Ten tips for prepaid marketing strategies

The one underlying goal that remains top of mind for every operator regarding their prepaid marketing strategy is maximizing value from the existing subscriber base. But, the question too often is, how?
Maximizing customer lifetime value is only feasible if you’re able to drive longer, more profitable relationships through effective customer lifecycle management.
Here are ten best practices for the marketer focused on retaining their prepaid base while maximizing ARPU.
1. Know which behaviors you need to change. Start with each objective and identify the behaviors you want to influence - recharge amount, service usage, activity level, bundle consumption, rate plan migration, viral promotion, etc.
2. Take a longer-term view. Engage customers with the right communications and offers over time based on their dynamic behaviors such as balance consumption, spend per day, usage, on and off network activity, service adoption, etc.
You don’t want to shorten a subscriber’s top up interval once. You want to change the frequency of their top up behavior for subsequent cycles and stabilize their new behavior pattern for the long term.
3. Market to each individual. One size does not fit all. Select the most effective marketing strategy for each customer based on his or her individual behavioral profile. As a customer’s profile changes, adjust the marketing treatment accordingly.
4. Keep it simple.Design simple offers with clear terms, such as expiration dates that can be delivered via SMS and fulfilled by a simple operation. For example, “Offering you 30 FREE minutes! Just reply YES to this message and keep on talking.”
5. Act in context. Specific behaviors are linked to a specific set of circumstances, not just a location or point in time. Determine the contexts that matter for driving a specific behavior, then monitor for customers entering those contexts to deliver offers when they’re likely to be most receptive.
6. Nurture data newbies. Monitor the usage patterns of new users to determine the optimal time for educational messages and incentives that guide them according to their own pace – toward data “bolt-ons” and bundles.
7. Identify mobile cliques. Be on the lookout for early warning signs of churn within cliques. Examine the social networks of your subscribers. If an influencer churns, you can proactively reach out to their network with a retention offer.
8. Use the carrot wisely. Customers get accustomed to incentives and often wait for the next “carrot” before topping up their account. To avoid revenue cannibalization, always calibrate offers and be sure to test subscribers’ responsiveness to random patterns of recharge incentives so you’re not rewarding naturally occurring behavior.
9. Measure the impact. Analyze each campaign not just by response rate but also its impact to revenue, churn, loyalty and behavior (top-up pattern, activity level, voucher purchases, usage volume and spend, lifetime, etc.) to gain a full understanding of a campaign’s success and potential.
10. Continually optimize. Mobile marketing is about testing, learning and optimizing. Continually refine your offers based on determining what works and what doesn’t. Using machine learning, you can identify and test opportunities at tremendous scale. This allows for a short and effective cycle of learning and optimization.
Lara Albert is vice president of global marketing at Globys. For more information visit www.globys.com