SMS marketing: 3 Ways Retailers Can Improve Engagement
As the retail landscape becomes more competitive, the task of effectively engaging with customers is harder than ever. A popular marketing tool for retailers has long been SMS for its cost-effectiveness and its ability to provide strong return-on-investment. However, traditional SMS marketing has now evolved beyond simple text messages, with technology that has the potential to deliver maximum engagement with your customers to stand out above your competitors.
MessageMedia recently surveyed 1,000 Australians about their attitudes to SMS. The survey revealed that a significant 87 per cent of Australians have opened an SMS from a business, with a further 83 per cent having clicked through to a business from a link within an SMS. Three in five respondents have also visited a retailer in person or online after receiving an SMS from the retailer.
While these numbers are remarkable, reaching your audience is only half the battle for retailers – getting your customers to act is the other. Below are three ways that you can achieve real and measurable results with SMS marketing to not just reach your customers, but also encourage them to click through.
It’s all about personalisation
With so much competition, retailers must distinguish themselves with superior customer experiences. Customers buy more from a company that knows their personal preferences and will also leave companies that aren’t providing a sufficiently relevant experience.
Retailers can leverage a new SMS technology called mobile landing pages that go beyond simply greeting the customer by name by way of a more personalised experience. They can display your business logo, high-resolution images and call-to-action buttons via a customised landing page, tailored for your audience so they feel the message has been specifically designed for them.
The Athlete’s Foot has had excellent results using mobile landing pages to offer vouchers to new, existing or lapsed loyalty club members, with a recent campaign achieving an impressive 13 percent average click-through rate.
Customer technology systems can’t exist in isolation anymore
To capitalise on your investment in technology such as CRM systems like Adobe, NetSuite, HubSpot, Magento and others, your communications must co-exist and integrate with these systems and workflows – regardless of platform. The integration of SMS into your existing system expands your communications capability and brings the immediacy of SMS to your business.
By integrating SMS into existing automation workflows, such as triggered customer updates and offers, retailers can elevate marketing campaigns and other messaging to create highly personalised and targeted text messages.
For example, an online retailer on Shopify can now send automated SMS reminders every time a shopper abandons their cart to recover a potential lost sale. This not only increases customer engagement levels but also addresses a $29 billion cart abandonment problem in Australia.
Two-way conversational messaging
We already know that consumers prefer to contact businesses via a digital channel, so most consumers (especially millennials) will no longer bother to call a business. Nevertheless, they still expect a fast response that resembles a two-way conversation. Two-way SMS delivers this.
Features such as dedicated (or virtual) numbers means that all your messages originate from the same number. Customers can save your dedicated number and use it to contact you, as these numbers support inbound SMS.
An automated SMS service goes a step further, turning a one-way message into an engaging, automated two-way SMS conversation with customers, providing real-time delivery and responses through rules which trigger a desired action.
For more information on how to improve customer engagement through SMS marketing, download MessageMedia’s free ebooks Getting the message: Consumer attitudes to business SMS and A technology in evolution: The future of business SMS.