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Go cookie-free with permission-based mobile marketing


One-to-one marketing is a proven way for brands to grab consumers’ attention. after all, 62% of consumers expect personalized ads. However, brands should proceed with caution as consumers lose trust in brands that are not transparent about how and when they use personal information. Evidenced by the disappearance of third-party cookies, harmful data leaks, unwanted communications and marketing that seems just a little suspicious. The problem is that this lack of trust erodes the influence of marketing over the long term.

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

Enter the mobile phone. Mobile allows brands to collect and use consumer data and create a personalized experience while building trust with consumers.

The key is for mobile marketers to use permission-based marketing to build authentic and trusted relationships with their customers, one that isn’t based on advertiser IDs or other third-party data sources, but which is instead based on zero data coming directly from the consumer.

Getting permission is critical to mobile marketing success

Permission means permission. It’s a black and white problem, which means you either have it or you don’t.

Essentially, permission means that consumers must take an action that clearly reflects a willingness to receive marketing from a brand, such as checking a box on a website or answering “O” to opt in to personalized marketing.

At Vibes, we monitor SMS subscriber churn rates very closely, and we’ve learned that if a brand has a monthly churn rate of more than 1%, that’s a sure sign that the brand hasn’t gotten the consumer consent.

Only 40% of consumers say they trust brands to use data responsibly. Brands therefore cannot afford to entice people to sign up. For example, it has 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 surefire way to erode consumer trust.

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

Paving the way for personalized communication

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

For example, if brands are allowed 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. Data from Vibes shows that birthday-triggered posts have a 16.4% click-through rate. So it’s obvious that permission-based personalization adds value.

It can also help boost engagement and revenue. According to our data, personalized messages get more than double the engagement rates than non-personalized messages. The more personal the content, the better it performs. Retailers using personalization have an 18% higher CTR than the average marketing campaign. It’s even higher with restaurants, with a 56% higher CTR with personalization.

67% of consumers say they want personalized offers based on their individual in-store and online shopping habits. Increasingly, AI is powering this personalization and representing one of the biggest opportunities in marketing.

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

Ensure loyalty throughout the pipeline

A compliance-driven mindset is necessary to increase customer loyalty in a digital world. Having permission to collect first-party data is essential 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, leading to increased engagement and purchases. At Vibes, we’ve found this to be true: a handful of our customers have an average lifespan of over five years.

Permission-based marketing is the ultimate goal

Customers expect personalization. However, they like to control the information the company has. Marketers should 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 them should be the primary goal of every brand. Although this is new territory, permission-based marketing should be seen as a positive step forward rather than something they need to do now that platforms are restricting cookies.

With their permission, brands can engage with active consumers who have “raised their hands” to show they want to know more about the brand. They can then use mobile to connect with consumers on the single device that accompanies them, wherever they go.