Why All Ecomm Stores NEED to Use SMS (And How to Get Started)

Why All Ecomm Stores NEED to Use SMS (And How to Get Started)

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Engaging with your audience has never been easier – but only if you know how to do it.

Customers are bombarded with overloaded inboxes and advertising on social media becomes less effective by the day.

That’s why all ecommerce stores need to find different marketing avenues that cut through the noise and capture the interest of potential clients.

SMS is the most effective marketing channel to connect directly with your current and future customers.

This article will dig into what SMS marketing is, why every ecomm store needs to use SMS, and tips for launching a successful SMS marketing program.

What is SMS Marketing for ECommerce?

SMS (short message service) marketing is a strategy in which businesses send text messages to their potential and existing customers.

Typically, SMS marketing for ecommerce is leveraged to share time-sensitive and personalized information to clients who’ve opted to receive messages regularly. There are two major types of SMS marketing strategies:

  • Mass texts: These are essentially used to communicate brand information such as sales, new products, promotions, or updates. Typically, bulk SMSs are sent to most (if not all) customers on the brand marketing list.
  • One-on-one texts: These are sent to specific customers or customer segments and entail information that only they would need. They are triggered by the behaviors or actions of the client. For instance, if a customer buys something from your store, you can send them an order confirmation via SMS.

The Benefits of SMS for Ecommerce

Here are the top reasons to integrate SMS marketing into your ecommerce store campaigns:

Customers are Already on Their Phones

Today, phones aren’t simply communication tools-   they’re an extension and part of every person’s life. Besides, texting has become a norm, with 74% of customers reading all texts on their phones. That means SMS is an effective tool to reach any age group target.

Higher Open Rates

Customers are more likely to open text messages when compared to email. Research shows that SMS has a 98% open rate while email has an open rate of approximately 20%. Furthermore, 32% of customers will respond to promotional SMS from retailers. This shows that SMS can significantly increase your customer engagement rates (and your conversion rates).

Higher ROI

Higher engagement rates lead to a higher ROI – especially when you consider how affordable it can be to send SMS messages. Besides, according to a 2018 study, SMS engagement rates are approximately eight times higher than email marketing rates.

Instant Delivery

You can reach clients across the world in a matter of seconds with SMS ecommerce marketing. That makes it an excellent option if you need to communicate real-time information such as short-term offers and promotions. Moreover, there fewer deliverability issues compared to emails and you don’t need to worry about SMSs bouncing.

Wide Demographic

With customers of all ages and backgrounds texting, SMS allows you to reach a wider audience. This is especially true when compared to channels like Snapchat or Instagram that are primarily used by young audiences.

Connect Through Entire Customer Lifecycle

You can use SMSs to engage your clients in different stages of their buying journey. For  prospects, the approach is an excellent way to engage and nurture them into becoming clients. For current customers, it is a way of keeping in touch, boosting purchases, and increasing retention and loyalty.

Strengthen Customer Engagement

Customers like to be in-the-know and feel that they matter to your brands. So, when you use SMS to keep the clients informed about events, offers, and other news that matter to them, they feel cared for and part of the brand. That can boost client engagement and loyalty.

How To Get Start SMS Marketing On Shopify

Here are the steps to take to start SMS marketing for your Shopify store:

Set a Goal

Don’t start sending off texts blindly; you need to develop a strategy. You should first set SMS marketing goals, for instance, to promote new products, receive customer feedback, or enhance the abandoned cart recovery rate. Setting clear goals allows you to measure the strategy’s effectiveness objectively after a set amount of time. Also, you should consider the action you’d want the subscribers to take, how the message will benefit them, and if your SMS is something they’d actually want to receive.

Pick an SMS provider

The ideal provider should offer a wide range of features that align with your marketing goals. It should also offer easy automation, seamless integration, messenger support, and timed messages.

Build your list and get compliant opt-ins

A huge part of any SMS marketing campaign is building you SMS subscriber list and collecting compliant opt-ins. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Website popups: Especially if you sweeten the deal with an offer like a special discount, website popups are the easiest way to capture subscribers.
  • Post-purchase requests: You can request a client to offer their phone number to receive text messages at checkout.
  • Via email: You can use a link in your email and allow clients to sign up to receive texts. 
  • One-click-to-opt-in mobile popup: If you have a landing page or blog post on which over 80% of the traffic comes from mobile, then this can be an excellent way to build your SMS list. You can customize the popups for specific offerings or pages. For example, you can have a popup on a blog post for product announcement or on the product page for a discount.
  • Click-to-text opt-ins: Ease and convenience are crucial in increasing signups and engagement. That’s where click-to-text comes in. This only requires two taps to opt-in, or you can simply ask the clients to text a keyword or code to a certain number.

Set up Automated Workflows

Automation is the key to SMS success and sustainability. You should set up the triggers and SMS messages by programming, for instance, a system that sends a certain message to visitors who abandon their cart. Other triggers can be for new orders, products, new canceled orders, or updated products.

Split Test Continuously

After sending your frst round of texts, your message, personalization, offer, and time should be tested continually. You can segment the audience into similar groups and test different types of messaging against each other. But, to keep things measurable, only change one variable at a time to know the change that causes a certain effect.

Examples of SMS for Ecommerce

Not sure what you can use SMS marketing for? Here are the top text message marketing examples for ecommerce stores:

Welcome Campaigns

This is usually an introduction to your brand, and hence it should offer value to new subscribers. This SMS can be very effective since the subscribers are active as they just got onto your list. Use this opportunity to offer a small discount on their first purchase.

Discount Codes

Speaking of discounts, you can send discount codes with a link to purchase in a short SMS. The customers will likely see the text and make an instant purchase decision, especially if you add a sense of urgency.

Shipping Notifications

This SMS is more personalized and includes order status updates. Not only is this great from a customer service stand point, it also additional chances to engage with your subscribers.

Loyalty Offer Messages

Loyalty SMS campaigns should reward clients who’ve been loyal to your brand. You can include GIFSs to make the SMS feel more branded and friendly.

Renewal or Replenishment Reminders

You can achieve repeat purchases with timely nudges.Use SMS to remind the customers to replenish a product. Use AI to predict when the client is likely to run out of a product they last purchased. Your text message should prompt the subscribers to reply with “yes” if they want to re-order or “remind me” if they opt to wait a little longer.

Abandoned Cart Messages

On average, 79% of customers abandon their shopping carts. Therefore, you should set up shopping cart abandonment text messages to remind the visitors to finish checking out.

Winback Offer Messages

If you have inactive subscribers, you can use your SMS marketing to try and win them back. That can include reaching out to them with exclusive offers to entice and convince them to make a purchase. This can be more effective than an email winback campaign because open rates are much higher on texts.

Post-Purchase Reviews

Product reviews are vital for companies to build trust with potential buyers. You can use SMS to ask your current customers for reviews. First, reach out by asking them how they are enjoying the product. If they respond negatively, ask them how you can improve. If they respond positively, follow up by asking them to share their feedback on your site, dedicated reviews site, or on Google.

Best Practices for SMS Marketing

Some of the best practices to help ensure your SMS marketing efforts bare fruits include:

Get Permission

People care about their privacy and their data rights, and rightfully so. Only send send texts to SMS subscribers who’ve agreed to be sent the messages. You shouldn’t spam people as it can ruin your brand reputation. Besides, you ought to respect the client’s time and potential text charges by sending only pertinent, essential SMS. This will encourage people not to opt-out of your SMS marketing.

Use an SMS Marketing Tool

Typing out hundreds of text messages or starting a huge group chat with all of your subscribers isn’t convenient or effective. Besides, it can lead to serious privacy and compliance issues.

To make things easier on your users (and yourself) use an SMS marketing tool that allows you to manage your customer lists, send customized messages easily, schedule messages, and view clients who have opened or responded.

Add Value

When you reach out, ensure that you offer something valuable, such as unique sales or a time-sensitive deal. You may also use SMS to introduce new products or services or offer information that’s vital to consumers who might want to participate in an event.

Keep it Short & to the Point

No one wants to read a wall of text. Be concise and avoid sending threads of messages. Besides, many people pay a surcharge on text messages, and hence will immediately opt-out if you use three messages to communicate one thing.


You should invest in personalizing your messages. That can be done by creating texting groups and segmented lists about the things that interest the segment the most. You can also use data automation to include people’s names in the SMS. This helps clients feel more connected to your brand, and it encourages them to engage more.

Combine SMS with Email for Best Results

Especially for products that require an in-depth explanation, combing SMS and email marketing strategies will give you better results. You can use SMS to spark interest and email to offer them the extra information they need.

Keep an Eye on the Clock

Most people check text messages almost immediately. However, it’s crucial to time your SMS marketing strategy. Consider this – a person is waiting for an important message and goes to sleep with their cell phone on loud. An SMS alert wakes them at 2:00 AM, but it’s not the text they were anticipating. Instead, it’s a promotional message from your store. This can lead customers to opt-out of receiving your messages and probably choose another store over you in the future.

Make it Easy to Opt-Out

Your SMS marketing strategy should allow customers to opt-out of receiving the texts easily. This not only puts the customer in control, it also ensures that you focus on reaching out to customers who are truly interested in your brand. That way, you don’t spend your money and time on cold messages.

The Takeaway

You need to be creative in today’s market to engage the consumers. SMS marketing is a new and innovative way to promote your products and services.

SMS is a high ROI marketing channel that allows you to break through the noise and engage with your clients more efficiently than other marketing methods.Prev



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