We know a Dallas based clothing brand who recently started their SMS marketing journey. As of 2021, emails, social media, and influencer promotions were their marketing channels.
Within the first 30-days, they were able to do a whopping $100K sales by leveraging SMS as a part of their marketing stack.
Why include SMS as a part of their strategy? How were they able to grow sales with SMS?
You might think that SMS is kind of old-fashioned, isn't it? It's been around for more than 20 years now and that makes it pretty much obsolete by today's standards.
But we beg to differ. Here are 7 concrete reasons why you should have a sound SMS strategy for your ecommerce store.
Higher Open Rates
SMS has the highest open rate of 98% and the best part is 90% of these text messages are opened within the first 3 minutes. This makes SMS a winning revenue channel that you can’t ignore.
SMS is a Cost effective and a Scalable channel
A lot of eCommerce brands have achieved an average ROI of about 20X for transactional SMS campaigns. It's a scalable yet a cost effective channel compared to most of your paid social ads.
Let’s jump into a quick hypothesis where an eCommerce store has about 20,000 SMS subscribers. Taking industry average metrics, a single well planned SMS campaign can bring you $1500 in sales with an ROI of about 60X.
SMS unlocks the true potential of your store
Your customers have different motivations to buy, and face different challenges before making a purchase. A better way to understand your customers is to segment them based on their purchase behaviour and history. By segmenting customers you will know people who
- purchase frequently (Say twice every month) → Brand loyalist/VIP customers
- purchase once in two months
- purchased once but inactive for a few months now
- haven’t purchased at all (window shoppers)
- purchase but request for returns frequently
- purchases by age, geography
One common mistake that many eCommerce merchants make is, they treat all the people above in the same way by just doing a SMS blast every time. It simply screws up your SMS list and your customers are just going to opt out.
Since SMS is a highly conversational channel, you can plan a campaign for the “not purchased” segment (list of contacts who haven’t made any purchase) and drive them to a landing page asking them a feedback/questionnaire. This will help you to understand their challenges. Now offer them that incentive to make their first ever purchase.
Similarly treat your VIP/loyal customers differently. Give them that special incentive (free shipping, flexible payment options, discounts, limited editions) that will make them buy again and again from your store. By following these best SMS marketing practices, you can unlock the true sales potential of your eCommerce store.
Demographic and Device Support advantages
Unlike Push notifications, SMS is supported in almost all mobile devices. So you have an upper hand to run campaigns to almost all age groups.
If you want your e-commerce marketing messages to reach potential customers of every age and nationality, SMS is the go to channel.
Automation Capabilities: Run your eCommerce store on autopilot
Do you think ecommerce SMS marketing needs a lot of work? This is not necessarily true. eCommerce platforms like Shopify offer a wide range of SMS apps that support pre-built automations which will help to run your business on autopilot. Few popular SMS automation flows include abandoned carts, birthdays, campaigns for your newly launched products, seasonal discounts, exclusive campaigns to VIP/loyal groups and so on.
Following the best practices of eCommerce SMS marketing will help you earn dollars even when you’re asleep.
SMS list: A goldmine that’s still not utilized
With Google deciding to put an end to cookies, iOS 14.5 update plateauing/declining the ROAS (Return on Ad spends) of your Ad campaigns, so many questions arise.
Imagine you wake up one fine day and you’re in a cookie-less world. You can’t run ads targeting the people using their interest due to privacy restrictions! How would you go about acquiring customers?
We think that time is not too far from today. eCommerce marketers need to shift their focus to leveraging first-party data and their owned media. SMS lists in such times can be a great asset and there’s so much money left on the table by stores that don’t have a sound SMS strategy.
SMS is highly Personal and Conversational
Unlike any other channel, SMS has the highest engagement rate and customers use to communicate with their peers, friends and family. It’s an emotional yet conversational channel that you must definitely consider.
For a brand to enter into such a personal channel, there is always a higher risk of opting out from your campaigns. The truth is brands can still nail their revenue game with personalized yet relevant SMS campaigns that will offset the above risk.
How to plan personlized SMS campaigns is also an important topic to address and we'll definitely talk about more actionable hacks in another blog.
- SMS marketing is still and always be a surefire way to boost your sales
- SMS is powerful when done right and personalization is the key to make it a highly profitable channel.
- We’re going towards a cookieless world - so first party data will be only asset that will will help you stay in the eCommerce game
- Customer retention >> Customer acquisition
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