Should you leverage SMS for your DTC e-commerce business? This is a question that many businesses ask themselves. Most often, the main hesitations about diversifying into SMS are cost and the concern that it will annoy customers. We’re going to cover these concerns and chat about why SMS is a great channel to leverage to help your business scale.
Firstly let’s touch on cost. Like any paid marketing channel, SMS costs money. However, like email, SMS is an owned channel and will provide a significant ROI if done correctly. As acquisition costs continue to rise, extending your customers' LTV to drive more profit is a must. SMS in conjunction with email marketing does just that. So, when you’re analyzing the cost of diversifying your sales channels it’s important to strongly consider the value SMS will provide to you long-term as you develop another owned channel similar to email. Or, maybe you also know an agency that can get you a free trial and significant partner pricing with the best SMS platform out there (hint: Aplo Group 😉).
Now, let’s touch on what is often the main concern…”I don’t want to annoy my customers.” This concern is likely a product of people being subscribed to businesses that run poor SMS programs. SMS can be very annoying when done incorrectly with engagement and health metrics being disregarded. One of the reasons you may be concerned about SMS being annoying is because you see and open most SMS marketing messages you get, unlike email where you likely have an inbox full each day (hint: this is the reason good SMS marketing is so effective, it gets incredibly high open rates). In its infancy, email marketing was deemed intrusive by many as well. As more and more companies leveraged it for marketing purposes their strategies had to evolve so that they not only stood out in the inbox but kept their subscribers happy. Like email was long ago, SMS is still in its infancy with a large percentage of DTC e-commerce brands not leveraging it. However, as it continues to become more and more crowded it becomes increasingly important to focus on engagement and ensuring you stand out in the inbox. So, why not get ahead of that and focus on engagement metrics now? Every brand’s customers respond to SMS differently. Some brands can send an SMS message to engaged subscribers every day, and some can only get away with a few each month. This is why the best way to determine if your customers will respond well to SMS is quite simply to test it. Start small, and gradually increase the frequencies of your campaigns while closely monitoring metrics to see where the sweet spot is. Do the same for flows/automation to figure out the sweet spot with the delays and length.
SMS also has some massive benefits that are often overlooked. The main one is segmenting by engagement during high volume times of the year such as Q4. If you’ve run an SMS program for a while and your segments are integrated with your ESP, you will be able to identify the segments of subscribers that engage more on SMS than on email and vice versa. Now, in a time like BFCM, this is invaluable. During BFCM, inboxes are flooded and you’re competing heavily for your subscribers' eyeballs. Having the ability to send your campaigns where your customer is most likely to see it can mean the difference between an ok BFCM performance, and a home run.
Overall, SMS should be strongly considered by all DTC e-commerce businesses out there. Don’t get mixed up and think that branching off into SMS means you have to send messages daily to your customers. You can start slow, and find the sweet spot where your subscribers are engaged, and you’re seeing the significant ROI that SMS can deliver.
Want to learn more about branching off into SMS and about the free trial + partner pricing Aplo Group can get you with Attentive Mobile? Book a call with us!
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