Short Message Service marketing can be an incredibly effective method of engaging your audience and boosting your sales. It can help nudge both existing customers and potential first-time buyers to make a purchase.
On the other hand, SMS marketing can become an irritant if you overuse it. It may take time and some experimentation to deploy it effectively, but there are tactics that can increase your chances of success. Here are three ways to succeed with SMS marketing without irritating your audience.
1. Use Reminder Texts to Reactivate Abandoned Carts
Mobile shopping is more popular than ever, with many customers browsing during small windows of free time during their day. A potential buyer might be waiting in line at the bank, adding items to their cart with the full intention of buying them. But once it’s their turn in line, they close their phone and may forget about their cart entirely.
Your customers might also abandon their carts if they browse and shop on multiple devices. Consumers browsing on a laptop or desktop at work might then take to their phone once they get home. What was once a cart full of items may be completely depopulated on another device. The prospect of starting all over can be demotivating, and your customer may end up doing something else instead.
Abandoned shopping carts may be a big source of lost revenue for your business. They might not seem like much at first, but abandoned carts could represent millions in spending depending on the size of your business. Luckily, SMS marketing is a part of a retention marketing strategy that can help reactivate all those lonely carts just waiting for someone to click “buy.”
Customers who opt in to SMS on your site can be sent friendly reminders to complete their shopping session. Since they were already browsing your site, these messages will be considered helpful nudges rather than out-of-the-blue intrusions — especially if you offer a discount. And you can use first-party cookies to identify specific shoppers as they change devices. An SMS can follow up with those who have switched devices and lead them back to their still-populated cart.
2. Integrate Shoppers’ Purchasing Behaviors
In the not-so-long-ago early 1990s — which now seem like a wholly other time — there was no option to order products online. While shoppers could call businesses to make purchases, they often had to make their way to a physical location to pick up their goods.
Fast-forward to recent years, when many people began to shop online exclusively — especially with the advent of COVID-19. Many observers predicted online shopping would become the primary method of purchasing products. However, that prediction is being reconsidered as shoppers eagerly return to stores as the pandemic eases (source).
Rather than simply choosing one method or the other, more and more customers are blending their shopping experiences. A shopper might leverage their personalized algorithms online to find items suited to their particular needs and interests. They might then go to a store, inspect the item, and buy it in person. Another customer might find a product that interests them in a physical store but not be ready to buy it just yet. After reading some positive reviews online, they may finally pull the trigger.
Integrating different purchasing behaviors can be crucial to adapting your business to modern shopping trends. Use call-to-action SMS marketing to help your customers bridge the gap between those different behaviors. “Show this text” CTAs encourage customers to make a trip to a physical location to take advantage of a discount. Alternatively, when customers have enabled location services, you can send them automatic on-site SMS prompts about certain promotions as they walk by them. Few consumers object to getting a text that offers them a deal.
3. Balance Your SMS Output
With all of the points of interaction possible with SMS marketing, it can be easy to go overboard. In a digital landscape littered with notifications, your customers’ attention is precious and limited. Too much SMS solicitation can be off-putting and make you appear needy to your customer rather than enterprising. So it’s important to balance your texting output effectively.
Always make sure you’re sending out messages to the appropriate people at appropriate times. A 20-something in Idaho doesn’t need to know about an in-store promotion for hearing aids in Florida, for example. Both the target demographic and the physical location are incompatible with your marketing. Likewise, keep different time zones in mind when sending out messages. A message that’s enticing at 9 p.m. in California may be less well received at 12 a.m. in New York.
There’s still room for error even if you’re sending messages to the right demographic in the right location at the right time. Send too few messages, and you might not succeed in stirring up audience engagement. Too many can lead to feelings of annoyance, resentment, and eventually burnout with your marketing strategy. Research the best time to send messages to various audience segments, and make your targeted CTAs short and sweet.
Profiting From SMS Marketing
With the overwhelming prevalence of mobile devices in the U.S. market, SMS marketing is alive and well. One of its great strengths is the ability for you to engage with your audience directly. You can employ SMS marketing to increase revenue by reclaiming abandoned shopping carts. You can also use it to encourage desired customer behaviors both digitally and in person with well-honed CTAs. When used properly and with the right balance, SMS marketing can boost your sales substantially.