5 Ways to Use SMS Marketing for Customer Retention

Ways to use SMS Marketing for Customer Retention

Do you know that there is a 60%-70% chance of selling to an existing customer? 

It’s easier as they are familiar with your products or services, trust your brand, and have experienced positive interactions in the past. 

Once you deliver an initial positive experience, all you need to do is give them a little push. 

A little push in the right direction, and you will see them making repeat purchases. 

That’s where SMS marketing customer retention can help you make the most of your effort. 

You can send targeted messages and enticing offers based on their preferences, purchase history, or engagement patterns.   

As long as you deliver something that resonates with them, they will pay attention. 

So, today, we will dive into five ways you can use SMS marketing for customer retention. 

No more spam messages that get you unsubscribed!

Why SMS Marketing Works for Customer Retention

Marketers love using SMS marketing for customer retention for three reasons — a huge mobile audience (52%), high customer engagement (44%), and impressive open rates (43%). 

So, with SMS marketing, you have: 

  • Your audience readily available to read your offers
  • Open them within 5 minutes of receiving the message
  • And responding if the message resonates. 

Let’s now elaborate on why you should use SMS retention techniques for your business: 

1. Instant communication 

SMS allows businesses to reach customers instantly. Messages are delivered directly to the recipient’s mobile device, ensuring that the communication is immediate and time-sensitive. This immediacy is crucial for boosting retention with texts as it enables businesses to stay top-of-mind and respond promptly to customer needs.

Businesses can leverage these SMS retention techniques to send timely offers, promotions, or updates. Whether it’s a limited-time discount or exclusive access to new products, the immediacy of SMS ensures that customers receive and act upon these offers quickly. 

2. High open rates 

SMS messages are typically opened within minutes of receipt, as they appear directly on the user’s device. The personal nature of text messages enhances the likelihood of customers opening and engaging with the content.

Also, SMS marketing often relies on customers opting in to receive messages, indicating a pre-existing interest in the brand or its products. This opt-in nature contributes to higher open rates, as customers are more receptive to messages from businesses they have chosen to engage with.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to SMS Opt-in for 2024 (Tips + Examples)

3. Convenience and accessibility 

The wide availability of mobile devices ensures that businesses can reach customers wherever they are. SMS doesn’t require an internet connection, making it accessible to a broad audience. This widespread usage contributes to the effectiveness of SMS marketing in retaining customers.

SMS also strikes a balance between being direct and non-intrusive. Customers can quickly glance at a text message without the need for extensive time or effort, making SMS marketing customer retention a preferred choice. 

4. Targeted and personalized communication 

Businesses can segment their customer base and send personalized messages based on customer preferences, purchase history, or other relevant data. This targeted approach enhances the relevance of the messages, increasing the chances of boosting retention with texts. 

SMS also allows for two-way communication, enabling businesses to receive feedback, address concerns, and interact with customers on a personal level. With two-way SMS marketing, you build a stronger connection and increase customer loyalty. 

How to use SMS marketing to boost customer retention 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways and strategies we use for online brands using TxtCart: 

1. Personalized Offers and Discounts

People love receiving offers and discounts on things they frequently purchase. Let’s say you have a habit of purchasing perfumes frequently. Imagine when you receive a straight 25% off on your favorite brands. That’s the power of personalization, as you might take immediate action before the offer runs out.

Personalization is all about understanding your customers to the core. You need to cover things like: 

  • What products do they purchase frequently? 
  • What are the time intervals between every purchase? 
  • What type of offers can entice my customer segments? 

Ditch the one-size-fits-all approach and segment your audience based on purchase history, preferences, and engagement levels. After segmentation, you can send targeted and relevant offers that resonate with specific customer groups. Such relevancy often helps in improving customer experience with SMS marketing

For example, bombard your loyal customers with special offers on their most purchased items. 

At the same time, have an introductory offer ready for your first-time buyers. By categorizing your audience, you can tailor your SMS campaigns to address each segment’s unique needs and interests. 

2. Exclusive Updates and Early Access

A strong connection with a brand often stems from the feeling of exclusivity. 

Being a part of a select group eligible for special deals makes them feel valued and privileged as they are among the first to know about upcoming events, product launches, or sales. 

Remember that exclusivity is a potent motivator for customers to remain engaged and loyal to your brand. Here are some examples of SMS messages showing exclusivity: 

  • “VIP Access! Be the first to shop our upcoming sale. Click the link to browse and buy before everyone else. Limited slots available!”
  • “Surprise Gift Inside! Make a purchase today, and we’ll include a special gift with your order. Don’t miss out! Shop now. “
  • “Happy Birthday! Celebrate with a special 25% off your next order. Use code: BDAYJOY. Your day, our treat!”
  • “You’re invited! Join us at an exclusive in-store event this weekend. RSVP by replying ‘YES’ to this text. Limited spots available!”
  • “SMS Exclusive Bundle! Customize your bundle and enjoy a special discounted price. Reply ‘BUNDLE’ for more details. Limited time only!”

When you have the right offers, timing is another aspect that makes all the difference. 

The message should reach your customer inbox when they are most likely to see it. Sending messages at optimal times ensures that they are read promptly. 

To do that, you need to identify the demographics and behaviors of your target audience. Are they students, working professionals, or retirees? All this information will help you determine the ideal time to send SMS for customer retention.

Next, analyze past data to identify patterns. Look for trends in customer engagement based on the time of the day and day of the week. Based on the same, use an SMS marketing tool that helps you schedule your SMS campaigns to specific days and times of the week.

3. Request and Act on Feedback 

The best way to improve your products, services, and customer experience is to take customer feedback. You can run behind customers with a lengthy feedback form, but that’s less likely to help. That’s where you can engage customers with SMS to acquire text-based feedback. 

Engage with surveys and polls

Sending surveys and polls via SMS offers a convenient and immediate way to engage customers. Craft concise, targeted questions that elicit specific feedback about products, services, or overall customer experience. 

Here are some survey questions you can ask for boosting retention with texts: 

  • Product/service satisfaction: How satisfied are you with your recent purchase/service on a scale of 1 to 5?
  • Customer experience: Would you recommend our brand to others? (Yes/No)
  • Product improvement: Which specific feature would you like to see improved the most: [Feature 1], [Feature 2], [Feature 3]?
  • Ease of use: Was the navigation on our website/app easy for you? (Yes/No)
  • Feedback on promotions/discounts: How likely are you to engage with our discounts in the future? Very likely/Likely/Neutral/Unlikely/Very unlikely
  • Overall suggestions: Would you like to receive information about new products via SMS in the future? (Yes/No)

These simple questions will boost your understanding of the audience, and you can tailor your strategies accordingly. But remember not to send too many messages or lengthy surveys, and never ignore the opt-out requests. Also, ensure you use SMS marketing analytics to monitor the performance of these surveys. 

Show you are listening 

When customers see that their opinions, suggestions, and concerns are heard and result in meaningful changes, it reinforces the notion that their needs are a priority for the business. This could include resolving issues with a product or service, improving a specific aspect of the customer experience, or implementing changes based on suggestions. 

Such responsiveness shows that their feedback is acknowledged and acted upon swiftly. And when you consistently work on customer feedback, it builds trust and credibility, leading to repeat business. 

In fact, the collected feedback will help you work on additional features that enhance your product or service. It’s all about catering to the needs and gaps your users experience in your product. 

4. Birthday and Anniversary Messages

Birthdays and anniversaries are the days of the year that deserve special attention and surprises. One way to make your customers feel you care about them is to never miss out on giving offers on their special days. It builds a sense of emotional connection that the brand cares about the individual behind the purchase. 

The impact is enormous as the customers start associating the brand with thoughtful gestures and positive experiences. It will also influence their decision to choose the brand for future purchases. Also, in a competitive market where customers have several options, acknowledging personal milestones can add a personal touch that distinguishes the brand from others.  

Offer special treats

As part of celebrating personal milestones, offering special treats through exclusive offers or discounts adds an extra layer of appreciation. Here’s how: 

  • Give customers a special discount or offer exclusive to their birthday or anniversary. It could be a percentage off their next purchase or a complimentary item with their order.
  • Accompany the special treat with a personalized thank-you note expressing gratitude
  • Consider offering complimentary gifts or additional services as a special treat

Here’s an example you can use to engage customers with SMS: 

“Happy Birthday, Sam! 🎂 Wishing you a day filled with joy and celebrations. As a token of our appreciation, enjoy a special 20% birthday discount on your next purchase. Use code: BDAY20. Cheers to another fantastic year ahead!”

5. Loyalty Programs via SMS

If you have a loyalty program, you need to leverage SMS as it allows direct and immediate communication with customers. Loyalty program updates, rewards, and promotions can be instantly delivered to customers’ mobile devices, ensuring the message is received promptly. 

The best part? You know that the customers want to receive these messages as they deliberately opt-in for them. All you need to do is make them compelling enough to get a response. 

Introduce an SMS Loyalty Program

Start by outlining the objectives of your SMS loyalty program, such as increased customer retention, boosting sales with SMS automation, expanding customer engagement, collecting customer data, etc. Once you have clear goals in mind, focus on: 

  • Choosing an SMS marketing platform with loyalty features
  • Encourage customers to opt into your SMS loyalty program
  • Create a simple registration process for customer enrollment
  • Divide SMS subscribers into segments for targeted messaging
  • Clearly explain how customers can earn points and redeem rewards
  • Use customer data to send personalized offers and promotions
  • Set up an automated system for welcome messages, updates, and notifications

Reward Regular Customers

Your regular customers deserve special treatment. That’s where you need different rewards for your loyal customers. Here are some options to consider: 

  • Offer percentage-based discounts or special coupons for loyal customers on their next purchase. Such immediate benefits motivate them to return and make another transaction. 
  • Implement a points system where customers accumulate points with each purchase. These points can be redeemed for discounts, free products, or exclusive perks, creating a sense of value. 
  • Who doesn’t love exclusive access to sales or products? Surprise your loyal customers by providing early access to sales, new product releases, or exclusive events. 
  • Create tiered loyalty programs with increasing benefits as customers move up the tiers. This structure encourages customers to reach higher levels by making more purchases. 
  • Personalization is a key tactic that isn’t leaving anytime soon. Take advantage of it and tailor promotions based on individual customer preferences and purchase history. 

Best Practices for SMS Marketing for customer retention 

Let’s now look at some best practices for SMS marketing customer retention: 

  • Obtain explicit consent – We know you are all set with bombarding your enticing offers and discounts to customers’ inboxes. But ensure that you have explicit permission from customers before sending them messages. Implement a clear opt-in process, such as double opt-in confirmation, to be clear that your customers want to hear from you. 
  • Personalize your SMS messages – Gone are the days when you could type one message and send it to all, and sales would go through the roof. This era demands personalization and requires engaging with the audience differently. Personalize the message to individual recipients and use their names, reference past purchases, or tailor promotions based on their messages. 
  • Mindful frequency – Let’s get one thing out in the open- sending too many messages daily won’t do anything. It would overwhelm your customers, and they will opt out. That’s where you need to be strategic about the frequency of your SMS messages. Remember that the goal is to be on their radar without becoming intrusive. 
  • Clear opt-out options – As much as it hurts, sometimes you just need to let your customers go. So, provide a straightforward and easily accessible opt-out mechanism in every SMS. Respect customers’ preferences and make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your messages. 

Boost customer retention with the right SMS marketing tactics

Now that you have everything for SMS marketing customer retention, it’s time to start. SMS marketing can take your sales to the next level with personalized offers, exclusive updates, and engaging surveys. All you need to do is correctly use the timing and the knowledge about your customers, and you are good to go. 

When building customer relationships, ensure that you are not missing out on SMS marketing—the most personal and direct way of communication. 

Ready to get started with SMS marketing for customer retention? 

Get started with TxtCart

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