SMS is an incredibly effective way to engage customers and boost your bottom line. And expanding the scope of your SMS program beyond your basic broadcast messages leads to more customer interactions, and an improved relationship with shoppers. 

Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take to offer customers more value with your SMS program. 

We previously looked into how SMS Info Campaigns can elevate your Mobile Messaging marketing strategy to deliver more relevant, personalized content to both subscribers and prospects. Today, we’ll explore another way to maximize engagement and boost ROI — Transactional SMS. With this SMS function, you can deliver critical order updates and other notifications to your program subscribers.

Why Should I Use Transactional SMS within My Mobile Program?

Order updates via text message are no longer a “nice to have” with eCommerce. Now customers expect them.

Think about it. How would you rather get order updates — sent directly to your phone or delivered to your email inbox (where they can get lost in the email abyss)? Both channels are important and have unique benefits, but providing order updates to your customers via text offers superior:

  • Efficiency
  • Convenience
  • Customer experience

Increasingly, customers want to get order notifications on the device they always have on hand — their phones. And the beauty of Transactional SMS is that it’s easier than you think to get up and running.

How Do I Get Started with Transactional SMS?

Before unpacking Transactional SMS strategies specifically, let’s revisit the basic rules of acquisition for a mobile program. Compliance is imperative with any SMS program, so you’ll want to ensure you’re covering your bases.

Consent and Calls-to-Action

With text messaging, consent to subscribe must be explicit — you can’t scrape for phone numbers, automatically subscribe customers, or buy phone numbers to add to your mobile program. 

Additionally, your calls-to-action must outline:

  • What the program is
  • What the terms are
  • How to get help and unsubscribe

Also, the call-to-action must generally make it clear that, by providing a phone number or texting in a designated keyword, customers are consenting to receive text messages.

Now that we’ve covered compliance, let’s see how you can easily incorporate Transactional SMS into your marketing mix.

Integrate SMS Consent into Your Checkout Process

With Transactional SMS, the best place to collect customer consent is during the checkout process — when you’re already asking for a phone number to complete an order. The opt-in disclaimer language can live directly underneath the phone number field, accompanied by an unchecked checkbox for the customer to use to provide consent. 

Once your customer types in their phone number, checks the box, and submits their order, a welcome text is sent to confirm their opt-in and deliver the additional messaging required by compliance rules.

Here's an example of what the opt-in will look like during the checkout process:

Once your customer completes their checkout, they’ll receive an SMS message like the one listed below. Notice that all necessary components to maintain compliance (HELP, STOP, etc.) are present.

StyleCo: You're all signed up to receive updates on your order! Msg freq varies. Txt HELP for help; STOP to opt out. Msg&Data rates may apply.

By integrating consent into the checkout process, you make it easy for customers to opt-in to your SMS program.

Trigger Order Updates with Listrak’s SMS REST API 

Once you have the explicit consent to opt-in, you can leverage Listrak’s SMS REST API to trigger messages with corresponding order updates. These messages can be as simple as Order Confirmations and Shipping Confirmations. But they can also be customized based on your own order, shipping, and delivery statuses from your delivery partner. 

Even the most basic messages can still be compelling to your customers and can help alleviate customer service issues or decrease calls to your support team.  

Transactional SMS Message Examples

What do these transactional messages look like? Here are a few examples of messages that you can automatically trigger to send to customers.

Order Confirmation

StyleCo: Your order is confirmed! We’ll text you when it ships.

Shipping Confirmation

StyleCo: Your order is on the way! You can expect it to arrive within a week.

Even these simple messages give customers an enhanced buying experience. Plus, when you take these simple transactional messages a step further, you can increase engagement and even begin nurturing subsequent orders.  For instance, including order information such as first name and order number helps personalize the message for your customer. And sending a tracking link gives customers the ability to manage their own orders:

Including First Name and Order Number

StyleCo: Thanks, Becky! Your order #12345 is confirmed! We’ll text you when it ships.

Including a Link to Manage the Order

StyleCo: Your order is on the way! Click here to track its progress: https://www.shipping.com

Including Additional Order Status 

To bolster customer service even further, you can include additional order updates during shipping and after delivery to keep customers in the know about every stage. Messages like:

StyleCo: Thanks, Becky! Your order #12345 is confirmed! We’ll text you when it ships.

StyleCo: We appreciate your patience, Becky! Your order is currently delayed but expected to ship soon. Click here to manage it: https://www.styleco.com

StyleCo: Your order is on the way! Click here to track its progress: https://www.shipping.com

StyleCo: Get excited, Becky – Your order is out for delivery! You should see it by the end of the day.

StyleCo: Your order #12345 has been delivered! We hope you love it, and would appreciate a review when you get a chance: https://www.styleco.com/reviews

By keeping your customer informed at every stage of the shipping and delivery process, you can build anticipation and reduce calls to your customer service team from anxious buyers. When customers are automatically updated about their orders, it builds trust and reduces friction with your brand and leads to more repeat buyers.

Want to Add Transactional Messages to Your SMS Program?

By offering Transactional SMS updates to your customers, you can expect more channel engagement, fewer calls to your support line, and better overall customer satisfaction. The process is easy to set up, and it’s one of the most efficient ways of sending your most critical messages. 

For more information on how to get started with Listrak, you can start the conversation with us by Scheduling a Demo. Listrak offers SMS and MMS solutions for retailers and brands – all using a Tier 1 Aggregator to help ensure your messages get to their intended audiences as expected, when expected.