Best Practices & Examples for Retail SMS Marketing from Industry Leaders

Today, consumers are flooded with social alerts from family, work, and businesses they patronize. 

Due to this, many (including myself) disable alerts for social networks. You need to send an SMS if you intend to get them in real-time. SMS has now become the go-to marketing strategy for eCommerce and retail brands that want to reach their customers. 

Today we’ll dive into SMS marketing for eCommerce, best practices, and examples of retail marketing from industry leaders you’re familiar with.

What is Retail SMS Marketing?

Retail SMS marketing is a form of mobile marketing that allows retailers to send promotional messages directly to customers’ mobile devices. It is typically used to alert customers about sales, discounts, and other promotional offers. Retail SMS marketing campaigns can increase customer loyalty, boost sales, and drive customer engagement.

SMS marketing for retail utilizes text messages to help retailers engage with current customers and nurture leads. With retail SMS, you can reach your audience at every stage in the sales funnel. 

The benefits of SMS marketing for retailers

In a world where more than 86% of the global population owns a cell phone, retail text message marketing is now a priority and no longer an afterthought. Some people even consider cell phones the most important device for connecting with friends and family.

Partnering with a bulk SMS provider for your retail business is a guaranteed way to reach your customers on their most preferred channel and increase sales. Here are more SMS marketing benefits to consider. 

1. Cost-Effective with higher performance metrics than email marketing 

SMS is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels available. It requires minimal resources and is much cheaper than other digital marketing strategies. While emails have a measly 20% open rate, SMS boasts 98% and a CTR of 19% in contrast to the 2.5% email marketing averages.

2. Increased engagement means more sales: 

SMS is one of the most engaging marketing strategies—over 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent and customers who get SMS messages are 40% more likely to make a purchase. Black Energy, an energy drink based in Poland tried SMS marketing for their mojito-flavored drink and they were able to see quick results:

  • 25x ROI
  • 21% click-through rate average
  • $10,000+ from a single text for a product launch

3. Creating a campaign is quick and easy 

Creating an SMS marketing campaign is usually very snappy and doesn’t involve the creative assets that you need for email marketing provided your business is integrated into an omnichannel marketing communication platform

This makes it much easier to develop and schedule SMS campaigns, as well as test and iterate based on past campaign stats. 

4. SMS integrates with customer service apps and makes personalization possible

SMS makes it very convenient for your customers to reach you. This makes it very easy to get to know your customers better, build a relationship and receive feedback from them. This can make your workflow better and help you initiate two-way conversations with your customers.

5. SMS marketing is not over-saturated

SMS marketing might not be a new channel but it’s not as mainstream as other channels. In fact, about 61% of marketers don’t use SMS and this means you get a massive headstart once you start using SMS marketing to reach your customers. 

5 Best eCommerce SMS Marketing Strategies from Industry Leaders

1. Create Personalized Content 

Personalized content is key to successful eCommerce SMS marketing. Utilize customer data to create targeted, personalized messages that speak directly to your customers. For example, Piggyvest, a savings app in Nigeria sends personalized SMS to its customers with a friendly tone that reminds them to put some money away for a rainy day or for special occasions.

2. Leverage Automation

Automation is a powerful tool for eCommerce businesses, as it eliminates the need for manual processes and helps to ensure the timely delivery of messages. Utilize automation to create automated campaigns that are sent directly to customers who have opted in to receive messages. Jumia uses automation to send customers invoices and shipping updates.

3. Flash Sales & Discounts

Send customers exclusive offers and discounts to encourage them to purchase from your store. For example, ASOS has a flash sale notification message that reads: “Hey! Check out ASOS for 20% off everything for the next 24 hours.” 

4. Incorporate Multimedia

Incorporate multimedia into your eCommerce SMS campaigns to increase engagement and drive conversions. Incorporate videos, images, and GIFs into your campaigns to draw attention and create a memorable experience for your customers. 

5. Offer Incentives and Rewards 

Offering incentives and rewards is a great way to encourage customers to purchase from you. Offer exclusive discounts and rewards to those who opt-in to receive messages from your eCommerce SMS campaigns. Include incentives such as free shipping, free gifts, or discounts on select items.

How to Get Started Using SMS Marketing

Now that you’re all set, it begs the question: where should you start? Here’s a guide to sending your first retail SMS marketing message.

  1. Choose an SMS marketing provider

When selecting an SMS marketing provider, make sure to look at their features and compare them to other providers. Consider the range of services they offer and the cost of the service. 

  1. Create a list of contacts

Your list of contacts should include the phone numbers of people who have expressed interest in receiving SMS messages from your business. This could include customers, prospects, and people who have opted-in to receive promotional messages. 

  1. Draft your message

Your message has to be short and straight to the point. Include a call-to-action, such as a promotional code or a link to your website. 

  1. Send your message 

Once you’ve created your message, you can send it out to your list of contacts. Make sure to track responses and engagement to determine the success of your campaign. 

  1. Adjust and refine your message

After you’ve sent out your message, analyze the results and make any adjustments or refinements that could help improve your conversion rates.

Final words

SMS marketing and its benefits to your business are immense. Getting started is also relatively easy and BSG can help you get started today and give you the best deals and the newest SMS features with round-the-clock support.

You may be interested in: Is SMS Marketing Worth a Shot?