Daniel Baltazhar
February 22, 2022

Automated SMS Marketing for eCommerce: How it Works

As an eCommerce business or marketer, there are a number of things one needs to look into on a day-to-day basis, and customer engagement should be one of them.  It’s important to keep the consumers who make purchases from you thoroughly engaged with your brand at every stage of their buying journey. While channels like SMS are making it easy for businesses to cut through the noise and get their message noticed, staying consistent at sending texts can be tough. That’s where eCommerce SMS marketing automation comes into play. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about what SMS marketing automation is, why your business needs it and the type of campaigns it can help you run efficiently.


Already know what SMS marketing automation is and looking for a tool that can help you set it up? Book a demo of Recart today.

What is SMS marketing automation?

The traditional way of sending text messages for promotions is by creating one generic campaign and sending it to an entire list of subscribers.. This is also commonly referred to as sending bulk SMSs, and is usually a one-off activity. 

On the other hand, SMS marketing automation allows businesses to automatically  send personalized and tailored campaigns more consistently to a list of subscribers and customers. SMS automation leverages technology to understand the different segments of a subscriber list and trigger the right set of SMS campaigns when specific actions are taken on your store. Marketing automation does not require businesses to use bulk SMS service providers or send out messages manually.

6 reasons to leverage automation in your text message marketing campaigns

Removing the manual effort from the mix and leveraging SMS marketing automation comes with a number of benefits for businesses.

1. Set it and forget it (almost)

Once you have integrated an SMS marketing automation tool with your store and set up a workflow for the campaigns you want to run, everything gets taken care of automatically. The SMS marketing campaigns get triggered based on the consumer’s interaction with your business and their buying stage, without you having identify the action or segment the audience. 

Although, similar to other marketing automation processes, it does require looking into the performance of your campaigns regularly to optimize them for better results.

2. Enable SMS personalization

About 90% of consumers expect brands to personalize promotions sent to them. It was also found that 72% of consumers respond to marketing messages that are tailored to their interests and preferences. 

Bulk messages lack personalization and often result in delivering a spammy, negative customer experience to the recipient. But SMS marketing automation triggers text messages based on the interaction a consumer makes with the brand, or an action they take. This makes the campaigns more contextual and personalized to every individual shopper.

3. Track campaign performance closely

Bulk messages are one-off in nature and difficult to track in terms of performance. But with marketing automation, you can run multiple types of campaigns for your subscriber list, monitor their results, benchmark them against one another and see what your customers tend to respond to the most. 

A good SMS marketing automation tool also comes with the ability to set up A/B testing campaigns that let you experiment on your subscriber list with different messaging and offers to better understand their purchase motivations.

SMS analytics dashboard

4. Reduce campaign errors

Imagine sending a first purchase discount to a customer who has already made a purchase from your store. Or including the wrong name in your text message. Every little mistake you make results in compromising a customer’s experience and can lead to them opting out of your list. 

With SMS marketing automation, the pre-built workflows and campaign templates fetch data directly from your store. This ensures the right campaign is sent to the right customer, along with the correct data fields.

5. Improve team productivity

SMS marketing automation enables you to run multiple text message campaigns at a time without someone having to sit and hit send manually. It is a one-time effort for your  team to set  up workflows and messages. After which they can utilize their time on other business growth activities while the automation keeps their SMS marketing campaigns running. 

Studies have found that companies with automation set up see higher employee engagement, productivity, retention and work results.

6. Scale your SMS campaigns easily

If you make use of bulk SMS service providers, you’ll need to continually increase your packages and the frequency at which you send one-off messages. Plus, you’ll likely be sending irrelevant messages and waste your credits, making the process difficult and expensive to scale. 

But With SMS marketing automation you can set up text messages at scale without having to worry about which subscriber received or missed which message. This streamlines your efforts and optimizes your send, ensuring both your business and your customer get the most out of your messages. 

Now that you know the benefits of eCommerce text message marketing automation, let's look into the different types of campaigns you can automate.

5 types of eCommerce SMS marketing campaigns that can be automated (hint: it’s all of them!)

The good thing about marketing automation tools is that they can enable any type of automation based on your business goals. The same holds true when it comes to SMS marketing automation, let’s look at some of the popular campaigns businesses automate:

1. Welcome series

You can set up an automated SMS campaign to welcome your new subscribers and customers and keep them engaged with what your brand has to offer. This helps create and set the right expectations from day one of your interactions. 

For example, a new subscriber can be sent a welcome message along with a note on what they can expect to hear from you in the future through messages. This can then be followed up with an SMS that offers a first purchase discount to encourage them to buy from your business. 

Similarly, a new customer (someone who has made their first purchase) can be sent a welcome message to thank them for the trust they have shown, followed up with a message to set expectations around the communication and then a message that sends them store credits to encourage another interaction.

SMS welcome messages

2. Cart abandonment series

Most eCommerce businesses struggle with cart abandonment, the average rate being as high as 69%. But these are high intent shoppers that need a timely nudge to be converted! 

With SMS marketing automation, you can set up a series of messages that are targeted at getting the cart abandoner back to complete the purchase on your store. This typically includes sending out a cart reminder, followed up by a message that offers a discount to motivate the purchase or offers help in making the purchase.

SMS cart abandonment flow

3. Product review requests

87% of buying decisions begin with online research around the product, which includes reading product reviews and ratings. That’s why it’s important for eCommerce businesses to tap into key consumer moments to request product reviews on the purchases they make. 

With SMS marketing automation, you can set up workflows that get triggered after a purchase is made to collect feedback on the shopping experience. Similarly, you can set up automated messages that get triggered on product delivery to request reviews and ratings on your store.

SMS review request

4. Transactional updates

Transactional messages are important in order to keep a consumer up-to-date with their order status. But sending out a text message manually every time a purchase is initiated or completed can be tedious. The resulting lags can lead to consumers feeling confused and anxious, increasing the number of customer support requests. 

With SMS marketing automation, you can set up a workflow to send transactional updates including order processing and order confirmation. This keeps the acquired customer informed at every stage.

SMS order status

5. Order shipping alerts

Similar to transactional updates, consumers expect businesses to keep them notified of their order shipping. Having to manually coordinate with logistics providers to send messages and updates can be time-consuming and prone to error as you scale your business. 

An SMS marketing automation tool syncs with your store to collect data from your logistics service provider. It then uses the pre-built workflow to push out timely shipping notifications to ease post-purchase customer anxiety, keeping them excited about the purchase made.  

At Recart, we have seen the above SMS marketing automations add 7-15% to the total revenue generated by eCommerce stores. You can read some success stories here, before we tell you how this all works.

SMS delivery nbotificaton

How Recart’s automated SMS marketing works

Recart makes SMS marketing automation easy by providing pre-built workflows that are tailored to suit eCommerce businesses. 

The SMS marketing automation features are built to meet eCommerce business goals, keeping an online shopper’s buying journey at the heart of workflows. The workflows take into account every stage of the buying cycle, that includes welcoming them to the promotional list,, nurturing them with promotional campaigns, transactional alerts, cart reminders and more. 

In addition to these campaigns, the automation tool also offers an easy-to-use drag and drop editor that lets you customize these SMS marketing workflows. From building out follow-ups to audience segmentation, you can do it all quickly and easily to make your automation authentic to your brand, thus delivering a unique customer experience on SMS. You can learn more about our automations here.

It’s time for you to get started with automated SMS marketing

SMS marketing automation can feel like a tedious and complex process. Looking into segmentation of your subscribers and customers, their buying journeys and creating contextual campaigns, to planning out your eCommerce text message marketing automation, can be overwhelming, often leading businesses skip this must-have altogether. 

But with Recart, you don’t have to be an automation wizard to earn revenue on autopilot. It comes with pre-built workflows that have proven to engage and motivate subscribers to shop more frequently from your brand. Plus, if our templates still have you scratching your head, our Recart SMS specialist with create the campaigns for you.

The SMS marketing automation tool also gives you the power to customize the workflows to work with other marketing campaigns and efforts, increasing the effectiveness of your campaigns by creating an omni-channel experience for subscribers. 

Want to see how we do it? Explore eCommerce SMS marketing automation with Recart

Want to learn more about eCommerce text marketing before setting up a campaign? Head over to our next lesson: How to set up an SMS marketing campaign for your eCommerce store?

eCommerce text message marketing automation FAQs 

How do you automate SMS?

To automate SMS, you need a marketing automation suite that offers text messages as a channel. Similar to how you use email marketing tools, an SMS marketing tool comes with pre-built workflows to help you automate SMS at different stages of a buyer’s journey. This tool syncs with your storefront to be able to collect phone numbers in your subscriber list and segments them accordingly to trigger campaigns.

How long does it take to automate SMS?

If you’re building SMS marketing automation flows from scratch for each segment of your customer and their buying journey, it can take up to a few weeks to identify their needs, purchase motivations and the sequence in which you send messages. If you make use of SMS marketing automation tools like Recart that come with prebuilt workflows for every stage of a customer’s journey with a brand, you can go live with SMS automation the same day. Recart SMS specialist will even set them up for you!

What SMS marketing campaigns can be automated?

You can automate your welcome messages, abandoned cart recovery reminders, order status alerts and even promotions on SMS. The SMS marketing campaigns you automate are entirely based on who you are targeting out of your subscriber/ customer list and your business objectives.

Learn More From Our Experts

Want to learn more about eCommerce SMS marketing before getting started? Head over to our next lesson on how to run consistent text marketing campaigns with automation.

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