Complete Guide to SMS Marketing for Shopify Stores
There are many different marketing channels and methods to conduct digital marketing these days; email, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tik-tok, but SMS Marketing is still one of the largest untapped marketing channels.
Text message marketing is a unique marketing channel because it is an intimate, delicate, and direct way to communicate with your customers. Historically, people have used text message to communicate and build relationships with their family and friends, and now, with brands they have affinity for. With a 98% open rate, SMS can be a highly effective marketing channel, when done correctly.
Consent & Compliance
Sending SMS messages for marketing is very different from sending emails or social media marketing. The sender needs to have the expressed consent of the recipient to receive automated text messages.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed by the US Congress in 1991 and includes SMS/text marketing. The TCPA makes it clear,
Businesses and/or organizations must receive express written consent from individuals prior to sending any auto dialed SMS.
SMS Textify includes language in all of our opt-in forms to inform your subscribers that they will be receiving automated marketing by text message (e.g. cart reminders).
In addition, the recipient must be able to opt-out at any time. Users can simply reply “STOP” to any message and they will be unsubscribed.
More and more jurisdictions are implementing restrictions on when you can message your subscribers through texts messages. You'll want to keep in mind that you are potentially sending your messages to subscribers in various timezones. To help you in maintaining compliance, SMS Textify only sends broadcasts between 9am to 8pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), and automations between 11am-8pm EST.
It is tempting to message your customers every day to let them know how much they want to shop on your site, but your subscriber's SMS inbox is a delicate place. Send too many messages, and your subscribers will quickly unsubscribe. The best practice is to send messages after a certain interval.
Once or twice a week is good to place to start. If you do start sending messages more frequently, be sure to keep an eye on your metrics to measure your subscribers' engagement levels and adjust as necessary.
One of the most common mistakes beginners make in SMS marketing is not using their shop name in their messages. You want to let your customers know who they are receiving their messages from. SMS is a great channel to communicate your brand's personality and voice.
Showing some personality, having some fun with it, and using proper grammar, will all help you stand out and help you connect with your customers through your text messages.
Offering incentive to purchase is an excellent way to begin building your subscriber list, and is a great tool to generate engagement and sales from your SMS messages. Whether you want to offer free shipping offers, fixed dollars off, or percentage based discounts, SMS Textify allows you to quickly and easily add promotions to your text message broadcasts and automations.
SMS is an ideal way to let your customers know about new product releases. Having exclusive products for SMS subscribers or granting early access to products can be used to incentivize customers to join your SMS marketing list and creates urgency to take action in your messages.
Personalization & Targeted Audiences
People appreciate a personalized experience, and SMS provides a great channel to send curated messages. Creating audiences of customers who have purchased specific products or product types, repeat customers, or high value customers allows you to craft text messages to connect with them on a more personal level.
SMS Textify allows you to create these targeted audiences by syncing your SMS list with your Shopify stores’ data. Greatly enhancing your ability to craft highly targeted audiences.
Call to Action
Your messages should not just be send for informational purposes, you want your customer to take action. Including a clear call to action and including a link in your greatly will have a drastically higher engagement rate than those without them.
Are you giving a discount on a certain product? Ask the receiver to visit your store right now while the promotion lasts. Have you launched new products? Tell the receiver and ask them to buy the new and exclusive products only in your store before they sell out. Tell your audience the reason they need to visit your store and the benefits and incentives of them doing so.
With a single SMS message limited to 160 characters, the last thing you want is one of those excessively long URLs. Not only does SMS Textify automatically shorten your URLs, but it allows you to track the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns by tracking clicks, conversions, and sales from customers visiting your site from your SMS campaigns.
Analyzing Your Results
After you’ve sent your subscribers several different types of messages, you can begin analyzing which campaigns were the most effective, and optimizing your SMS strategy. Using Broadcast and Automation level statistics makes it easy to gather the information you need to get insights into your SMS marketing campaign’s performance.
SMS Marketing Tips
SMS Marketing is a unique marketing channel that gives you a direct line to your customers at a low cost. However, it is also a sensitive and delicate of form of communication that needs its own strategy.
- Always keep compliance top of mind. Ensure you are getting explicit consent to send automated text messages.
- Keep timezones in mind. Just because you’re based in one time zone, doesn’t mean you aren’t sending to subscribers in another.
- Don’t spam the inbox. Find a good cadence to send messages to your subscribers, so your customers aren’t getting the urge to unsubscribe.
- Use your brands’ unique identity and voice in your messaging to build connection.
- Personalize your messages to create greater connection with your customers. Use subscriber segmentation to create relevant content for specific customers.
- Offer incentives and create urgency to promote your subscribers to take action.
- Include shortened links to preserve your messages’ character count.
- Analyze what works and what doesn’t. Monitor your campaigns click through rate, conversions, and revenue. Use this data to continue to refine your SMS marketing strategy.