What Differentiates SMS Marketing From Other Direct Response Channels
SMS is one of the most effective direct marketing channels with a 98% open rate and 36% CTR (click-through rate). Moreover, 90% of all text messages are read within 90 seconds of being received. Compared to email, with only a 22% open rate and just 2.9% CTR, SMS wins in terms of ROI. Among all available direct response channels, SMS has the advantage of better coverage and reachability. Since SMS doesn’t require additional apps downloaded for the push-notifications to show up or doesn’t necessarily require the recipients to have a smartphone, as a direct response channel SMS can reach a larger audience, than any other marketing channel. All this makes SMS an amazing tool to use in retail, build customer loyalty among existing customers, attract new ones and leverage sales successfully.
Benefits of SMS Marketing for Retailers
Easy to Track
One of the key benefits of SMS marketing in retail industries (and any other industries, for that matter) is that it’s very easy to track activity and engagement. You can see how many recipients have clicked on a link in your text messages, check the results of your campaign in terms of conversion and engagement volumes, CTRs, etc. Moreover, you can collect data on different sub-segments of your customer base and analyze it for further use. This can show how each customer segment (or demographic) showed most or least engagement, or what timing worked best for your SMS campaign. This information can be later used to improve and perfect your SMS marketing campaign and ensure that you are efficiently tailoring your text messages. This way you will be able to send the right message to the right people at the right time and boost up consumer engagement even further. Note that not all SMS marketing solutions offer analytics as an integrated feature, read more about Textedly’s SMS tracking system here.
High Engagement Rate
One of the hardest things to achieve nowadays is true customer engagement. Views and open rates are not enough on their own if the consumer ends up not converted after receiving, no matter how amazing the offer is. Due to short attention spans and the increasing number of distractions all around, engaging customers is not an easy task. SMS, if used the right way, is capable of capturing the customer’s attention in ways that other direct response channels can’t. An interesting fact to keep in mind is that 75% of consumers actually prefer to receive promotions via SMS, which naturally indicates that consumers are more receptive to this communication channel. Statistics also show that consumers tend to redeem coupons delivered via SMS 10 times more than other types of coupons.
Most text messages get delivered almost instantly. Nowadays, people are glued to their phones 24/7, or the mobile device is at least always within reach. Combine these two facts together and you have the following result. A promotional SMS sent at the right time gives your retail business a good chance to convert more of your consumer base, only a couple of minutes after the launch of the campaign. With almost immediate open rates, this channel is the way to go if you want to deliver a message to your subscribers as fast as possible. As you design the SMS campaign for your retail business, good timing is crucial. Taking this into account, instant delivery for you, as a retail company, ensures that your promotion will get noticed at the right time (since SMS have a proven high open rate within minutes of receiving them as well).
Affordable & Easy to Implement
SMS marketing is also scalable, which makes it especially useful if you’re on a tight budget. It's universally suitable for any size of retail business. Moreover, SMS Marketing is a straightforward way to connect with consumers. It’s very simple to set up an SMS campaign and send a text message. There is a lot you can fit into your SMS, despite character limitation, such as coupon redemption, polls, special links, etc. It’s just as simple for consumers to opt-in to receive SMS from retailers. Since it’s a content-based marketing channel, it is more likely to have a more positive response rate and higher engagement than other channels as well, while being so easy to implement.
SMS Marketing Use Cases for Retail Stores
Abandoned Cart Reminder
Getting a consumer interested in your promotional offers enough so that they visit your website and select the items that caught their attention is only part of the process. Customer engagement, ideally, should transform into sales. Sometimes, consumers will look up your product range, drop some items into the cart, or save them, and leave the cart hanging, with the thoughts of coming back to it later to complete the purchase. However, sometimes consumers forget to do that. A good way to solve this issue is to send SMS reminding your customers about their abandoned cart. This is an effective method to grab their attention once again and remind them about the intended purchase in the first place.
Asking for Review or Feedback
Maintaining returning customers is just as important as getting new ones. One of the best ways to create a bond with your customer base is asking for review or feedback about your product. This approach usually makes consumers feel that businesses value their opinion. This is one of the most important aspects of customer satisfaction. To stick around with your company they need to feel that you care about them and their opinion after they made the purchase and provide high-quality customer service. Moreover, asking for reviews and feedback via SMS is a great way to collect data and another perspective on how you can improve your product or marketing campaign in the future.
Promoting Sales with Clear CTAs
To leverage sales you not only need to get the message to the recipients efficiently, which can be achieved by SMS, but also ensure you’re sending out an effective one. One of the most effective ways to increase customer engagement, therefore, increase sales volume, is to incorporate CTA (call to action) in your messages. The CTAs in your SMS must be clear and attention-grabbing. One way is to directly encourage your consumers to buy a product, by incorporating phrases like “buy now”, and dropping details about your special offer, how long it will last, etc. Another way to incorporate clear CTAs in your SMS is to give them mobile coupons along with instructions on how to activate them. This is a subtler CTA than directly telling consumers to make a purchase, but it is sure to get the job done!
Giveaways are a great way to drive consumer engagement rates up, which gives you a good chance to leverage more sales. Giveaways are also a “hook” to keep your customer base interested in your company, look out for new announcements and giveaways every now and then, and stick around in general. The recipients of the gifts or products you give away are even more likely to stick around for the beneficial offers in the future and might bring in new customers along with them. And what’s a better way to announce a giveaway for the message to be delivered and seen across your consumer base efficiently? SMS!
Choose the Right SMS Marketing Solution
As you can see, there are many ways to use SMS marketing to increase sales in the retail industry, making it one of the most effective tools for increasing customer engagement for businesses involved in retail due to its efficiency, reachability, and convenience. It is important to research and find the best ways to use SMS in your marketing campaigns, tailor it to your products, offers, and customer base. Combined with the many benefits that make SMS marketing stand out among other direct communication marketing channels, the right “plan” will do wonders to your customer engagement rates and leverage more sales than ever.
Need help with designing the best SMS marketing campaign tailored specifically for your retail business? Have any questions in mind? Textedly is here to help! We’re just one click away.