SMS Marketing for Ecommerce: Strategies, Tips and Examples

SMS Marketing for Ecommerce: Strategies, Tips and Examples

It is hard not to notice the increasing use of SMS for eCommerce by brands looking to improve marketing. This is a trend that is happening for all the right reasons, considering how well SMS marketing for eCommerce works out in terms of conversions, engagement and sales.

But how do you start out on your journey with SMS marketing for eCommerce? There can be a lot of apprehensions when doing marketing in unfamiliar territories, but fret not!

In this guide, we will look into everything about SMS marketing for eCommerce- from what it is to why brands use it to the best tips and practices for using SMS for eCommerce!

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing for eCommerce is the use of SMS/text messages in order to send promotional content on products or sales, provide updates on delivery, shipping etc. or engage customers in other ways. SMS marketing is mainly done as promotional messages, transactional messages or updates and alerts.

It is mainly seen as a tool to communicate and convey offers and other information to your existing customers, who have subscribed to your SMS campaign plan.

SMS marketing is also crucial in aiding customers in different stages of their journey.  Its functions can include:

  • Improve conversion on site 
  • Customer retention 
  • Customer acquisition
  • Improving reach with multi-channel marketing
  • Updating and alerting customers
  • Sending tailored messages according to customer interests and preferences

Why are eCommerce Brands Using SMS Marketing?

One primary motive behind marketers choosing SMS marketing for eCommerce is to boost engagement and this has been proven right consistently as customers mostly say they prefer text messages whenever it is relevant. There is also room for growth in the market with SMS as it has a large user base and has a very wide scope because of this.

Compared to email or Facebook advertising, SMS marketing has better engagement and a lower level of saturation, making it a reliable channel. SMS users do receive spam messages in an undesirable way but it is possible for marketers to easily build a base of loyal customers irrespective of this fact.

SMS marketing is also greatly suited for mobile commerce and considering how much time an average person spends on their mobile device, the channel has excellent potential.

Some of the key reasons behind the wide usage of SMS for eCommerce among marketers can be attributed to the following statistics.

  • By the end of the day, 98% of text messages are read by consumers
  • 67% of customers prefer to text businesses for appointments or scheduling, rather than via email or call
  • 48% of customers in the US prefer SMS loyalty communication in place of other mediums like mail or applications
  • 67% of customers are of the opinion that delivery updates are more effective with SMS
  • SMS has around six to eight times better engagement rate than email marketing engagement rates

How to Get Started with SMS Marketing?

Let’s walk you through a step by step on how to get started with SMS marketing for Shopify stores: 

1. Define and Narrow Down Your Goals

It is important that you start out with a clear idea of what your goals are, as this is a crucial “make or break” stage in any marketing initiative. So ensure that you start with a goal, define it and properly internalize what your SMS marketing campaign is all about.

Some of the common goals for starting out would be to focus on reducing cart recovery and improving customer support. You can craft your SMS text messages to notify buyers about their abandoned cart or provide post-purchase follow-ups for better support.

2. Find the Right Vendor as a Partner

Once your lens is narrowed down on your SMS marketing campaign goals, you have to focus on finding the right partner to aid your strategy. Here you should try and find a vendor that lets you create and launch your campaigns easily while providing enough potential for scaling, as your SMS marketing campaign gets on its feet and starts growing. Remember to consider factors like complementary integrations, growth tools, automation and two-way communication capabilities, when evaluating a vendor.

The best Shopify app for SMS marketing is TxtCart. With an app built exclusively for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores, the solution comes with all the features you need to run automated SMS marketing campaigns, at a cost that scales with you. Install the app today

3. Focus on Subscriber Base Growth

Once you have doubled down on the right partner to help you utilize SMS for eCommerce, your next step should be to bolster your base of subscribers and grow your list. You can collect your subscribers via forms from your website, or with checkboxes to your checkout pages or on your emails. 

But keep in mind that you have to grow your list and move ahead in a very compliant manner. This applies to all the different aspects of your SMS program. So, when making a list, remember that it is a permission-based platform and build your subscriber base accordingly.

4. Launch Your Campaign

Launch your first campaign by taking time, experimenting and adapting. See what works well for you and start slow. A one-off campaign is the best place to begin, and slowly begin adding SMS into your marketing automation. You can eventually create a broader multichannel experience for the customers.

5. Constantly Review, Test and Improve

Keep on monitoring and reviewing your SMS marketing campaign metrics. This lets you know where you are right and where you are wrong and allows you to improve accordingly. 

Keep testing out new messages, experiment with time and eventually you will identify what works the best for your SMS marketing endeavor.

Best Practices in SMS Marketing for Shopify stores 

Here are some of the best practices we recommend our customers to follow when using TxtCart for running SMS marketing campaigns

1. Keep It Clear and Concise

Send crisp, clear and to-the-point messages, as it is more convenient to read on mobile. It’s better to avoid multiple threads, so stick to a single CTA. Users might also be paying a surcharge on SMS so multiple messages to say one thing would be counterproductive for both you and them.

2. Add Value to Your Customers

Make sure you are offering value to your customers when you reach out to them. You can do this by:

  • Offering unique discounts
  • Time-sensitive deals like BOGO till midnight or a limited period discount
  • Providing valuable information on products, sales, services or events
  • Introduce new products and services via SMS

3. Personalize SMS Campaigns

Use your brand voice but at the same time personalize your SMS to have a better impact. Data automation and creating sectioned lists and groups based on the interests of buyers can greatly help improve the overall SMS program experience.

Types of SMS Marketing Campaigns for Shopify stores 

We have so far discussed some of the reasons behind the popularity of SMS marketing, steps to get started and some of the best practices. Now we will look at the different types of SMS marketing campaigns.

1. Promotional SMS

Promotional SMS is the usual, standard marketing SMS that is sent to customers as promotions. These messages are primarily used to encourage customers to buy your products or services.

2. Birthday SMS

These are more personalized SMS messages that are sent to customers on their birthdays. For more impact, you can also add a discount code as a birthday present.

3. Welcome SMS

Welcome SMS is sent to a customer in the initial stage right after the first purchase or any form of first contact between your business and the customer.

4. Back-in Stock Alert SMS

This is the SMS that is sent to customers who are interested in knowing when a product becomes available and gets restocked. This ensures that whoever wanted to purchase your product that was out-of-stock will surely be able to do so right when the product is back on your shelf.

5. Abandoned Cart Reminder SMS

Abandoned cart recovery SMS plays the important task of recovering abandoned cart sales. These messages are sent to those customers who have left their carts before completing their purchase.

SMS Marketing Strategies to Use

While there is no one set way of using SMS marketing, let’s take a look at some strategies we recommend from day zero: 

1. Welcome New Subscribers

These are messages that are to be sent at the initial contact with a subscriber to let them know how glad you are to have them. Incorporate a personalized approach here. Simply using their first name itself can make it sound more personal. 

A warm welcoming tone goes a long way as well. Additionally providing relevant and helpful information to customers in your welcome SMS can have a highly positive impact.

2. Update Special Offers

Special offers are marketing SMS that provide information to customers about your latest marketing offers and can be the perfect nudge to motivate them to make a purchase. This SMS has to stand out and be appealing enough to attract the buyer. Some good tips to keep in mind when crafting your special offer SMS are:

  • Have a catchy and attention-grabbing starting phrase.
  • Emphasize the value being provided with the offer/discount.
  • Have a strong and appealing CTA.

3. Time-limited Sales

Another good tactic to nudge your subscribers towards purchase is by sending time-limited offers through your SMS messages. By creating a sense of urgency, you can tap into customer psychology with your SMS messages.

4. Abandoned Cart Alerts

One of the most important messages that you will be sending out will be abandoned cart recovery messages. Abandoned carts are potential sales being lost, so leaving them unattended is not an option. 

This is where you can utilize SMS to bring back customers with abandoned cart alerts. You can send a gentle reminder, an exciting offer or testimonials via your messages to bring them back.

5. Black Friday Offers

Black Friday is a great time to boost conversions by utilizing SMS marketing for eCommerce to promote and convey your offers and sales.

6. Automated Order Updates

You can automate your SMS program to send out updates on order confirmation, shipping and delivery. This is a great way to alleviate customer anxiety using SMS for eCommerce.

7. Loyalty Program Updates

Use benefit-oriented language and personalization to provide loyalty program updates and alerts with your SMS program. SMS is a great platform to keep your loyal customers who have joined your rewards programs updated about things like new offers, reward point balance, new releases etc.

Examples of SMS Marketing for Shopify 

There are several brands using SMS marketing to promote their products, deals and discounts. Let’s take a look at some SMS marketing examples: 

1. Divi

2. Urban Outfitters 

3. Brooklinen

Looking for Shopify SMS marketing case studies? Read how global brands are using TxtCart for SMS marketing

Enhancing eCommerce Growth with SMS Marketing!

SMS marketing for eCommerce has exceptional potential when it comes to leveling up the impact of your marketing efforts. 

With higher open and click-through rates, better engagement and diverse scope, it is a great channel for marketing, if you can hit all the right notes when planning your SMS marketing strategies. Opt for the best practices in SMS marketing and strive for more engaging campaigns and you are golden.

Looking to take your business a step ahead of competition using SMS for eCommerce?

Try SMS marketing with TxtCart!

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