Brands need to be in all the same places that customers are these days, and where customers are, is on their phones. While in the past, having a mobile-friendly ecommerce experience was enough, today, you need to be mobile-first. And that means communicating with shoppers the way they communicate with each other — via text.
Brands who shy away from SMS marketing often do so because they worry that their communications will be seen as spammy. But consumers have embraced texting with brands — in fact, a recent Yotpo survey of UK shoppers showed that over 72% are signed up to receive text messages from at least one brand. If you’re not utilising SMS as a marketing channel, there’s a good chance your direct competitors will, if they aren’t already.
Here are five ways that SMS can help you level up your marketing strategy.
#1 Breathe new life into your email marketing
Email is still an effective channel for ecommerce marketing, but with overflowing inboxes and filters for promotions, communicating time-sensitive information like limited-time offers and order status can be a challenge. That’s where SMS comes in.
When we asked UK shoppers what would make them sign up for SMS in addition to email, over 46% said they want to know immediately about promotions, offers, and updates. In addition, 28% said their email inboxes are overflowing, so they are more likely to see a brand’s message if it’s via text. More than 26% also noted that it would be worth signing up if each channel has its own exclusive offers.
Using SMS and email in tandem increases the likelihood of getting your messages read, but you need to be strategic about which messages are sent on each channel. In general, email is best for monthly newsletters, account information, and customer re-engagement. SMS, on the other hand, works best for alerts, transactional notifications, limited-time offers, and even customer support.
#2 Reduce cart abandonment
On average, over 67% of customers abandon their carts on ecommerce websites. That’s lost revenue, which may be dismissed as the cost of doing business, but it doesn’t have to be.
A shopper might just need that extra push to bring them back. More than 19% of carts can be recovered with abandoned cart-specific SMS messages. You can boost that even more with visuals of the item and social proof like ratings and reviews.
Get more tactics for reducing cart abandonment on the Swanky blog.
#3 Boost loyalty programme engagement
If your brand has a loyalty programme, SMS is one of the best ways to manage communications with your VIP customers. When your loyalty and SMS solutions are integrated, you can segment and send personalised messages about points balance, loyalty tiers, and more to keep customers engaged in between purchases and give them a reason to come back.
The benefits of this synergy work both ways, too — you can incentivise your loyalty members to sign up for texts with points and rewards.
#4 Maximise exposure for new products and sales
Appealing to a customer’s FOMO is an effective way to keep them engaged.
Alert your audience about an exciting new product your brand just released so they can be the first to know and the first to buy. Use segmentation to target specific customers with relevant new products based on their past purchases.
Create a sense of urgency by sending a limited-time offer via SMS. Provide a time window (“Two hours remaining!”) to redeem the offer to give customers that fear of missing out.
#5 Lessen the impact of privacy changes and future regulations
SMS marketing is built for the privacy-first, consumer-first, mobile-first landscape. As long as you’re using an SMS service provider that is GDPR-compliant, you won’t have to worry about running afoul of ever-changing guidelines. It’s easy for subscribers to opt out of SMS marketing, but they rarely do — the average opt-out rate is less than 5%.
It’s time to embrace SMS, before your competitors do
There you have it — five reasons why you should prioritise SMS marketing in your ecommerce strategy. Now you know just how many benefits it can bring to your business, it’s time to get started.
Working with Yotpo and Swanky, you’ll have a carefully crafted SMS strategy that creates an excellent mobile experience for your shoppers and increases all the metrics that matter.
Swanky’s Head of Growth, Matt Abbott, says:
“SMS marketing might not yet see wide adoption in the UK, but we like to be ahead of the curve, and being a data driven agency, the numbers show that it is a highly desirable and valuable communication tool for brands and consumers alike (when it’s done right).
“When it comes to getting started with SMS, ask your customers for feedback, analyse your data, optimise as you go, and it will quickly become one of your brand’s top revenue drivers.”
Talk to the team at Swanky today to find out more about how they deliver managed SMS services for Yotpo.