Have you noticed how many people are hunched over and texting wherever you go? It seems, with nimble thumbs, they are forever typing away on their cellphones. It’s this behavior that benefits SMS marketing.
eCommerce SMS marketing offers brands an efficient way to connect with customers or prospects wherever they are. It enhances customer experience and increases customer loyalty. Where emails were once the advertising method of choice, text message marketing delivers targeted and relevant promotions right to the palm of a customer’s hands with over 90% open rates.
Why is SMS marketing for eCommerce businesses an essential marketing tool? You will find out the answers in this blog post.
Benefits of SMS Marketing
Marketers strive to interact with on-the-go consumers regardless of time and wherever they are. Short Message Service (SMS) marketing can leverage this opportunity, especially in travel, consumable products, real estate, and the financial industries.
Here are five ways that SMS can benefit your marketing efforts:
1. Ideal for DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) Brands
Inboxes have become stuffed with emails, and spam filters have decreased the deliverability of commercial emails considerably. The average open rate of 563 million emails sent to Gmail account holders in September 2021 was only 14.1%. Yahoo’s 107.4 million had an average open rate of only 9.9%.
Texting is hyper-personal. Brands can instantly connect with consumers on a personal level and reach a more targeted and engaged audience. DTC brands can utilize the same customer data as email marketers to segment lists and personalize messages.
SMS provides online retailers of all sizes to have a two-way conversation between themselves and their customers.
2. Faster Engagement
Customers can pull out their phones, scan a message, and decide to respond within a few seconds. The average text response rate is about 90 seconds. Compare that to 90 minutes for the average email response.
Texting is a practical and effective method to recover lost revenue from abandoned carts or boost a product launch. SMS is the preferred method for consumers to receive customer service inquiries.
It still comes down to customer preference. Some people like receiving emails, while others only respond to text messages.
A proper SMS marketing strategy uses both email and SMS to complement each other, not as a replacement. When combined with email campaigns, text follow-up messages can boost email open rates by 20% to 30%.
3. Great For Limited Editions and Limited Time Offers
Another benefit of text marketing is the ability to send direct links instantly to create a sense of urgency. For example, let’s say you want to promote something to your VIP customers. Send them a text telling them there are only “XX units left, and we wanted you to have the first chance to buy one before they sell out.”
Sending a direct link to the product with a limited-time offer is proven to boost sales fast.
4. It Grabs Attention Instantly
Text messages are an instant way to communicate with your audience. Mobile phone users get an alert as an SMS arrives. Text messages automatically receive immediate urgency and priority over other messages because people have been conditioned to respond.
It can take customers less than 5 seconds to scan a text on their cellphones. It’s the perfect medium to reach busy people. Marketers must ensure that the message is timely, interesting, and relevant to avoid being ignored or blocked.
5. Cost-Effective and Affordable
PC Magazine did a survey comparing text marketing to email marketing. SMS beat emails in these three categories:
- Open Rates 5x higher - Text 98% | Email 20%
- Response Rates 8x higher – Text 45% | 6% Email
- Response Time 60x higher – Text 90 seconds | Email 90 minutes
As with email marketing, prices vary by vendor, the number of messages you send, and the individual plan. You can find individual SMS rates from a half-cent to two cents per message, or you can purchase a flat rate starting around $75 for 2,000 text messages. Be sure to understand your needs before shopping for a plan.
The ROI for text messaging can be faster than with other marketing channels. Klaviyo reports that ROI for their SMS marketing is 25x higher than email marketing. They cite that the list is generally smaller, and the people have a higher engagement level.
"The ROI on SMS messaging is outstanding! I feel grateful to help brands scale and generate revenue with an immediate return on investment"
- Karis Reiter SMS CSM at Yotpo SMS Bump
Text Marketing Software
Source: SMS Bump
We have successfully partnered with a few companies if you are new to SMS marketing and don’t know where to start. Our eCommerce SMS marketing partners are Klaviyo, Attentive, and Yotpo SMS Bump. They provide messaging analytics and marketing automation for eCommerce companies of medium up to enterprise levels.
SMS marketing is cost-effective over time. The trackable results help to increase open and engagement rates. Like email, tracking reveals detailed metrics such as unsubscribes, how many texts got sent, which people received them, which links were opened, and by whom. Marketers can also determine which messages failed and why.
To get the highest return from your text marketing, you need a good strategy.
SMS Marketing Strategy
A successful text marketing campaign requires a sound strategy to achieve tangible results and increased engagement. Plan your messages as carefully as you would in other channels to ensure your messages hit the mark. Here are some content strategies to consider before you send a text:
- Encourage customers to engage with the brand
- Send timely, valuable, and exclusive offers
- Use SMS to enhance other channels and email campaigns
- Send your customers in-store recommendations
- Use opt-in loyalty lists both nationally and locally, in-store
Personalization, thank you messages, and special offers should be standard with any text marketing strategy. They provide prolonged engagement and the opportunity to foster lifelong relationships.
Email and SMS Must Work Together
As we mentioned earlier, emails and text messaging are not mutually exclusive. They should enhance each other. For example, send follow-up text reminders to open vital emails. Send both email and SMS for automation workflows such as cart abandonment, new subscriber, first-time purchase, etc. They are both relevant marketing channels for eCommerce merchants and their customers.
Are you ready to test a text message service provider? A full-service marketing agency can help you choose the correct text messaging marketing partner for your needs.
eCommerce retailers that use SMS as a marketing channel tap into another level of opportunities.