Creative marketing is essential in a competitive global eCommerce landscape. Unique campaigns allow your business to grab and retain the attention of your target audience. This will encourage better conversion rates and ultimately lead to better ROI on marketing expenditure.
Targeting traditional and modern marketing avenues is a good way for your brand to achieve this. The former includes SMS marketing, which we’ll admit isn’t always front of mind for digital marketers nowadays.
Understanding how it works and how it can complement a broader marketing strategy is the key to getting the most out of it. With this in mind, let’s explore four different creative SMS marketing campaigns, each of which will hopefully inspire new ideas for future campaigns in your own business.
Our SMS Marketing Guide
SMS marketing was initially used exclusively for companies to send updates like order shipment confirmation or appointment reminders to customers. These days, marketers use it to promote compelling offers and better keep in touch with their audiences on a more personal level.
The key to getting it right is to express urgency without an obvious hard sell. Less is more with this type of marketing, especially SMS messages with a limited character count. Correct formatting for mobile devices and optimizing for different operating systems are crucial. It’s also essential for a clear call to action so the person is driven to engage.
Benefits to eCommerce businesses
Additional customer retention channel
SMS marketing benefits eCommerce businesses hoping to sell to the same person more than once as it offers another channel to target potential buyers.
Timed ad campaigns
SMS marketing also allows you to send out your messages at a time that’s convenient to your audience. Keen to reach a customer when they first wake up? Or targeting college students when they are on a lunch break? A well-timed SMS can yield high engagement rates, especially if you know the receiver will likely have their phone in their hands.
Integrated email marketing
With Sendlane, it’s easy to integrate your marketing efforts into one campaign. So, if you retarget abandoned carts or welcome new subscribers, our platform will do that automatically via multiple channels, increasing your customer's chances of seeing it.
Data protection and country-specific compliance
Gather consent from customers
Follow GDPR when it comes to keeping, storing, and using any customer data, and always get consent from the customer before you or your team start messaging them.
Effective audience management
Effective audience management requires your business to cover its bases from a data compliance perspective, from an email list to an SMS database and social media followers.
Include opt-out options
It’s important that your customers can unsubscribe from your lists whenever they choose to. It’s a good idea to include the option in all your messages.
4 SMS Marketing Campaigns For You To Try
Regular Tips for Customers
The first creative SMS marketing campaign idea we want to share is perfect for creating trust between your brand and its audience. Offering regular tips related to the products or services you sell via SMS makes it easier for customers to understand what you do. Messaging can also be tailored to clarify some of the FAQs your support team typically receives.
The beauty brand, Glow Recipe, leverages SMS to provide a customized shopping experience tailored to each shopper's needs. The idea is to create a “hack” for customers while also reducing the amount of back and forth time for a hot lead to convert to a sale.
Timing is very important when going about this type of campaign. The person on the receiving end of the marketing should never feel like they are being bombarded with information. It’s worth deciding beforehand how often your business wants to make contact and using analytics data to measure how the audience is responding. A spike in opt-outs is generally an indicator of ill-timed messaging or didn’t hit the mark.
The tips you share should always add value over and above what you offer them. Doing so increases the likelihood that they will refer you to others while also keeping you front of mind for the next time they need something available in your product catalog.
Sweepstakes or Contests
It’s no secret that people love free stuff. A sweepstake- or contest-driven SMS marketing campaign with an easy entry form can lead to skyrocketing and instant engagement. Venus, as shown above, uses a $100 giveaway to incentivize SMS opt-ins. Whereas in this example from Bones Coffee, they are leveraging SMS to promote their free 12 oz coffee giveaway!
These campaigns are very easy to set up and, with the right marketing automation software (like ours), will not require all hands on deck. This will give your team more time to draw up the terms and conditions for the entry landing page, which will ideally be the link used in the CTA from the SMS.
Doing what you can to ensure that the customer doesn’t have to do too much to enter is essential to boosting entry numbers. The prize should also always be worth their while. Cold hard cash will trump a 5% off voucher for their next purchase. The contest can be promoted on your social media channels to boost your SMS subscribers list.
And remember to follow up with the people who didn’t win once the competition ends, perhaps offering them a consolation prize (like the voucher mentioned earlier) to show that you care about them.
Let Images Speak
Well-curated images can elevate any type of creative marketing campaign, like this example from Skims. They should always add a layer of excitement and fun to the messaging. From GIFs to emojis, memes, and product images, visuals speaking to what you’re promoting can reap high engagement (and excitement) levels. Although SMS has traditionally been a text-only channel, in recent years, smartphone manufacturers have worked to take it in a more modern direction.
Gone are the days of costly MMS messages. Mobile devices can now receive messages with added visuals. The old format continues to be supported, but Android and IoS now encourage users to craft graphics and add visuals to their chats with their loved ones. However, it’s important to note that going overboard with the number of visuals can quickly make a marketing campaign feel like spam. If you’re worried about this, bank on an emoji or two for personalization first to test the waters and see if this impacts opt-out rates.
This campaign idea has worked well for many eCommerce businesses in the past. SMS marketing is ideal for promoting events hosted by your business, like product launches, limited offers, and website rebrands.
In the example above, Natalie Borton offers SMS subscribers or loyalty members exclusive event access to shop the latest collection.
An initial announcement — coupled with well-timed countdown reminders in the weeks building up to the function — can help to keep awareness levels high, potentially increasing your chances of a well-attended event.
You can also use the SMS platform to share important information related to the event with people who have said they are coming. This could include a link that shares the Google Maps location or one that helps them to pre-book parking. As always, when it comes to SMS marketing, less is more. Try to stick to one clear message instead of bombarding the person on the receiving end with multiple things simultaneously. We live in times of astonishingly short attention spans, so it’s best for your business to keep this in mind across all its marketing efforts.
SMS marketing continues to grow in popularity among marketers, especially as texts are commonly read within just a couple of minutes of being sent. If you’re looking to dial up your marketing automation efforts — including creating unique bulk-blast SMS campaigns that give the customer a warm feeling — we can help.
From link tracking and shortening to finding the right emojis and learning more about your audience, our platform has you covered. We take things even further by assisting your business in staying compliant with data protection laws. Our software has built-in features for generating consent records, S.H.A.F.T content monitoring, coordinating message throttling, and more.
Are you ready to try SMS marketing? Start your free 14-day trial that allows your team to tap into your target market by working smarter, not harder.
But before you go, check out some Shopify SMS marketing strategies for more inspiration for your eCommerce.