SMS is the future of marketing for eCommerce brands and if you haven’t already, you should consider adopting it. With any new marketing strategy, there’s always the issue of, “where do I even begin?” – we believe it’s better to take one little step at a time, as implementing all of the best practices from the get-go in your overall approach can be intimidating. Below, we will dive into why SMS is vital, how to get started, and some basic strategies to follow.
Why SMS Marketing?
Simply said, consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z-ers, expect and desire brands to communicate with them via SMS – but tread lightly.¹ In a case study conducted by Attentive, customers signed up for messages 91% of the time it was offered.² Additionally, SMS open rates are typically as high as 98%, and, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to read and respond.³ Users expect valuable and relevant information in that short span of time, and if you are not relevant they will unsubscribe. It’s now or never to meet your consumer where they want to be met and make their shopping experience as seamless as possible because if you don’t, your rival will.
SMS is also rapid, efficient, and personal, and can have a considerable boost in ROI. Enhancing personalization is a trend on our radar that you should be aware of as well. Consumers expect you to know them and curate messaging that is relevant to them in the age of authenticity. Overall, SMS is the ideal medium for demonstrating authenticity, individuality, and making consumers feel understood.
Keep in mind that, if done carelessly, SMS can be quite intrusive. It is a privilege that a consumer would grant you access to their information and their cell phone. Make sure every single text has a specific purpose and don’t spam your users.
How To Begin
When considering SMS marketing, start small with a few strategies you think would optimize your connection with your audience. Listed below are a few of the areas we find most important to start your SMS journey:
- Make sure you’re familiar with SMS consent guidelines.⁴ When gathering consent and delivering messages to phone numbers, it’s critical to be cautious, so make sure your messaging is up to par. Sending unsolicited texts without consent is not only a bad practice, but it is illegal and fines can be extreme. Additionally, not following proper guidelines may lead to spam violations, which would harm your digital reputation.⁵
- Choose a platform that is appropriate for your company. We use Klaviyo’s SMS tool and find that having email and SMS on the same platform allows you to complement your existing strategy with a full view of marketing performance.
- Start collecting phone numbers. Add SMS consent to your pop-up or footer subscription form and/or send an SMS opt-in campaign to existing subscribers. Keep in mind, you don’t need thousands of numbers to start, you just need a few!
- Set up SMS automation in conjunction with email automation. Additional revenue, smarter targeting, and segmentation are all possible when SMS and email efforts are combined. Customers will have a more seamless experience if you use numerous communication channels, but be careful not to overburden them with information.
- Before hitting send, consider your brand voice, the intention of the message, that you are providing value, and always include a link to track engagement as well as a means for users to opt-out.
When launching SMS, there are many key methods to consider, but here are a few best practices that we believe are a good place to start.
- Send no more than 3-4 campaigns every month.
- To send customized messages, use segmentation as well as personalization tokens.
- When sending and generating campaigns, keep the customer’s lead source in mind as well as engagement via other mediums (email, app notifications, etc).
- Be clever and concise.
- To engage your customers, use conversational features in your SMS.
There has never been a better moment to incorporate SMS into your marketing approach than now. Begin with one or two techniques and test them to see which ones perform best for your company.
Happy texting 🙂