How to Use SMS in Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Used as part of a broader omnichannel ecommerce marketing strategy, SMS is a powerful way to connect to customers directly and instantly. This channel offers numerous benefits as an ecommerce tool. Some of the biggest advantages include:
- Speed. SMS are sent and received instantly. They are almost always read instantly as well. Most text messages will be read in a few minutes of being received. This makes SMS a great choice for sales, limited time discounts and other time-sensitive campaigns.
- Open-rate. As we mentioned above, text messages are received instantly and read soon after they are received. Unlike email campaigns, that require customers to visit their inbox to read messages, texts pop up instantly. This means getting attention right away.
- Engagement. Well-crafted SMS campaigns can be incredibly good for engagement. Most messages are seen as a notification pop up, giving customers a hint of what to read before opening the message. If you plan your SMS campaigns well, you will be able to increase clicks and boost conversion.
Now that you have a better idea of why SMS is a good addition to your strategy, how do you go about using it in your ecommerce marketing campaigns? Keep reading to find out.
Using SMS in Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
There are several different ways to use SMS as part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. To see genuine results, it is best to get strategic in your strategy and plan campaigns based on specific triggers, events or actions. Sending out daily messages that offer no value will very quickly annoy customers. Too many messages during a given time span can also increase your risk of your number being blacklisted. Instead of spamming your following with random messages, focus on messages that will add the most value. Some of the most effective ways to use SMS for your online store campaigns include the following:
Time-sensitive offer messages.
If you are running a promotion with a limited time frame, such as a one-week only discount on selected products, SMS is a great way to build hype. You can use text messages to let your subscribers know just before the sale starts and even send them updated messages to inform them how much longer your offer will be running. You can do the same thing with seasonal sales and promotions – Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year, the start of the school year or any other time-frame offering limited deals or offers. You can take this one step further by sending discount codes for access to exclusive deals. This will help to drive engagement and create even more of a sense of urgency prompting customers to take action.
Confirmation emails also work well but SMS confirmations are faster and easier in many cases. You could include a verification link for those who have opened a new account. You could send confirmations when the account has been opened. You can also send texts with order confirmations. Adding even more to these messages, you could include a once-off discount or gift to those signing up to your mailing list or to new customers who have just made a purchase. Real-time updates can be sent to track shipping, get support or perform similar actions once an order has been placed. These updates instantly put customers at ease knowing that you have pulled out all the stops to deliver the best service.
Abandoned cart messages.
Abandoned cart emails are a common feature in ecommerce marketing strategies. Abandoned cart messages work very well to attract customers back to complete their purchases. SMS can also be a good tool for these messages. As we mentioned earlier, SMSs are typically received and read almost instantly. Emails may not be opened or read right away. When you time your message well, you can, therefore, target shoppers quickly and directly. There are many ways to get creative with these messages, too. Look at adding once-off discounts, use USSD to generate automated chats to find out whether there are purchase barriers that can be removed.
Routine purchase messages.
If you sell the same products to specific customers on a regular basis, you can use segmented text messages to send reminders or reduced prices or even new products relating to the product they order frequently. For example, if you have a natural goods store that sells fresh produce to certain segments in your list on a weekly or monthly basis, you could send an SMS campaign letting them know that new fruit or vegetables have arrived in stock. You could send messages offering two-for-one deals on products or reminders that their usual purchase date is arriving. These messages are a way for customers to keep your store top of mind. They also help promote loyalty and trust, with customers knowing that you put their needs first regularly. Needless to say, this type of SMS is great for customer retention.
Customer feedback messages.
Looking for a way to get instant feedback? SMS is a great way to get customer input quickly. Ideally, you want to get feedback as soon as possible after purchase. You can plan messages that include links to service ratings or you can create automated sequences asking if there is anything customers would like to tell you. You can add incentive with special discounts or rewards for sending their feedback. This helps customers and it helps you by getting feedback on your products, shipping and overall customer experience.
Customer support messages.
Ecommerce marketing relies heavily on customer service. So much, in fact, that it can be a make or break factor for many customers if they do not receive decent support. You can have the best products at the best prices, but without adequate support, you will not grow your customer base. SMS can be used to directly interact with customers at any point, from any device. Shoppers can ask questions directly and have them answered right away, without long waits typically seen in email support or frustrating holds seen in phone support.
Grapevine Interactive offers all of the tools you need to plan highly successful SMS campaigns. Get started today and grow your ecommerce marketing results with SMS.