Daniel Baltazhar
February 22, 2022

Ensure Success with 9 eCommerce SMS Marketing Best Practices

The benefits of SMS marketing are evident from the statistics on how consumers respond to the campaigns. But now that businesses across the globe are tapping into the channel’s potential to reach their customers, it’s also becoming increasingly important to keep the consumer’s interest in mind over just being the first to get noticed. In this lesson, we’re sharing some of the SMS marketing best practices that leading brands follow as golden rules. 

Don’t have an SMS marketing strategy set up yet? Reach out to us for a demo.

Make it count: 9 eCommerce SMS marketing best practices

First impressions are often the last. Don’t treat your SMS marketing campaigns as just another channel to run promotions. Let’s take a look at some of the text marketing best practices that keep both your customer/ subscriber and your business goals in mind: 

1. Make sure you have consent

The very first thing to keep in mind is obtaining expressed consent from your customers before sending them a text messages. This consent  means they are interested in what your business has to offer and have agreed to receive promotional texts. 

Some of the most straightforward ways to achieve this are to make use of SMS keywords (words or phrases that a customer can text to subscribe to messages), use a clear opt-in window on your website (similar to that of emails), and sharing links, privacy policy and terms of service.

SMS compliance

2. Set clear expectations

The next text marketing best practice we recommend following is to let a customer know what to expect. SMS is a more intimate channel that gets used for personal and professional purposes too; following this will also help convince customers to opt-in for the updates. 

We recommend using a clear copy around your opt-in form that lays out what updates you’d be sharing with them over message. You could mention using the channel to send occasional promotions, order status updates, and similar messages. 

You could also consider setting up a welcome SMS campaign that confirms the subscription and lets the customer know what to expect from your upcoming messages. 

3. Segment your SMS subscribers

Just like other marketing channels, the best results come from campaigns that are contextual to a customer’s journey with your brand. This requires keeping your SMS subscribers well segmented based on parameters such as new vs repeat customers, average order value and others. 

A good SMS marketing tool will help you segment your subscribers at scale, no matter where they come from. This helps you also get an overview of the different types of customers your brand acquires over a period of time.

SMS marketing audience segmentation

4. Prioritize personalization and value

As McKinsey states, personalization is key to a great customer experience and 80% of your customers expect you to deliver the same. This holds true for your SMS marketing campaigns as well. 

Remember to plan your text marketing campaigns in such a way that they have real value to offer to the different segments, based on their journey with your brand. For instance, sending out first-purchase discount codes over messages to repeat buyers will only make them feel like they’re missing out on offers that they may find on other sites! 

We recommend identifying what each customer segment values the most, and using the data  to personalize your SMS marketing campaigns. 

5. Keep your message crisp, clear and structured

Everyone pays attention to how emails get structured. From the subject line to preview text, opening statement and the body, the focus is on creating a flow for the subscriber. But when it comes to SMS, a lot of brands can be seen trying to fit in as much as possible in 160 characters. 

A good message is one that still follows the golden rule of delivering the information  in crisp and clear language, along with a call-to-action. Structure your SMS in such a way that it feels natural to a subscriber to click through to your website.

6. Get your timing right

The success of your SMS marketing campaign also depends on the mood you catch a subscriber in. This is often contingent on the timing of your message! 

Imagine winding down for the day and receiving a text message about an ongoing deal well past midnight. You’re far less likely to engage with the message or check out the site - no matter how good the deal is! (Plus you good be going against compliance regulations).

SMS marketing tools like Recart can help crack the code on the right time to send a message. With segments in place, it helps also monitor and identify when you should be sending out your campaigns.

7. Watch your message frequency

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the number of messages you should be sending in a week or a month, we do recommend following your customer’s lead to decide the frequency of your campaigns. 

You need to find a middle ground between remaining consistent and not being spammy. We recommend starting slow with one campaign a week, running a survey to ask customers what they’d prefer, or watching the results and engagement levels to assess their interest.

8. Strike a conversation

Text messages are a personal platform and by sending a campaign, your business becomes a part of that. That’s why you need to ditch the traditional one-way approach to marketing, and use two-way communication in your SMS marketing campaigns. 

Give your customers an opportunity to respond, ask questions or give feedback, and make sure you reply to them in a timely manner to keep the conversation going. If live chat statistics are to be taken into account, conversations can increase conversions by up to 20%.

two way SMS conversation

9. Measure and optimize

SMS marketing campaigns shouldn’t be another “set it and forget” it thing you do. 

There’s a lot to learn from how your text message campaigns perform. This includes the timing of your messages, frequency, how you structure them, the message copy, call-to-actions and more. You get to learn from every campaign you run! 

So make sure you’re not just monitoring the messages delivered and opened results. Also look at metrics such as click through rates, engagement rate and conversions to see if they actually worked! 

Use the insights to optimize your future campaigns for better results.

Get started with SMS marketing the right way!

Just like other marketing, SMS comes with its own set of nuances, rules and regulations, and best practices to follow. While the marketing channel holds a lot of potential in reaching your customers where they are the most active and driving a desired action, it can also tip towards being intrusive if not strategized well. 

At Recart, we don’t just equip you with a feature set that enables the set up of automated SMS marketing campaigns, but also provide expert guidance. Our ecommerce specialists work with you to ensure all text marketing best practices are followed for campaign success! 

Ready to set up your campaign? Book a demo of Recart today

Not sure where to begin or which SMS marketing campaign to send? 

We’re covering some of the best text marketing examples in the next lesson. Check them out here!

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SMS marketing best practices FAQs

Do customers like SMS marketing?

Research has found that 91% of customers are interested in signing up for updates and notifications on text. The survey also states how these consumers expect businesses to proactively communicate with them through personalized offers and messages. 

What makes a good SMS marketing campaign?

As per a study published on Inc., over 90% of all SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt. A good SMS is one that makes the most of the 160 characters available by keeping the message short and sweet, value-focused and action-driven.

What is the most important best practice when it comes to SMS marketing?  

The most important text marketing best practice is to ensure your business is compliant with all the rules and regulations before sending out a campaign. The list you send messages to should be customers who have knowingly subscribed for updates over the channel. This also helps prevent your numbers getting blocked, and reduces the chances of receiving negative online reviews over being spammed.

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9 Benefits of eCommerce SMS Marketing
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14 Real-life SMS Marketing Examples from  Innovative eCommerce Brands