It’s no secret how important marketing automations and email are for retaining customers, but SMS marketing has seen significant growth in the last couple of years, proving to be a very powerful engagement and revenue-driver. However, in saying this there are some factors to be aware of to ensure you don’t abuse these metrics and implement them in a positive manner.
Why use SMS?
SMS marketing combines the effectiveness of advanced personalisation with the immediacy of text messages. It assists you in communicating to your customers directly and can be a great tool for relationship building. There are a host of benefits as to why you should start incorporating SMS marketing into your business strategy, the main benefit being the direct and instantaneous nature of it.
A text is far more immediate and direct than email, and has much higher open and engagement rates. 94% of SMS messages are opened, and most are read within the first three minutes, rendering this method of communication effective for important or time sensitive information. By nature, text messages can feel more personal than email, akin to a one-on-one conversation and therefore contribute to positive relationship building.
Do users even want SMS?
But with great power comes great responsibility…you may even wonder do people actually want to receive my SMS marketing messages? Does it feel a bit invasive? Will I come across as spammy? Won’t it annoy my customers too much? These are common thoughts most merchants have that contribute to their reservations in collecting SMS consent and sending SMS marketing messages.
However, research has shown that over 75% of users want to receive offers via SMS. If customers are willing to provide you with their mobile number and have explicitly opted-in for SMS consent, chances are they actually want to receive communications from you. In saying this, it’s imperative to strike the right balance in the frequency and content of your communications.
How and when to use SMS marketing?
As we already mentioned, SMS marketing messages can have open rates as high as 94%, however it’s important to remain ethical and not abuse this fact. Combining SMS and email marketing can be more powerful than using each platform in isolation. They work best when used simultaneously, with an emphasis on SMS being used sparingly.
It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and consider their individual journeys. You wouldn’t want someone firing off emails and texts to you at the same time, with the same messaging, would you? Think of using SMS as a complimentary feature to your existing email marketing. For example, if you sent a promotional email and 25% of customers didn’t open this email, this would be a valid opportunity to perhaps send them a text reminding them of this offer (if they were consented to SMS of course). SMS messages should be reserved for occasions such as:
It’s key to note that the timing is just as important as the quality of the content you are sending. You want it to be of high value and useful to the customer to serve their needs in the best possible way. You only have 160 characters to use, so use them wisely to construct a short, sharp and engaging message.
Leveraging SMS marketing
Whether or not you are planning on implementing it into your marketing mix now, we would recommend at least starting to collect consent from your customers. A platform we love and recommend for email and sms marketing is Klaviyo. If you're already utilising a tool such as Klaviyo, they will only charge you for text messages sent, so there’s no harm in growing this list now so once you are ready to send, so you’re not starting from scratch.
Once you have a pool of users who have consented to SMS marketing, you can then look at your campaigns and flows to see where you can utilise this messaging. For example, incorporating SMS into your Welcome Flow can be extremely beneficial in generating stronger relationships with your customers. It can additionally be beneficial in recovering revenue when used in Abandoned Cart Flows where users have not opened particular emails. You can then message them at the right time, with the right content to increase conversions.
Similarly to email, unsubscribe rates for SMS is something to be mindful of. Ensure you keep an eye on metrics and apply segmentation methods if unsubscribe rates are increasing. Further to this, we would recommend adjusting the frequency of your sends as well as a content review.
Overall, SMS is a powerful marketing tool that is only increasing in popularity and effectiveness. When partnered with strategic marketing campaigns and automations, and using the right tools or powerful integrations such as Klaviyo - will result in increased revenue and personalised experiences for your customers. If you have any questions on SMS, email marketing, automations, or how to make the best use out of Klaviyo - we’d love to hear from you.
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