Customers are spoilt for choice. If you don’t engage them and help them make decisions, another brand will. If that sounds worrying, well, yes, it is.
Customers expect brands to focus on their entire customer journey, not just on one-off, individual experiences. And marketers cannot agree more. 85% have seen better results when their marketing strategies focus on the entire customer journey.
So, to get you started, in this blog, we’ll focus on SMS marketing strategies that you must include in your plan.
At this stage, shoppers are in the awareness stage – they’d want to learn about your brand before engaging. And therefore, you must make sure that you approach your SMS marketing in a planned fashion.
Let’s see how you can go about it.
The fact that people have shared their phone numbers with you means they’re interested in your brand and are expecting exciting things from you. And so, your first SMS to them can make or break their impression of your brand.
Hence, make your first text message one that makes a mark on them. But with the limited possibilities in a text-based platform like SMS, how do you do that?
An MMS is a multimedia messaging service through which you can send multimedia content such as a message, a picture, among other media, via phone. Here are some ideas:
- Establish your brand tone and voice through your first MMS
- Get the subscriber excited and wanting to buy from your brand
- Personalize your first message
98% of people don’t end up buying from a site on their first visit. Chances are that your new subscribers visited your site, liked your products, but didn’t buy anything. Instead, they signed up for your SMS list.
So what should you do next?
Nudge these new subscribers with a special offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start by giving out small discounts. For example, a 10% off or free shipping on the first order
- Have an expiry date to the discount offer to get on-the-fence subscribers to take action
- If this shopper doesn’t convert, offer a higher discount after a couple of days/weeks
- You can even try out different offers. Use A/B testing to figure out which kind of discounts work for which segment of subscribers
- Instead of sending just one SMS for the discount offer, send a series to get better results.
Your subscribers are still pretty much in the first phase of engagement with your brand. It’s the right time to work towards removing any purchase barriers that they might have. One of the biggest barriers could be payment options.
In addition to the various payment options, you can allow shoppers to buy now and pay later (BNPL). Since your subscribers are still in the consideration stage, it might make their decision easier if they know they can split the payment. They’d feel more confident.
60% of shoppers abandon carts because of unexpected added costs during checkout. Chances are that if you offer flexible payment options, shoppers will find it more convenient and end up converting.
After customers have made a purchase, it’s time to nurture them. Send them follow up SMSes, for example these:
- Ask them to rate their purchase experience
- Request them for a review of the product they bought
- Share educational content about the product
- Share user guides, etc.
- Show customers how others have used the product
The idea is to refrain from sending promotional text messages right after shoppers have made a purchase. Give your customers some time to use the product. Let them find the initial value in your product. Then, approach them with new product recommendations, to upsell and cross-sell.
Once customers make a purchase from your site, you have to identify opportunities to provide more value to them. In other words, send them ice-breaker messages. There are many kinds of text messages you can them:
- Send SMS updates about their order status
- Send them live delivery tracker information
- Share invitations to sign them up on your other channels and features
- Identify their issues and address them
So far so good!
Once a new subscriber converts, you must ensure you keep up by providing the best customer experience they’ve ever had. Bad experiences drive customers away much faster than you can imagine.
Now it’s time to keep up with your customers.
You’ve done great to get your customers to this stage. Now, it’s time to keep them with you. Retain them. It’s much more profitable to keep your existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.
- Hand-hold your customers and provide support to them
- Offer customer exclusive offers, first access, etc.
- Invite them to join your loyalty program
- Offer a discount for the next purchase
- Personalize your text messages
- Share reviews of your products
- Respond to their queries and concerns
- Address gaps in customer satisfaction
- Use SMS to drive them to your other channels; engage them there
86% of consumers say personalized text messages drive their purchase decisions. SMS is a personal channel. It helps you interact directly with the individual only. And so, every text message from your brand to your subscribers should be crafted carefully. Moreover, you have the opportunity to personalize your messages. How do you go about that?
Make use of data. By now, your customers might have shopped a couple of times from you. You have their details, browsing history, purchase history, etc. These details can give you insights about their interests and needs.
Here’s what you should do:
- Get to know your customers better through data
- Analyze their past and current behavior
- Develop specific personalized campaigns based on the data
As you continue building SMS marketing campaigns, it’s important to keep evolving it with new data and insights that you gain about your customers.
Moreover, as a business, your goals and objectives, too, might keep changing from time-to-time. And so, there’s a greater need to reassess your SMS marketing strategy to align it with your goals.
Here are a few things to do:
- Make use of data to develop new SMS campaigns from time-to-time
- Keep a track of the frequency of your texts – too many can annoy subscribers. Too few, and your subscribers might forget about your brand
- Measure the intent and needs of each individual subscriber from time-to-time. Then, create targeted, personalized SMS campaigns
Finally, at this stage, whether your customer likes you or shows signs of dislike, do one thing for sure – talk like a human.
You can’t engage customers beyond a point when you have scripted, automated messages and responses. For example, if you’re helping customers solve an issue, it might be okay to keep the communication language strictly professional. But if a customer is reaching out to share positive feedback, reply more as a person would – be yourself.
Now, being an online store, it’s difficult to bring in the human touch. But not impossible. Do it with a two-way SMS marketing strategy. And you don’t have to do all of it manually. An app like TxtCart can help you to balance SMS marketing automation and human touch at the same time. Two-way SMs marketing has many benefits:
- Add warmth to your communication
- Release customer’s purchase anxieties and doubts
- Nurture long-term customer relationships
- Upsell and cross-sell easily
- Turn abandoned carts into conversions
Let’s be honest. SMS campaigns can get annoying for subscribers. But not if it’s done right. And SMS automation has evolved a lot in recent years. Hence, find a good SMS marketing app and get creative with your text messages. One more thing, keep a track of it.
Keep it flexible. Keep it interesting.