Branding

Unleash More Engagement with Two-Way SMS Messaging

unleash-more-engagement-with-two-way-sms-messaging

Karolina Jūrėnė

Karolina Jūrėnė

Product Marketing Manager

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Seeing increasingly more marketers adopt SMS as one of their primary channels, we’ve been putting quite some focus on improving Omnisend’s SMS marketing features lately. To anyone who’s been following our product news over the last months, it doesn’t come as a surprise: we’ve released free SMS credits, pre-built workflows with SMS, STOP/HELP keyword support and more SMS-related features in 2020 alone. And we’re not done. 

To enable our customer ecommerce businesses to unleash even more of this channel, we’ve recently updated our integration with Gorgias to now support two-way SMS messaging. With two-way SMS, brands can provide a next-level, seamless experience to their shoppers by responding to any customer questions or requests via SMS or even go the extra mile and drive incremental engagement by creating two-way SMS marketing campaigns. 

How does two-way SMS messaging work?

Two-way SMS messaging is now available to all Omnisend clients on Pro and Enterprise plans who are also using Gorgias, the all-in-one helpdesk for Shopify merchants.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Connect your Omnisend account with Gorgias account (follow this detailed step-by-step guide).

  2. Check your SMS credits balance. All Pro & Enterprise plan users get free monthly SMS credits, but if you’ve used them, you might want to get an extra SMS credits subscription. SMS credits are used for SMS campaigns, automations, and for responding to customer texts.

  3. Set up your SMS campaign or automation. If you want to use two-way SMS for more than customer support, don’t forget to add a clear call to action for how you want your customers to respond. 

  4. As soon as you receive any SMS responses, they’ll appear as a new ticket in your Gorgias helpdesk. These tickets will be auto-tagged with the “Omnisend” tag and you’ll see the ticket subject line starting with “SMS via Omnisend.”

  5. Note: Responses other than STOP/HELP are automatically omitted from this integration, and the responses are managed directly in your Omnisend account.

  6. When you or your helpdesk agent replies to these tickets in Gorgias, the replies will be sent as SMS via Omnisend, using the same phone number, back to the end-customer. 

This update to our integration with Gorgias opens the doors for ecommerce brands to provide a seamless customer experience to their shoppers. You can now easily respond to any customer query using the same channel it came through.

You might be thinking, “what else can I do with two-way messaging?” or “are people really into texting with brands?”. With an omnichannel marketing automation platform at hand, there’s a lot more you can do to leverage SMS and engage your shoppers.

How to use two-way SMS to drive customer engagement

Two-way SMS opens a whole new world of engagement opportunities to customize your marketing and use it to drive customer retention. The best part? With the Omnisend + Gorgias integration, it’s all scalable. Here are some ideas on how you can use two-way SMS and automate your marketing based on the responses. 

1. Collecting (and acting on) customer satisfaction survey responses

Two-way SMS for customer satisfaction measurement is something you might have already heard of, but we’re talking about a use case with a spin. By combining Omnisend’s marketing automation features with the collected customer satisfaction scores, you can act on the responses you gather. Here’s a simple how-to:

  • Set up an automated customer feedback workflow with an SMS message, asking the customer to leave a satisfaction score after a completed purchase.
two-way SMS — customer feedback
  • Assign auto-tags for each response score in Gorgias (e.g., a “review_score_5” tag for all 5-point responses). Tags created in Gorgias are synced to Omnisend, so you can easily create tag-based segments.
  • Use customer responses to segment the audience and further engage them, such as by identifying customers who were not satisfied with their shopping experience and asking them for more information or by providing special incentives to those customers as a way to make amends (e.g., gave a score of 1-3).
SMS two-way customer responses

2. Running special contests with an SMS opt-in

With an astounding 98% open rate and over 14% average click-through rates, SMS is a channel with great potential for driving customer engagement. Now, with two-way SMS available, Omnisend customers can take it one step further and not only incentivize the recipients to click-through to their store but also engage them in special contests. 

As an example, you could try running an SMS campaign to a specific audience segment, inviting them to respond and participate in a special giveaway contest. 

two-way SMS preview response

You can auto-tag all incoming SMS’es with a contest opt-in keyword (e.g., WANT100) in Gorgias. The tag will also be visible in your Omnisend account, so you’ll be able to create a segment of everyone who took part in the giveaway and send them a special offer—even if they didn’t win (after sending the giveaway prize with the winner, of course). 

Two-way SMS Thank You

You can also keep this segment of active giveaway contest participants for your future campaigns where you want to target your most engaged customers. 

3. Collecting extra data to power your segmentation

Two-way SMS messaging opens up the opportunities to ask your customers … basically anything. The smart way, of course, is to ask them for information that you could later act on, as in the example of customer satisfaction scores. Other, more open-ended yet scalable use cases could be:

  • Asking new subscribers to select their preferred geo-location of your brick and mortar retail stores as part of their Welcome Series. You can then use this additional data to segment the audience and send geo-specific, personalized offers.
  • Creating an automated order cancellation series where you send an SMS asking for more details (reasons) about the cancellation and then responding accordingly.
  • Gathering more information from your new subscribers (ones you don’t have much data on yet), such as whether they are shopping for home or beauty products, and send them segmented messages based on that information.
Welcome SMS with Interest

Remember, you can send SMS for free

Ready to try out two-way SMS messaging? Don’t forget that all Omnisend customers on Pro & Enterprise plans get free SMS credits equal to the price of their monthly or yearly plan, meaning that if your monthly plan costs $99, you’ll receive $99 worth of monthly SMS messages for free. Sounds good, doesn’t it? 

With SMS booming as a sales channel in ecommerce, it’s time to step up and make even more use of it. Get started with Omnisend, connect your Gorgias account, and start unleashing more engagement with two-way SMS messaging today. 

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This article originally appeared in the Omnisend blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain his competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.