Including SMS In Your E-Commerce Marketing Strategy
In the world of today, the internet rules and so, many e-commerce marketers focus on internet-enabled marketing avenues such as email marketing and social media marketing. However, if you learn about the surveys on user behavior with text messaging, aka SMS, you will realize that SMS is a marketing treasure waiting to be used. Using the Unites States as an example, the country has a population of 328.2 million, and about 280 million of them own a smartphone. As someone who owns a smartphone, you pick it up multiple times a day (typically around 80 – 100 times), and generally have an addictive relationship with your smartphone. This means that almost nothing will escape your eyes, although you can choose to ignore some notifications as we all do thousands of email notifications. However, you will realize that you always check all your SMS notifications within five minutes of getting them. You are not the only one, this is a common behavior among phone users, which is why SMS has an open rate of 98%. This is the ultimate reason why you should include SMS in your e-commerce marketing or increase your SMS marketing.
Even though SMS marketing has a 98% rate of reaching the target audience, it is also very likely that customers will ignore, block, or unsubscribe from your SMS list if you do not use the right approach. This brings us to the question; how can you use SMS marketing in a way that does not irritate your target audience while also achieving your goals?
6 Effective Tips for Using SMS Marketing
Start by Sending SMS Messages of Their Transactions
Before you can start sending SMS messages to your customers regularly, first, you must collect their phone numbers. One of the easiest ways to collect their phone numbers is by asking for it during the purchase journey, particularly at the checkout stage. Ask for their phone numbers to send them notifications of their order, shipping, and delivery statuses. You can then add them to your SMS marketing list.
Get Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) Via SMS Surveys
An NPS, which is usually carried out with email surveys, is a performance indicator that tells you what your customers think of your brand and services/products. The good news is that you can also get your NPS with SMS messaging. Building on the connection you created with your buyers from the transactions notifications you sent to them, you can send them a question asking for their opinion on the concluded order. You can automate this process so that your buyers will receive a one-question SMS after they get their order — you can even send follow-up questions. To optimize this, connect your SMS NPS surveys to a customer support official to provide necessary assistance depending on each buyer’s response.
Use Text for Chat
Pay attention to your web analytics and watch out for visitors who are accessing your site via their mobile devices. Given the high percentage of mobile users these days, the number of visitors who are using mobile devices can be up to 50% or more. Although, the type of products you sell, and your target audience will affect this number. That being said, you can choose to use SMS to communicate with your customers instead of a typical web-based chat. Or offer both web-based chat on desktop, and SMS on mobile devices. The important thing is to pay attention to your customers’ behavior and provide them with options.
Get Reviews Via SMS
Since you are using SMS to communicate with your customers, you can also use it to ask for a review of your products and services. Using the NPS as an example, note all the customers who gave you a high NPS score, then send them an SMS prompt to leave a review. You may not get all of them to review the products they bought from you, but you can bank on the eagerness they showed when they gave you a high NPS score. Another way to get your customers to leave a review is after having an SMS chat with a customer support official. You can send an automated SMS message right after the chat asking them to review the customer support they received.
Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM) Automation Via SMS
The RFM model is used by e-commerce businesses to identify and market to their customers according to their transaction history. Your marketing team will run regular RFM checks to find customers who have not bought from you in a while, then send them automated SMS messages. This is a re-engagement message, so it helps to make the message feel personal to each customer. Besides the fact that you are trying to get them to make a purchase again, this re-engagement message is also supposed to check up on your buyers.
Avoid Excessive Deals, Promos, Discounts, etc.
Every customer loves freebies and good deals, but sending your customers too many deals and discounts will eventually lose its power on them, thereby giving you an undesired outcome. So even though you are tempted to send them SMS messages of discounts given the 98% open rate of SMS, you have to know that sending them too many can bore them out. And they can decide to start ignoring your SMS, or worse, unsubscribe or block you.
As we mentioned above, SMS marketing is a gem, and it is easy to see it as the best thing since sliced bread. However, there is a reason other marketing avenues such as email marketing and social media marketing are prominent among marketers. SMS has its limitations. For example, let us say you have a mobile app where your customers make purchases, and you want to notify your customers of the discounts you are giving on orders, you can choose to send SMS messages. However, a better option will be to send them push notifications on the mobile app so that once a customer clicks on the notification, they will be redirected to the product page where they can make a purchase and get a discount. To get the best out of SMS marketing for your business, you must use it with other marketing mediums — only use SMS when it’s the most effective option.