8.5% overall revenue from SMS at an ROI of 15x within 4 months: The stunning growth of a custom portrait store with SMS marketing by Hustler Marketing

About the company

Turn Me Royal is an online custom portrait store that turns a customer photo into a timeless image in the style of a Renaissance oil painting making for some humorous as well as memorable gifts both for oneself and for loved ones.

SMS marketing in 2021

SMS has existed for as long as mobile phones have, but the benefits of SMS marketing for ecommerce brands are just about getting rediscovered and leveraged now. Thanks to end-to-end SMS integration platforms like Yotpo SMS that integrate effortlessly with ecommerce platforms like Shopify, setting up SMS marketing has never been easier or more defined than now.

Gone are the days when SMS meant sending a mass campaign to millions of purchased numbers at once, with no personalization, context or relevance. Today’s SMS marketing revolves around Zero Party Data, Opt-in and hyper personalized messages that are useful, not spammy.

Turn Me Royal turns to SMS

After achieving 30% consistent monthly revenue from email marketing, we took the Retention Marketing funnel to the next logical step with SMS marketing.

Starting in June 2021, roughly a year after the store started and nearly 9 months after email, SMS proved to be another revenue-spinner for the brand.

We knew that to increase the store’s footprint and enhance the number of touchpoints between the store and its customers, we had to augment email marketing with SMS. As we’re partnered with Yotpo, the SMS marketing platform, we were confident we could achieve incremental growth from SMS.

Iveta, SMS lead for Hustler Marketing

Partnership With SMSBump - A Yotpo Company

Due to our great and long lasting partnership with Yotpo SMS, we have been engaged in SMS marketing for over a year and have helped get many ecommerce stores started and managed their SMS for us. Turn Me Royal was primed for an SMS bump too and Yotpo SMS and their platform has been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals with SMS.

SMS Timeline

We wanted to start with the basics – setting up the 4 most essential flows, together with 3 opt-in methods.

Month 1

Set up the TCPA & GDPR compliance measures so that we could start collecting SMS subscribers as soon as possible while we were working on our strategy.

  • Prepared the Welcome SMS and Cart Abandon SMS flows and launched 3 opt-in methods.
  • Checkout SMS opt-in right away
  • A pop-up to collect both emails and phone numbers a few days later.
  • An opt-in landing page to drive interested email subscribers to.
  • Launched the Browse Abandon SMS flow, followed by the Post Purchase flow.

By the end of week 4, our efforts were rewarded – with only 3,171 subscribers and flows being live for less than a month, we got 3.51% of the store revenue just from SMS with 9.43x ROI on the store’s initial investment (for HM) in just month 1 of having SMS flows and building SMS list.

Month 2

  • Optimised the welcome flow
  • Launch of Father’s Day campaign
  • Launch of Win Back flow

We launched the first SMS campaign for Father’s day with a list size of just 2,100 subscribers and yet achieved a 6.9% conversion rate (6.9% of the recipients made a purchase from the SMS campaign) and 10.31x ROI for the client on the cost of the campaigns. These numbers validated that our strategy for acquiring an engaged audience was working really well.

Month 3

  • We focused on testing campaign angles – we tested a non-discount offer, which was a bit more unusual for our audience (Pet day!) and we also tested longer more personal copy vs shorter more general copy in our King Showcase no offer campaign.
  • Started focusing more on segmentation and exploring different variations to optimize the pricing and ROI from each send. This is a natural result of our efforts to grow the list. This led to a much higher return on the flows and way more capabilities and options to personalize our campaigns for each customer.
  • We prepared an Add to Cart Exit intent flow with a unique pop-up so that we can quicker increase our list size and also improve our conversion rate.

Month 4

  • We had a huge success on our Labor Day sale, resulting in $6,747 in revenue for a cost of only $409, bringing 16.5x ROI.
  • Our main focus in September was to send campaigns for the most important events, optimise the SMS opt-in checkout experience and focus on preparing a bullet-proof BFCM strategy. Such a strategy should be planned early in advance in order for the team to have time to update each flow, create new pop-ups, landing pages, swipe up social content and much more!

The following chart traces the trajectory of the growth of revenue across the 4 months from different flows:

The list growth is essential for our flows results. We can see how while we are bringing our list from 0 to 12,500+ people we are noticing a huge increase in the results of the Welcome flow, Post Purchase and Browse Abandon. Usually, we would also experience a growth in Cart Abandon but the case here is a bit different as we needed to stop our checkout opt-in method for over 2 months due to technical client reasons.

We are noticing a slight decrease in the PP from August to September, the reason for which are changes in the product pricing and a lot of A/B tests performed on the checkout and other pages, affecting the overall experience of placing an order.

Campaign Set Up

Other than transactional and automated flows, similar to email marketing campaigns, we started managing SMS campaigns in month 2.

The campaign revenue growth looked like in the last 4 months:

At the end of month 4 of SMS marketing for Turn Me Royal, here’s what the notable stats for the brand look like:

  1. List size growth from 0 to 11,000 with an average increment of 25-30% growth every month.
  2. The overall revenue from SMS stands at 8.5% of the overall store revenue in month 4.
  3. The overall average revenue from SMS in 4 months is 6.4%
  4. Campaign SMS revenue form 17% of the overall SMS revenue.
  5. Flow SMS alone contributes to about 5% average of the store revenue.
  6. The welcome flow and post-purchase flow were the best performing and quickest growing automated SMS flows growing nearly 25% month on month.

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