4 Basic Principles of Marketing Automation SMS in eCommerce
Are you responsible for the marketing communication of an eCommerce store? Are you using one of the most popular marketing automation platforms? Do you include SMS in your communication strategy? If you do, that’s awesome! But are you sure you’re sending SMS-es the right way?
Leading online stores achieve an SMS open rate of as much as 98%! And 69% of their messages are read within 5 minutes! How is that possible? Text messages are much more noticeable than messages received via any other communication channel. As a rule, the content of the message is read and the link is clicked. But the success of SMS marketing depends largely on the skillful design of the communication and its neat execution. For if you approach mobile marketing without reflection and simply send out secondary content, you risk alienating your subscribers.
Here are 4 simple rules to help you create successful SMS marketing campaigns.
1. No–Spam SMS Marketing
This should be obvious to you, but just in case it’s not I’ll say it again: only send text messages to your subscribers if you truly have something important to tell them. Important meaning you’re offering a real benefit and requiring an action on their part. This can be a notification for a special instant sale or a discount code with a short validity period. You should also send no more than four SMS messages a month.
What’s more, do not bother your customers with the same message in each channel, i.e. in a text message, email and via social media. Each of them serves a different purpose – and SMS should be your special weapon in this arsenal. By using this communication channel with caution, you will make your recipients expect every new message with excitement! They will associate SMS-es from you with a special offer that they should not miss.
2. Send Short and Clear SMS-es
Remember that you’re not sending your subscribers an essay or a short story to read. This is marketing communication, so keep your texts short, clear, and to the point. You only have 160 characters, but if you can do it with fewer characters, that’s even better. Be witty in your communication, but avoid confusing abbreviations, emoticons, and MESSAGES IN ALL CAPS. Also, avoid intrusive sales – keep a dialogue, and treat your subscribers with respect.
Of course, you can make exceptions to this rule from time to time. If the nature of your target audience allows it, you can insert an emoticon or write more risky content. Such treatment can bring better results than neutral messages, but it’s important that you have a good relationship with your audience. It’s also worth applying the data collected by your eCommerce about specific customers to personalize the content sent. It’s not so much about addressing the recipient by their name, but about offering products tailored to their activity in your eStore. With an SMS you can remind them of the products they were browsing or even of their abandoned baskets.
You should remember to always specify the expiration date of the offer in your message as well. This will prompt your subscribers to act immediately. Your recipients should know who they received a message from, why they received it, what benefits it brings and how they should react to it (click on a link and go to the store, log in to the application, complete an interrupted transaction, etc.) as soon as they check their phone.
Additionally, if you include a promotional code in your SMS (which is a very good idea!) consider using branded URL. Such links additionally draw recipients’ attention, increasing the chances that they will do what you want them to do. Also, consider adding UTM parameters to the links you put in the body of your message. This will allow you to track the effects of your campaigns in Google Analytics. However, in order for such a link to fit in a single SMS message, it’s worth shortening it.
3. Send Individual SMS Messages
When designing SMS campaigns, don’t go the easy way and send a mass message to all subscribers without distinguishing who they are and what you know about them. Use mass SMS sending only when you have a message to convey for the entire subscriber base. In any other situation, messages tailored to individual customer subgroups will be much better suited. Segment users according to their common behaviors and prepare several versions of your communications – one for each of the segments. Try to treat each user as an individual as often as possible. Even if you are mass sending messages to thousands of contacts in your database – use personalized messages, i.e. those based on the purchasing preferences and behavior of specific subscribers in your online store.
You can also surprise select customers – especially the most active ones, i.e. those who buy the most or spend the most in your eStore – by sending individual promotional codes on their birthday or on the anniversary of their first purchase. This will make them feel appreciated and they will want to stay with your brand or eStore for longer. Don’t believe it works? One of our clients, Polish brand MK Fresh, achieved a 67% increase in their order value (OV), a 34% increase in click-through rate (CTR), and a 33% increase in conversion rate (CVR) thanks to sending customers discount codes on the anniversary of their first purchase!
4. SMS Marketing Is a Part of a Bigger Plan
When designing SMS communication, remember that using this channel alone will not increase your orders or average order value, nor will it build the loyalty of your existing customers. SMS is just one of the marketing channels. Make sure that you also include other channels in your marketing strategy, such as email, mobile, and/or web push notifications. Ultimately, it is multi-channel communication that marketing automation solutions are used for.
If you surround your subscribers with consistent multi-channel marketing communication based on personalized content, they will read your messages and make further purchases from you. Choose a purpose for each channel to serve and measure their effectiveness. Also pay attention to whether the set goals do not coincide. The uniqueness and complementarity of content is the key to effective communication and, at the same time, to building customer loyalty.
What Is Your SMS Marketing Like?
If you have used marketing automation to a limited extent so far, i.e. you have sent messages only via email or mobile, it should now be clear why you need to include SMS communication in this process. And if you already have, make sure you stick to the above rules.
If you already use SMS in your multichannel marketing communication successfully, we would like to know: what techniques have you tried so far and how effective have they been? Please let us know!