The SMS Ecommerce Revolution Has Just Begun
There are more than 5.27 billion unique mobile phone users right now. That’s 67.1% of the global population! With numbers like these, it is no wonder why text messaging is making it big in the business world. Many brands thinking about more ways to reach out to their customers, and SMS messages are taking center stage. The revolution is just getting underway. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of SMS Marketing
SMS has been around for a while now and using texts as a marketing avenue has surely revolutionized the way brands do business. Making use of SMS Marketing enhances your campaigns, whether as a standalone strategy or with other channels.
Here are just some of the benefits that show how SMS Marketing is taking over the business world by storm:
- With staggering global mobile usage, businesses who engage the help of SMS Marketing are essentially opening their audience to, well, just about anyone with a mobile phone. Studies revealed that users touch their mobile phones twice as much as they perceive themselves to. This opens a direct and quick form of marketing for brands who want to reach their target customers.
- Text messages are shown to have a 98% open rate. This means that the SMS messages businesses send out are bound to get seen and read. In comparison, emails only have an open rate of 18%, which means that less people will open the content sent to them there.
- With SMS Marketing tools, businesses can now make use of mass texting or automation features to implement a scalable marketing strategy. Gone are the days where marketers must painstakingly personalize or manually remember to send out reminders or promotions. SMS Marketing is a much easier solution.
- With SMS Marketing, it takes an average of 90 seconds to respond. Another great thing is that 45% of customers who receive SMS messages will reply to the business. This is a great way for businesses to gather feedback and stir conversations and foster stronger relationships.
- By enabling customers to opt-in to SMS campaigns, brands can have more accurate data to understand their audience. In 2020, nearly 49 million customers chose to opt-in to a SMS campaign from a business. For brands, this means a bigger pool of customers, more valuable leads, and data.
How Consumers Really Feel About SMS Marketing
New studies find that 75% of customers want to receive text messages from a brand. This places brands that engage SMS Marketing in a positive light, as customers are generally accepting of text marketing. 56% of US retailers considered SMS an emerging technology and plan to use it moving forward. This presents an opportunity right now for businesses to enter a less-saturated environment and beat out competition to retain attention and engagement.
While marketers may feel that directly reaching out to customers on their mobile phones can be invasive, texting has become a norm for many businesses. Across industries – from healthcare, retail, beauty and more – businesses are engaging their customers on their smartphones to deliver valuable content, updates, promotional offers and more.
SMS has proven to be a valuable marketing channel. Sales conversion rates can be as high as 51.9% for welcome emails and soaring opt-in rates are just two of the metrics that define how useful SMS Marketing could be.
Types of SMS Marketing
Modern forms of marketing allow, or even require, businesses to be creative to stand out. There are many ways to harness the power of text messaging.
Some common types of SMS marketing include the following:
- Sales: Sending limited time offers and sales, promotions, discounts and coupons.
- Customer service: Enabling two-way communication and decrease lead time to respond to enquiries.
- Audience engagement: Sending important updates or news.
- Market research: Conducting surveys or polls over text messages to get instant replies.
- Nurture relationships: Following up post purchase, sending personalized birthday wishes and even welcome messages.
- Reminders: Reminding customers about expiring coupons or abandoned carts.
- Alerts: Sending shipping updates, appointment reminders and other important alerts.
How to Know Your Strategy is Working
A vital part of effective marketing is keeping track of output. Marketers can measure and quantify their results by tracking key metrics to see how their campaigns are doing. The results are also analyzed to see what can be done better, what has been done right, and what can be removed.
When it comes to SMS marketing for growth, there are a few metrics to tell if your strategy is really working:
Churn Rate: It’s a painful day when a marketer loses a subscriber, but it happens. Churn rate refers to the number of customers that unsubscribe to a service over a period. Customers eventually stop responding or unsubscribe due to a lack of interest or they may find the service redundant. This is inevitable for any marketing campaign for any platform, but if your churn rates are increasing or higher than usual, it may be time to revisit the frequency and type of content your business puts out.
Contact List Growth: Every business loves it when they gain a new lead or customer. Contact list size is a great indicator of how many customers are opting into SMS campaigns, recommending their friends and family to, and staying for the content. In other words, these are the reachable client base, and is a list that is proportional to business and revenue growth. Following best practices can help marketers and businesses grow a steady and scalable contact list through their SMS Marketing activities.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTRs are one of the most common metrics in marketing. At its core, CTR tells a business whether their marketing collateral is working to provide the desired action. It measures the number of people that clicked on a link, text, or media to move on to the next step in the customer journey. CTRs can be improved through specific calls-to-action or generating engaging and compelling content. Ultimately, your SMS Marketing goals are to drive traffic and sales to your business, and your CTR tells you exactly which of your customers are doing it.
Conversion Rate: One of the main objectives of any marketing strategy is to drive sales. Conversion rates tell you how many of your viewers became actual paying customers. A higher conversion rate essentially says that your strategies are working. However, if more customers are reading and ignoring your texts, it may be time to refine the way your business is communicating with them.
Return on Investment (ROI): In short, businesses need to make money. ROIs tell you how much profit you are getting back on your investment amount. To put it simply, ROI is the revenue generated from SMS Marketing activities over the money your business spends on SMS Marketing in total. If a business is spending more than they should to generate low profits, it shows that the campaigns are not producing optimal output.
Best practices for SMS Marketing
What are some of the best practices you can put into place for your SMS marketing campaign? Here are a few you should take into consideration.
- Be concise, but not confusing: Smaller mobile screens, paired with shorter attention spans, means that marketers must keep their messages short and clear. However, this does not mean to limit creativity. Writing snappy and compelling copy can easily catch the attention of the reader and convince them to act.
- Add a touch of personalization: In a data-driven world, businesses are given the opportunity to tailor specific messaging to individuals. Marketers who know their customers can send out personalized and contextual texts to better engage and enhance customer relations. Every customer wants to know they are valued, and personalization is a great way to show them you care. Using automation and segmentation tools can help businesses send out tailored messages, such as shipping updates or abandoned carts.
- Respond in time: The beauty of text messaging is that communication happens in real time. Ecommerce retailers can capitalize on this to experience lower down times and quicker responses. At the same time, it is up to businesses to ensure that they are responding quickly and consistently to maintain relationships and gain attention.
- Always get consent: It can get irritating if marketing content is forced upon unwilling customers. When it comes to a direct channel like SMS, it is important to always obtain written consent that shows that the customer willingly opts in to receive messages. This can help businesses avoid legal repercussions or customer frustration in the long term.
- Tell the customers what you want them to do: Cryptic messages just won’t cut it when businesses want a customer to take the desired action. Including compelling CTAs can give a sense of the direction a customer should go in from a text. This can be as simple as a short “Click on the link to claim your coupon now!” or a “Visit our website for a flash sale at 5pm today”. There are many ways to communicate to the viewer, it is important to use it right.
- Timing is everything: You don’t want to send a text late at night only for your potential customer to read it the next morning. Sending marketing messages at unconventional times can affect their willingness to respond, which is detrimental for your business. This can take a bit of trial and error but finding the right time to send them texts can do wonders for response rates and time.
Need Even More Tips?
We’ve got you covered with several related guides that you can use to improve your text and email message marketing campaigns right away.
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