According to research, text messages have an open rate of up to 99%, with customers reading around 97% of texts within 15 minutes of receiving them. This makes SMS marketing a powerful tool for brands to generate growth. Iveta Makedonska, our former SMS Lead, and current Ads Creatives Lead, recently shared her expertise on leveraging SMS Marketing to engage customers and drive eCommerce sales. Here are her top tips:
1. Email and SMS Marketing: Do you need both for your eCommerce business?
Email and SMS marketing may seem similar, but they serve different purposes due to the nature of their messages. While email provides a platform for longer, more detailed communications, SMS is highly personal. Customers typically only share their phone numbers with brands they genuinely care about. So, when engaging with SMS subscribers, take a more personalized approach to show your appreciation for their interest and loyalty. Tailoring your SMS messages to the specific needs and preferences of your audience is crucial.
2. Build your SMS marketing list from scratch
Growing your SMS marketing list is essential, even if you don’t plan to send SMS messages immediately. But ensure that you adhere to SMS marketing compliance rules and laws to not overstep boundaries.
Start by implementing a few opt-in methods. Add an opt-in checkbox during the checkout process. Or use a pop-up on your website. You can repurpose the same pop-up used for email subscriptions, but consider adding an extra incentive specific to SMS, such as a welcome gift or a higher discount. These channels are easy to integrate into your strategy.
Additionally, you can include a QR code on your packaging, allowing customers to scan and access your SMS opt-in landing page. Implementing these tactics will help you build a solid SMS marketing list.
3. Ensure message delivery
A vital aspect to consider when starting SMS marketing is encouraging your audience to add your number to their contacts. By incentivizing this action in your initial messages, you can increase the chances of your texts reaching their intended recipients. Communicate to your customers the importance of adding your number to their contacts. Emphasize that they might miss out on valuable information or offers if they don’t do so.
Nurturing your audience and building trust over time will enhance recognition and ensure that your messages are received and engaged with. Additionally, personalize your SMS flows based on your customer’s preferences, interests, and previous interactions to make the messages more relevant and valuable.
4. Build out the 5 basic SMS Flows for eCommerce Marketing
As in email marketing, building and optimizing basic and advanced flows are crucial even in the SMS world. If you’re new to SMS marketing, begin by implementing the five basic flows: the welcome flow, browse abandonment flow, checkout abandonment flow, post-purchase flow, and winback flow. While the winback and post-purchase flows may take some time to generate results, the welcome flow and abandonment flows bring immediate revenue.
For established brands with existing data, it’s important to expand and refine your flows strategically. Avoid overwhelming your customers by being selective about whom you send messages to and what content you include. Each customer may trigger your flows multiple times, so personalization is key. Consider differentiating the treatment based on their level of interest or the type of product they were browsing.
For example, BlendJet had already established SMS flows, but they needed to enhance personalization within those flows. It is super important to ensure that subscribers aren’t having the same experiences from your flows over and over again. For brands like this, you can provide different treatments to subscribers based on their level of interest or the specific products they were browsing. While BlendJet’s primary product was portable blenders, they also offered smoothies and accessories. It doesn’t make sense for these three distinct product categories with different customer journeys to follow the same generic flows.
To address this type of issue, eCommerce brands need to make a priority to personalize customer journeys within their flows. Implement strategies such as A/B testing offers, asking subscribers questions, and incorporating SMS conversational flows to tailor the subsequent texts based on their responses.
5. Implement strong post-purchase SMS flows and turn first-time buyers into loyal customers
When done right, you can strengthen loyalty, improve customer retention and increase repeat sales through SMS marketing.
The post-purchase flow is a great tool when it comes to converting first-time buyers into loyal customers. After a customer makes a purchase, focus on creating excitement and offering updates about their orders. Follow up with a survey via SMS to gauge their satisfaction, and use their feedback to tailor recommendations or provide additional discounts to encourage future purchases. This stage marks a crucial turning point where loyalty becomes the primary goal. Utilize personalized and valuable content to keep customers engaged with your brand.
Another effective strategy is implementing a winback flow, targeting customers who have made a purchase but haven’t engaged with your brand for an extended period. By re-engaging them through SMS, you have an opportunity to reignite their interest and sell.
To dive deeper into these insights, listen to the full podcast episode featuring our SMS Marketing Specialist, Iveta Makedonska, on DTC Drive. If you’re ready to start boosting your sales through SMS marketing, book a free call with us to get started today.