Six Critical Automations For SMS Success & Growth
Sending compelling broadcast campaigns is critical for the ongoing success of your Text Message Marketing program and likely makes up most of your volume total. But they can sometimes go unread or bring in fewer clicks. History, insights, and benchmark data tell us that automated campaigns triggered by activity earn more engagement and revenue and have become just as critical for maximum return potential.
While you might already have many of these strategies in your email program, let’s review which to prioritize with SMS for an elevated strategy and how to get the most out of your text messages.
Listrak's Journey Hub automation tool makes building and managing automated cross-channel campaigns easy, including frequency, segmentation, and testing strategies. There are even pre-built templates using our best practices for getting started. We highly recommend leveraging all this drag-and-drop editor can do across your customer journey. If you haven’t begun using this solution yet, learn more about it here:
1. Capture, Convert, and Retain
Your customer journey might not be completely linear, but rather cyclical and have different levels of engagement along the way. You should strive for touchpoints at each stage across your owned channels to be ready to connect with your SMS subscribers whenever and wherever they show interest. This includes at the very beginning by capturing their express written consent to opt-in and welcoming them into your program, nurturing them to convert as they browse and shop your site, and retaining loyalists as they buy, refer, and share.
We’ve found that contacts who subscribe to a brand’s email and SMS programs can have upwards of a 30% higher Lifetime Value than those contacts who are just subscribed to one channel. Triggered automation can help reinforce those connections and increase their value. As contacts move through, in, and around the customer journey, deliver targeted messages to move them to the next stage (whatever that may be).
2. Sending Critical Order Updates
Transactional messaging is now table stakes across email and SMS. Triggering your order updates and alerts via text message can elevate your program immediately. Consumers now expect to receive this type of correspondence, and you can send a message for every order status change as needed. The message itself doesn't need to include much, rather the focus should be more on the timeliness of sending and communicating the latest details or update news. In your emails, include imagery and more specifics, but your SMS messages should be simple with just a little copy and a link back to order details. This keeps the recent purchaser engaged in the mobile channel, and it also enforces awareness during a critical stage of the customer journey keeping them informed – Bonus benefits!
3. Bringing Abandoners Back
While there are a few extra compliance considerations when sending Shopping Cart Abandonment and Browse Abandonment campaigns via text, they pay off in spades with some of the highest click-through and conversion rates among all SMS automations. These campaigns are long-standing winners on the email side and have grown over to take up a substantial share of SMS program revenue wihen best practices are place.
For example, after a subscriber leaves something in their cart or browses a product page on your site, and 30 minutes pass without a purchase or additional activity, the abandonment event should fire to trigger the corresponding triggered text messages. Again, the messages need only simple copy, and will yield high engagement rates by encouraging a return to finish purchasing. It’s better to send these messages sooner than later, too, as the likelihood of ordering dwindles the longer you leave a cart behind.
Per compliance rules, it’s also important to trigger just one Shopping Cart Abandonment message per event within 48 hours and have a proper double opt-in enabled for all contacts at the time of acquisition. Learn more about Shopping Cart Abandonment specific compliance in our earlier post: https://www.listrak.com/blog/compliance-for-sms-acquisition
4. Triggering Product Alerts
You can take targeting recent browsers a step further with Product Alert Text campaigns that let subscribers know what they recently viewed has a new lower price, is running low in stock, or is now available again (if out of stock before). These are great extensions of Browse Abandonment campaigns because not only are they sent to contacts who previously expressed specific interest in a product, but they’re triggered at those crucial moments that make for compelling texts. Remember the essence of SMS is it’s sense of urgency, and these messages lean into that.
We’re seeing a lot of our clients adopting Product Alert campaigns as part of their marketing strategies. So, having these in place for your program closes the gap with your competition and helps keep you top of mind with browsing customers. Retail is everywhere now, and automated campaigns like this help you meet your customers wherever they’re at.
5. Welcoming Newest Subscribers
The Welcome Series is one of highest-performing automated campaigns across email and SMS. Most recently we are excited to see it driving a considerable share of revenue from automated text campaigns! With its multi-purposes – thanking new subscribers for joining, confirming interest with existing subscribers, and delivering attractive incentives to encourage opt-in – per compliance rules, these messages via SMS must be delivered immediately upon opting into your mobile program.
Once your initial messages are sent with all the required compliance language, your signup incentive should be sent with clear copy, terms, and a link to your site. From there, send your new subscribers a Contact Card to encourage saving your program shortcode as a contact on their personal device. A contact card brands your conversation with them by including a logo or other image and saves all relevant information you’d like to include, even contact information outside of your Text Messages Marketing program.
From there, continue to nurture your new subscribers over a few days by introducing your brand: Send a message with a direct link to your top sellers, trigger a coupon reminder to non-purchasers to take advantage of your incentive, and consider collecting more first-party contact data like birthdays and shopping interests through Info Campaigns and Data Acquisition Campaigns. Take advantage of the additional engagement from these subscribers to set the stage for even more personalized and compelling text messages to come.
6. Re-Engaging Lapsing Contacts
Even with a thoughtfully curated automated campaign strategy, some contacts must be won back as they exit your customer journey or engage less over time. Post Purchase automations with timed messaging based on the last order date and re-engagement campaigns based on click recency are efficient ways of setting up that outreach without managing individual texts.
Messages should start to deploy around 30 days after a customer’s last order or click event, encouraging them to return to your site to see what’s new, trending, or flying off your virtual shelves. If they still don’t engage or buy, consider sending a coupon or evergreen discount to help entice them back. You can even personalize these further with some strategic segmentation in Journey Hub to give your best customers more significant incentives while sending something else for first-time purchasers to get them to repeat purchaser status. You want to re-engage quickly, as that will likely cost you more to win the contact back. Instead, curate a series with multiple touchpoints.
Get Started Today
Automated campaigns are vital for the ongoing growth and health of your Text Message Marketing program, just like they are for email. A strategically curated suite of campaigns is critical for accelerating to the next level and engaging with your subscribers as they move throughout your customer journey. With these six campaigns in place, you will improve ROI and overall results to reach your engagement and revenue goals.
Talk to your Listrak Account Manager today to get started. If you're not a Listrak client, we'd love to partner and help you orchestrate seamless cross-channel communication via Listrak's unified platform for email, SMS, identity resolution, and push notifications.