SMS Marketing for eCommerce
Are your sales at a standstill? Not enough footfall and customer engagement?
You’re not alone. We’ve been hearing this from so many shop owners during the pandemic. These are challenging times with a lot of uncertainty. But don’t fret, we’ve got something that will help you turn the ship around.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS (Short Message Services) marketing is an integral component of the highly saturated advertising and marketing world. It is a game-changer for eCommerce. If you want to get out there and make a name for your business, SMS marketing is a brilliant strategy and an instant marketing tool to adapt and implement.
Before we start talking about SMS marketing, let us tell you a little bit about SMS marketing. It’s a well-known fact that the present world we live in is heavily mobile-focused and mobile-driven. It’s almost impossible to carry on with our lives without a mobile device. From communication to learning and interactions, mobile devices dominate every aspect of our lives. This personalized nature of mobile devices makes SMS marketing a very powerful marketing tool. It also makes sure your promotions are seen by your customers.
Benefits of SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is a reliable, flexible, and impactful marketing method that showcases the power of a simple text message in generating effective time-sensitive leads and revenue. Businesses around the world utilize SMS marketing for various purposes ranging from announcing ongoing sales to informing customers about order statuses, providing discount coupons, and so much more.
There’s an array of reasons why you should consider SMS marketing as a part of your long-term marketing strategy. Listed below is a compilation of a wide range of benefits SMS marketing has to offer for your business:
One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is that receiving a text message does not require internet connectivity. A working phone is all you need. This makes SMS marketing a highly cost-effective option compared to other forms of marketing techniques such as television advertisements, billboards, social media, mobile ads, or even magazines.
Small and medium business owners, in particular, can benefit from SMS marketing because of the affordability factor. So many small and medium business owners who opted for SMS marketing have experienced higher revenue, increased customer engagement, and heightened brand awareness. Long story short, it does wonders for your business!
Higher open ratesAccording to research, SMS marketing has a much higher open rate. On average, people are more likely to open 90% of the text messages they receive within 3 minutes, and 45% of them receive a response. Therefore, via SMS marketing, you can send bulk SMS offers to your customers which are sure to be read and not ignored (easy peasy!).
Higher conversion rates
Unlike other marketing mediums, text messages are short, sweet, and trackable. Customers are less likely to drown in a sea of content (remember the Instagram feed?).
Plus, it gets straight to the point and tells the customers exactly what you want them to know, benefiting both the customer and your business in the long run. Therefore, customers are more likely to visit your business and purchase your products compared to other marketing services available today.
Ability to reach a wider audience
One of the biggest advantages of SMS marketing is the fact that it allows businesses to reach out to a larger target audience within a relatively shorter period. With the ongoing pandemic crisis, pretty much everyone is on their phones 24/7. Therefore, your business can utilize this advantage to promote your products and get your content directly into the hands of the right audience whenever you need it (it only takes a few minutes!).
How to Get Started?
1. Know your audienceIdentifying your target audience and understanding their likes and dislikes is the first step in getting started with SMS marketing. Knowing these will get you ahead in terms of developing different strategies to market your products. Do a little market research (as you should) in advance using the right demographics.
2. Find a good vendor partnerWohoo….Here comes a big step! If you’re unfamiliar with who an SMS vendor is, here’s a simple explanation - SMS vendor partners are experts knowledgeable and experienced in the know-hows of SMS Marketing. They usually help with launching SMS marketing campaigns. We’ve compiled a list of vendors for your reference and convenience:
A platform that automates SMS and email marketing campaigns for eCommerce. Loved by over 70K brands globally, it is renowned for helping businesses drive more revenue by building amazing relationships with customers.
An omnichannel marketing automation platform that provides eCommerce email marketing, automated emails, and SMS services. Furthermore, it offers more channels and a budget-friendly pricing scheme making it a truly all-in-one marketing automation solution.
The integrated retail digital marketing automation platform trusted by 1,000+ leading retailers and brands for email marketing, text message marketing, customer insights, identity resolution, behavioral triggers, and cross-channel orchestration. The platform focuses on delivering solutions and strategies that generate desirable results year-over-year for eCommerce retailers.
3. Grow your SMS subscriber list
A crucial component of your SMS marketing strategy is how you’re going to grow your SMS subscriber list and accumulate more contact numbers to scale up your business. There are a couple of strategies you can optimize to build and grow your list.
- Utilize your website:
Does your brand have a website? You can always advertise your SMS subscription on your official website. Simply set up the sign-up form as a small pop-up or on the sidebar of your homepage.
- Add a signup option to your online check-out:
Another great method you can easily use to gather contact details is the use of a signup option at your online check-out. If you have a brand website or an online store set up on a third-party eCommerce Platform (like ShopOnCloud), you can easily include a form that customers can fill out to add themselves to your SMS subscription list.
- Ask your current audience for referrals:
Your current audience can (and should be) utilized to attract new subscribers to your SMS list. There are several ways to do this. Firstly, you can encourage your current subscribers to provide referrals in return for discounts, offers, and deals. Secondly, you can provide a great customer experience to your current customers which would provoke them to share good reviews with their family members and close friends.
PS: Using people’s contact numbers without consent is considered illegal. So be wise in terms of how you collect them. Do this in a compliant and ethical manner because obtaining contact numbers with the permission of your customers will benefit you enormously in the long run.
4.Launch the campaign and keep testing
The next step includes launching the campaign. Once your campaign is launched, don’t forget to review the results and metrics you’ve set up. This is a great way to assess how well your campaign is doing and identify various aspects that require improvement. You can also perform tests using a range of text messages to identify the best strategy and message for your business.
Best Practices for SMS Marketing
- In this section, we will walk you through some of the best practices of SMS marketing. So, buckle up and hang on!
1. Customize the text message
Keep the text messages short and sweet. Previous SMS marketing campaigns have demonstrated how shorter messages that stick to the point generate better results. A brief text message of about 160 characters would be fine.
Be as concise as possible and try to avoid sending a thread of texts. Remember that people are reading your messages on little screens and many of them pay for SMS services. So it’s highly likely that they won’t appreciate you using several messages to communicate one matter. Furthermore, try to personalize the message. One great way to do this is by including your customers’ names in the message with the help of data automation.
2. Use Call-To-Actions (CTA’s)
A CTA is a directive term commonly used in marketing campaigns to increase conversions by creating a sense of urgency among your potential customers. Typically, they’re persuasive, emotion-evoking, and to the point. A few examples of commonly used CTA’s include ‘Buy Now ', ‘Learn More’ and ‘Download Now’. But remember, always stick to one CTA which aligns with the purpose of your SMS campaign. Too many CTA’s would confuse your customers and decrease conversion rates.
- There's no doubt that SMS marketing is a genius marketing technique for any business out there. With a higher open rate, lower cost, and better results, it is sure to aid any business in achieving greater revenue. Don't delay progress. Hop on the texting bandwagon, stand out from the pack and soar high!