SMS Marketing
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A busy inbox is one of the best indicators that the holidays are approaching. Take a look at our early Black Friday deals! “BOGO deals begin now!” “This Thanksgiving, get $5 off!” The list continues. SMS Marketing.

Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that email open rates—which according to Campaign Monitor were at an all-time low of 18.6% over the Christmas season—were similarly low. Analysts anticipate that as more businesses transfer their operations online, inboxes will soon be overrun by email.

I've had greater success using SMS marketing as the owner of Bushbalm (and a Shopify employee by day) to break through this cacophony.

SMS marketing is more cost-effective overall, has greater engagement rates, and even higher conversion rates. The best part is that it develops better customer relationships and is more intimate than many other marketing methods.

To help you create your SMS marketing program, we'll go through the fundamentals of SMS marketing as well as some best practices and examples in this blog article.

What is SMS marketing?

Short message service (SMS) text is used in SMS marketing to create relationships with customers and fulfill their needs. Focusing on courteous and compliant communication with their target audience is what text marketers do. They generate leads and interest in products and services by using writing placement, visuals, and buy-now buttons.

How SMS marketing works

Email and SMS marketing are comparable in terms of strategy. Like email marketing, the primary objectives of SMS marketing are often to sell, inform, or foster loyalty. Businesses may send one-to-one or one-to-many SMS messages, depending on their goals. SMS is an “owned” marketing channel in which the sender has complete control over the recipient list and dissemination.

Before sending customers a marketing message through an SMS message, you must make sure that you are compliantly capturing their consent, just as with email marketing.

You can easily begin capturing each SMS consent at checkout thanks to Shopify. follow the steps outlined.

A subscriber's consent is required before you may try any of the following SMS marketing campaigns:

  • New product announcements 
  • Special offers (limited-time sales, free shipping)
  • Subscriber-exclusive offers 
  • Flash sales
  • Text-to-win competitions
  • Loyalty programs
  • Product drop alerts

A short code, which is the SMS counterpart of a business email address, is necessary for SMS marketing. A short code is merely a phone number that has been condensed to five or six digits; since they are “short,” they are easy to memorize.

Customers who text a keyword to this short code, such as HOTSAUCE, will opt-in to receive your SMS messages. It's uncommon for fraudulent numbers to result from SMS messages, which are a purposeful act.

text shortcode

Create a list of phone numbers with consent to receive marketing calls before launching a mobile marketing campaign.

Since you usually get these from potential customers and clients, SMS may not be the best option for you just yet if your website isn't currently getting a lot of traffic. I'd advise taking several weeks or months to initially build up your SMS list.

An example of how The Children's Palace creates a sizable SMS subscriber list is shown here:

sms marketing signup

When email spam is prevalent, paid advertising is costly, and consumer attention is poor, SMS marketing performs very well during the busiest shopping seasons. Additionally, omnichannel marketing automation campaigns greatly benefit from its integration. Once only one text has been written and set up, your service provider will automatically send an SMS whenever the trigger is triggered.

SMS still efficiently cuts through the noise since it is not yet a saturated channel.

5 SMS marketing best practices

1. Get permission

As long as you have permission before sending messages, text messaging will always be a useful marketing tool. You may run into legal issues if a potential client or customer refuses to grant you consent to text them. Additionally, sending unsolicited texts has the feeling of spam, which is bad for business.

Don't manually upload a list of contacts or phone numbers and start sending messages. You must first get their permission. Make sure you maintain track of opt-in agreements since people often forget to do so.

2. Make it easy to opt out

SMS marketing needs customer confidence more than any other channel. To do this, make it simple for customers to opt into your SMS list.

Yes, you'll probably lose some subscribers, but those who stay on your list do so because they really want to hear your message, not because it's hard to unsubscribe. By requiring them to text your business first to enroll, you may give your customers more influence over them. One pleasant aspect of Postscript in particular is that customers may text you to confirm their subscription.

3. Seek to inform, rarely to promote

You should be particularly cautious of your customers' inboxes since it's simple to opt out of receiving promotional SMS messages. As a general guideline, the majority of your messages need to be about an order, from progress updates to requests for feedback. These are always helpful. In my opinion, promotional messages should be sent no more often than once each week.

4. Make it conversational (sometimes)

The wonderful thing about SMS is that it is naturally conversational. SMS is all about communication back and forth, and SMS marketing is no different.

SMS is an excellent method for receiving immediate evaluations and product feedback from your customers. In our company, we text customers to get their feedback on potential product lines. They respond enthusiastically to your text messages because of this kind of interaction. Both a powerful pull channel and a push channel are possible with SMS.

5. Keep context in mind

Send your subscribers random messages while creating SMS marketing campaigns. Even if you think an open is great, uninvited messages don't always work well. Contextually appropriate texts are far more likely to be clicked on, which may result in increased conversion rates.

For instance, send a text on Friday afternoon if your event is scheduled for Friday night. Send your message on a weekday around 3 or 4 p.m. rather than 8 a.m. if you want to advertise a bar special. Maintaining simplicity can help you get better outcomes and prevent being flagged as spam.

9 examples of good SMS marketing messages

After going over the fundamentals, let's look at some instances to get ideas for your SMS marketing campaign.

1. The Flash Sale message

flash sale sms

Who wouldn't want to get these offers from their favorite companies? Promoting one-way flash deals or great promos is easy with a short and snappy SMS.

2. The Hype-Up text

hype text

Never start a flash sale without creating some buzz. A text sent a few days before has a significant impact on conversion. It's a good idea to let your loyal customers know before your sale goes live since many people want to consider their purchases in advance.

3. The Feedback message

feedback text

SMS is great for starting interesting discussions with your customers since it is conversational. For instance, when we have an opinion about a new product, we may send an SMS to our customers to get their feedback. If they respond, we'll have lively one-on-one conversations. Not only does this include our customers in the production process, but they are also far more inclined to purchase the final product.

4. The Back-in-Stock message

back in stock sms

Customers are alerted about sold-out items via this message. It's a delicate but powerful way of re-engaging previous customers. Increase your average order value by combining it with a free delivery requirement or other strategies. Impactful transactional messages may be easily automated.

5. The Giveaway message

Host a text-to-win giveaway or contest if you want to increase the number of leads generated by your SMS marketing campaigns. These lead-generation techniques are effective since they increase your customer base without adding any more labor on your side.

giveaway text

According to one study, 46% of people would share competitions even if there was no additional reward. However, the study found that 99% of participants would accept such a challenge if they could increase their odds of winning by recruiting new participants.

A giveaway may be readily set up with your existing marketing platforms. Simply tack on your shortcode or 10-digit number to any of the following:

  • Ads (print and digital)
  • Social media accounts
  • Product packages
  • Webinars
  • Blogs or feature articles
  • Landing pages on your website
  • In-store signage 

A subscriber instantly becomes a subscriber after signing up for your offer, making them accessible to you for future campaigns.

6. The BFCM message

blume text
Photo courtesy of: Fantastic Texts

Automate the distribution of date-triggered messages to customers at critical times, including the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping seasons. These limited-time campaigns encourage consumers to act quickly before the sale expires.

7. The Welcome message 

welcome message
Photo courtesy of: Fantastic Texts

You may send someone who joins your list a series of SMS messages to welcome them, inform them about your products, or provide them with a coupon.

An immediate coupon is a great way to increase the number of people on your SMS subscriber list, with 68% of people stating that they would do so if they got one. Additionally, a welcome coupon code may encourage purchases.

8. The Abandoned Cart message

abandoned cart text
Photo courtesy of: Fantastic Texts

People who added products to their cart but did not complete the transaction receive an SMS. The same strategies encourage email and SMS for following up with cart abandoners and boosting sales.

Abandoned cart SMS messages may result in increased click-through rates and purchases since people are more likely to see an SMS push notification than to notice an email in a busy inbox.

9. The Cross/Upsell message

cross sell sms
Photo courtesy of: Fantastic Texts

Your average order value and customer lifetime value may increase via strategic upselling and cross-selling. Customers are shown suggestions based on their prior purchases. It's a typical email marketing strategy that you can also simply mimic in text.

Benefits of SMS marketing

1. High engagement rates

Nearly 96% of marketers who use SMS marketing said that it increased their profits. According to the same study, ecommerce marketers typically made around $71 for every dollar they spent on text message marketing.

We have some fascinating comparative data at Bushbalm since we have been employing SMS marketing for more than a year. Over 50% of rates browse through the messages in our automated “welcome series.” Click-through rates, not open rates. Comparatively, we often see 25% open rates and barely 2% click-through rates for our marketing emails.

Deliverability issues are almost nonexistent. Customers on your list will only be those who want to hear from you since SMS marketing requires customers to opt in.

Customers on your list will only be those who want to hear from you since SMS marketing requires customers to opt in.

2. Easy to write

Anyone who has ever sent a mass email to their customers is aware of the arduous work needed to create the ideal subject line to increase open rates and the ideal text to increase click-through rates.

You're just writing a few lines since the SMS window on a mobile device is limited. Forget about design; all you need to make your message stand out is a little emoji or GIF motion.

A little emoji goes a long way.

3. Strengthen customer relationships

Above all, I've discovered that SMS enables us to develop closer, more personal relationships with our customers. Texts naturally invite more one-on-one communication since it is simpler to reply to them. Compared to email's 6% response rate, SMS's average response rate is 45%.

Our team has built up SMS so that it may interact directly with customers in a successful and supportive capacity, in addition to sending bulk SMS messages.

Messaging is no longer a one-way street. Your customers desire the opportunity to hear from you and engage in a prompt response from you. This dialogue between the two parties goes much beyond standard customer service. Additionally, you may use SMS Live Chat to

  • Learn more about customers to recommend relevant products
  • Upsell and cross-sell to increase average order value
  • Guide customers to related products if one is out of stock
  • Help customers make a payment 

4. Customers prefer SMS communication

Both large and small businesses find SMS marketing appealing because it is immediate and has a personal touch, but they are not the only ones. According to data from Attentive, about 58% of customers prefer to get information by text. In addition, compared to other marketing platforms, they statistically open texts and click through in record-high numbers.

SMS marketing software

For Shopify store owners, starting an SMS marketing campaign is as simple as installing an app, which all come with built-in compliance. There are several SMS marketing systems available in our App Store, but I want to specifically mention three that I have used:

  • Postscript. In my opinion, this is the best integration for Shopify shops. simple to integrate and use. Building automated workflows for bulk texts or tailored messaging is simple. Pricing varies according to usage. What I do is this:
  • SMSBump. Many Shopify and Shopify Plus customers also use this great SMS marketing tool.
  • Attentive. is perfect for larger companies with thousands of subscribers. counts Williams-Sonoma, Coach, and Sephora among its customers.

Using text message marketing in your ecommerce store

Due to their perception that SMS marketing is costly and obtrusive, many internet marketers avoid it. Not so. Applying the aforementioned concepts can help you stand out from the competition, boost your conversion rates, and build customer loyalty. Happy marketing!

SMS marketing FAQ

Is SMS marketing legal?

If you have explicit written consent from customers before sending them marketing texts, then SMS marketing is legitimate. SMS marketing is governed by US law, and marketers that use it are required to abide by the TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act's rules of conduct.

How do I start SMS marketing?

Building a list of phone numbers that have consented to receive promotional messages is the first step in SMS marketing.

What are the types of SMS marketing?

1. Promotional deals and discounts
2. Coupons
3. Flash sales
4. Text-to-win competitions
5. Loyalty programs
6. Product drop alerts

Why is SMS marketing effective?

1. Customers prefer SMS interactions.
2. It’s easy to write texts.
3. It’s easy to use SMS marketing software.
4. It can strengthen customer relationships.
5. SMS has high engagement rates.

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