Consumers today expect more from brands. They want exclusive, personalized shopping experiences right in the palms of their hands, and they want to be the first to know about everything a brand has to offer, whether that’s the latest and greatest product or an unbelievable sale.
These expectations, alongside their preferences for mobile shopping and mobile communication, have driven shoppers to the one channel that can satisfy them: SMS. In fact, over 72% of British shoppers have already signed up for at least one brand’s SMS program.
Brands who leverage SMS are therefore going to see higher levels of engagement, and ultimately drive more revenue from this ever-expanding mobile community than those who don’t. So we want to make it easy to get started with SMS and send messages that get results.
Drawing on the results of our recent consumer survey, here are five ways you can create SMS marketing messages that engage customers, increase sales and build stronger relationships over time.
1.) Add a touch of personalization to boost conversions
Over 50% of British shoppers say they find text messages from brands most engaging when they are relevant to their interests and past purchases, and over 30% value the simple gesture of being greeted by name. This personalization is a key driver of customer engagement. No one wants to be spammed by generic marketing messages — they want messages that are unique and tailored to them.
To create the personalized messages that shoppers crave, start by getting to know them. Set up a welcome flow for new subscribers that guides them through an engaging Q&A on their phones. What’s their skin type? Are they shopping for men’s or women’s clothing? Then use your customers’ responses to recommend the best products from your store and start building loyalty.
SMS marketing automations can be used throughout every stage of the buyer journey to increase the relevance of your communications and ensure the highest chance of conversion. Trigger a message to send when your customer takes (or doesn’t take) a specific action, such as when they abandon their shopping cart. Or celebrate exciting milestones like birthdays or new loyalty programme tiers.
As you learn more about your customers, you can use the zero- and first-party data you collect to create segments and improve customer targeting too. Sort subscribers based on location, demographics, average order value, and more to ensure they always receive the right message for them.
2.) Offer exclusive discounts to make shoppers feel special
Over 47% of British shoppers would sign up for SMS to unlock a one-time discount code from a brand (like 15% off their first purchase), and 49% would be encouraged to complete a purchase if they received a personalized offer via SMS. So if you’re hoping to increase sales with the channel (who isn’t?), sending text messages with discounts, promotions, and rewards is essential.
To make that message even more engaging, make the offer exclusive. Tell your customer the deal is just for them and use language that emphasizes how much you value them. Try variations of “we miss you,” “thanks for being a great customer,” “we want to give you an exclusive deal,” and more to make them feel special.
3.) Create urgency to inspire action
Sometimes the easiest way to inspire a customer to take action is giving them a limited time to do so. Whenever you send a text to announce an offer or sale, create a strong call to action by notifying subscribers about the limited window of time or limited quantity of products available. Consider sending follow up messages to warn subscribers when that time is running out or when inventory is running low.
This urgency will help to instil a fear of missing out in your customers, which will ultimately prompt them to shop. Don’t forget to use active language, such as “don’t miss out on our best offer yet,” “click here to shop the sale,” or, “get it before it’s gone.” With a 98% open rate, there’s no channel better suited to getting subscribers to act fast than SMS.
4.) Incorporate social proof to influence behavior
Reviews and testimonials are powerful engagement tools, helping to influence customer behavior by inspiring trust in your brand and the quality of your products. In fact, brands who include social proof in their text messages, such as a product’s star rating, see an 18% increase in their SMS click-through rate on average.
Boost the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaigns with new product launches, cross-sells, and up-sells that highlight that product’s positive ratings and reviews. These can be quotes from celebrities, influencers, or brand ambassadors if you have them, but you can’t go wrong with authentic feedback from your everyday customers.
5.) Send timely campaigns to increase relevance
The most engaging SMS marketing message is sent to the right customer at the right time — but this doesn’t always have to mean the right time in the buyer journey. Marketers can also look to the 2022 calendar for a wide range of engagement opportunities that can be turned into creative SMS campaigns.
From major eCommerce events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to more obscure occasions like Get to Know Your Customers Day, there are countless dates waiting to delight your customers and drive them to convert all year round.
At Yotpo SMSBump, we have all the tools you need to create these personalized and relevant SMS experiences, along with the expert guidance to help you get started and maximize the results of your SMS program. Visit Yotpo.com to learn more about how you can engage mobile consumers with SMS marketing today.