Traditional marketing and advertising methods are on the decline—perhaps already on their deathbed. According to Forbes, traditional advertising is being upended by a digital wave — the wave of ecommerce. Advertising through newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV have lost their luster as the 21st century has progressed. Many companies are finding these methods to be nothing more than an outdated well in which to throw their advertising budgets.
The Ecommerce Marketing Shift
To reach customers, businesses must meet them where they are — their phone. Most Americans own a mobile device of some sort, and many use it as the sole means of consuming news and media. According to Pew Research, 57% of American adults say they get their news from their mobile device as compared to 30% who use their desktop or laptop computer.
This trend rings true in business as well. Businesses are learning that they must prioritize ecommerce in order to stay ahead of consumers purchasing trends. Ecommerce research suggests that 80% of Americans are online shoppers; over half of those making purchases through ecommerce platforms.
If consumers are spending more time on their phones, it makes sense for businesses to leave traditional means of marketing and advertising behind and embrace the digital shift of ecommerce. Mobile marketing must become a priority for companies looking to compete in today’s fast-changing digital economy.
Mobile Marketing at a Glance
Mobile marketing is not new, but the revolution of the smartphone shot it into marketing prominence. Its demand for priority as a marketing strategy has only grown in recent years with the boom of ecommerce and online shopping.
Mobile marketing seeks to capitalize on the trends and statistics discussed above. It seeks to engage customers where they spend most of their time — consuming media on their phone. Mobile marketing and advertising can be tailored to reach customers through a variety of means:
- Mobile internet marketing: Think of your classic computer pop-up ad, but on your phone. Companies spend a bulk of their mobile marketing budget optimizing their ads to reach customers through mobile web browsers.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is simple; companies seek to engage customers by promoting their products and services through email — effectively replacing traditional direct mail marketing. Its overall effectiveness is suspect.
- SMS marketing: Short message service (SMS) marketing is equally as simple. Instead of direct mail or the monotonous drudgery of long emails, SMS marketing seeks to engage customers with short messages — usually with promotional offers. The effectiveness of SMS marketing over email marketing is well-established.
SMS Marketing for the Win
SMS marketing is a great tool in any ecommerce toolbox. It comes with many advantages over and against other forms of mobile marketing. Here are a few to whet your mobile marketing appetite:
It’s fast – Text messages are viewed quickly. Most people can let an email simmer in their inbox for days (or weeks), but most people open or respond to text messages quickly. Of course, customized text message templates can be created quickly too, watch:
Hey John! Thanks for signing up with our-company.com. Enjoy 10% off your next purchase with this discount code: WELCOME
It’s short. – Most people won’t take the time to read through novel-length promotional material, but SMS marketing gets to the point quickly and concisely—not wasting the customer’s time.
It’s direct. – Text messages bypass the inbox and go straight to the customer’s pocket or purse.
It’s effective. – SMS marketing is effective. According to marketing data, the average open rate for emails hovers around 28 to 33%, whereas the text message open rate boasts a staggering 99%; not to mention a superior click-through rate (CTR).
Making the Most of SMS Marketing
Now that the convincing is done, let’s look at some tips to maximize and make the most out of SMS marketing.
Tip #1 – Know Yourself Well, Know Your Customer Better
Ok, really, you should know both equally well. But the point is simple: Know the value you are offering and know the customer you are offering it to. Most companies spend loads of time trying to engineer the perfect target persona — who wants what they got. Good news. That part has already been done.
The beauty of SMS marketing is the fact that the customer must first entrust you with their personal information. This is usually done through some sort of opt-in contact form during the checkout process or captured for security or verification purposes.
This means that at some point during their visit to your website, they saw value in what you offered. Hopefully, that took them to the point of purchase. If it didn’t, why?
- Personalized message – How is your messaging? Personalized messaging — discount codes on birthdays — are a simple and effective way to establish a relationship with your customers. You have to admit, using their first name is better than “Greetings, Valued Customer.”
- Use of surveys for feedback data – To ensure this cycle of knowing thy customer continues, customized survey links can be sent to mobile customers; to collect data on the buying experience or other constructive feedback.
Tip #2 – Send a Clear Message
It really should go without saying, but here we are. Messaging should be clear and concise. No one wants to do business with a company that sends a message riddled with errors. Something seemingly insignificant can have a big impact on consumer trust — you’re the expert, remember?
- Write in plain language - Don’t use emoticons or abbreviations; make your messaging clear and mature.
- Clear content – The content of the message should be as clear as the language itself. If you’re having a sale, when does it end? If you are offering a discount, how much? Don’t leave customers wondering — there is a good chance of turning them off if you do.
Tip #3 – Give a Gentle Nudge
If your messaging isn’t leaving your customer with a call-to-action (CTA), why even bother? Sending a message without a CTA is like putting fuel in a car that doesn’t run. The whole point of SMS marketing is to engage the customer in the hopes of getting them to the point of sale — items in the shopping cart.
Customer engagement skyrockets when they are asked to do something — Visit our website, click here for discounts, buy now, etc.
- Effective templates – The right template makes all the difference. Ecommerce text message templates can be welcome templates with discounts on preliminary orders, promotional offers with discount codes, upcoming sale information, and messages tailored to recover sales from abandoned carts.
- Reminders – SMS marketing can be used for reminders, appointments or bookings, billing reminders, or upcoming promotional prize events such as text-to-win.
Tip #4 – Education Your Customer
Many people are bombarded by sales and promotional material on a daily basis. Switch it up a little, and they may thank you. If your company has a blog or is looking to be a leader in a certain industry, SMS marketing can be used to educate your customer.
- Provide value – Regardless of your intentions (you are a business, after all), you should strive to provide your customer value at every turn. Providing them links to your how-to videos or blogs may answer questions they didn’t know they had.
- Follow up – Of course, you can always follow up with your customers after providing them with educational value. That may serve as a good time to drop the promotional offer or discount code.
Tip #5 – Abandoned Cart Tools
It is important to use every tool at your disposal when engaging in SMS marketing. An abandoned cart recovery tool helps take the thorn out of your side that comes from unrealized sales. LiveRecover is a great tool for businesses looking to maximize their SMS marketing efforts.
- Don’t let them get away – Unfortunately, many businesses know the feeling all too well; the abandoned cart, the ones that got away. LiveRecover aids businesses in recovering those sales. Through ecommerce integrations, LiveRecover will gather the necessary contact information and reach out to potential customers on your behalf.
- Real people – Some people are hesitant to buy. They allow a few simple questions to stand in their way — shipping questions, product questions, etc. LiveRecover uses real people (not bots) to engage customers; this allows them to personally answer questions and to help convert the abandoned cart into a sale.
SMS marketing seeks to improve your company’s bottom line — making the most out of this strategy could make the difference between a sale and an almost sale. Quite a thin line. Feel free to get in touch with LiveRecover today to learn how you can help maximize your company’s text message marketing strategy.