If there is one thing all online businesses focus on, it is increasing their subscriber lists. If you are an eCommerce business, your only way to engage consumers is through digital mediums – email, SMS, social media, and your website.
However, most brands struggle to reach goals from the campaigns they run on those subscriber lists.
The reason: Unclean lists.
But while everyone has been focusing on keeping their email list healthy, we are here to talk about why the next clean-up needs to be on your SMS list.
Why is SMS list cleaning important?
We cannot stress enough on keeping your SMS list clean. For one reason only – engagement.
As an eCommerce business, you want your list to be extensive because that means you will engage more people.
A long list does not always equal more engagement.
But, SMS has an almost 50% open rate. You may argue.
True, but your SMS campaigns will bear these results only if your list is clean. No matter how good your campaigns are, if your list is not clean, you won’t get the same results.
And who do you clean out from your list? Well, your unhealthy subscribers. People who are on the SMS list but have no interest in what you have to offer or have simply lost interest over time.
But before we get started, let’s go over who unhealthy and healthy subscribers are.
Who are healthy SMS subscribers?
- Healthy subscribers are those who engage with your SMS campaigns
- Mostly, these are subscribers who explicitly signed up to your SMS list
- They have an active phone number
- Healthy subscribers can be further segmented into those who actively engage and those who engage passively or sometimes
Who are unhealthy SMS subscribers?
- People who subscribed at one point and have fallen off
- Subscribers who do not find value in what you have to offer
- Subscribers who do not engage with any of your campaigns
- People who may have subscribed long ago but are no longer engaged
Now that you know who you’re looking at in your SMS subscribers list, let’s move to how you should be cleaning your SMS list.
Shopify store SMS list cleaning methods
1. Follow regulation-compliance best practices
A shopper might have purchased from you and shared their phone number but that does not mean they have permitted you to send them promotional messages.
Keep in mind that different countries have different compliance rules. So if you have shoppers and subscribers across countries, you must keep abreast with the rules and regulations of that country and update your SMS list accordingly.
Also, it is not okay to purchase SMS lists. You will never know if the one who built the list has followed all compliances or not.
2. Integrate with your business data
The best thing for businesses to do is to have all the contact numbers in one place. However, if you have multiple lists, you should consider integration of data. For example, if different departments in your organization maintain different lists, integrate your SMS list with your business data.
That way, your list will get updated with new contact numbers automatically. You will also be able to remove redundant data easily; keeping your SMS list to the point.
3. Follow customer segmentation
The more organized your contact list is, the better you can manage it. For example, say you segment customers based on geographic location, age, gender, interests, and demographics, you will find it much easier to keep your lists clean and updated.
Segmentation in lists also helps to understand problems. For example, if a lot of subscribers from a list start falling off, you will be able to assess the reason and it will make it easier for you to find a solution to re-engage those subscribers through targeted SMS campaigns.
If you have an app like TxtCart, this will get much easier for you to manage!
4. Remove duplicate phone numbers
You may have duplicate phone numbers on your list. For example, some customers might have forgotten that they have already subscribed to your list. They may have subscribed twice. As a result, you will have the same phone numbers repeated in the list. At times, you might have merged two lists resulting in duplicate numbers.
Now, if you send the same messages multiple times to customers, it might irritate them. Moreover, these customers might avoid opening multiple SMSes, which will show as poor open rates for your campaigns.
5. Keep a track of your unsubscribed contacts
Just the way people have an option to unsubscribe from email lists, they can unsubscribe from SMS lists, too. A lot of brands send a default ‘unsubscribe’ option in every message they send to customers. And subscribers that are no longer interested in your messages might unsubscribe.
You should keep a tab on the unsubscribed numbers and make sure that they are removed from your SMS list.
If you do want to maintain those contact details, create a separate list of unsubscribers. This can be a cold email list that you can run promotional campaigns on at a later stage.
6. Remove fake numbers
Shoppers sharing incorrect numbers is a common problem. Instead of refusing to share their contact numbers, many shoppers purposely share incorrect phone numbers.
So when you send them SMSes, it means either your messages are going to the wrong person or no one. This results in lower open rates.
One way to identify and remove fake numbers is to send a subscription confirmation message after someone subscribes. This will help you validate the subscription as well!
7. Rectify typos and numbers entered wrongly
Your list may have phone numbers that were wrongly entered. For example, you forgot to enter the + sign before the code or you typed the alphabet ‘O’ in place of a zero. From time to time, you should rectify these typos to keep your contact list clean to avoid text message bounce.
Again, a subscription confirmation message should help you avoid this issue.
These are some of the best practices to follow to keep your SMS list clean.
But many people avoid cleaning their lists because they fear that their numbers will go down.
We say it’s quality over quantity!
If you want your SMS campaigns to work and get you more sales, keeping your list healthy is the best way to go about it. Moreover, even if you clean your list, you will also be adding new contacts to it from new subscribers and orders you receive on your Shopify store.
So don’t fret!
This brings us to ways in which you can grow the SMS list of your Shopify store.
Ways to grow your SMS list with quality subscribers
1. Offer SMS exclusive discounts
A good way to grow your SMS list is to run campaigns that promote SMS-only discounts. This means, offer discounts and deals to shoppers in exchange for their phone numbers. To run such campaigns, you can use your existing channels such as email, social media, and your website.
2. Use shortcode
You must have come across messages such as ‘Text 45454 to know more about this deal.’ The five-digit number is called a shortcode. It makes it easy for shoppers to send text messages to your brand and for you to add them to your SMS list. You can use shortcodes to offer discounts, promote sales, share one-time passwords, collect feedback via SMS, etc.
3. Use pop-ups to collect phone numbers
Pop-ups have a high success rate when you want to share messages with shoppers. And you can smartly use it to collect contact numbers as well. Think creatively and you can do this in many ways. For example, share a discount with an SMS opt-in invitation. Invite your website visitors to subscribe to your SMS list through pop-ups. Ask first-time customers if you could send them promotional messages.
4. Use email campaigns to grow your SMS list
If you have a strong email list, why not utilize it to grow your SMS list? Think about it, people subscribed to your email list because they like your brand or products. And so, they will be more than happy to subscribe to your SMS list.
5. Collect SMS subscribers from out of stock products
It’s common for products to stock out in your store. You can use this opportunity to grow your SMS list. Allow shoppers to subscribe to back-in-stock notifications through SMS. It is also an effective way to gather genuine and interested shoppers who will most likely make purchases.
6. Request for referrals
Your existing and loyal customers can not only help you increase your brand awareness, sales, but they can also help you grow your SMS list. The human brain is wired to trust people. When someone we know recommends a brand or a product, we’re more likely to buy from the brand. Use this opportunity to increase your SMS list. Request your most loyal customers to refer friends by sharing their contact numbers.
There’s a lot you can do with each of the points we shared above.
To read more on these hacks to grow your Shopify store SMS list, read here.
Best practices to keep your Shopify store SMS list healthy
1. Always segment your SMS subscribers
As we discussed earlier, segmenting your customers helps keep your lists clean. It means all your contacts will remain organized and makes further cleaning much easier based on dropouts.
2. Clean your SMS list regularly
Popular marketing expert Neil Patel cleans his lists every week! While it may be ambitious for eCommerce brands to clean their lists so often, regular cleaning is a must. So that your list will always be up to date.
3. Personalize your SMS marketing campaigns
People sign up to SMS lists for different reasons. Over time, they might not find the same value in your messages. This is where personalization can help. Send personalized messages so that subscribers who aren’t interested anymore can unsubscribe from your SMS list.
4. Make it easy to unsubscribe
Allow subscribers to unsubscribe easily. And it is okay if they want to go. Instead of marking your contact number as spam, you’d rather remove these numbers from your list. Pretty much similar to the little ‘unsubscribe’ button you see at the bottom of the email.
Should you clean your Shopify store SMS list?
No matter what stage your online business is at, it is important to keep your Shopify store SMS list clean.
In times when engagement drives conversions, it is important to focus on staying in touch with subscribers and customers who are truly interested in what you have to offer.
We’ve given you a complete lowdown on how to keep your SMS list clean and the best practices to follow. But don’t feel overwhelmed!
Shopify SMS marketing apps like TxtCart make it easier for you to increase your subscribers as well as keep them engaged.
How do we do it?
We implement smart SMS marketing automations along with a team of eCommerce live agents that make sure your campaigns convert!