As an online store, one of the most effective ways to bring in repeat purchases and ensure you don’t lose shoppers is by keeping them engaged. But when it comes to engagement, you need to look for smart channels that will help you stand out from the noise and get your message across. That’s where SMS comes in.
From the likes of H&M to Forever21, top brands use SMS to communicate faster with their shoppers and get them to make purchases. Most importantly, get them to complete purchases on abandoned carts.
Now there are thousands of guides on using SMS marketing to recover carts with automated messages. But what if there was something even better? Something that lets you understand why shoppers abandon carts and personalize their re-engagement journey with your brand?
In this article, we’re sharing a quick guide to smart SMS marketing that goes beyond automations. But let’s start with what SMS marketing is and why you should be focusing on it.
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing, also known as text message marketing, allows businesses to send promotions and automated alerts using SMS. As a direct channel that sends messages even when the customer is offline, SMS has time and again proven to be one of the most effective marketing channels. Be it to entice first-time shoppers or to re-engage cart abandoners.
Is SMS marketing really effective?
Unlike emails, SMS are short and crisp, informing your shoppers about your promotion or new product within just seconds of reading. SMS messages are sent to shoppers even when they are offline, ensuring that you can bring these shoppers back regardless of their access to the internet.
But here’s what’s interesting. 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS messages from brands after they’ve opted in.
What’s more SMS messages, have no spam filters that restrict their sending. So, unless the subscriber has blocked you, you won’t have to worry about being restricted from sending SMS, unlike emails where you’re constantly worrying about your subject line!
In fact, many brands even see better results with SMS than any other marketing channel. SMS open rates are as high as 98% while email has an open rate of 20%, at best. Studies also found that when customers receive a text, they take 90 seconds to respond. On the other hand, it takes 90 minutes to respond to an email.
Imagine waiting so long to get an opportunity to recover an abandoned cart.
But not every SMS marketing campaign is a success. And that’s what this guide is here to tell you about!
The typical automated SMS campaigns
Here’s what a typical SMS comprises of:
- Sender Logo: Logo of the brand sending the SMS
- Sender Name: This shows the name of the brand
- Message: This is the copy in the SMS that explains the promotion and pushes shoppers to click through and start browsing.
- Link: The link that takes shoppers back to your store.
- Image: If added, an image is shown along with the message to increase engagement.
Now here’s an example of what an SMS marketing campaign we’re describing above. We’re pretty sure you’ve received some of these messages!
But tell us, how many times do you read these SMS and act on them immediately? Maybe a few times if the deal’s too good to be missed.
As a brand though, most times you lose out on an opportunity to re-engage shoppers simply because the SMS campaign lacks personalization.
So you make do with a 70% average open rate and about a 33% click-through rate. But what if you could do more?
Why SMS Needs to Go Beyond Automation
Shoppers usually ignore marketing messages due to how generic they sound. Due to this, many campaigns see poor performance. While many merchants set up automated messages with elements of personalization, that isn’t going to cut it to make your brand seem approachable. However, with a conversational SMS marketing solution, your SMS campaigns are sure to perform better.
With conversational SMS messages, your promotions will sound like you. Customers can ask questions and receive personalized responses.
Take, for instance, an upsell message. Some customers who receive this SMS may want to understand if the product has any discounts. Depending on the product and the in-store discount, the real person can respond back to the SMS with an instant and accurate answer about any discounts they can redeem.
Or take this conversation as an example:
Most conversational marketing strategies are set up with bots where the response is automated based on a specific set of conditions. But, these bots aren’t as flexible and are limited to a few set questions and responses.
This is why setting up conversational SMS marketing is tough without the right solution. You need a Shopify app specialized in human-powered SMS marketing so that you can deliver these conversational experiences and maximize sales on your promotions. After all, you wouldn’t trust just about anyone to talk to your customers! They represent your brand and you need to be careful using this mix of automation and human intervention.
How conversational SMS re-engage cart abandoners
The right cart abandonment strategy can help you lower cart abandonment on your Shopify store and help you capture more sales. By adding a conversational approach to your text marketing campaigns, you’re basically ‘talking’ to your customers and not pushing them to do something.
Here’s how a conversational cart recovery text message looks like:
- A customer abandons their cart but since they have shared details like phone number and email, the store can easily target them.
- Instead of an automated and generic cart recovery message, the shopper receives a conversational message from a real person.
- Depending on the shopper’s preferences, they ask for a discount or about any offers run on the cart. The SMS expert uses this context to send relevant promotions.
- The shopper then uses this offer to check out their cart successfully.
Merchants like CROSSNET, who set up conversational cart recovery campaigns (with TxtCart) have seen a 30% recovery rate.
But here are some of the golden rules that still hold true even when you get real humans into the picture to talk to your customers:
- Use your brand voice when writing copy for the text message
- Increase urgency with words like ‘Don’t miss out’ or ‘Expiring soon’. This way, shoppers are more likely to check out faster.
- Personalize your campaign by adding first name parameters and even product name parameters. These add a personal touch and remind shoppers what they left behind.
- Add CTA text like ‘Act now’ to nudge action and guide shoppers to take action.
Get set to use SMS to re-engage shoppers!
We hope this helps you set up SMS marketing campaigns that are sure to convert and lower cart abandonment on your Shopify store. The benefits of adopting SMS as a marketing channel are plenty and with higher competition, you need every direct channel you can get to increase sales.
TxtCart is the highest-rated human-powered SMS marketing app, specialized in cart recovery. TxtCart’s high-engaging and high-ROI text marketing strategy ensures that each campaign is targeted. Using the Shopify app, you can set up highly specific offers and copy in your text message.
This article originally appeared by our friends at Recart.