Your Guide to Shopify Marketing With SMS
Building a better Shopify marketing plan requires a multi-pronged approach. There’s a lot of competition between ecommerce stores today and the divide between the winners and the losers is growing. If you’re looking to enhance your Shopify marketing strategy, chances are you’ve tried some form of social media, content marketing or email marketing — all great elements of a Shopify marketing plan. But, one strategy that should definitely be part of your game plan is SMS.
There’s hype around SMS marketing right now, and it’s not hard to understand why — branded text messages have an open rate of 98%. If you’ve been wondering how to start using SMS marketing for your Shopify store, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your ultimate guide to sending text messages for your Shopify marketing strategy.
Should you use SMS in your Shopify marketing strategy?
Still on the fence about whether you should send texts as part of your Shopify marketing plan? Here’s a look into what makes SMS marketing such a natural fit for Shopify.
- Cost friendly: You don’t have to break the bank to get started with SMS marketing for Shopify. Unlike other forms of marketing that can require a lot of money to produce assets, before purchasing ads, with text message marketing you can create all the content (the texts) in house. There are a lot of different price points with mass texting softwares to help you send your texts.
- Not saturated: Unlike email and social media marketing, which have a lot of brand presence, texting is still relatively untapped (even though the number of businesses using texting is growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic). It’s easier to stand out with texting, especially when integrating it into your larger Shopify marketing strategy.
- Permission-based: You know that creepy feeling you get when you can sense a brand is targeting you online? Turns out statistics show customers really don’t like that. Since text marketing is opt-in and permission-based, you know that your customers actually want to hear from you — making them a lot more receptive to what you have to say.
- Easy to use: Setting up a text marketing strategy for Shopify isn’t hard. You can get started with the basics of an SMS campaign within minutes
Even though we’re firm believers in the power of SMS marketing, there are still a few considerations to keep in mind, and situations where it’s not the best for your Shopify marketing strategy.
- Not ideal for longer communications: If you need to communicate something specific, long or formal — such as crisis communications, for example — SMS messaging might not be the ideal channel as email could provide more space and formality.
- Cheaper SMS platforms cut corners: While it could be tempting to go with a free or very low cost SMS software, these cheaper platforms cut corners that could put you in legal trouble, since SMS marketing is regulated by the federal government. Legitimate platforms have a lot of processes in place that keep you on the right side of the law, but some platforms that cut corners don’t have the same standards, which could backfire and leave you with a legal mess.
Shopify SMS marketing strategies that work
There are a lot of different ways you can integrate text message marketing into your overall Shopify marketing strategy, but here are some of the most common ones that we see ecommerce stores using.
1. Abandoned cart text messages
Abandoned carts are by far one of the most frustrating aspects of ecommerce for many retailers. For example, in March 2020 more than 88% of online orders were abandoned. You spend a lot of time and money bringing people to your site and getting them to put items in your store. It can be incredibly frustrating when they abandon their cart after seeing the total.
Abandoned cart text messages can have a big impact when it comes to recovering lost revenue. One customer who we followed over a 30-day period was able to recover over $150,000 in revenue by sending abandoned cart text messages.
Tips for abandoned cart messages:
- Provide a direct link to your customer’s cart to reduce friction, making it easy for them to complete their purchase.
- Experiment with how long you wait — most of our customers find sending a text message within a short time frame after the cart was abandoned works best, but you should test with your own audience.
- Keep your message short with a clear call to action.
- Keep in mind that as of May 2020, T-Mobile has updated their policies for abandoned cart text messages (and other carriers are expected to eventually adopt similar policies). You can now only send one abandoned cart text message per unique customer per month (this means no drip campaigns), you can also not send an abandoned cart message more than 48 hours after the cart has been abandoned. You also can’t send credit card details via SMS (that means no completing the purchase over text message) and you have to have a double opt-in. Lastly, you need to include the wording “Recieve Shopping Cart Reminders” in your opt-in.
2. Customer service texts
Need to contact your customers to provide support or customer service? How about providing shipping updates or information on the order status? Texting is a fantastic way to do that, especially if you need to receive a response from your customers before proceeding.
Tips for increasing your Shopify customer service with texting:
- Send notifications: Shipping notifications are just the beginning. You can really get creative with your notifications and involve your customer in the process of fulfilling their order. Send them updates on how their product is being made and packaged.
- Provide one-on-one support: Text messaging provides another support channel for your Shopify marketing strategy. One bonus of using MMS for customer support is that you can get customers to send you pictures of any damaged items or troubleshooting.
- Solicit feedback: Ecommerce stores can struggle to receive timely feedback. Since text messaging is so easy and natural for many consumers, some Shopify marketers are finding success soliciting feedback over text.
3. Loyalty and customer engagement
There are a lot of easy ways to start creating brand loyalty using text messaging — something all Shopify marketing should be aimed at doing. Text messaging marketing works best when you provide exclusive discounts or deals to your text list, but you don’t have to stop there. Use your in house experience to offer value to your customers in other ways.
Ways to create customer engagement beyond discounts:
- Text an expert: What in house expertise can you share with your customers? For example, if you’re a fashion label, can you offer styling tips from your designers? If you’re a plant store, can you provide advice on growing plants?
- Customize your offerings: Don’t rely on generic “advice” to add value to your Shopify SMS marketing, you need to get custom. Using the example above, let customers know they can text in photos of their plants to your plant experts to help troubleshoot any issues. Or, if you’re a fashion brand, ask your customers to send pictures of their favourite basics that you can help them pair with your current collection.
- Create exclusive moments: Make the customers on your Shopify marketing text list feel special by giving them early access to your new offerings or exclusive access to partnerships.
4. Earn reviews
Every Shopify store can use reviews, whether that’s within your own site or on third party sites that talk about your product. It can be hard to get customers to leave these reviews for you, but texting them to make your ask can often work a lot better than emailing them.
Tips for earning more reviews:
- Reduce friction: Provide a direct link to the place where shoppers can leave their review.
- Ask for specifics: Do you need more reviews about product quality? Shipping times? Customer service? Whatever it is, make sure you ask directly for what you want.
How to get SMS software connected to your Shopify store
There are two easy ways to get your SMS software connected to your Shopify store. Here’s how.
1. SlickText Shopify integration
If you use SlickText as your SMS marketing platform we have a Shopify integration already built. It only takes a few clicks to connect SlickText and Shopify so that they work in sync with each other. It takes no programming or coding knowledge.
2. Zapier integration
If you choose an SMS marketing provider that doesn’t connect with Shopify, check to see whether they integrate with Zapier. Zapier is a go-between that allows two softwares that don’t speak to each other to communicate. If your SMS marketing provider integrates with Zapier you should be able to get it to connect to Shopify.