How to Improve Your SMS Response Rate for Higher Marketing ROI From Text Messages

how to improve sms response rate

Learn how to improve SMS response rate for marketing campaigns.

SMS marketing campaigns are known to receive high open rates and click through rates – you already know that! But what about customer engagement? 

TxtCart has been enabling Shopify stores to set up powerful SMS marketing campaigns using intelligent automations that address the entire shopping journey for online consumers – pre, during and post purchase. 

But in addition to the same, it also actually enables brands to have two-way conversations with consumers. With a team of trained live agents to back your SMS marketing automations, we have been turning each text message into an opportunity to strike more conversations with consumers.

But getting a consumer to respond on a channel that is typically used by brands to just broadcast new products, deals and discounts, is easier said than done. 

After having run thousands of SMS marketing campaigns for Shopify stores, we may have found a few tactics that you can use to boost customer response rates and the overall engagement. 

What is an SMS response rate? 

SMS response rate refers to the number of people that open and then reply to your text messages from the marketing campaign. This is different from the typical click through rates that brands often measure for their SMS marketing campaigns – which essentially is less about responding, and more about clicking through the call to action provided, which often leads to the website or the online store. 

Statistics have found that SMS marketing campaigns, when strategized well, tend to see upto 45% response rates or more. 

Why is SMS response rate important?

Customer SMS response rates are extremely important to a business as this provides insight into a lot of things. Some of them are listed below: 

1. Reveals customer interest

Tracking SMS response rates helps you know if the customer in your list is actually interested in what your brand has to offer. They will be more eager to respond to you if they are interested in your brand, and hence more likely to make purchases.

2. Informs you about customers

SMS response rates also allow you to learn more about your customers, once they respond. You can study patterns and behaviors and also understand them more from the way they respond to you.

3. Allows you to sell more

Tracking SMS response rates helps you craft better strategies and sell more to your customers. The more you know about them, the better your strategies can be and the more you can sell to them.

How can you improve your SMS response rate on marketing campaigns? 

While there is no one way of using SMS marketing campaigns or starting a conversation with your subscribers or existing customers, we recommend using the following tactics to nudge them into hitting reply: 

1. Experiment with SMS campaign types 

Don’t just use SMS for running promotional campaigns around discounts, deals, new products or collections from your online store. We recommend using SMS to experiment with marketing campaigns like running contests, sending lookbooks, conducting surveys, hosting quizzes and more.

The idea is to focus on creating an impression of a brand that is focused on getting to know the recipients better instead of just selling to them. 

2. Craft a compelling call to action 

Don’t just add a link to your website to all the SMS marketing campaigns you set up. To get a response from your recipients, you need to give them a better call to action and you can do this by strategically writing your SMS copy. 

While most companies will use action-driven call to actions, we recommend experimenting with softer call to actions as well. 

This includes using copy such as: 

  • Reach out to us for shopping assistance! 
  • Want to know more about our new collection? Simply reply to this message. 
  • Need help picking the right size? Reply to this message. 
  • Reply to this message to receive a special offer! 
  • Reply to this message to get personalized product recommendations. 

3. Set up strategic follow-ups 

With the use of SMS for promotions, cart recovery, sending order updates and other purposes increasing by the day, it is possible for the recipients to simply forget about the message your brand sent. 

This is why we recommend using TxtCart to automate or schedule strategic follow-ups to your SMS marketing messages based on what the intent of the campaign is. 

For example, if you have sent an abandoned cart reminder on SMS, we recommend sending a follow-up message too. This follow-up can offer shopping assistance to the cart abandoner to help them make an informed purchase decision instead of just pushing a discount code their way. 

4. Ensure timely response 

Just setting up automations, different campaign types or including the right call to action, is not enough. 

If a recipient does respond to your messages, it is crucial to ensure that you reply to them on time as well. This is where brands need to level up their SMS marketing strategy to use a mix of automations and the conventional human chat to get the conversation going. 

At TxtCart, we have set up a custom flow that ensures timely responses to consumers. If the query is already defined and known, the Shopify SMS marketing app simply triggers a message from the automated text message campaigns. And when it is not identified, TxtCart hands off the conversation immediately to a live agent. 

Our team of live agents are trained to understand and meet different brand requirements, and how to use text messages to converse with online shoppers in a meaningful way. They step in when the automations can no longer address a consumer’s response. 

This has helped brands using TxtCart for SMS marketing, boost their response rates and drive 3X higher conversion rates too! We call this two-way SMS marketing campaigns – you can learn more about it here

5. Sync your multi-channel campaigns 

The very next tip we recommend implementing is to sync your campaigns across all channels and use them like a marketing stack to address different stages of a buyer’s purchase journey with the brand. 

For example, use your social media campaigns as a reminder to your SMS subscribers to reply to the message you’ve sent across to get access to a special discount code. Or use your emails to notify subscribers how they can seek shopping assistance by dropping you a message instead of the conventional live chat approach. 

6. Segment customers proactively 

One of the most promising tactics to get a response from your customers is to ensure your messages remain contextual and relevant to them. 

This is where active segmentation comes into play. 

We recommend segmenting your customers on the basis of their point of subscription, what they are looking for, previous purchases, campaigns they have engaged with before, and the standard demographics data. 

The more individually you can define your customers, the more personalized your campaigns are; and the higher are the chances of you getting a response. 

With SMS marketing apps like TxtCart, you can upload segmented customer lists to the Shopify app. This can help you set up targeted campaigns, scheduling and automating text messages to engage them with the right message, at the right time. 

7. Set up two-way SMS campaigns

You can increase your response rates by engaging your customers with two-way SMS marketing campaigns. You can promote your deals, discounts and more with the conversational platform of SMS and engage shoppers more effectively with two-way communication. This can easily be done with the help of a BSP like TxtCart.

8. Promote exclusivity

Start promoting the exclusive deals you are providing to those who have subscribed to your SMS list. These exclusive deals work like a rewards program, and the customers are rewarded for the action of subscribing to your SMS list, getting more people to respond to it in the process.

9. Perfect your timing

Be mindful of the timing when sending your messages as this can have a great impact on the effectiveness of the SMS. Take into account your audience’s daily routines and time zones. A well-timed message is more likely to be promptly read and responded to. Additionally, do not send messages too frequently so as to prevent audience frustration, which could put them off and make them less willing to respond.

10. Create clear and engaging CTAs

Craft a clear and enticing call to action. Whether it involves clicking a link, responding with a specific keyword, or taking a particular action, make sure receivers are well-informed on how to appropriately respond to your message.

11. Experiment and tweak strategies

Utilize analytics and reporting tools to track the effectiveness of your campaigns and make necessary adjustments. By consistently evaluating response rates, you can easily experiment, modify and tweak your approach based on what resonates most with your audience, thereby organically boosting SMS response rates.

Why should you care about SMS marketing?

Still thinking why care about SMS marketing? 

Here are a few SMS marketing statistics that can convince anyone of its merit. Some of these statistics by itself show how important SMS marketing is and how much potential it holds: 

  • The SMS marketing industry is projected to grow and reach $12.6 billion in total
  • SMS marketing sees an open rate of 98% on average
  • 91% of consumers prefer to receive text messages from companies
  • 90% of consumers respond in less than 30 minutes after receiving an SMS
  • 96% of marketers have seen a positive impact on revenue after using text messaging
  • On average, SMS messages generate a click-through rate of 19%

Struggling to improve your SMS response rate? 

We know how tough customer engagement is. 

That is why we have been working double time to come up with automations and upskill our team of live agents to help you turn text messages into a channel for not just conversions – but also conversations! 

Ready to get to know your customers better? 

It’s time to improve your SMS response rate with TxtCart. 

Get started with a 14-day free trial today

Frequently asked questions about SMS response rate 

How can I improve my SMS response rate? 

We recommend segmenting your customer base and leveraging automation to run highly personalized and contextual SMS marketing campaigns. The only way to get a response is to strike a chord with the consumer’s needs and preferences. 

Which is the best SMS marketing app for Shopify stores? 

TxtCart is the best Shopify SMS marketing app for fast-growing online stores. The app comes with pre-built and customizable marketing automation workflows for text messages based on eCommerce requirements, ready-to-use templates, discount code generators, in-depth analytics and a suite of other powerful features to turn SMS into a sales channel. 

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