SMS for eCommerce

Studies taken in 2020 show that 4.78 billion people in the world own either a smart or feature phone. 

Meaning advertising through SMS is a cheap, efficient, environmentally friendly and effective way to reach a hugely diverse audience with little hassle. 

Sending an SMS advertisement means customers are sent directly to a product, meaning they are in the optimal position to press the purchase button, wherever they are or whatever they’re doing.  

Based on recently collected statistics, this form of marketing has a 98% open rate, compared to a 20-30% open rate achieved with email campaigns. 

And the advantages don’t end here. SMS marketing for E-commerce businesses have an array of advantages including but not limited to the following: 

Puts the customer in control  

SMS marketing puts customers in control. The SMS marketing campaign is one which all customers involved have to have opt-in to be subject to that service and always have the option to opt-out, if they choose to do so. 

These rules have to be followed if you as a company decide to do SMS marketing as you have to keep it legal. 

If a customer chooses to opt-out, this is often an option given at the end of a message to reply to the text with a short, one worded answer, then you have to respect their wishes. If you chose to ignore their opt-out, you could be faced with a hefty fine and the lack of interest from genuine customers. 

You should also always identify who you are clearly, do not try to pretend to be a friend or acquaintance as this is fraud and could also get you into trouble and to be honest, doesn’t work from a marketing perspective. 

An easy way to measure success rates 

You can easily measure the engagement of your SMS campaign and see its success rate. So, it is certainly worth trying it once, if it works for you great! If not, you can see its effectiveness immediately and this will save you a lot of time and money being invested in a campaign that may not necessarily work for you and your business. 

However, we’re sure you won’t look back once you try SMS marketing. 

Personalization 

Easy touches such as personalizing a SMS message to include the customer’s name is easy and very successful in Marketing. This way customers feel they have received a deal specific to them and therefore will be more inclined to make a purchase. 

Creates a sense of emergency

Unlike radio, billboards and television advertisements, text messages are a way to create a sense of emergency on stock and incline people to make a purchase immediately rather than a ‘I’ll do it later’ approach, as we all know, works a treat when it comes to marketing. 

This is a psychological impact that text messages have on customers hence the fantastic success rates associated with SMS marketing. 

Specific targeting 

You can collect data on your customers, through email surveys, social media advertising and use this to target individuals with particular interests, up-coming events, hobbies etc. By using targeted SMS marketing you put yourself in a very good position to be successful in producing a sale, e.g. find out when customers birthdays are and then have an automated message sent 3-4 days prior to say things like ‘treat yourself for your birthday’. 

This will not only increase the likeliness of a sale but also show customers you want to build a relationship on a personal level between them and the brand. 

Easy to include discount codes 

Pure360 marketing has reported that 32% of recipients respond to SMS offers and texted coupons are redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons. Unlike physical coupons which are easily forgotten about, SMS coupons are digitally present and are easy to copy and paste into a checkout page. 

 

Don’t just take it from us, see the following examples on how real brands have had real results by using SMS marketing for E-commerce and how they are seeing results… 

Facebook – uses SMS messages to alert customers about potential security risks. This is a great way Facebook can advertise and build a personal relationship with its customers to optimise its platform.  

CNN – sends targeted SMS messages to communicate with its customers. 

Express – An American based fashion retailer, uses SMS marketing to inform its customers of time-limited deals for an effective and immediate sale. 

IKEA – SMS alerts show customers any new stock at their local IKEA branch, allowing them to keep updated in a quick, effective and affordable way. 

Reebok – Uses bulk SMS marketing in order to keep customers updated on promotions, special buys, offers and sales. This means that customers who like a bargain, AKA most customers, are notified and therefore immediately click the link in the SMS to make a quick and easy purchase whilst saving money. 

Tommy Hilfiger – Only sends SMS after customers subscribe to their text messaging services. They try to minimise the amount of text messages that are sent out each month in order to maximise success rates. People do not like to feel like they are being ‘pestered’ by a brand and so this should be reflected in the frequency in your SMS marketing campaign. 

So, you’ve now read about all the potential benefits of adopting SMS marketing strategies, but how do you put these in to practice? And what are the legalities of SMS marketing? 

SMS Marketing Best Practices

Don’t over use SMS

Alerting customers of good deals and sales is one thing but this should be done in a relatively infrequent way to optimise its effectiveness. Not only will sending too many SMS messages dilute the effectiveness of the marketing technique but it will also become highly annoying for those customers on the receiving end.

The optimal frequency to send out SMS messages is between 4-5 a month (between 1 to 2 messages per week).

Any less, customers will forget about the brand, any more, you’re at risk of customers opting-out of your SMS service. 

Live by the acronym KISS

KISS stands for ‘keep it short and simple’ and this should be applied when writing an SMS message. Get straight to the point of what the message is and keep it concise. This way you will not lose the attention of the reader and are therefore more likely to increase your success rate. 

Add the link to the landing page to take the customer directly to the deal or offer explained in the content of the SMS message.  

Stay legal and have clarity in your SMS

You have to have consent from the customer in order to directly market them through SMS. You must include instruction on how every customer can opt-out of the SMS messages and this must be included in every message that is sent out. 

If you decide to disobey this law, you could be fined meaning not just damage to your bank account, but also existing and potential business. 

Best Platforms for SMS Marketing

Clicksend 

Clicksend is the best option if you wish to run your campaign through a multitude of different channels. If you want to send a message out to customers via email, SMS, phone and message then this platform is your number one choice. E.g. you can send a customer a text message with a ‘KISS’ summary (read above for the explanation of ‘KISS’) whilst simultaneously sending that same customer an email which goes into more information about the offer. 

Each channel is also individually managed making this platform easy to work with and an effect marketing tool.

Omnisend 

An extremely robust and flexible app that includes features that every app should include such as templates, workflows and other opportunities to customise. 

There are also options to add more channels such as Facebook messenger, push notification as well as SMS marketing. 

So, if you’re looking for an app to send out marketing massages in half the time, this is perfect for you. 

Text Magic

A simple way to get your foot in the door when it comes to SMS marketing. All you have to do is enter the phone number of the customer, type the message you wish for them to receive and press send. It is as easy as that. 

You can use this platform to direct replies to a variety of different platforms, whichever works best for you. Replied can be sent to your email, your own mobile number, the web app or the API. You can build a contact list easily by importing an Excel spreadsheet. 

It is an easy to use platform, whilst keeping it simple. This is great for starter companies ready to explore the world of SMS marketing. 

Final Word

To conclude, SMS marketing is a new and innovative way to notify customers of offers, deals and sales in a quick and effective way. 

Based on our own results as well as statistics and figures found online, SMS marketing is one of the most effective forms and therefore if you’re looking for a new successful marketing platform, we highly recommend SMS messages.

Not only is it successful, it is also extremely affordable and simple to do. Meaning anyone can give it a go. 

There are a lot of apps that allow you to send out SMS messages, however, due to trial and error the ones we have recommended (see above) have worked the best for us. 

Good luck with your new marketing adventure, you will not regret it. 

 

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