Ecommerce sales are still growing, and SMS marketing is an effective opt-in channel that doesn’t have the cost uncertainty of other channels. As the holiday season approaches, it is important for brands to understand how consumers are responding to their marketing efforts and use that knowledge to improve sales and profits.
2022 SMS marketing benchmarks
Ecommerce brands sent 376% more text messages in 2020 than 2019. In 2021, there was an increase of 75% in automated SMS. The trajectory continued during the first half of 2022. Between the first half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, brands send 47% more promotional SMS messages and 36% more SMS messages in total.
A decrease of 10% in automated SMS messages was seen in the first half of 2022. This was mainly due to a slowdown in April and May. Although automated send rates decreased in July, we expect that they will go back up based on past trends.
Even with a 10% decrease in sends, automated SMS messages still generated more orders compared to the same period in 2021. The effectiveness of SMS automation is here to stay.
SMS conversion rates
From the first half of last year to the first half of this year, the percentage of promotional SMS messages has decreased from 0.27% to 0.21%. This decrease is not unexpected when there is an increase in the amount of promotional messages being sent.
Automated SMS had the opposite effect of what was intended. A 10% decrease in the number of emails sent resulted in a 42% increase in conversion rate, with the conversion rate ending the first half at 0.93%.
The reason that conversion rates dropped for campaigns but increased for automation is that automated messages are based on behavior, so they are always relevant to the recipient. The fact that consumers are using SMS to shop indicates that they find value in the service.
SMS click rates
For the first half of the year, click rates for promotional SMS messaging ended at 11.3%. This is a YoY increase of 2.2%. The click rate for automated SMS messages was 11.6%, which is a 5% decrease from the previous year. Even though the total amount of SMS sent increased by 35% from last year, the click rates remained the same, which shows how important SMS is as a part of the customer journey.
Key takeaways SMS marketing has been embraced by both consumers and brands. Marketers are using SMS as a promotional channel and are applying the lessons learned with email to their SMS automation strategy. Brands who want to grow their sales should implement an SMS strategy.
- SMS and email list growth should be focused equally. Collect mobile numbers on the same forms and methods as email addresses, and promote your SMS program inside of emails.
- Include SMS into all automated workflows, especially the welcome, abandoned cart, browse abandonment, and order and shipping confirmation series.
- Brands should segment their promotional SMS campaigns to ensure message relevance and increase conversion rate.
- SMS is a more immediate channel than email. Promotional SMS campaigns are perfect for time-sensitive offers like flash sales and last-chance reminders.
The word of ecommerce is absolutely exploding. There is a lot of money to be made by owning an online store. Hundreds of new online stores are created every day because this is a very profitable business. Around 60% of people who use the internet also shop online on a regular basis. Given the choice, most millennials would rather shop online than visit a brick-and-mortar store.
There is a lot of money to be made in ecommerce, but where there is money to be made, there will be competition.
As the ecom market becomes increasingly saturated in various industries, merchants are under more pressure to be successful with their digital marketing efforts, and to be creative in how they drive traffic and conversions. One popular channel that is SMS marketing.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a type of marketing that involves sending text messages to customers in order to promote a product or service. Its effectiveness is incredible, though. It enables you to connect with your customers on their mobile devices, which is where they are spending more and more time. If you think about it, not many people ignore their texts. Almost all text messages are read within five minutes.
Although text messaging is commonly used to talk with friends and family, people appreciate getting messages from their favorite brands too.
Ecommerce merchants are finding new ways to communicate with and engage their customers by adding value to their emails.
At first, you might not want your phone to get a lot of texts from the people you shop with. However, you don’t need to worry because SMS marketing is nothing like that.
Only messages that have been given explicit consent can be sent through text marketing. If you send unsolicited texts, you could face legal consequences. You have permission to use this marketing channel as long as your customers agree to it.
Why You Should Care
As was mentioned before, ecommerce store owners need to use a variety of digital marketing techniques to grow their businesses and succeed online. Many are experiencing huge success with SMS marketing. There are many reasons why text messaging should be part of your marketing arsenal. Here are a few key reasons:
THE OPEN RATES ARE INCREDIBLE
The open rate for text messages is extremely high, with most people opening them within the first 5 minutes. The open rate for email marketing is usually only 25%. There’s no contest. If you want to increase traffic quickly, SMS marketing is a good option.
CLICK-THROUGH RATES SOAR OVER EMAIL
Let’s draw the same comparisons with click through rates. SMS marketing campaign click-through rates are, on average, around 36%. Email click-through rates are much lower than 3%. Some ecommerce site owners have claimed that splitting up large text messaging lists into segments prevents large text blasts from driving too much traffic at once.
IT’S ALL MOBILE
The world lives on their mobile devices. Popular search engines such as Google have announced that they are now prioritizing mobile devices over desktop computers. SMS is the most popular form of mobile communication, so it’s the best way to reach your customers.
IT’S STILL FRESH AND UNTAPPED
Many ecommerce sites are successfully using text marketing, but it is not yet widely used. Many people still haven’t even considered it. You have an advantage over many competitors because you have taken the time to learn about the ROI.
How Ecommerce Uses SMS Marketing
If you aren’t using SMS marketing, you are missing out. Even though it can be helpful to see how other ecommerce merchants are using text message marketing, it’s not necessary. Here are 7 actionable ideas for putting rubber to the road and putting a strategy in place.
GROW YOUR LIST AT CHECKOUT
Have you ever wondered how to get people to join your store’s VIP text list? The number one way that people subscribe to SMS marketing lists is by texting to join, and the process is quite simple. When you create a text program, you will also create a keyword. This is a word or phrase that people will text to a short phone number, called a short code.
If someone sends a text with a certain keyword to a number associated with your account, they will automatically be subscribed to your list and will receive a response that can be customized. This response is a confirmation of their subscription and should give the subscriber the incentive they were promised when they first signed up.
Checkout is the best time to get people to opt in to your emails because it’s when they’re already engaged with your site. This involves getting people’s mobile numbers when they finish their transaction. There should be a box that people can check if they want to receive SMS marketing messages. The box should have some language that meets the requirements of the mobile carriers.
ONE OFF PROMOS
The most common and well known use of text marketing is sending promotions via SMS. It’s pretty straight forward too. You are sending a text message to your subscribers with an offer that will take them to your website. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success.
- Add time pressure to your offer. create a sense of urgency by having your offer expire. This will cause more people to take immediate action when your message lands on their phone.
- Provide a direct link to the product or product category that you’re looking to push. You want to make things as easy as possible for your customers. Take the hard work of site navigation out and send them directly to where they need to be.
- Personalize your message. If you’re opting people into your text list at checkout, then it’s likely that you’re capturing their name as well. By addressing each person in your text blast by name, you are getting even more personal, which grabs additional attention and pushes engagement levels even higher.
UNIQUE COUPON CODES
Sending out unique coupon codes is an effective marketing strategy for ecommerce businesses. Some SMS providers let you include a unique coupon code in each text message you send as part of a text blast. This let’s people redeem the offer by showing the code to a staff member or entering it online. This helps to prevent people from abusing the offer and makes them feel like they are part of an extremely special group that has access to offers that other people don’t have. Your text list will be full of people who understand they are entitled to something valuable when the light goes out.
You can make your customers feel special by sending them happy birthday text messages. There is no better way to say that you care than by getting them a great deal on their special day.
You can automate the process in most cases. The messages themselves receive a lot of engagement. To make sure that your friends don’t use your coupons, use unique codes that are not easy to guess. This will make your rewards more valuable.
AUTOMATED PURCHASE REMINDERS
Do you offer products that customers purchase on a regular basis? You can set up automated SMS reminders to help remind people when to restock on items.
If you integrate your ecommerce site with a mass texting service, you can automate messages and have them sent based on the customer’s last purchase date. This is key. The more personalized and relevant your messages are, the more engagement, clicks, and conversions you’ll see.
Shipping notifications are an easy one. Each message is valuable, especially if it includes links with delivery status updates. Although these messages are not likely to be marketing-related, they can help your customers feel more comfortable communicating with your brand via text.
In addition to using SMS marketing for promotional purposes, ecommerce sites are also using it to collect feedback from customers. Many merchants who already use text messaging overlook this as a source for capturing useful data. Feedback loops are a great way to get automated, multi-question feedback from your customers.
As more people become aware of the potential of SMS, its use in automations is becoming more popular. According to the text, in order to improve your SMS marketing strategy, you should focus on two things: growing your SMS list, and adding messages into your automation workflows. Automated SMS converts 349% greater than promotional campaign texts.
If you’re undecided about starting a text marketing program or want to learn more before beginning a new texting adventure, there are numerous resources available. The following text contains a wealth of SMS marketing information that can be found in various sources, such as white papers and articles. Just don’t wait too long. Your next competitor could launch their text program tomorrow.
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