The use of SMS marketing in ecommerce is no longer restricted to just simple product announcements or order confirmations (though those can be useful too). Clever campaigners now use SMS to improve customer loyalty by fostering relationships.
In fact, this form of marketing boasts an impressive 98% open rate, compared to 20-30% open rates achieved by email campaigns. Are you looking for inspirational ways to reach out via text? These 10 examples of SMS marketing are a good place to start.
The Advantages of SMS Marketing
Here are the main reasons why you should start using SMS campaigns in your marketing strategy:
- SMS marketing is permission based, which puts customers in control and can reduce the chances of them getting annoyed by brand communications. Customers must willingly opt in and can also opt out at any point, often by sending a text to a designated number
- SMS enables you to really target specific customers. Collecting data on the interests and preferences of your target audience can be done in many ways. For example, by using an opt-in which involves using different keywords for the customer to indicate their fields of interest, or email surveys
- SMS campaigns require powerful, concise messages with a call to action, which will allow you to measure the success of your targeting. You can measure your SMS engagement through metrics such as open and click-through rates
- It is really easy to personalize your SMS marketing. A simple gesture like addressing a customer through SMS by their first name can boost your response rates by making the customer feel valued
With these points in mind, let’s explore some innovative ways you could use SMS to engage with your customers.
Automated Acknowledgement Messages
Businesses do not always have the time to respond to messages that customers send. However, it would be bad practice and offensive to ignore their communication attempts. For this reason, SMS automation can be extremely valuable.
SMS automation involves setting up a customer service channel which requires minimal input from the company’s side. Airlines regularly employ this method as they receive many texts from customers requiring information or making complaints, and the SMS platform responds automatically based on keywords it detects in the customer’s message.
Flash Sale Alerts
SMS is fantastic for reaching customers regardless of location, and it demands urgency. Unlike print, radio or billboard ads, text messages can be received anywhere – at home, on the road, or anywhere in between.
This makes SMS the perfect option for flash sale announcements. You could even use it to drive foot traffic on a slow day, or web-traffic for an ecommerce store.
SMS Voucher Codes and Coupons
Pure360 marketing has reported that 32% of recipients respond to SMS offers and texted coupons are redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons. After all, physical coupons get misplaced all the time. Boost your response rate and make the most ROI from your marketing budget by using this method to make customers aware of promotions.
Free Samples in Exchange for a Text
Get your customers to subscribe to your SMS message deals by offering them an incentive. Everybody loves freebies. Pizza Hut employ this tactic very successfully – not only does it gain SMS subscribers, it also lets customers try new products and makes them likely to come back for more.
Reaching Out to People Without Smartphones
It might seem unlikely in this increasingly digital world, but some people do not have a smartphone. SMS marketing is an easy way to reach out to people who cannot browse the web on their phone.
Do you run an ecommerce store with a retail element? You don’t need to rely on digital marketing alone. Adopt a multi-channel approach – use SMS to reach out to off-the-grid customers.
Loyalty Program Management
E-clubs and membership schemes are all manageable by SMS, and SMS can be used for opt-ins for email newsletters.
Make sure that your SMS copy is tailored to suit your target audience in order to yield the highest possible response rate. Wouldn’t you be disappointed if you received a text offer that was duplicated in your email inbox?
Delivery Service Updates
It has become increasingly popular for large mail delivery companies, such as DPD, to offer a complimentary SMS delivery update to customers expecting a parcel delivery. This use of SMS improves the customer experience a great deal as it conveniently alerts them of the exact time slot they need to be available.
Reviews, Feedback and Polls
If you’re really looking to improve your customer experience either in store or online, then SMS review or feedback polls would be a great idea for your brand. It is a popular strategy for companies to text customers after making a purchase, calling a customer service line or receiving a delivery to rate their experience.. This is done by replying to a text with the relevant number on a scale of 1 to 5. This information is extremely valuable and can give you a real insight into the necessary improvements required to take your brand to the next level.
Happy Birthday Messages
It has become common practice for brands to use email marketing to offer promotional codes to customers on their birthday. Their date of birth is often captured on a landing page when the customer registers with an account for the website. But, an SMS campaign would be an alternative to generate a higher response rate. Begin an SMS campaign and make customers feel valued on their birthday. Reap the profitable rewards of brand loyalty.
SMS News & Content Alerts
If your brand benefits from keeping customers up to date with news and events, then an SMS marketing campaign might be for you. Sending updates directly to customers by SMS is a sure-fire way to keep them up to date with any promotional offers and are offer them valuable content which is relevant to your industry. By providing valuable content you are more likely to increase brand loyalty.
With a 98% open rate, it is easy to see why many brands employ SMS marketing campaigns. Here are some tips on how you could set up your own text campaign. In case you’re in a rush, here is some advice for you to take away:
- You can use SMS to measure customer engagement levels with your business communications, remind customers about your brand and reward customer loyalty
- You can integrate SMS campaigns with email campaigns and your ecommerce store
- SMS is a great customer support or feedback tool
- Customer data acquired by SMS can give you valuable information which you can implement into your future business plans or marketing strategies to improve the customer experience
- SMS is particularly useful because you can target specific groups of customers and personalize your communications with them to make them feel valued and increase your conversion rates.
What have you learned about SMS campaigns? Will you implement SMS into your marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments.