Not all SMS marketing campaigns are created equal. The effectiveness of SMS marketing is indisputable.
SMS has the highest engagement rate of any marketing channel by far at 82% open rates. 90% of messages are read within 5 minutes of receipt.
So, how to do SMS marketing for eCommerce effectively? If you’re already on board with SMS marketing, we’ll cover the essentials of text message marketing, including best practices to help you use this channel to engage and convert more customers.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS stands for “short message service.” These messages can be sent from even a desktop to a phone device. SMS marketing for eCommerce is all about sending marketing messages to customers via text messages.
Yes, it’s that simple! And as quick.
SMS marketing is great for three main things:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Creating engagement from customers
- Trigger more sales
Here are some tips and suggestions on how to maximize your success:
#1. Get Permission
Just like email marketing, it’s important to get permission from your customer for SMS marketing too. This is a simple practice as you can add the option of including a name, phone number or other details like emails in the form that you need to fetch in your newsletter subscription field.
However, start off by giving full disclosure to your customer: tell them what kind of text messages they should expect to receive from you further on.
Secondly, don’t misuse the permission granted to you. SMS is intimate, immediate, and unconcealed in getting your customer’s attention. Use your personalized SMS marketing campaigns for critical information. Overusing this channel or abusing it by any means is the fastest way to kill it for your customers in no time.
Also, offer the customers an option to opt-out with every message. Just like email, you also need to make sure you give customers an unsubscribe link or a number they can text “STOP” to just in case they can’t relate with your brand at all and they need to unsubscribe from the service.
#2. Use an SMS Marketing Tool
SMS marketing can make you all excited, but before you blast out your phone and start sending manual messages to your customers, know that you should really be using an SMS platform for this.
A great SMS marketing tool can help you nail your strategy in several ways:
- You’ll be able to automate your SMS marketing easily and send bulk messages at once.
- Certain SMS marketing tools will help you with an option to incorporate SMS directly to your email automation workflows.
- SMS campaigns are triggered the same way as emails, with the same level of segmentation for your campaigns that allow you to target your customer base.
- If you don’t have SMS permission, you can trade another channel so your customer still gets the message you want to send them.
An SMS marketing tool will also give you an insight into important metrics so you can see exactly how much your campaigns are making an impact. And with that data, you can adjust your campaigns to try different tactics to get the highest ROI possible.
#3. Incorporate Rich Media into Your Campaigns
Mobile messaging includes more than just plain text. It’s now possible to get the engagement rates of text messaging soaring while providing customers with the experience of an app.
Rich media messages (RMM) can also be used to share appointment scheduling and payment processing.
Improve the customer experience and engagement, click-through rate by sending media like video, images, GIFs, via mobile messaging. Rich media allows for more flexibility in the types of messages sent.
- Stores can send product images or coupon GIFs.
- Stores can send out delivery notifications.
- Stores can send abandoned cart reminders to the users.
- Companies that deal with basic utilities can send bill payment reminders and late payment notices.
- Banks can send payment reminders that link directly to a payment gateway.
- Businesses can send interactive surveys.
#4. Keep it Short, Sweet, and to the Point
Not only should you keep your SMS campaigns numbered, but limits on characters are way too critical and of great importance for your campaigns to run smoothly and successfully. Your customers’ attention span means that you need to get to the point quickly.
If you have an offer for them, if your message consists of important information regarding their order, include it in the message. Make it a general habit to always incorporate a detailed informative link for the customers can about the offer/update you’ve sent.
Another great practice is to follow up with the emails you have been sending out. If you’ve sent something important, make sure you’re also sending a follow-up email as well in case the customer needs any help or has missed out on the former.
While the objective is to make sure your SMS campaigns are relatable enough, it’s even better when they’re turned into complete personalized SMS campaigns. As mentioned earlier, a great SMS marketing tool will certainly allow you to use segmentation for your SMS campaigns. If you can target them the way you do your emails, you already are ahead of your competitors without a doubt.
Always maintain the closeness with your customer by using their first name, or personalizing your messages. Extend them offers that are relevant enough, i.e. based on a consumer’s location, or their purchase history. This usually helps build and maintain a relationship and helps you retain so many of your lost customers too.
#6. Experiment with Timed Delivery
Even though your customers have their phones next to them nearly 24/7, trust me, they don’t want phones buzzing in the middle of the night receiving disruptive messages during meals or holidays. Remember, many people have their text message notifications enabled on their phones all the time. This means that sending a message at 3 am isn’t a great idea and will surely get your customer in a grumpy mood; hence, an opt-out.
Sending messages at the right time ensures that the customer will open and read them. Timing also creates a positive customer experience.
Additionally, test your campaign success using metrics: such as open rates and click-through rates, in order to identify your top customers and regions. Send messages based on the specific area so your offers get to them when they’re most receptive.
#7. Keep It Conversational
Smartphone users are used to more casual, short written compared to other, longer-form mediums. Avoid coming off as too generic by using appropriate abbreviations and embrace a more playful, indulging and conversational tone. A customer’s text inbox is a very personal space to them, so craft messages that in accordance with the other relevant texts that they receive. Keep the formal language for your website or other types of communication.
#8. Include a Strong Call to Action
Don’t send out messages just for the sake of it; make sure that each and every message you send to customers includes a strong CTA. The best CTAs incite your audience because they motivate customers to take action.
Some sample SMS messages for marketing:
- Confirm your appointment today!
- Leave us a review for a chance to win an exclusive prize!
- This deal ends today!
#9. Incorporate Branding
Stats show, 16 million text messages are sent across the globe every minute, which means your audience is constantly receiving messages from some of the other marketing companies or some brand out there. It’s crucial that your brand is immediately recognizable and has an identity, in order to stand out from the crowd. Your logo and brand name should go in every message to create brand awareness. It drives repeat sales, retains customers, and keeps you on top of their mind.
Also, be consistent with your branding. Use a template. Maintain harmony, as in, keep the same colors, fonts, and images across your website, emails, and other marketing promotions.
#10. Create Urgency in Messages
Creating a sense of urgency pushes your customers to take advantage of deals before they expire. Cash in on your customers’ fear of missing out by creating a sense of scarcity in your campaigns and include phrases like:
- Limited time offer
- While stock lasts
- Only For Today
- One-time Deal
Text messages are one of the most underrated marketing platforms out there.
Irrespective of the fact that whether you own a smartphone or not, every mobile user out there can receive and respond to texts.
This means you can reach out to a bigger audience, can have personalized interactions with them, and increase your chances of success by integrating SMS with your email campaigns thus, inflating the ROI.
So, did you find any of these tips helpful? We’d love to know about your experience with SMS marketing!
|Pritika’s bio is short and sweet but is packed with interesting information. She is a Web Content Developer at Wigzo. However, when she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably dancing, cooking Thai food or binge-watching her favorite shows.|