If it feels like more and more of your competitors are exploring text message marketing, it’s because they are.
In fact, SMS was the only large emerging technology channel where marketers increased investment this year. With 99% open rates and 30% click-through rates on average — not to mention 10x more revenue per subscriber than email marketing — it’s easy to see why.
Yet some brands still underestimate SMS’s value, viewing it as a broadcast channel where consumers only respond to discounts.
There’s no denying that special offers like one-time coupons and free shipping are highly effective — especially at driving consumers to become text messaging subscribers — but they only scratch the surface of this channel’s engagement opportunities.
95% of Americans own a mobile phone, and they’re never far from it. Whether you want to keep your products top of mind, deepen customer relationships or differentiate your brand from the competition, text message marketing is the ideal way to have personalized, 1:1 conversations with your target audience on their channel of choice.
Use these SMS marketing ideas to do all of the above — no discounts required.
Maintaining brand awareness with SMS marketing
Text messages highlighting new product launches, back-in-stock items and bestsellers get subscribers thinking about your brand. Paired with copywriting and calls-to-action that lean into this channel’s innate sense of immediacy, these texts turn awareness into action.
Take a recent text messaging campaign from footwear and fashion accessories retailer Steve Madden. By spotlighting “must-have” products with phrases such as “selling out fast” and “before it’s gone,” the brand establishes urgency among subscribers. Topping it off with a direct link to the product, Steve Madden makes purchasing as simple as a tap on a smartphone screen.
But campaign messages aren’t the only way to keep your brand top of mind. Triggered messages based on subscribers’ behaviors automatically remind shoppers of products they recently browsed or added to their carts but didn’t purchase, encouraging them to complete the transaction.
Online perfume retailer FragranceNet sends automated reminders to subscribers 30 minutes after they abandon an online cart, reminding them of what’s waiting for them with an image of the product and copy that links back to the checkout page. This tactic enables the brand to re-engage high-intent shoppers, recovering otherwise lost revenue via personalized, visually appealing messages.
Increasing customer loyalty with SMS marketing
Making subscribers feel like VIPs should always be part of a text message marketing strategy — and you don’t need to offer a discount to do this.
For example, giving subscribers early access to new or sought-after products acts as a reward for signing up to receive text messages from your business. It’s a small gesture that makes people feel special and strengthens the bond between subscribers and your brand in the process.
Women’s fitness apparel retailer Bandier recently sent subscribers text messages that offered early access to new products before public release. Bandier emphasized the exclusivity in the copy and showcased items with an animated GIF.
But early access and exclusive invites are only one tactic for building brand loyalty.
Post-purchase text messages expressing gratitude, highlighting loyalty and referral programs, or promoting products similar to recent purchases help you build brand affinity after customers complete transactions.
And if a subscriber has a question or needs help resolving an issue, text messaging provides the perfect avenue for putting minds at ease. In fact, subscribers who receive replies to text message inquiries typically spend 31% more than those who don’t.
By integrating text message marketing platforms with help desk software, brands can quickly respond to customer service communications sent via text message. They can also automatically forward messages to the brand’s customer support team queue to promptly answer questions and offer assistance.
Demonstrating thought leadership with SMS marketing
Text messages don’t just show what you sell — they can also show what you stand for.
For instance, protective skincare brand Supergoop! uses text messaging to promote its “Sun 101” series, which educates subscribers about the benefits of protecting themselves from the sun while positioning the brand as a trusted source of information and insight.
Meanwhile, jewelry retailer Pura Vida Bracelets sends subscribers text messages that highlight the causes they support. During a recent campaign, the brand pledged to donate $1 from every order to Feeding America to raise $200,000 (2 million meals) throughout the month.
Not only did the brand support a worthy cause, but it also demonstrated an authentic commitment to help those in need, which especially appeals to younger consumers. Data shows 72% of Gen Z say they're more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes, demonstrating why these campaigns helped Pura Vida Bracelets achieve a 15x ROI on their text message marketing program.
Maximizing SMS marketing results
Discounts are a valuable tool. They can entice shoppers to become subscribers and give consumers the extra push they need to purchase.
But they’re only one part of a well-rounded text message marketing strategy. The ability to directly engage consumers in personalized, 1:1 conversations makes SMS marketing ideal for sharing content of all types.
Get to know your subscribers and find out what messaging resonates with them most. Segment your audiences, conduct A/B testing and dig into the data to personalize at scale.
If you’re sending text messages to subscribers, you’re already talking to them on their channel of choice. Use these SMS marketing ideas to show them you have something to say.
Attentive® is a personalized text messaging platform for innovative brands & organizations that can quickly become a top 3 revenue channel—with results like 30%+ click-through rates and 25x+ ROI. Contact Attentive for more information, view recent case studies or explore our 2020 Holiday Hub to discover how to “sleigh” your revenue goals this holiday season and beyond.
Eric Wendt is a Content Marketing Manager at Attentive®—a Human Agency Partner and the most comprehensive text message marketing solution.