SMS has an open rate of 98% compared to 20-30% for email, that’s why most eCommerce businesses are leveraging SMS marketing to build better relationships with their consumers. SMS is considered an extremely useful marketing channel when done correctly. Read on to learn how you can use SMS marketing for eCommerce.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is a method that uses permission-based text messaging. In order to receive text messages from an eCommerce brand such as specials discounts or new product updates, customers are required to opt into an automated system by sending an initial shortcode.
Think of SMS as a marketing tool for getting your customers to engage more with you on their mobile devices. SMS marketing enables you to engage with your customers at a more personal level.
Are SMS messages a useful marketing tool?
Just like any other method of customer outreach, SMS marketing can be highly effective if done right.
87% of millennials always have their phones
With 87% of millennials having a mobile device at all times, eCommerce businesses now have an additional channel to build trust and loyalty with their customers.
80% of millennials check their phones when they wake up
For 80% of millennials, the first thing they do in the morning is to check their mobile phone. Mobile devices are always handy and ready to be used for everything from finding information to checking the latest social media updates. Plus, open rates for SMS is nearly 8X than email.
People open texts faster than emails
The average time it takes a customer to open an SMS is just 3 minutes, whereas the average time to respond to an email is 90 minutes. If you want to send an abandoned cart text, they will likely open it much faster.
Benefits of SMS marketing
There are a lot of advantages to sending SMS messages to your customers. Major eCommerce brands are using SMS marketing for sending limited time offers, new product launches, cart abandonment reminders, and more.
1. Easily trackable
SMS marketing campaigns are easily trackable in a similar manner you would be able to track your email or ad campaigns. You can get insights on what works and what does not. Your copy, offer, and conversion rates will tell you what to do next.
2. High engagement rate
As mentioned before, 80% of millennials open their mobile first thing in the morning, and even more always have their phone on them.
3. Fast delivery
SMS messages have a very quick transmission. You can send text messages and get clicks within just minutes of sending.
4. Simple to use for many purposes
SMS marketing for eCommerce is quick and easy to get started. From sales to full cart reminders, the use cases are endless. It is up to you to get creative to deliver an engaging mobile experience.
How to send your first marketing SMS
When you’re ready to launch your first SMS marketing campaign, as an eCommerce business you must familiarize yourself with the rules of this channel.
The first thing you have to do while launching your new SMS marketing campaign is getting opt-ins. Shortcodes usually work best for brand recognition and offer the least amount of friction.
1. Define your goals
If done right, SMS marketing has the potential to become one of your top revenue-generating channels. However, for that to happen, you need to define clear KPIs (key performance indicators) that will revolve around metrics like subscriber growth, new revenue-driven, and new opt-ins.
2. Start growing subscribers
The next step is to develop a plan to start growing your subscriber list. There are multiple ways to quickly grow your list using paid acquisition tools, email communication to your current subscribers, and more.
Here is an example of using a pop-up landing page. This makes it easy for future customers to opt-in to your offers.
3. Segment your subscribers
By segmenting your existing customer data, you can run an SMS marketing campaign to target new subscribers, set up an abandoned cart reminder, or target consumers that haven’t purchased any new products in the last 90 or 60 days.
Top 7 SMS marketing strategies
There are many ways to get started with SMS marketing tools. Here are some top strategies to increase conversions and generate more sales.
1. Use segmentation and tags
Start targeting your customers using custom segments and tags, just like you would do in email marketing. For example, target customers who haven’t purchased in the last 90 days with an average order value (AOV) of $100+.
2. Send abandoned cart reminders
The average cart abandonment rate is around 75%, so you must try to reduce your chances of missing out on high paying shoppers. Customers are juggling many things at once, and it’s your duty to remind and push them to finish checking out.
Here is an example of an SMS cart reminder.
3. Ask questions to customers
Send out a poll to your customers or a survey asking them what they think about your brand or products or new product launch, or anything else you think would help you with customer engagement and acquisition.
4. Start a giveaway
To boost engagement, successful eCommerce businesses entice customers to join their VIP club and then gamify the whole experience.
One easy thing to set up is a landing page for your VIP customers to receive special offers and enter giveaways through an exclusive text club. Also communicate with them, that they will miss out on exclusive rewards by not joining.
5. Have clear CTA (call to action)
offering limited time promotions to higher intent customers. Many successful eCommerce businesses consider their mobile subscribers as “VIPs” and give them exclusive mobile-only offers.
6. Write simple and short messages
Write to the point and don’t make the SMS messages too long. Use emojis whenever possible to engage the customer and make your offer and the message much more personalized.
7. Send it at times when customers will be more likely to act
Always be strategic on the timing of your automated SMS marketing campaigns to make sure that you stay on top-of-mind of your customers. Avoid sending in the middle of the night and try testing when your customers are most responsive.
The state of eCommerce continues to evolve as the market becomes more competitive. Businesses are pressured by increased ad costs and new online competitors. As a result, teams are getting smaller, big players are cutting on staff, and smaller startups are comfortable running lean and leveraging technology to achieve results with less.
This is the high time you should start focusing on SMS marketing as a revenue-generating channel.