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Conversational Commerce Is Creating A New Hybrid Shopping Experience That Bridges The Gap Between In-Store And Online With Brian Long Of Attentive

Effective sms marketing techniques for mobile customers.

In today’s Shopify eCommerce podcast, my guest is Brian Long, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Attentive. They are a best-in-class text message marketing provider, certified by Shopify Plus and trusted by thousands of industry-leading brands. Shopify store owners can turn SMS marketing into a top 3 revenue channel in a few months and drive 20%+ of the total online revenue through text.

Conversational Commerce will define the next era of brand marketing!

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​​Our North Star is to inspire founders and marketers to accelerate growth through podcasts and strategic insights. Each week, Steve Hutt and his Shopify Expert guest discuss the latest and current marketing strategies to accelerate growth and scale. You’ll learn how to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue, and build lifetime customer loyalty for your Shopify-powered online store. Today’s episode gets you one step closer to learning from those who are winning in e-commerce!

Listen To Todays Ecommerce Podcast

This episode is sponsored by the BeProfit App for Shopify eCommerce sellers.

BeProfit translates all of your Shopify store data into an intuitive and customizable all-in-one dashboard and provides you with valuable insights that allow you to zoom in on the metrics that matter most for your brand.

You can take full control of your data and even create and export custom reports unique to your business.

Discover your most valuable products, your top-performing ads, the best customer cohorts, and so much more, all with BeProfit’s intuitive profit dashboard.

What You Will Learn Today:

  • Why all brands should be doing email marketing 
  • The impact of non-data sharing on marketers that want to reach their customers
  • The purpose of Attentive’s state of conversational commerce report
  • How Texts We Love are a huge help to brand exposure 

Links And Resources Mentioned:

Connect with BeProfit

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Welcome to season five of eCommerce Fastlane. This podcast helps resilient entrepreneurs, marketers, and founders to accelerate growth and thrive with Shopify. And now in episode 244,

Hey there, my name is Steve Hutt and I’m a senior merchant success manager here at Shopify. And welcome back to the fifth season of eCommerce Fastlane. Whether this is your first time listening, or if you’re a weekly subscriber. I seriously appreciate that you’re taking time today to listen to the show. I know there are plenty of podcast choices out there in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer marketing. And just the fact that you’re here today the world to me. And I know it does to my featured guests today. If this is your first time listening, this is an e-commerce show where we have honest and transparent conversations about building and thriving with your store powered by Shopify or Shopify plus. Now if you’re an ambitious, lifelong learner, which you likely are since you’re here today, you’re definitely in the right place. New episodes are available twice weekly with your favorite podcast players, like Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcast. We’re now even streaming live now on Amazon music and on YouTube. So check that out. Now today’s episode, my friend, I’m gonna call him my friend cause I’ve had him on numerous times. Love his product. His name is Brian Long. He’s the co-founder and CEO of a company called Attentive. There at attentive.com, and they power SMS marketing for both retail and e-commerce brands around the world. This is guaranteed to be an excellent conversation and there’s going to be a ton of learnings about the mobile consumer. Also, please make sure you listen through to the end. There’s an exclusive listener-only bonus that I guarantee you’re gonna want to take up Brian on his offer. Hi, Brian. Welcome again to eCommerce Fastlane.

Thank you so much for having me, Steve. It’s a pleasure.

So let’s talk on a high level first. There’s gonna be those, believe it or not, that don’t know who Attentive is and specifically your platform and the problems that you’re currently solving for Shopify brands. So maybe you can unpack a little bit of high level.

Yeah, of course, I think the problem is how do I reach my customers in a way that they, I think that with, changes in advertising policies on Facebook or drops and open rates on email, it’s gotten harder and harder to reach customers, with the tenants. And you can reach all of your best customers as well as some of your best potential prospects, instantly using text messaging. So we provide text message, marketing, and communication software built for the best e-commerce and retail businesses. We’ve been doing it for over five years now, and really invented the space for text message marketing for e-commerce and retail businesses. Our goal is to drive 20% or more of your sales from text messages.

Yeah. I read somewhere that your goal is, and I think you have some stats to prove this is that it turns out to be like the third, most important revenue driver out of most brands. Are you able to talk a little bit about that?

Yeah. Text is a new thing for a lot of brands, but in very short time period, it’s become one of their top three sources of revenue. And for a lot of the brands we work with, it is their number-one source of sales. It’s the number one source of revenue for the brand. For our average customer today, our average customer is seeing over 20% of sales driven from text messaging. For customers that have worked with us for over a year, that number can be more like 25 to even 30% of sales. So it can have tremendous impact on the number of sales that the brand is driving.

I know we’re gonna hit home hard on this for those listening today. If you’re not doing text marketing, then you’re losing a lot minimum 20%, but upwards of maybe even 30% of your revenue is not being generated, and having text certainly from an automated perspective. And then from a campaign perspective, I know we’re gonna unpack a little bit of that in a few minutes. So let’s talk about the origin story first. I think it’s nice to set the stage a bit about, five years in business, definitely a Shopify plus technology partner. You’ve gone through all of those hoops to be world-class, only 80 partners in the Shopify tech kind of partners, ecosystems. So kudos to the team that, made that leap with privacy and security and all the benefits, that go along with that. But how do the pieces come together for the founding team? Remind me the story from the previous episode, but maybe those that are new today, they don’t know how attentive, how they all came together. Where did the desire and the expertise come from, you and your co-founder and the founding team, like just to even wanna build this platform and get involved in mobile marketing?

Yeah. Great question, Steve. So in terms of our sort of founding story, we had a company before Attentive that did mobile app marketing, and we built that company up. It was acquired by Twitter. We ran the mobile apps group of Twitter. And while at Twitter, we just thought that messaging as a channel was really underutilized. And there were a lot of people focused on how to use Facebook Messenger, but we just looked at how consumers, all had text messaging, whereas, a lot of the people didn’t use Facebook Messenger or other, WhatsApp or other types of messaging apps. We took SMS to market really, to e-commerce companies. And, initially, it was pretty hard to sell it because very few businesses were doing anything. It was, a very new nascent area, but we were lucky to work with, a couple early customers starting out in the spring of 2017. And, over the course of months, we turned couple customers into 10, into 40 or 50 into a hundred, and so on and so forth. And then through our partnership with Shopify, we saw just a tremendous growth of Shopify brands using Attentive, and that certainly has been a huge component to our success in growth.

So let’s talk about the SMS adoption because, you made a comment and I agree, this is what I see too, was there’s lots of listening today that maybe are not using SMS, but the narrative is out there that, 70 or 80% or more of your traffic is mobile. And as you said, open rates are lower on email, just cuz that’s just the nature of the beast. Whereas tax is more personal and more one-on-one. And so like why do you think more and more brands are slowly trying to adopt getting involved with SMS? Is there something specific about just more mobile traffic or is there some other underlying kind of push for brands to want to interact with their customers through SMS?

I think SMS allows brands to own the customer relationship with buying ads on Facebook. You’re renting your customer relationships from Facebook, and I think a lot of brands, rely on that, but they’ve found out in the last year or two that sometimes the landlord can change the prices and it gets pretty expensive when you have to deal with a landlord, right? You’d rather own your relationships. I also think that all brands should be doing email marketing. Email is great. It’s super cheap and it’s efficient and it’s an important channel, but at the same time, Email marketing has turned more from a performance standpoint into what we’d see from online advertising. So just to give some data points there, if we’ve looked at the average clickthrough rate on email marketing in 2013, it was about four and a half percent. In 2021, according to Campaign Monitor, which is an email marketing platform, it had dropped to 0.6%. It’s dropped tremendously, almost 80, 90% in the last seven or eight years, and it’s dropped continuously as well. And I think you stop for a second and say why is email performance from a click-through rate standpoint, dropped. It’s that marketers are sending more email than they ever have before. The consumer is overloaded with email. As a result, they’re just opening and interacting with less of it. With SMS, I think you get this amazing new channel. That people are opening almost every single SMS is being opened and therefore there’s a lot more engagement and traffic driven from the channel.

I noticed that too. I follow a lot of brands. I manage a lot of brands and I find that one of their big successes that they have is their VIP program, where they have special, limited drops that are only available on SMS. And I think that’s, what’s the motivator in their popup or their exit intent or whatever they’re doing about capturing that email address, in exchange for access to a private community. Can you talk a bit about how Attentive has been very intentional in that area too? Cause I know I have some, I can’t name, the large brands that I manage, but they do some really large flash sales and drops through SMS through your platform. And they’re like wildly successful.

I think being able to use SMS to reach VIP customers, that’s just a no-brainer terrain. The same way that you would be able to engage with a friend and let a friend know about something like this. The same experience that you could have with SMS by letting them know. And I think we can go beyond just letting them know about something too. We have products like attentive concierge. Not only can you let them know, but you can actually have a real conversation with that VIP customer.

Yeah. See, this is lovely. I’m gonna pivot into that in a minute, because I know there’s these conversations going around called Conversational Commerce, and I know that’s where your concierge service fits into the mix. I just wanna add one more thing about just the Cookie less future, obviously, there’s, safari no more Cookies. And with iOS 14.5, you have to manually opt in and 97% or whatever I read recently have not opted in to being in Apple. I’m sure Google’s kind of the Cookie-less future. The apocalypse is happening with Chrome at some point, too. What sort of impact does all of this kind of, non-data sharing do now for marketers that want to reach their customers?

It’s a huge impact. I think marketers are already, feeling that impact, right? So just so to restate what you said, Apple decided that they weren’t gonna allow Third Party Cookies and Third Party Cookies are cookies that are set and then can be used from domains that are different from the domain in which the Cookie was. First Party Cookies are used in order to keep track of your logged-in state, your shopping cart, things like that. They’re not going anywhere, but Third Party Cookies being used that other demands are gone on Apple and maybe gone on Google in the future as well. First Party Cookies are used for advertising targeting. It allows us to do all sorts of different types of, retargeting and lookalike targeting and things like that. Can’t do it anymore because of the change. And a lot of brands relied on that in order to do advanced ad targeting, to drive traffic, and get efficiency out of their advertising program. So it’s a huge shift. It means that brands can’t rely on those type of targeted ad channels, using cookies to drive their traffic. They need to find other sources of traffic. For us, we think that this increases the importance of using channels like you can use SMS in order to drive traffic and engage your audience.

I think that’s the pivot that I want about this whole conversational commerce. Cause it’s clear. The SMS really is the choice you own the customer journey. It creates a better experience. The open rates, the click-through rates, conversion rate. I can give you all accolades for all the benefits that come out of it, but let’s talk a bit about, maybe you can share with the audience about, from your perspective, what is Conversational Commerce and what impact do you believe it’s having on revenue for brands today?

I think that I look at how some luxury products are already being sold via SMS. Whether it’s companies like Light Stitch Fix selling fashion, or, certain high-end fashion brands or things like that are using SMS or even a car dealer is using SMS in order to communicate between a buyer, to seller with a real human, to have conversations and figure out what that person might want. And complete the transaction often all within the tax message. We see this being done with a tremendous amount of businesses already in China using WeChat. So I think that we’re gonna see over the next few years in the United States, the consumer being able to have a conversation, ask questions and ultimately be able to purchase things, all within the text message for a huge variety of different types of companies across a number of different verticals. And I think it’s gonna be really great for the consumer because it’s a much better experience for the consumer. It’s much more convenient.

I have a couple brands more than a couple, but better in the kind of subscription market. They’re finding some success by, recommending new things or how to anticipating the fact that their subscription is coming up and, or some communication about potentially declined credit cards and different things like that. I just would love to unpack a bit about how you’re thinking about subscription companies as it relates to SMS, I guess one part of the question. And then the other part is I’m finding there’s an interesting niche right now of brands that are trying to engage customers about reordering. We always talk about LTV and getting the lifetime value of a customer. How do I get the second sale, this customer’s journey? And, one way is saying, Hey, you just bought this consumable product, these vitamins or this, whatever it is. And Hey, we believe it’s time for you to reorder. You’re not on a subscription plan or, Hey, do we have a subscription plan link sent and how to sign up for us? I’m just curious and how attentive is thinking about subscription companies and how to easily reorder or change and just the whole dialogue around that.

Yeah, I think subscription is a great example as first foray into conversational commerce. With subscription-based businesses, they can send a text message and say, do you wanna add something to your next order? Or do you wanna, change your order in some way, and you can complete those via text message because they already have an order in place that’s recurring, and it’s easier to edit those in text messages? I think that over time we’re gonna see more advanced shopping features happening within the text message, things like skew selection and being able to accurately pick shipping information and all that sort of management and fulfilling type of stuff.

I alluded to a little bit about, and you mentioned it too, about, you used the word, the concierge option through, Attentive. Are you able to talk a bit about that? I think there was an acquisition that happened in the past to, enhance the conversational messaging of the attentive platform. Can we can talk about Attentive and maybe tone and how that’s coming together? And then what does this all mean now? As far as, the Attentive concierge option.

Yeah. Great question. So last summer, June of, 2021, we acquired a company called Tone that offered real humans to have conversations with customers via text message. And they were doing it for over a thousand different Shopify stores. And we sold that. A lot of our customers were also customers of theirs, and they said we really like it if it all came from one text message. And if I could all incorporate it all together and we said, great, let’s do that. And we merged the two companies together and we built, all of their technology into our technology completed that integration at the end of the summer, and started rolling that out to customers. The results have really been amazing. We’ve seen a significant uptake in revenue driven from these type of conversational messages. Often when someone is in a buying process, at the bottom of the shopping funnel, they’re adding things to their cart, they’re browsing around or someone who’s of V I P customer who’s bought from the brand before we see a lot of interest from the different markets to have conversations with the concierge people on our side. We’ve also at the same time as driving more revenue, we’re also seeing a reduction in the number of customer service tickets created. So not only is it making more money for the businesses, but it’s also saving money from extraneous customer service interactions.

And I guess you bring up a good point here. So there is the automated flows that are set up and Attentive. And I have many brands that are, that I manage that are not doing SMS. I’m saying at the bare minimum as a starting point to prove the value of SMS is to turn on maybe cart recovery or browse recovery. And if you’re able to capture the phone number as part of that, law with the customer, it’s interesting to see the amount of revenues being left on the table, just from an automation perspective. And I think that’s almost a gateway drug, so to speak because then it opens up. . If we can segment a group of customers that bought this, then probably would be interested in this and maybe we should send out an SMS campaign out to these sorts of people. And so just like to talk about maybe the automated side versus the campaign side, and then now with your tone connection, another level of service. Do the platforms work together, harmonious, I’m sorry. There’s a lot of questions here, but do they work harmoniously together? So we have the automation and the campaign side of the business, but then we also have the human component. Could it potentially kick in as needed through some kind of machine learning or AI to know that they haven’t bought yet? They’re engaged in the website. They’re communicating with me now, but it’s only a bot maybe a human needs to kick in here and close the deal. I just would like to understand that whole workflow.

Yeah, of course. So to start off to your point around automated messages versus more campaign-type messages than funneling concierge. I think automated messages is a great place to start. If you’re skeptical about SMS and you just wanna give it a quick try, then set up away so that people can sign up and then start setting them automated messages based on their rent activity. You will see that people have very high engagement rates with those messages and ultimately it will drive a significant amount of sales for you very quickly. And then as your list grows, you are gonna want to start sending more messages to those people that aren’t engaging in order to try, trying to think back to your site. So I think, getting started with automated, it’s great. And then plugging that into more one-off campaign messages is a great next step. Concierge is just totally integrated into our product today. So we really built the whole thing integrated into the core tenant product. And because it’s all built-in, you can get everything coordinated with concierge so that the concierge sequences are plugged right into your automated or campaign, sequences with a tenant.

That’s lovely. I’d also add to make sure that once again, if for those that are just, you wanna dip your toes in the pool of SMS, it’s like another thing I tell brands is start early, get your Opt-ins going. Maybe you don’t even know what you don’t know. At least figure out the Opt-ins I know you have really great modals and exit intent and different types of ways of on-brand to be able to get the phone number out of a brand in exchange for something. Whatever that means early drops, VIPs discounts, this, that there’s lots of different strategies around that. We’ll talk about some interesting websites. You have showing inspiration to other brands and kinda what they’re doing. So if you’re wondering what you may want to do or what you, what others are doing successfully, I just would highly recommend starting early, getting these phone numbers right away. Then letting the automation flows, do what it needs to do. And then over time, you’re gonna see you have some great opportunity in front of you.

[00:20:47] So I wanna talk about competitors. I always bring this part up in my show where, I believe that you know where there’s competition, there’s business. And I know there’s other kind of quote on quote SMS type solutions. You’re a little bit unique in the marketplace, which we’ll talk about a minute, you can search the app store or Google, whatever there’s notable peers that are doing some great work in interacting, one on one with a mobile consumer. We know the benefits is very clear, but let’s talk about Attentive. Why you’ve been so intentional to differentiate from others in the ecosystem? We’d just like to unpack that a bit.

I think in the ecosystem, we’ve really targeted to work with companies that are a little bit more midmarket to larger bid market and enterprise type of brands. If you are someone who is really just getting started and just getting off the ground and has a new startup, we actually have another business we acquired called Privy, and Privy is really great for a company that’s just getting off the ground, wants something that’s completely self-service and that they can plug into get started, just learn. It does email, SMS, capture everything very easy to get going, and I would direct them to that. But as the business gets bigger and is really growing and is looking for the best in class solution, particularly for the SMS channel. That’s when I would really suggest a 10. I think that is far and away, the best-in-class solution we offer, everything across our suite, I think is built to be the premium best-in-class solution. And again, the reason the ultimate outcome is how much revenue it could drive. Our goal is to be able to drive 20% plus of your revenue. And we’re gonna hold ourselves accountable to that goal.

I know Ben Jabbawy very well. He had a decent podcast for quite a while. The e-commerce marketing school. Yeah. I’ve had him on the show numerous times. And once again, highly recommended, great acquisition again by Attentive. So that’s fantastic. I wanna talk about a story now, cause I think it’s interesting. I think people are really motivated when they hear about others and the successes of other Shopify brands, maybe using SMS. So it’d be, I’d love it. If you could maybe share a story or two, about didn’t have SMS. They knew the benefits. It’s very clear. The open rates, conversion, all the benefits. We know it’s a huge win. Hopefully, I don’t put you on the spot here. It’d be great. If you could maybe share a couple, brands, what specifically motivated them, in their current process, then becoming an Attentive customer and then how things improve for them, efficiencies and revenue and these sorts of things.

Yeah, of course. Look Attentive has been doing this for over five years and is focused on doing it for e-commerce and retail businesses. And through that experience, we’ve been able to work with just an incredible set of brands. And I think for me, it’s can be the most fun when you’re working with a brand. Really just starting to get their name known, starting to get out there, and then tries to channel out and can see just the tremendous impact it has on their growth. And ultimately the revenue that it drives. Just a couple stories. I’d tell on that. We worked with a brand called Supergoop!, which, we use now for, a lot of our sunscreen and everything. Personally love the products, fantastic product. Through working with the tenant, they saw a huge increase in their SMS list, quickly, it became a very wide source of revenue for them, and also clear ROI from the program driving $29 for every dollar spent. And seeing a conversion rate of 11.5% on their marketing messages, which is pretty amazing, to see a double-digit conversion rate is pretty insane. So you’ve seen brands like that, we’ve also seen brands that were more established, pick us up and it really drove another leg of growth for those brands. As a marketer, you’re often pushed to say, how am I gonna find that next 20, 30, 40%, whatever it is this year? What we’ve found is that people can pick up a channel like this, or maybe they were doing a SMS already. They were doing it with someone where SMS IST in focus or it’s, more of a long tail seller product. And something like that isn’t as rich and robust. People can come to us and just grow their list and their program dramatically faster. So another, just quick story. We’ve been lucky to work with the brand, Pura Vida Bracelets. And when they came and joined us, they sold their list growing up 411% faster with us in just a period of nine months, and quickly drove millions in incremental revenue. And again, on ROI that was in the high twenties for each dollar spent so very high ROI, much faster risk growth, and ultimately lots of revenue.

Beautiful. I’m gonna put links to Supergoop and Pura. It’s funny with Pura Vida. I just came back from Maui and they’re everywhere and every checkout. So they’re doing some retail, extremely take it over.

Haven’t they, incredible? Awesome.

I used to manage that account. In the early days of Shopify until we regionalized a bit, but yeah. Excellent brand. Thank you for bringing up those two case studies. I think I’ll put links in the show notes too, cuz there’s quite a few others in there that are pretty impactful. One thing I wanna talk about next is about partnerships. Cause I think it’s important. It’s interesting. When you go to your site and you take a look to see you do play quite nicely and you’re a plus technology partner for a reason, you stay in your lane for a reason. But I also feel that when I recommend, a tool or a platform, some of the pushback from most brands are okay, but does it play nice with my loyalty solution? Let’s say Loyalty Lion or Smile or whatever, or my ESP, I already have email, but I’m looking for SMS now. And so I just would like to understand like your mindset around partnerships and how you connect the platform to it and are they in fact talking to each other is there a source of truth around the customer record and how the customer wants to be communicated with and is there true marketing power by using attentive, along with a loyalty solution, or paired with an email solution? So we’ll understand your thoughts around that.

Yeah, I think integrations and partnerships are absolutely critical to our channel, right? Because it allows us to send more relevant messages to our customers. And it also allows us to send data to other types of software so that they can provide a better software service as well. So I think it’s absolutely a critical component. And we’ve built out integrations with all of the leading providers across every single, dimension of service, whether it’s email royalty or customer service, and it can deliver really cool experiences. Just as a quick example of the type of experience that you can deliver. Let’s say you use customer service platforms like Zendesk or Freshdesk or Gorgias or Kustomer or, one of many other platforms that we integrate with today. If a consumer replies to a text message and they wanna get customer service, we have some automated messages that can solve some of their questions, but let’s say they wanna get in touch with an agent and talk to a real person. We can actually automatically send those replies into the customer service platform. And the agent can chat in real-time through that customer service platform with the consumer via tenants. You have that really seamless connection. And I think that provides an amazing consumer experience. And what we’ve found is that when people are getting that type of interactivity, they actually spend quite a bit more. So we’ve done a study that looked at people that were getting that type of real-time customer support versus people that didn’t get that support via SMS and the people getting the support were spending upwards of 30%. Delivering that type of integration is really powerful.

Yeah, this is lovely. I’m just actually on the partners’ page right now. Once again, I’ll put that link in the show notes, but it’s amazing where you’re right. All the CRMs, the email providers, data platform, companies, service, marketing agencies, system integrators, loyalty, and then interactive content. So it looks like it’s an ongoing iterative process of signing up technology partners. Pairing up with your network and just offering a more seamless experience because that’s the challenge that I find too. I take on new accounts is one of the first things I go and take a look at and invent the original vanity metrics is go to their app instances and take a look and say, okay, why did you choose these? And it appears that a lot of brands, especially ones that mature up over the years from Shopify core into Shopify. Plus they tend to have a little bit of a duct tape solution after their app selection. And a lot of times employees have changed and they, a lot of people don’t know why it is that they’ve picked and they have 50 apps in their app store. They’re not really sure if they’re all talking to each other or if they need to be there. And I think that’s one of the roles of maybe me, merchant success team members is actually to take a look and to consolidate and make some better recommendations. And Attentive is always on my radar to make sure that’s the case, but are you seeing that with brands that you onboard? Are you finding that sometimes there’s not a, just over time it comes a little bit duct tape and you have to make some other recommendations to help them?

Yeah. Look in the beginning when building out, integrations and things like that, there’s a lot of duct tape. We’ve been fortunate to be around for a long time and build enough of these that I think most of our integrations are duct-taped in. Some of the newer ones, because, it’s a new business, a new technology or something. There, there might be a little more duct tape, but I think most of them over time, they’re pretty cemented together and done. correctly. I think that brands, it really depends a little bit on their growth pattern, too. There are products that are right for a brand that’s really small. And then there are products that are right as a brand gets much bigger. And if your brand’s growing really fast, you may be changing and upgrading your software pretty quickly. That’s really where I think you need to make sure that you using the right solutions as you grow.

I wanna talk about your State of Conversational Commerce Report for 2022. You released this very recently. I’m gonna put a link in the show notes for it, but I wonder if you could, maybe just on a high level, I’m definitely gonna share the asset. We’re gonna talk about it, maybe more in the show notes, but we want people to download it and consume it. I’ve I had a chance to skim it. I just found it myself literally today, having the chance to absorb it myself, but maybe just maybe on a high level, what’s the purpose behind this report? And then what sort of value do you think merchants and brands are gonna get out of it?

Yeah. I think that a common question that we get from brands is where is SMS in terms of consumers adopting it, right? Is this channel getting saturated fast? How late to the party am I and I think the answer is that consumers are still really early in terms of their adoption of this channel. And this study pulls out a bunch of the consumer metrics on how many different programs people are signed up for. And we found that almost 20% of people are still signed up for no programs. So there’s a ton of people that aren’t getting any messages still. And then, for people that are getting less than five different message. That’s still the largest group of people, over a third of people that are getting less than five different messages from programs. So I think that the market is still wide open to consumers and to brands in the SMS channel. I compare that to something email for instance, where the average person is getting hundreds and hundreds of emails, every day. Here, we’re learning that maybe they’re getting less than one or two SMS messages per day from a program that they’re signed up for. So just a tremendously early in terms of where the light cycle is for the channel. And then, secondly, consumers really want to hear from this. Mean in particular, they really wanna discover things like deals, new products, curated shopping. Those are some of the highest-strength experiences that consumers have from the channel.

So truly is a blue ocean out there, for SMS. I love it. So let’s talk about the future for Attentive. Obviously five years, the platform continues to iterate partnerships. Obviously with a few acquisitions and just improving your product roadmap is likely pretty significant. And so I just would like to understand what the north star is for, for the remainder of 22. I don’t wanna think about BFCM yet, but just people have to start planning, supply chains, a big challenge right now, all the different things going on, but just wanna understand like where you believe the Attentive platform is gonna continue to iterate over the next few months and leading into the queue fort. For which I don’t wanna think about yet. Cause some summer’s just around the corner, but it’s still an important revenue driver to think today and getting opt-ins and things like that now.

Yeah. Look, as the lists are getting bigger, as more consumers are signing up, and also as it becomes harder to reach consumers and channels like we talked about earlier on Facebook or other, advertised channels or even email. I think SMS growth is important. And I think it becomes a larger and larger percentage of sales being driven. There could be a day where, in the next few years, something on SMS is driving the majority of sales for a brand, it could be driving the majority of sales. So I think making the investment in best solutions, to ensure that, is a big lever for the brand. Very important to get right today. Because if you’re not using the great solution today and growing your list today, you’re not gonna be able to reach those people when the holidays come up. Sometimes people come to us, a few days before the holiday and they say, we wanna get launched or we want SMS to be a big channel. And we said you know what, that’s nice, but we can’t get people to sign up. Like you have to get them to sign up first. The best time to launch it is well before the holidays. So you can start growing your list. And then reach that list over the holiday period.

I always look at China too. They’re big in live selling right now. And then I see a lot of other platforms, including Amazon and others, really trying to push into the live selling market, which I think is interesting. I also like looking at WeChat, which I think is like this. I call it the super app, but literally does everything from, buying your groceries and everything and hailing a cab. And so is Attentive kind of going down that same path a bit about, Hey, maybe becoming a super app, for SMS and other parts of commerce in general. Just curious on your feedback on that.

I think that we certainly could see SMS being able to really delight the consumer across that customer experience. Be able to do things from, marketing at the top of the funnel to very personalized marketing, answering questions, completing transactions, offering real-time customer support, which I think on the customer support side, who wants to call a place, no one, right? You wanna be able to just send a text message? So look better. You have the waste of time. You can send it and then wait for your reply. And you get a record of it, which is great. So the place can’t say, oh, anyone we never talked. So it’s great to have a record of it. And it’s been in an email where you can wait, who knows how long, and go back and forth forever. So I love how SMS can really improve every step in the interaction. Save a lot of time for people, make it a much more delightful experience.

Beautiful. So how can people learn more about Attentive? What do you believe are some of the next steps to get started?

Yeah. It’s easy. Just visit attentivemobile.com and, sign up for a demo and we’ll be in touch in order to provide a demonstration of our product. We’re offering totally free a setup. And once you start sending text messages, you get to send messages for 30 days. Totally free with no obligation. And, I think just to push on a couple of the things that I think makes a, to of really special is number one, the level of service that we can provide, we have a world-class team of experts that can help you avoid all the common pitfalls and really skip to the finish line on what works within SMS. So that you can get on the right path immediately. Secondly, we have the best tools to grow your subscriber list so that you can grow that list aggressively. And that’s really important because that has a huge impact on how much revenue you can drive from the channel. And then finally, we’ve got a tremendous amount of tools for the type of messages you send. You wanna send messages that are relevant because they’re gonna make consumers happy and that’s gonna lead to more sales and less people opting out from your programs. Come to us, if you want to get the absolute best and most impact from the channel.

There’s a URL that you guys manage. It’s called Texts We Love, and it is just, it’s an amazing inspiration to see, these are public texts that are out there and campaigns, both automated and the campaign side. Talk a little bit about why you built this little part of Attentive and why the open sharing of what does great look like when it comes to SMS.

Yeah, I think that great when it comes to SMS is sending messages that they delight the consumer and also perform really well for the brand. And that’s really hard to do, it takes understanding the consumer, knowing what type of messages work when to send those messages, ensuring delivery of those messages. There’s a lot behind the scenes that makes a great program.

And then with these texts, we love. I got to, it’s so interesting because they actually have it broken down and I’ve used this a lot with even merchant calls and stuff on it and say, okay, what’s your vertical? Okay. You’re an apparel. Okay, great. They click apparel and then you go what sort of category do we wanna think? Oh, do you wanna work on some loyalty texts in your apparel business? Oh, great. And they gave you some really good recommendations of kind of what others are doing. In a similar vertical and a similar category. And it really just in almost inspires a brand to think, Hey, I could do that. Or I’m inspired by them. That’s great. They’re I look up to that brand and this is what’s successful for them. And I just appreciate the honesty and the openness of the transparency of, Hey, here’s what others are doing. Here’s what ModCloth is doing or Threadless or some, there’s some really amazing brands that have been very open to sharing about what is successful for them.

Yeah, I really love this because it is amazing to get, to go to Texts We Love and be able to just see what all these great brands are doing and learn from those brands. And, for some of these, we also have case studies that give you a lot more in-depth information. We also have built into our platform, a number of recommended templates, for different types of messages, where we’ve looked at all the best-performing messages, we’ve we send and receive billions of messages. Every month we go through all those messages. We figure out what makes the messages the best, and we make templates that you can just use immediately, to get the best performing messages so that you don’t have to spend tremendous amount of time trying to write something and then see it not work so well. So we’re gonna help you skip right to what works.

Yeah, this is lovely. Brian, thank you for coming on the show today, Shopify really is on a mission, to make commerce better for everyone. It’s very clear. You know that I’d say the mobile phone is now the new cookie. It’s really amazing that the phone numbers really are emerging now almost as a source of truth to help these brands deliver. I’d almost say the right content to the right person at the right time. It’s so interesting that’s how Attentive is positioned themselves and really engaging this, a mobile consumer, just driving more revenue. I believe those are a lot of great keys to success and just, wanna thank you for coming on the show and sharing openly about the, your platform and some of these success stories and stuff like that. It just, this knowledge sharing. Giving back is very powerful. I wish you tremendous continued success with brands, powered by Shopify. And thanks for coming on the show again.

Hey, my pleasure. Thanks a lot for having me. It’s a great show and I’ll be here anytime.

All right. Have a great day.

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