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Why You Should Invest in SMS Marketing and How to Do It

Your Go-to Guide for Growing Your Marketing Strategy with Klaviyo SMS.

Single-channel marketing truly is a thing of the past. As a brand operating in the modern digital world, having a wide array of tools – or channels – in your marketing belt is the only way to excel at the job and build a brand reputation that gets your customers going. 

A tool that is often overlooked – but shouldn’t be – is SMS marketing, a secret weapon for many brands who want to reach their customers in the ideal place, at the ideal time, with the ideal message.

SMS marketing is another brick in your marketing strategy’s wall, serving its own important purpose whilst making it stronger and more resilient as a whole. 

The SMS marketing industry is already booming and bringing in big bucks for brands globally, and it’s projected to explode even more over the years to come.

SMS Marketing Stats

Let’s take a look at SMS marketing and how to incorporate it into your brand’s marketing strategy.

We’ll be referring to content marketing platform Klaviyo throughout, a tool we use every day here at Gloss to provide centralised, automated, personalised and optimised digital communication at scale for our clients across email and SMS. 

Time to dive in…

First off, what actually is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing involves a brand sending out mass text messages to customers who have opted in to receive SMS communications. It can be used for a variety of important purposes (we’ll look at this in more detail shortly), with messages being sent directly to customers’ mobile devices. 

So, what’s so great about SMS marketing?

You may be wondering whether SMS is worth bothering with, especially if you already have a strategy that seems to be working pretty well. Adding SMS into your brand’s marketing strategy allows you to create more robust omnichannel campaigns for your clients, communicating directly with your customers in an affordable, simple way that delivers real results.

In fact, SMS marketing is considered one of the most cost-effective ways for brands to engage their mobile consumers, as it takes very little financial investment and can generate a lot of valuable leads.

It is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and SMS is a surefire way to keep your customer base engaged and coming back time and time again.

person receiving sms marketing text

Here’s an SMS statistic snapshot to put some things into perspective: 
  • A massive 98% of all text messages are read by recipients, meaning your messages aren’t going to waste
  • 29% of customers actually prefer texts from brands over email or social media. But SMS marketing does not cannibalise email, with 10% increase in email-attributed revenue and total owned revenue after adding SMS. In short, SMS not only adds another layer of revenue in itself but elevates other elements of your marketing strategy. You could say it’s a win-win.
  • Worried that adding SMS to your marketing strategy will leave your customers feeling bombarded by your brand? Well, 96% of customers report that they are willing to receive a text from a brand at least once a week. 
  • SMS drives urgency, with 73% of customers making a purchase from a text when 80% of these people weren’t even planning to make one that day. 

So, the power of SMS marketing really does speak for itself. 

Once you’ve decided to add SMS to your marketing strategy tool belt, a key element of creating a seamless SMS strategy is choosing the right platform which allows you to make the most out of SMS. 

One we recommend is Klaviyo, which lets you easily test channel effectiveness and report on results within one platform, allowing you to dynamically personalise messages and optimise customer experiences at scale. But more on that later.

klaviyo sms marketing

Wondering where to start with incorporating SMS marketing into your strategy? Let’s break it down…

How to use SMS marketing to grow your brand
1. First, you need to build an SMS subscriber list

When starting out with SMS marketing, your first port of call is to build an SMS subscriber list. You can easily collect SMS consent via the use of sign-up forms. You may target existing email subscribers along with brand-new subscribers, both made easy with the Klaviyo platform. 

These sign-up forms may be a web page or a pop-up where users enter information such as their name and phone number in return for newsletter access or a discount code. You need to offer them something of value, something that makes it easy for your customer – or future customer – to give you their SMS marketing consent. 

2. Explore segments and target specific customers

An important part of SMS marketing on Klaviyo is building your essential SMS segments. Segmenting your audience can help to make your messaging super targeted and specific, meaning that you communicate to the right customer in the right way. 

It also helps you to make the most of your money in an easy way, which is a nice feeling as a business owner with a lot on their plate, and a lot of plates spinning (eek!). 

Be sure to build these essential SMS segments in the Klaviyo platform:

  • Engaged SMS L30 – This segment identifies subscribers who have engaged with an SMS message in the last 30 days. This is your core segment. An engaged SMS segment allows you to target those who regularly interact with your content or subscribed to SMS 
  • Prefers SMS – This refers to subscribers who are more likely to interact with SMS over email by looking at their engagement behaviour across both channels
  • SMS VIP – This identifies the most valuable customers who have opted into SMS marketing, e.g. loyalty members and big spenders. You can build this segment using any criteria that would class a customer as high-value to your individual business
  • Location-based SMS – This segment identifies subscribers who live near a specific location
  • Email-only – Identify profiles who are only subscribed to email and not SMS. This segment can then be prompted to opt-in to SMS
  • All active SMS subscribers – This is a useful segment for getting an accurate picture of everyone who is currently consented to receive SMS

icon for text marketing

3. Create and optimise SMS flows

The functionalities of Klaviyo allow you to create a variety of intuitive SMS flows to capitalise on custom. A flow is a sequence of automated actions that are triggered when a person performs a specific action. 

There are 3 main SMS flows that form an essential foundation for your strategy, allowing you to automate the customer journey and help to convert purchases with these critical touch points. 

SMS Flow 1- The Welcome Series Flow – This aims to give new subscribers a welcome to your brand and provide them with all of the necessary info they need to feel like they are connected to your community. You may also encourage users to give your social media pages a follow via your welcome series flow.

SMS Flow 2- The Abandoned Cart Flow – This flow is triggered when someone who added an item to their shopping cart but failed to complete the purchase. The customers’ interest is already piqued and they just need that little nudge to get them over the line, and this flow does exactly that. You can learn how to create an abandoned cart flow

SMS Flow 3- The Back-in-Stock Flow – This flow informs customers when an out-of-stock product becomes available after a customer chooses to be notified via the product page. It’s simple to build a back in stock flow and is an excellent way to close the gap by targeting these shoppers who are already interested in a specific product. 

4) Set up your SMS campaign strategies

It’s now time to establish your campaign strategies. Some of the campaigns that make the biggest impact are:

  • Sale announcements, always using a clear call-to-action (or CTA)
  • Seasonal promotions and pre-orders, giving first dibs to your most loyal customer segments 
  • Product launches
  • VIP experiences, where you can reward your best customers with perks
  • Challenges, such as creating a campaign that asks customers to share your products online and use a particular hashtag for example #CROCTOBER

Here’s an example of Crocs’ SMS marketing strategy in action. I started receiving these texts because I opted-in to their SMS marketing to receive 15% off my next purchase. It was very little effort, meaning that giving Crocs my details in exchange for money off was a no-brainer. I now frequently (but not too frequently) receive texts from them about seasonal deals, back-in-stock notifications, and special day campaigns.

sms marketing example

You can also set up SMS for delivery and shipping updates. In fact, transactional messages like this are customers’ #1 favourite text to receive from a brand, and this can help with customer retention. 

Also think about SMS for price drop alerts, local event announcements, and loyalty programme reminders, always thinking about what your customers would want to hear about and aligning this with your brand goals.

Once your trusty campaign pillars are defined, you can establish a sending cadence – or frequency – to use as a general monthly guide. We recommend setting up a cadence that communicates most frequently with your most engaged subscribers and setting this up intuitively using Klaviyo’s integration library.

Quick SMS copywriting tip:

Use simple and clear language, focusing on one key message per text you send, i.e. one CTA. Customers should be given a positive reason to take action – and don’t be afraid of having a little fun with it.

man receiving an sms campaign

5) Analyse and improve SMS marketing performance

After you’ve segmented, targeted, optimised your flows, and clarified your strategies, it’s time to crunch some numbers. You can use metrics to inform your approach, allowing you to see what’s going well as well as where your strategy’s gaps and pitfalls lie. 

It’s good to know some benchmarks for what constitutes great – and not so great – performance. You can then look at how to improve areas that may be letting the side down. Here are some cheat codes for you to use if you’re looking to improve your SMS marketing performance:

Increase click rate by:
  • Sending campaigns to an SMS-engaged audience or SMS VIP audience
  • Making sure the campaign sending schedule is staggered based on engagement
  • Keep the CTAs clear and enticing using tactics like discounts, sales, new product releases, or VIP/loyalty programs
  • A/B testing messages with dynamic content or new CTAs
  • Using unique coupon codes
Increase conversion rate by:
  • Confirming you are adding a link to every single SMS message
  • Confirming that the link shortening box is checked when adding URLs to SMS
  • Make sure your client’s checkout page is optimized for mobile
  • Test offering incentives
  • Using a direct link to the product description page for frictionless shopping
Decrease unsubscribe rate by:
  • Reviewing frequency and timing of SMS campaign sends.
  • Not sending more than six SMS messages per month to an individual profile. To do this, build a segment that pulls customers who have received more than 6 SMS messages in the last 30 days, then exclude this segment
  • Only send texts during business hours, i.e. 9 am – 8 pm local time
  • Send campaigns to smaller, more engaged groups of SMS subscribers
  • Explore new ways to segment and tailor messaging to make it more relevant
To conclude

When done right, SMS marketing can prove to be like Miracle-Gro for your digital marketing strategy, not only adding another layer of revenue in itself but also watering other aspects of your strategy such as email marketing. It engages with customers directly – right in their pocket – and the returns are staggering. 

Got the SMS marketing bug and want to learn more?

Our team of experts at Gloss know how to seamlessly integrate SMS into your marketing strategy with the help of Klaviyo, a tool we know and love as it allows our clients to get the returns they deserve.

Chat with us today.

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