SMS marketing stands for ‘short message service’, otherwise known as a text message. Although SMS marketing is not a ground-breaking new concept, it is a niche channel that we have seen a rise in popularity in. With brands using SMS marketing to connect with their customers outside of order confirmation and shipping updates, to boost engagement and increase conversions.

SMS messages have a limit of 160 characters and are delivered immediately, often giving the customer a push notification via their mobile phone. For this reason, SMS content is snappy and to the point. Over the holiday season alone, SMS earned 592% higher order rates than email (according to Omnisend), so let’s explore the benefits of SMS for eCommerce.

Benefits of SMS Marketing for eCommerce

SMS campaigns are received instantly

With consumers and millennials heavily reliant on their mobile phones for each aspect of everyday life, SMS campaigns are not only received instantly but also read almost immediately. On average, it takes a recipient 3 minutes to open an SMS which makes SMS the perfect outreach channel if you want to contact a customer about a time-sensitive offer or even an abandoned cart. 

 

Allows brands to engage with customers at a personal level

In an era where building customer trust and loyalty is more prevalent than ever before, SMS enables brands to engage with customers on a more personal level and forge deeper relationships. Ensure your SMS content is engaging by utilising customer data to stay relevant and conversational.

 

SMS marketing gets higher engagement

Between short attention spans and the growing number of distractions and competition, customer engagement can be challenging to crack. However, when used correctly, SMS can cut through the noise and capture customers attention, with open rates as high as 98% compared to 20% for email (Gartner).

 

SMS Marketing Best Practices

Get permission and grow subscribers

Just like email marketing, you must have permission from your customer, and manage to maintain that permission. You can gain permission by adding the option for customers to include their phone number when subscribing to your newsletter or making a purchase.

Be transparent with the customer by telling them what kind of text messages they can expect to hear from you and how they can opt-out with every SMS by including a number they can text ‘STOP’ to.

 

Run timely effective campaigns

SMS drives much higher engagement than other communication channels, but this does not mean you can send customers anything and everything, whenever you want. Don’t abuse the permission granted to you by overusing SMS. 

An obvious way to send campaigns at optimal times is by respecting your customer’s timezones. Also, take note of any special holidays or seasonal activities when planning your SMS marketing calendar.

 

Instil a sense of urgency and enable recipients to take action

We know that people tend to open text messages immediately, which is great for brands who want to promote time-sensitive offers and instil a sense of urgency. If you require recipients to take action such as visit your website, make sure this process is as easy as possible for them.

Enable recipients to take action by including a link to a relevant web page. We recommend using branded links like the Mango example below, as they look a lot cleaner and can promote trust and credibility.

Review the performance of each campaign

Carefully reviewing the performance of each campaign will not only give you actionable insights to improve your campaigns but will also help retain subscribers by identifying what they’re engaging with and what they’re not.

Email marketing platform Klaviyo have recently introduced SMS marketing to their capabilities and provide analytics which enables brands to measure performance. Available to all customers, Klaviyo are helping businesses take the experiences created for individual brands to the next level. Find out more about their newest feature here

We suggest combining open rates, CTRs and number of offer redemptions to effectively measure the ROI of each campaign.

 

As SMS marketing makes a comeback, the state of eCommerce continues to evolve. Sending messages immediately at mass and connecting with customers on a personal level is extremely attractive for retailers, and when done right, can prove a highly effective method of customer outreach. 

Want to cut through the noise and connect with your customers in real-time? Our Performance Marketing team can help you with your SMS strategy and implementation.

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