Is there anything that reveals to you the very impending holidays, like a noisy inbox? I bet nothing comes close. “X-mass bargains start NOW!” “Check Out Black Friday bargains!” “Get 15% off this Thanksgiving!” And the alerts go on-and-on. Welcome to SMS marketing.

Thus, it’s presumably nothing unexpected that now open email rates are at their least during the holidays—18.6% as per Campaign Monitor—and as more businesses shift online, analysts expect inboxes to get saturated in the coming days. 

And there’s data confirming the existence of several established entrepreneurs having been successful slicing through this noise with SMS marketing.

SMS marketing packs high engagement—considerably higher conversion rates—and is generally more cost-proficient. The best part is that it’s more personal than numerous other marketing channels and engenders more grounded customer relationships all the while. 

This blog entry promises to go through the nuts and bolts of SMS marketing, the impeccable practices on this front, as well as models. 

SMS marketing: How does it Work? 

Short message service marketing or SMS marketing essentially involves sending marketing messages to existing and potential clients through text.

Often, the objective of SMS marketing, similar to email marketing, for the most part, revolves around selling, building loyalty, or education. 

SMS marketing
Photo Courtesy: Shopify

Messages can be sent as one-off campaigns, the case of flash sales, or automated as a component of a drip campaign, similar to a welcome series.

Both SMS marketing and email are comparable-same modus operandi. Like email, SMS is an owned marketing channel—meaning, the sender controls the list of numbers and conveyance—and businesses can either send one-to-many messages or one-to-one, contingent upon their objectives. 

In SMS marketing, there is a shortcode; the code compares to an organization’s email address. A shortcode is but a shortened phone number of five-six digits; they’re abbreviated such that they’re anything but difficult to recall. 

Buyers can text a keyword, say CRUNCHYNUTS, to the shortcode. This way, they opt in to receiving your SMS messages. Buying into SMS messages is an intentional decision, and rarely does it leads to fake numbers. 

SMS marketing: Is Worth Your While? 

1. High engagement rates 

SMS open rates hit as high as 98%, contrasted with 20% for email. That’s according to data from Gartner. All the more critically, SMS click-through rates can hit as high as 45%, which may stun email marketers who are accustomed to the 6% mean. 

Some brands which have employed SMS marketing for longer than a year at this point return some interesting stats for comparisons.

In automating a welcome series of messages, these businesses see over half (50%) click-through rates. Not open rates, click-through rates. In contrast, the brands usually see 25% open rates with their email marketing and just 2% click-through rates. 

Short messaging service marketing appears to cure the deliverability bit because SMS marketing requires that prospects opt-in, and your list only incorporates clients who need to hear from you. 

2.Easy to Write

Any individual who’s ever composed a mass email to clients appreciates how involving it can get packing that ideal headline to get that open rate and the perfect copy that gets prospects clicking-through. SMS, however, you compose a line or two. What’s more, you don’t bother with design—an emoticon or GIF goes a long way; it is all that’s required to make your message pop. 

Photo Courtesy: Shopify

2. Foster Customer Relationships 

Most importantly, you’ll discover that SMS enables you to build more personal, loyal relationships with your clients. Typically, texts are easier to react to, thus, facilitating 1:1 conversation. The SMS has a mean response rate of 45%, contrasted with email at 6%. 

You can set up SMS to send mass messages and directly engage with prospects in a successful and supported capacity. 

SMS marketing: Challenges

1. Regulations 

The pervasive avoidance of SMS marketing by several online marketers is premised on the assumption SMS marketing poses complex legalities. However, that’s incorrect by any means. It’s imperative to appreciate SMS marketing as a consent-based channel, which implies you need your prospects to acknowledge you sending them promotional text messages. 

Read Also: The Dropshipping Niches I tried And failed Terribly As A Newbie

Here’s the deal. The opt-ins messages should comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which shields buyers from unregulated use of their data. If you leverage a Shopify app to send SMS marketing messages—the good news is that the apps are TCPA compliant. 

2. A lean Subscriber List 

One study indicates that 77% of buyers positively identify with businesses offering text as a correspondence channel.

Often contrasted with email, SMS marketing comes across as an ineffective channel owing to low subscription figures and high opt-out rates. The facts confirm that you normally get fewer subscribers and conceivably more opt-outs, yet those that stay on your list incredibly remain engaged. 

The key is being insightful about how frequently you send messages and ensuring your content packs relevance. 

3. Conceivably higher upfront expenses 

You’ll come to appreciate that many people value their phone number more than their email address. Thus, it’s proper that you offer a better incentive in capturing a new phone number from time to time. 

At first, in one of your campaigns, you can try and collect phone numbers without offering anything, for instance. Then proceed to offer, say, a 15% discount; you’ll experience a spike in daily sign-ups. Phone numbers prove costly to capture; with that, ensure there’s sufficient incentive. 

Likewise, the cost of sending an SMS message will vary slightly, and that’s contingent upon the software you opt to employ. SMS costs anywhere between $0.50-$2 vis-a-vis email, which generally costs $0.15-0.35. 

Read Also: The Best Free Shopify Apps You Should Leverage For Your Store

The challenge notwithstanding, there is a higher ROI. Your business can generally register about $1.5 EPM for your automated series and generally $.50 earning per message (EPM)for your campaigns. 

For instance, if we generate 2,000 new month sign-ups and send them 1 SMS each, you’d generally see $2,600 back in income, less the $20 cost to send 2,000 messages. 

SMS marketing; Getting Started

You need to build a rundown of phone numbers with opt-ins consenting to receiving promotional messages. Ordinarily, you’d capture these from both customers and prospects. You ought to build the list before you start an SMS marketing campaign. 

Therefore, on the off chance that you’re not generating traffic to your site, SMS probably won’t cut for you. It’s best you invest weeks, months, or so in developing your SMS list first. 

SMS marketing
Photo courtesy: Shopify

During the peak shopping seasons, it’s a time synonymous with low consumer attention, high email spam, and paid ads that prove costly. It’s during this spell when SMS marketing works best. SMS remains an unsaturated channel yet; thus, it still successfully slices through the noise. 

When it comes to Shopify stores, getting started with SMS marketing is as simple as downloading a TCPA compliant app. Though you’ll discover lots of apps in the App Store, this piece restricts itself to feature the following: 

  • Attentive Mobile. A perfect fit for brands with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Attentive Mobile has in its ranks & files reputable brands like Sephora. 
  • SMS Bump. If you’re looking for an awesome SMS marketing app, SMS Bump cuts; often employed by several Shopify and Shopify Plus clients. 
  • Postscript. From experience, though subjective, the best integration for Shopify stores. Simple to use and seamlessly integrates. 
  • ManyChat. Works best with global campaigns. 

Best Practices in Principle 

Simplify the Opt-in & Opt-out Process 

Buyers’ trust is paramount to SMS marketing more than any other channel. In light of that, therefore, you must make it simple for customers to opt-in and quit your SMS list. Indeed, you’ll probably lose subscribers, yet those that stay on your list do so because they indeed need to see your message, and not that it’s difficult to opt-out. 

You want to give your customer more control. To achieve the same, you have them text your business first to join. Postscript comes in handy in this regard as it specifically has a decent feature where your clients text you to affirm their subscription. 

Strive to inform, short on promoting

Given that it’s anything but difficult to quit promotional SMS messages, you need to pay your prospects’ inboxes utmost consideration. As a dependable guideline, your messages should largely identify with orders and status to solicit feedback. Rest assured, you’ll always find these consistently helpful. In practice, promotional messages should rarely pop up; for example, once a week, I would like to think. 

Make it conversational

The SMS is intrinsically conversational. Meaning SMS naturally takes the back & forth exchange format, and marketing through SMS is the same. This makes SMS an extraordinary method to generate reviews and product feedback straight from the prospects. 

For instance, you can send a text soliciting the prospects’ assessment of your business’s future product offerings. This kind of engagement is the stuff that excites your customers by your text messages. SMS can double-up as a push channel, just as a solid pull channel. 

Messages for You to Try  

Since we’ve covered SMS marketing principles, we’ll show you how to apply them in your business in this section. Consider the following:

1. The Back-in-Stock message 

The message serves to inform clients about sold out stock. It’s a gentle yet compelling approach to re-engage past visits. Combine with a free delivery minimum or different strategies to expand your mean order value. Transactional messages are effective and easy to automate. 

SMS marketing
Photo Courtesy: Shopify

2. The Hype-Up Text 

Try not to launch a flash sale lacking in the hype. In terms of conversion, a text a couple of days earlier suffice the magic. Often, folks like to plan their buys early. As such, it’s smart to give your lead clients a heads up before your deal is live. 

SMS marketing
Photo Courtesy: Shopify

3. The Flash Sales message 

I doubt there’s anyone Who’d not want to get these messages from their #1 brands. A short and snappy SMS makes for an incredible method to advance one-off flash sales or major ads. 

SMS marketing
Photo Courtesy : Shopify

4. The Feedback Message 

SMS makes a superb channel that powers your brand to strike engaging discussions with your clients on account of its conversational nature. For instance, when you conceptualize new product ideas, you may send an SMS to your clients, inviting their assessment. 

A response means you’ll have a drawing in a 1:1 conversation. Aside from the engaging conversion bringing your clients into the process, the prospects are more than likely bound to purchase the product when it’s out. 

Final Thought: The Old reincarnated 

Several online marketers steer away from SMS marketing on the assumption that it’s intrusive and costly. 

Far from it, applying the principles above means, you’ll slice through the noise, raise your conversion rates, and build positive, loyal client relationships simultaneously. Learn more. Sell more!

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