Boost Customer Engagement with SMS

No matter what industry you’re in or what product you sell, customer engagement is essential for keeping your business afloat. Interacting with shoppers can greatly increase customer loyalty and improve sales. 

Getting customers to engage – and stay engaged – is difficult for most retailers, but we may have the secret sauce to make your interactions successful: SMS messaging.

SMS Helps Drive Purchases

Not only do 89% of customers say they prefer to communicate with businesses via SMS text, but messaging is also 3–8X more preferred than other communication methods across generations. Since mobile shopping is on the rise, SMS can help drive purchases, especially if you provide a link back to your website or a specific product. 

According to data from Klaviyo and EXCLUSIVE, 73% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of a test message. Of that 73%:

  • 16% planned to purchase that day
  • 60% planned to purchase in the next few weeks or months
  • 24% didn’t plan to purchase at all

How to Use SMS Marketing

Retailers can use SMS text messages in a variety of ways to engage their customers, such as promoting new products or announcing a sale. Data from Klaviyo and EXCLUSIVE found that this is what consumers want in brand texts:

  • Delivery confirmation
  • Sales
  • Products that are back in stock
  • Smart and personalized recommendations

The key here is to keep things personal and give consumers the information that they want in order to keep them subscribed.

How to Set Up SMS Marketing Messages

Now that you know how much SMS can help engage your customers, it’s time to set up this option. Here are four steps for creating an effective SMS strategy:

1. Build a List of Opt-In Subscribers

Similarly to building an email marketing campaign, you must first get customers’ explicit consent to set up SMS messaging. You can make this process painless by offering shoppers something of value in return for their consent, such as a certain percentage off their next purchase or free shipping with online orders.

2. Develop a Strategy for the Entire Customer Journey

The bottom line is you want customers to stay subscribed after opting in to SMS messages. To prevent them from unsubscribing after taking advantage of whatever offer you provided them for signing up, keep the conversation flowing. 

Data from Klaviyo and EXCLUSIVE suggest the following in order to keep your customers subscribed:

  • Avoid spammy content, which can include a bunch of words in all caps or a lot of exclamation points.
  • With inflation still top of mind for consumers, sending SMS messages announcing a price drop or special discount on a product can grab someone’s attention. 
  • Offering incentives can take lingering browsers and get them to make a purchase for a very low incremental cost to drive an extra sale. Use phrases such as “Bonus Gift,” “Mystery Offer,” or “Giveaway.”
  • New product alerts can get shoppers excited. Use popular phrases such as “Just Landed,” “Just Arrived,” or “Available Now.”
  • Advertise special access and exclusivity to make shoppers feel like they are getting more for being subscribed to your brand. Offer things like pre-orders, secret subscriber-only sales, and sneak peeks on new products.

3. Personalize Your Content

As we mentioned earlier, personalization is the key to not only getting consumers to subscribe to SMS messaging, but also in keeping them subscribed. Send personalized messages using the customer’s name, birthday, age, and order history to dictate the content you send to them.

4. Monitor the Effectiveness

Always remember to constantly review how well your SMS campaigns are doing. This can help you to see how well certain offers do and if you need to make any adjustments to your campaign. Metrics that are important to track include subscribers, opt-outs, sends, replies, deliverability, click-through rate (CTR), revenue, conversions, and more.

SMS messages are the new way to connect with consumers and keep them engaged. Utilize these tips to help your brand boost sales and create loyal shoppers.