An average person will check their smartphone up to 85 times every day. That means up to 5 cumulative hours of checking notifications, browsing the apps, and communication. Does this number imply a fair chance for personalized SMS marketing?
Old school marketers know the value of talking directly, replying promptly, and reaching out to their target customers via the fastest possible channel i.e. SMS. As the digital wave engulfs the world, e-commerce brands are looking to make their marketing campaigns more effective and yield higher ROI. Turns out, personalized SMS marketing automation is the answer!
Here is your go-to guide for Personalized SMS Marketing Automation
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The Rationale Behind SMS Marketing
A comprehensive marketing study revealed that most of the e-commerce consumers around the world prefer messaging as the mode of communication, in case they want to connect with a business or be contacted by it. In India, a staggering 34% of the consumers voted for messaging (SMS, WhatsApp, etc.) as their top preference for customer support and business communication. This trend is true for South Korea, Singapore, and the USA as well!
The second and third spots for business communication channel preference were stolen by email & telephone with the latter having similar variance across the countries.
These stats directly state the potential of SMS marketing for e-commerce brands who want to give their customers an exceptionally fast, simple, and direct experience. Besides, the following points make an excellent case for you to launch an automated SMS marketing campaign;
Remember Google’s initial ‘text-only’ search ads? Well, SMS marketing possesses that advantage. Text is universally recognized and can be broadcasted to a large set of audience- without facing the risk of perceptional bias.
Effective & Efficient
Faster communication on the fly is where the world is shifting to. Unsurprisingly, the ‘old school’ SMS channels offer this advantage without guzzling a lot of communication resources. Text-based SMS messages are easy to compose, take less time than drafting emails, and can be used either in real-time or with a delay. Moreover, the convenience associated with drafting a quick message (either by the customer or the e-commerce brand) makes this a preferable mode of communication.
Text messages are better at engaging the recipients than the emails. For instance, SMS messages have more than 90% opening rate, of this, 90% are opened within the first 3 minutes. On the flip side, an email campaign might find it hard to breach the 30% opening rate.
Quick Personalization & Trust
Text messaging establishes trust between the parties much more easily than other modes of outreach. One can personalize the text, the effect of which is amplified by the simplicity of SMS’s ‘media-less’ structure, and genuine appeal.
80 % of the millennials state that their smartphone is the first thing they checkout in the morning. For a generation whose digital footprints are stronger than any other sample population on the planet, mobile-friendly communication makes a lot of sense. Text-messaging checks that requirement pretty easily.
Types of SMS Marketing Messages
SMS-based business communication can be categorized into;
- Broadcast (Where the businesses target their message to a wide set of their audience at once)
- Personalized notifications (When businesses interact with the customers based on their preferences)
- One-on-one messaging (Chatting individually with the customers via SMS)
Note: Different countries enforce different compliance rules for text-based marketing. The rules for opt-in, broadcasting, spamming, automation, etc. differ by region.
Personalized SMS Marketing Use Cases for E-commerce Brands
An SMS marketing campaign can yield the following benefits for an e-commerce business vis-a-via ROI;
Reduce Digital Cart Abandonment Rate
Digital cart abandonment is a problem that plagues almost every business in the e-commerce domain. A majority of your online visitors will fill-up their carts with products of interest. But, in the last phase of the online journey, they’ll leave those products at the checkout without purchasing them. This will occur 7 out of 10 times on average.
However, personalized SMS marketing automation can effectively address this problem. For instance, our tool Wigzo allows digital cart recovery via a single WhatsApp link. Post setting the conditions for the event and the trigger, Wigzo’s industry-first WhatsApp cart recovery solution will send a personalized message over the visitor’s WhatsApp contact. This message will have the link that will take the prospect visitor straight to the checkout page with originally added products in the cart. For an audience that prefers the SMS route, the same works effectively.
Capture Anonymous Customer Contact
This is a great route for quick and seamless onboarding of anonymous visitors on your e-commerce site. SMS allows quick contact exchange along with the opt-in consent of the user. E.g. Wigzo’s Magic Links allows a link to be placed on your e-commerce business’ online assets (App, website, social media, etc.). Once a user clicks on it, they are presented with a custom pre-populated message on their text-messaging app. Once they send it, you’ll be able to capture their contact and analyze their purchase intent (based on the type of campaign you are running).
Bottom line is that SMS is a hassle-free route to discover and onboard your anonymous online visitors.
Testing, Feedback & Reviews
E-commerce brands with excellent user experience & feedback enjoy a highly loyal customer base. This might sound intense considering the resources and campaigns that need to be created for feedback and review surveys. Here, the SMS marketing automation route comes in to spare your marketing team a great deal of effort. Personalized SMS marketing automation allows for custom questionnaires, opt-in surveys, promoting test offers/deals, getting developmental feedback on a product/service, and much more.
Provide Better Customer Experience
User experience is to e-commerce as love is to a marriage. With tons of options available online, it is the brands that need to woo the customers. Pricing & quality wars may have limits, customer experience doesn’t! Using SMS marketing automation, e-commerce brands can ensure that they are dedicating resources to enhance customer support. From a customer’s perspective, this means connecting with the business with a single, fast & effective channel.
SMS Marketing Automation: Best Practices
Secure Opt-in Consent First
This is not just because of the compliance, but also because of business ethics. This is why SMS marketing is also known as ‘permission-based marketing.’ Though, to entice the customer to opt-in to your text-marketing channel, you need to be creative. Think special offers, teasers, exclusive sales discounts, contests, or a quiz.
Respond in Real-Time
This is crucial to retain the customers on your text-marketing channel. Use SMS marketing automation to send personalized or generic automatic responses based on the user’s query/input.
Work on Your Copy
As the law of the marketing land states- keep trying with your copy. The success of your text-marketing campaign depends upon the relevance, conciseness, and power of your text copy. Get expert insights or hire a Copywriter to create a copy that resonates with your audience for maximum conversions. Even for regular campaigns, surveys or query support, a high-quality copy will cut-short the communication gap between the customer and you. However, keep in mind that your copy must follow the compliance guidelines.
Avoid Messaging Overload
Think ‘signal vs. noise.’ Too many text messages from the same business is a turn-off for the majority of people. This is why you must determine which frequency works best during a testing campaign. It is recommended that you avoid bombarding your customers with too many offers and too many messages.
Personalized SMS marketing is a must-have arrow in your marketing quiver. It is a relatively less resource-intensive outreach channel for e-commerce brands looking for hyper-growth. In fact, automated text communication can dramatically reduce a business’ overall on-call support demand. Automated text marketing works as effectively in sync with email campaigns as it does standalone. Couple these advantages with an automation tool like Wigzo- and you are already outpacing your competition & uplifting the ROI.
Need to see how Wigzo’s powerful marketing automation can bolster your e-commerce brand’s customer retention & experience? Book a FREE demo now!