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Jeanie Dunn
Senior Content Writer @ Yotpo
October 27th, 2021

Don’t Get Left On Read: How to Drive Engagement With SMS

Get your subscribers to react and respond to your text messages with these five tips.

Table Of Contents

Don’t settle for subscribers just opening and reading your text messages (SMS already has a 98% open rate) — build a mobile experience that gets them to react and respond every single time. It’s easier than it sounds.

We’re breaking down five of our expert tips for engaging mobile consumers with top-converting SMS marketing messages, so you can execute campaigns that increase sales and build relationships without ever being ghosted.

1. Personalize every text

Engaging text marketing begins with personalization. In fact, over 60% of consumers find texts from brands more engaging when they contain information relevant to their interests and past purchases. That means, if you’ve been relying on text blasts, it’s time to rethink your SMS strategy. Instead, focus on creating unique SMS messages that are tailored to each shopper’s interests and behaviors. How?

Get a conversation going:

To start, personalize your text with your subscriber’s first name to create an instant connection. Then, find out who they are. Ask them questions about their needs or interests to engage them in two-way conversations. Are they searching for clothes or accessories? What flavors or scents do they prefer? Based on their responses, you can automate product recommendations that are bound to excite them.

Sort subscribers into segments:

You can learn more about your shoppers through every interaction, both from the data you collect and the information they share with you proactively. And the more data you have, the more you can segment. Create segments based on customer locations, demographics, cart values, and more to guarantee that every message you send is relevant to them.

Trigger messages based on real-time events:

Your personalization options don’t end there. Send shoppers down the path to purchase with SMS flows powered by real-time events in the buyer journey and custom conditions — like when they abandon their cart, reach a new loyalty tier, celebrate a birthday, or place a high-value order. When the messages you send are linked to specific activities like these, they are more likely to engage your shoppers.

2. Make the offer exclusive

In the same way that consumers prefer when an SMS message is crafted just for them, they prefer when the offer is too. Make a point to demonstrate exclusivity to make every subscriber feel special. Send them texts with discount codes, special gifts and rewards, and early access to sales or new releases. Experiment with words and phrases like exclusive, just for you, you’re invited, early access, we miss you, treat yourself, thanks, and congratulations to elevate your texts, and A/B test your message copy to see what performs best.

3. Create a sense of urgency

No channel is better at creating a sense of urgency than SMS. Shoppers have a need for speed, and with the channel’s immediate and reliable delivery, you can engage shoppers anytime, anywhere and prompt them to not only act, but act fast. There are several ways you can accomplish this in your text messages.

Set time limits:

When sending an offer or promo via SMS, emphasize that your offer won’t last. Impose strict time limits on any deals and sales, and consider sending countdowns to warn subscribers that their time to act is almost up — that way, no one will wait to shop.

Share inventory updates:

Even full-priced items and collections don’t last forever. Notify your subscribers when inventory is running low, or when a hot product that has been sold out finally comes back in stock. They will jump at the chance to get it before someone else does.

Use active language:

Every SMS marketing message has a purpose, and therefore needs a call to action. When crafting your text campaigns, use active language like tap to shop now or click here to get your code. Clearly tell your subscribers what you want them to do so that they will react instantly, increasing CTR and CVR.

4. Instill a fear of missing out

Research has shown that 60% of consumers will make an impulse purchase within 24 hours of experiencing FOMO. This fear of missing out isn’t solely created by calls to action and time limits — it’s created by other people showing off their favorite products, and you can use it to your advantage in your texts.

Turn that SMS into an MMS:

An MMS message is a powerful tool for sending eye-catching, on-brand content. Not only do visuals help to capture the essence of your brand, but they inspire customers by allowing them to see what your products look like being worn or used. In a recent Yotpo survey, 42% of shoppers said they find texts from brands engaging when they include photos, GIFs, or emojis. When asked specifically about what types of visuals they would prefer, 54% wanted sneak peeks and behind the scenes content, as well as product photos from real customers.

Leverage User-Generated Content:

Photos of your products taken by real customers tend to drive better results than branded content — 77% of shoppers prefer customer photos to professional ones when deciding to make a purchase online. Think about the impact of social media and influencer marketing on consumer behavior. These visuals play a huge role in making consumers feel, on the one hand, envious of others, and on the other hand, trusting of your brand and the quality of your products. So don’t limit yourself to professional imagery — leverage your customers’ content to prove that other people are already buying (and loving) your products, which decreases buyer hesitation and boosts conversion rates.

Tell them what everyone is saying:

Over 42% of shoppers say that customer reviews and ratings influence their decision to sign up for a brand’s SMS marketing program. Reviews and testimonials are a huge driving force behind product sales too — brands see an 18% increase in SMS CTR by incorporating social proof, such as the product’s star rating. When sending a product cross-sell, up-sell, new product launch, or similar campaign, strengthen your message with a customer testimonial. Quotes from influencers, celebrities, or other brand advocates are also a great option — but when it comes to establishing trust and credibility, you can’t go wrong with authentic feedback from regular, relatable consumers.

5. Tie your message to a moment

The most engaging SMS messages are sent at just the right moment. Consider events and holidays (even the obscure ones, like Galentine’s Day or Get to Know Your Customers Day) when creating SMS campaigns to increase engagement. Yotpo SMSBump’s SMS Campaign Planner makes this simple. It’s an interactive calendar that showcases all of the events you can use to send your most creative, timely, and top-converting text campaigns (complete with built-in SMS templates.)

Take advantage of the unexpected moments too, like the infamous Facebook outage. These are opportunities to get creative with your copy and delight your audience with messages that are relevant not just to their shopping habits, but to their everyday lives.

Bonus: Get Yotpo

It’s easy to create personalized, urgent, FOMO-inducing messages with SMS, but it’s even easier with Yotpo SMSBump. Our platform has the most advanced tools to power your text message marketing, so you can not only reach customers, but engage them for the highest possible chance of conversion.

Find out what makes us the best SMS marketing platform for connecting with customers by requesting a demo today.

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