13 SMS Marketing Tips for Ecommerce Businesses

Jul 19, 2023
13 SMS Marketing Tips for Ecommerce Businesses

The movie “Field of Dreams” made popular the saying “If you build it, they will come.” Sadly, for ecommerce businesses, just building it won’t bring in customers, no matter how strong your SEO mojo is. If you want to sell stuff you have to go tell people about what you sell — and that’s called marketing.

SMS marketing in particular involves sending promotional materials via text message — in contrast to transactional messaging, which encompasses things like delivery updates and one-time passwords.

SMS is the best communication channel for marketing. It’s highly available — consider how many people have cellphones and how high open rates are for text messages. It doesn’t require anyone to download a mobile app. And according to research by SAP SE, “70% of respondents say that SMS is a good way for a company to get their attention and 64% say that organizations should use SMS-based engagement more often.”

Build your subscriber base

Having said that, however, you can’t just buy a list of phone numbers and send unsolicited text messages to individuals with whom you have no business relationship. You must gather opt-in consent from message recipients first. Once you have that consent, you can add the contact information to your subscriber list.

How do you gain subscribers? Offer customers and potential customers incentives to be contacted. Typical incentives include cost savings, time savings (such as faster shipments), and early access to information, such as insider priority for sales.

Here are six ways to gather opt-in consent.

  • Put a signup box on your product pages.
  • Let customers tick a box to opt in to messaging when they first provide their phone numbers as part of their purchase information.
  • Display an exit intent popup when someone’s about to leave your site, asking for consent.
  • Offer a link to the subscriber signup page in email newsletters.
  • Give people a short code they can use to subscribe by texting a keyword.
  • Promote signups in social media campaigns.

Whatever methods you use, make it clear that you’re asking consumers to consent to receive marketing messages via SMS. Provide a link to your terms and conditions page, and let people know how they can unsubscribe from your list should they choose to in the future. Keep a record of their agreement in case you need to provide it for audit purposes.

7 types of SMS marketing offers

Marketing isn’t simply telling potential customers why they should buy your product, although you can certainly do that. Here are seven SMS marketing tips to help your ecommerce business boost revenue.

  • Promotion alerts: Tell consumers about sales and new product launches. With this and other SMS marketing tactics, be sure to include a link to a web page that recipients can click on to see the deal and, hopefully, spend money on it.
  • Exclusive deals: Create a loyalty program that includes an SMS promotions list and offer subscribers deals that they can’t get elsewhere. Send customers updates on their loyalty points and information about how to earn more.
  • Personalized recommendations: If you have the ability, use customer data to create personalized recommendations for products or services that customers might like given the fact that they’ve already bought some other service. Think Amazon’s “You might also like” recommendations, but delivered directly to customers’ mobile devices.
  • Abandoned cart reminders: Remind customers of items they left in their shopping cart, and consider offering a discount if they complete the purchase.
  • Review requests: Ask for positive reviews on relevant websites, such as Amazon, Google, and Yelp, as well as whatever review sites are popular with customers in your sector. Positive reviews serve as objective evidence of the value of your product, and asking customers to share their feedback can help foster brand loyalty.
  • Replenishment reminders: If you sell products that run out or get used up (such as food, beauty products, or health supplements) send SMS reminders to drive repeat purchases.
  • Product tips and guides: Are how-to tips marketing? Arguably — but giving customers information on how best to take advantage of the products they’ve bought can be valuable both to them as consumers and to you as a way to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Winning with SMS marketing

If you like these 13 tips, you might want to download our ebook guide to SMS marketing or look at our getting started guides for bulk messaging. Or you can skip straight to trying Plivo’s SMS API Platform by signing up for free.

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