3 Types of Automated SMS Texts Every eCommerce Store Should Send

Would you walk away from the chance to increase your eCommerce store’s email open-rate?

Most of us wouldn’t.

After all, email has constantly proven to one-up other marketing channels in terms of ROI.

But did you know that one of most effective tools for better open-rate in your email marketing campaigns can come from something that isn’t an email?

I know. Confusing right?

Well, lemme ‘splain.

Did you know that SMS text marketing has a 99% open-rate? And did you know that many email marketing platforms — like yours truly — allow you to send automated SMS messages directly from their platform? That’s right.

You can send those amazing SMS messages with that insanely amazing 99% open-rate from your email marketing tool and have them work hand in hand with your email marketing efforts!

But if you’re running an eCommerce store, there are a few types of automated SMS texts that you should definitely be sending.

Here’s our top 3 automated SMS messages that you can start incorporating into your email marketing efforts.

Automated SMS 1: Abandoned Cart 

Example of abandoned cart text via SlickTexts

You’ve heard of abandoned cart emails. But maybe the idea of automated abandoned cart SMS messages seems a bit out of left field.

Don’t take us wrong.

You should DEFINITELY have an abandoned cart email sequence in play for your online store, so don’t think we’re saying you should skip that for one of these texts.

We’re not saying that. However, you can add an automated SMS text to your funnel to help increase its overall effectiveness.

Where should you place this type of SMS in your funnel? There’s no clear cut answer here so it’s a good idea to test the placement.

Since most automated SMS texts are opened within 5 minutes, it could be good to test your first message in your abandoned cart funnel as a mix of both an SMS cart reminder and an email cart reminder.

Or you could place the abandoned cart SMS text further down the funnel.

Go ahead and test your options. Try out one in one place, then try somewhere else after you’ve given it time. Then try using more than one in your funnel.

Your data will give you a clear idea of what works best for your audience.

What should you include in this type of SMS text? Well, you should always give your contacts a link in the text that clicks back to their cart. This makes everything easier.

Additionally, you could also include an image of something in their cart or some other image that grabs attention.

Be sure to A/B test the copy here too. You want to trigger action so try a FOMO tactic to elicit the desired response.

Lastly, make sure each text has an opt-out option too.

Automated SMS 2: Shipping and Delivery Status

I don’t quite know what it is about getting shipping and tracking info via text, but I can tell you plain and simple that I LOVE it.

It’s so convenient to get a text saying that an item I purchased is shipping. And having it in a text where I keep only a few messages versus the hundreds *cough, cough, facepalm* of unopened promotion and update emails is a real lifesaver sometimes.

For me, having that info sent directly to my phone in a text really adds something valuable to my experience with a brand.

And I’m not alone in that fact.

67% of people in the U.S. like to get service-based messages from brands, and 77% say they have a better perception of a brand that offers texts to keep them up-to-date.

There are plenty of tools that can work with your email marketing and/or website to help you create and automate order confirmations, shipping and delivery SMS texts.

It can take some fine tuning to get these to fit and flow correctly, but don’t let that hold you back.

Shipping confirmation emails and SMS are a great way to keep customers in the loop, and provide another method for actually increasing sales and engagement from customers.

Automated SMS 3: Special Occasion

Has it been a year since your contact first made a purchase? Is their birthday just around the corner?

Both occasions make for a perfect opportunity to send an automated text message. For one thing, they’re personalized to the person receiving them which helps to make them more effective.

They also add a human element to your marketing which can increase your brand’s perceived value to your customer. Finally, they help turn contacts into repeat customers, one of the most cost effective ways to increase revenue.

In order to send this sort of email, you’ll want to collect your customers birthday and use that as a trigger for a Happy Birthday email. Or to create a funnel that will send a Signup Anniversary email one year from the sign up date.

Either way, this is an easy SMS to automate.

Bonus: Promotions & Product Updates

Now, this is a good one. 

One of the other important types of SMS marketing messages you can send is a product and/or promo text. 

Even though the majority of these SMS texts aren’t usually automated, they’re still a vital part of using SMS in marketing so they deserved a shoutout. 

Sending promotional sales and news via a marketing text message is a great way to drive more clicks to your site and promos as well as increasing sales. Like a traditional promotional email or newsletter, you have to manually create and send each of these, but they can work wonders. 

However, there are ways to automated product based SMS messages too. 

In your welcome funnel, you can add an automated product recommendation SMS text. If you have a promotional based funnel, you can add a similar type of automated SMS to it, too. 

So there are some workarounds to automating promotional based SMS, but even if you can’t automated every single one, you should still use them when you can.

How To Grow Your SMS Contacts To Excel Your eCommerce Email Marketing 

If you’re just starting from scratch with gathering numbers for SMS marketing, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not much different than growing your email list.

Basically, all you need is a simple way for people to opt-in for texts and to put those in places they’re most likely to convert.

This example from Dr. Axe is a great example of how to grow your SMS contact list.

It uses a captivating opt-in banner in the bottom corner on their site with a discount incentive to gather contact’s numbers. This banner also looks great on mobile no doubt upping its effectiveness.

If you have a strong social media presence or a brick-and-mortar store, you could easily implement a text-to-join option and regularly promote that to boost sign ups.

Of course, gathering these numbers is only part of the goal. The other side of it is to build up your brand in the eyes of your new contact and convert that sign-up into sales.

Offering that initial incentive is a great way to get that sale, but you should be using that number to stay in contact with that person. Having an automated SMS + email funnel ready after an initial text opt-in is where fully reaching your goals.

Get Started with Automated SMS Texts Today

You may have noticed that you can use SMS texts in a very similar way to email.

All the automated SMS examples can work as emails too. In fact, you likely have some if not all of these message types in your automated funnels going out as emails.

If so, that’s great!

Email still works wonders for growing your eCommerce store revenue so don’t go skipping them altogether. Instead, blend automated SMS with your email funnels to really take things into overdrive.

Don’t be afraid to test new SMS messages or automations like birthday or anniversary texts. Look at your data to really find out  what’s working for you, then test and reiterate as needed.

Are you looking for an eCommerce email marketing solution that can help you with SMS marketing features, give Sendlane a try. We offer a free 14-day trial and give you access to all our features include SMS.

Go ahead and give it a try. No credit card needed! 

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Caitlin Hutchinson
Brand Marketing Manager
Sendlane

A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. Primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels while maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. Host of The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast and Sendlane Youtube Training Channel. Works closely with the marketing team to manage creative projects and develop creative assets/solutions to enhance the brand. Collaborates at the intersection of marketing, product, content, and sales to develop powerful and memorable stories and interactive experiences that bring the Sendlane vision to life.

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