In e-commerce, businesses are constantly on the lookout for effective channels to market their brands and keep their customers engaged.
One such powerful tool is SMS marketing, a direct and personal approach that yields remarkable results.
In this post, we provide ecommerce businesses with everything they need to know about leveraging SMS marketing to enhance customer engagement and drive growth.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional or informational messages to a group of recipients via short message service (SMS) or text messages.It allows businesses and organizations to reach their target audience directly on their mobile devices.
SMS marketing campaigns typically involve sending concise and impactful messages that can include promotional offers, product updates, appointment reminders, and more. This form of marketing is known for its high open rates and quick response times, making it an efficient tool for businesses looking to engage with their audience in a direct and personal manner while driving sales and fostering customer relationships.
Why should your Shopify store use SMS marketing?
SMS marketing offers several benefits for businesses and organizations looking to engage with their audience and promote products or services effectively. Here are some of the key advantages of SMS marketing:
1. High Open Rates (Exceeding 98%)
SMS messages boast remarkably high open rates. In fact, they often surpass 98%, meaning that nearly all of your recipients are likely to see your message shortly after it’s sent. This exceptional open rate ensures that your message has an excellent chance of being read and acted upon by your audience.
2. Immediate Delivery
SMS messages are delivered instantaneously. As a result, your message reaches your target audience without delay. This immediacy is particularly valuable when you have time-sensitive promotions or urgent notifications to convey. It ensures that your message is received promptly and can lead to swift responses from your recipients.
3. Wide Reach (7.33 Billion Mobile Users Worldwide)
SMS marketing leverages the ubiquity of mobile phones, making it a channel with a vast potential reach. With approximately 7.33 billion mobile users worldwide, you have the opportunity to connect with a broad and diverse audience. This includes both smartphone users and those with more basic mobile devices.
4. High Click-Through Rate (CTR, Averaging 36%)
SMS marketing campaigns often achieve a remarkable average click-through rate (CTR) of around 36%. This high CTR is attributed to the direct and immediate nature of SMS. When you include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) in your SMS message, recipients are more inclined to take the desired action, such as clicking on a link to visit your website or app.
5. High Conversion Rate (Around 20% to 30%)
SMS marketing consistently delivers a higher conversion rate compared to many other marketing channels, typically ranging from 20% to 30%. When recipients receive an SMS containing a relevant offer or promotion, they are more likely to convert. This can take various forms, including making a purchase, signing up for a service, or completing another desired action, effectively driving revenue and engagement.
SMS marketing enables a high degree of personalization in your messages. You can address recipients by their first name, customize messages based on their preferences or past purchase history, and create a more personalized and engaging experience. This personal touch enhances the connection between your brand and your audience, increasing the likelihood of positive responses.
7. Opt-In Audience
One of the key strengths of SMS marketing is that it relies on recipients opting in to receive messages. This means that your audience has actively expressed interest in your offerings, making them more likely to engage with your content. This opt-in approach results in higher-quality leads and reduces the risk of spam complaints, as you are communicating with individuals genuinely interested in your products or services.
SMS marketing statistics you should know
Here is the list of important marketing statistics that one should know before crafting SMS marketing strategy.
- Within five minutes of receiving a text, a staggering 80.5% of consumers check their text notifications.
- In the past year, approximately 71% of consumers have actively subscribed to receive text messages from businesses.
- Surprisingly, 41% of consumers prefer to receive updates from brands via text messages instead of emails.
- Roughly 60% of business owners believe that their SMS marketing budgets should be expanded, underscoring its effectiveness.
- Impressively, 83% of businesses that utilize SMS marketing have integrated AI into their strategies, showcasing its growing prominence in this field.
Want to see the impact of SMS marketing on real-life Shopify brands? See our success stories here.
How to get started with SMS marketing?
Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started with SMS marketing effortlessly:
1. Identify if Your Target Audience Likes to Be Notified via SMS
Before diving into SMS marketing, it’s essential to understand whether your target audience prefers receiving notifications through SMS. You can do this by conducting surveys, analyzing customer behavior, or reviewing your existing communication channels. Ensure that your audience is comfortable with SMS notifications to avoid unwanted messages.
2. Install an SMS Marketing App Like TxtCart
TxtCart is an SMS marketing app designed to enhance your SMS marketing campaigns. It offers various features such as one-time discount codes for cart abandoners, custom cart short URLs, real-time conversation monitoring, customer segmentation, MMS support, and more.
3. Build an SMS Subscriber List
To send SMS marketing messages, you need a list of subscribers who have opted in to receive your messages. Here’s how to build your list:
- Use signup forms on your website to collect phone numbers and consent from customers.
- Promote your SMS marketing program through other marketing channels, such as email, social media, and your website, to encourage sign-ups.
- Offer incentives, such as exclusive discounts or early access to promotions, to entice customers to subscribe.
4. Set Up Automations with TxtCart
Automations are essential for streamlining your SMS marketing efforts and achieving specific goals. Here’s how to set up automations using TxtCart:
- Determine what you want to achieve with SMS marketing, whether it’s recovering abandoned carts, promoting new products, or re-engaging inactive customers.
- Use TxtCart’s customer segmentation feature to personalize your campaigns based on customer behavior, past interactions, purchase history, and more.
- Set up automated campaigns for tasks like sending cart abandonment reminders, win-back texts, or product recommendations.
- Use TxtCart’s real-time monitoring tools to track opt-ins, responses, and conversions. Adjust your campaigns based on performance data to maximize conversions.
Must-have SMS marketing automations you should have
Here are the must-have SMS marketing automations, along with examples:
1. Welcome messages
Welcome messages are crucial to make a positive first impression on subscribers. They greet new subscribers and set the tone for future interactions, helping to build brand loyalty from the start.
Example: “Welcome to XYZ Boutique! 🛍️ Thanks for joining our VIP club. Enjoy 10% off your first purchase with code WELCOME10. “
Promotional messages for sales and discounts
Promotional SMS messages are designed to drive sales by offering exclusive discounts, special offers, or announcing seasonal sales events. These messages create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate purchases.
Example: “Flash Sale Alert! 🚨 Get 30% off on all winter coats today only! Hurry, shop online at www.yourstore.com. Use code: WINTER30.”
2. Abandoned cart recovery
Abandoned cart recovery SMS messages target customers who added items to their shopping cart but did not complete their purchase. These messages can remind them of their abandoned items and provide an incentive to complete the transaction.
Example: “Hi there! 🛒 You left something special in your cart. Complete your purchase now and get 15% off your entire order. Click here to continue shopping.”
Order status updates
Order status SMS messages keep customers informed about the progress of their orders. These updates provide transparency and build trust by sharing information such as order confirmation, processing, and shipping details.
Example: “Great news! 📦 Your order #123456 has been successfully processed and is now being prepared for shipment. You can track your order’s progress here.”
3. Shipping status notifications
Shipping status SMS messages provide real-time information about the delivery of a customer’s order. They keep customers informed about when to expect their package and provide tracking details for convenience.
Example: “Exciting update! 🚚 Your order #123456 is out for delivery and will arrive today between 2 PM and 5 PM. Track your package here:
4. Back in stock/restock messages
Back in stock or restock messages notify customers when a product they were interested in but was previously out of stock is available again. This automation can help recover potentially lost sales and improve customer satisfaction.
5. Cross-sell/upsell messages
Cross-sell and upsell SMS messages recommend complementary or higher-value products to customers based on their purchase history or browsing behavior. These messages aim to increase the average transaction value.
Example: “You might also like these matching accessories! 😍 Enhance your style with our exclusive collection. Shop now and enjoy 20% off when you add them to your order: Link”
6. Ask for Product Reviews
Sending SMS messages to request product reviews from customers who have made a recent purchase can help build trust and provide valuable feedback. Positive reviews can also influence potential buyers.
Example: “Hi there! We hope you’re enjoying your recent purchase. Share your thoughts with us by leaving a review and get a chance to win a $50 gift card. Review now: Link.”
7. Ask for Customer Feedback
Customer feedback messages solicit opinions on the overall shopping experience, product quality, or specific aspects of your business. Feedback helps identify areas for improvement and highlights areas of strength.
Example: “We value your input! 🙌 Please take a moment to share your feedback with us. Your opinion matters. Click here to start the survey:Link.”
8. Customer Support Assistance
Implementing a two-way SMS marketing campaigns for customer support can enhance communication and resolve issues efficiently. This automation should include a link to your customer support platform for immediate assistance.
Example: “Need assistance? Our support team is here to help. Click the link below to start a chat with our support agents: [Insert link to your support platform].”
Best practices to consider for Shopify SMS marketing
Here is the list of some top practices to take notes of before starting SMS marketing.
- Ask customers to opt-in – Always ensure that customers have explicitly opted in to receive SMS messages from your business. Obtaining their consent is not only a legal requirement in many regions but also demonstrates respect for their privacy.
- Keep texts simple and conversational – SMS messages have character limits, so keep your messages concise and to the point. Use a conversational tone to engage customers and make the messages feel personal.
- Offer Incentives – Provide value to your customers by offering exclusive discounts, promotions, or early access to sales through SMS. Incentives can encourage customers to stay subscribed and engage with your messages.
- Consider relevant holidays and events – Tailor your SMS marketing campaigns to coincide with relevant holidays or events, such as Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, or local celebrations. This can make your messages more timely and appealing to recipients.
- Provide an opportunity to unsubscribe – Always include an easy and clear way for customers to opt out of receiving SMS messages. This is not only a legal requirement but also good practice to respect customers’ preferences.
- Time your messages well – Consider your audience’s time zone and schedule messages accordingly. Avoid sending messages during late hours or times when customers are unlikely to be receptive. Test different send times to determine when your audience is most engaged.
Recommended read: SMS Marketing Strategies: How to Convert Subscribers Into Customers
Is SMS marketing legal?
Yes, SMS marketing is legal, but it is subject to strict regulations in many countries, including India. To ensure compliance with SMS marketing regulations, businesses must:
- Obtain explicit opt-in consent – Businesses should only send SMS marketing messages to individuals who have explicitly given their permission to receive them. This consent can be obtained through methods like online forms or explicit consent checkboxes.
- Avoid misleading or deceptive content – SMS messages should not contain false or misleading information. The content should accurately represent the purpose of the message, such as promotions, updates, or notifications.
- Identify themselves and the purpose of the message – SMS messages should clearly identify the sender and the purpose of the message. Recipients should immediately recognize who is contacting them and why.
- Respect do-not-call lists and time restrictions – Businesses should honor national and local do-not-call lists and time restrictions for sending SMS messages. Sending messages during prohibited hours or to individuals on do-not-call lists can lead to legal issues.
- Provide clear and easy opt-out options – SMS marketing messages should always include clear instructions on how recipients can opt out of receiving further messages. Typically, this involves providing a simple keyword like “STOP” that recipients can reply to in order to unsubscribe.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced marketer, mastering SMS marketing is essential in today’s digital landscape. And when it comes to enhancing your SMS marketing campaigns, TxtCart stands out as a powerful tool.
TxtCart offers a range of features that enable you to enhance SMS marketing efforts, from personalized campaigns based on behavioral data to reminders and win-back texts for specific customer segments.