With the DTC industry experiencing exponential growth, the market is set to witness increased levels of competition while still appealing to the same broad demographic. It's a no-brainer that brands need to explore other marketing channels that are available to them.
Let's be honest, hardly everyone checks their email every day, and even fewer people browse through the "promotions" folder, which is a hassle to read through.
These behavioral changes coupled with regular iOS updates and the promise of a cookieless future have made sure that email marketing cannot serve as the sole source of revenue for ecommerce businesses.
So how can DTC brands expand their marketing footprint? SMS marketing! Here are some stats that'll make you ponder about SMS as a marketing & revenue channel:
- The average consumer checks their smartphone 96 times per day. That’s a lot of opportunities to get into the minds of your shoppers.
- The SMS open rates are as high as 98%, while they’re about 20% for emails.
It seems pretty clear that if you are looking to scale your DTC business, you can no longer ignore SMS as a go-to marketing channel. In fact, what you’ll need is a healthy mix of email and SMS in your marketing budget.
Kim Winter, a Product Marketing Manager at Yotpo, an ecommerce marketing platform that helps brands drive growth by creating engaging experiences to build lasting customer relationships shared on a podcast;
“The best use case of text messaging is actually at many times similar to email. We are seeing this trend where customers are deciding which channel they like to engage with more. So use cases that the audience is already familiar with such as cart abandonment, post-purchase engagement, cross-sell, win back and all those unique events happening throughout the buyer journey are definitely the ones you want to engage with in SMS”.
As a marketer, you need to look at text messages for more than just support capabilities. Adding SMS marketing to your marketing mix can help you keep customers and boost your return on investment (ROI).
So let's jump into 8 ways to use SMS marketing automation for your brand:
1. Welcome series
A welcome series is one of the best ways to increase sales through SMS automation. When a new contact signs up for your SMS marketing, you can send them a message or a series of messages to engage with them.
As this is the first message a subscriber sees, it’s critical that you craft it carefully. Consider sending them a special offer and include a link to the relevant page.
Make sure that your SMS automation is compatible with your email welcome sequence if you already have one. As most text messages get read within five minutes, it's advisable to send your text message first.
To get a better idea, check out this welcome message from Skinte, which sells collagen sparkling tea.
Doesn't this text message seem exactly like the kind of thing a friend would send you? The best welcome messages make the recipient feel like they are a part of something and earn their trust from the very first time they see them.
2. Abandonment cart reminders
If you own a DTC brand, you might worry about abandoned carts and the money you lose because of them. Since 70% of carts are abandoned for a variety of reasons, it is easy to see why this is one of the worst things that can happen to an ecommerce seller.
For the most part, marketers rely on cart abandonment emails to nudge customers back to the checkout page. However, if you have the right SMS strategies in place, you can recover up to 20% of these abandoned carts.
Take a look at this abandoned cart message from Skin Need, a brand that sells a variety of skincare products.
This is not your typical SMS message sent when a shopping cart is abandoned. They have developed an MMS and incorporated a clear CTA along with a link that leads back to the product that the buyer has abandoned in their shopping cart.
3. Post-purchase messages
Transactional messages including order confirmation, shipment alerts, order tracking, and delivery notifications form the bulk of the post-purchase SMS messages.
Shoppers benefit from these messages since it informs them of their recent actions on the site and keeps them up to date on their purchases.
In many cases, the post-purchase updates are lost in the sea of emails that the customer receives on a daily basis. However, there is a bigger likelihood of them seeing the same update on SMS, and as a result, they are less likely to call your customer support team with questions.
A post-purchase SMS should always be simple and direct just like the one below.
4. Upsell and cross-sell with relevant product recommendations
If you want your customers to keep coming back, you must provide them with what they want. Sending a friendly message after a sale that informs them about other popular items they might be interested in is a great way to do that.
Brands can skyrocket their AOV with upsells and cross-sells by giving personalized and relevant product recommendations.
Here’s a great example from SmoothSkin, a brand that specializes in IPL hair removal products.
5. Review collection
Brands can send customers a thank you message or a simple poll after they buy anything from them.
Getting feedback from your customers is a great approach to making your products better. Doing so indicates that you value your customers and that you wish to incorporate them into your brand's ecosystem.
An apparel and fashion brand, Swims does this flawlessly.
Campaigns that encourage customer participation to reach out to them at a time when they are most likely to make a purchase. Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale notifications and birthdays are just a few examples of occasions when you might want to send an SMS.
Take a look at these Black Friday SMS examples
You can see how the message from Home Art creates a sense of urgency by notifying the customer about the sale, making the message more personalized by incorporating the customer's name and encouraging the customer to make a purchase by placing a discount coupon.
7. Stock reminder
Nothing disappoints a customer more than finding out the desired product is not in stock. Like abandoned cart reminders, back-in-stock text alerts can help you resolve this challenge by keeping customers updated as soon as your inventory is restocked.
Here’s a sample of what your text messages for stock reminders should look like:
This message will make any shopper feel that the brand cares about their needs and is willing to go an extra mile for them. This in turn fosters brand loyalty and that ultimately leads to higher customer lifetime value.
8. Win-back messages
Customers who have not purchased anything from you for a long time should be the ones to receive win-back messages. As it is more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one, this is an excellent tool for customer retention.
Win-back automation caters to customers' requirements and acts as a friendly reminder for them to return to your store in the future.
For instance, Jewlz, a brand that makes unique jewelry, has clearly nailed its win-back messages.
Given the meteoric rise in the use of smartphones, SMS marketing is going to become quite common very quickly. Therefore, automating the entire process will provide you with the ability to send relevant messages to your customers at the most opportune times.