hope to you can join us. 

In this webinar, you will learn:

-  The state of loyalty programs today
-  Why mobile changes the game for customer loyalty
-  Hear from Vibes on how retailers can use Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook for loyalty, including a real-life example of a “mobilized loyalty program”
-  The strategies you need to create your mobile loyalty program
-  How mobilizing your loyalty program can help address the omni-channel challenge

Tuesday, May 20th
1 pm CST
Register Today!

Double Down and Double Your Mobile Database

There’s no shortage of “experts” out there who have “secrets” about how best to build a mobile database. But often times these secrets seem more like obvious tactics that work IF you have an unlimited budget and all the time – and resources – at your command.

The reality is that while there certainly are many great tactics you could do, the real question is what should you do if you want to grow your mobile database? For example, using in store signage to promote your mobile database might be great… but what if you can’t? The bottom line is you need to understand what’s going to work best for you and for your customers, taking into account the realities of your company.

Our challenge
In the latter half of 2013, a team of very smart people sat down at Vibes and laid out a challenge: given the realities of corporate life (e.g., limited resources, time and money), what’s the best way to build a mobile database?

Everyone in the room had opinions of various tactics or channels we could use – and they all sounded great. But we weren’t satisfied; we couldn’t prove that the tactics would actually work. We couldn’t tell definitively how many new subscribers the different tactics would generate. We needed data.

So we set out on what turned into an epic quest to find data. We spent months researching past programs and past campaigns. We analyzed programs that worked very well and those that didn’t work as well as expected. We found certain multipliers – like running a sweepstakes – that greatly increased acquisition. Then we compared that to other incentives like coupons to see which one worked better.

Our solution

I’m pleased to announce that after months and months of research we now have data! In fact, we have more than data. We have invented a new KPI that can help simplify expectations and benchmark how your programs should be doing and how much you should spend on an acquisition program.


Today we are officially launching our Mobile Acquisition Calculator. This free tool lives on our website and can show you the most effective ways to accelerate growth of your own unique mobile database.

We are also releasing our “SMS Marketing Handbook: The definitive guide to growing your mobile database in a post-TCPA world,” in which we present the following:
- Strategies and tactics for building your mobile database in a post-TCPA world
- Benchmark data featuring new SMS acquisition metrics
- Best practices, based on real results, for designing and executing your SMS acquisition campaigns
- How different marketing channels compare when building a mobile database
- How to leverage Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook & iBeacons to grow your mobile database


We hope this information is as helpful and exciting for you as it is for us! Please contact us know if you’d like to learn more about growing your mobile database.


Attention Marketers: Facebook’s $19 B WhatsApp acquisition means nothing to you

Last week’s acquisition has created a lot of excitement and also some confusion. With so many numbers and opinions circling, we thought it was necessary to separate the buzz from reality. WhatsApp is on pace to reach a billion users…but what does that mean for you?

The answer is simple: Nothing. And here’s why:

WhatsApp is built for peer-to-peer messaging. A big part of its popularity of based on its mantra: no ads, no games and no gimmicks. If Facebook keeps it’s word and honors this, marketers will gain nothing.

WhatsApp is huge overseas, not in the U.S. Many people in the U.S. had never heard of WhatsApp. U.S. carriers bundle unlimited text-messaging in our monthly service plans which is not the case in other countries. That is why at 99-cents-per-year WhatsApp is so popular overseas. With U.S. adoption low, marketers will not be able to reach the American audience.

$19 billion reaffirms the power of messaging. This acquisition highlights what brands and marketers already know: messaging is the most important thing people do on their phone.

To read our detailed perspective on the news, check out my article in VentureBeat.

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