Are your direct-to-consumer shipments not growing as fast as you would like? Are eCommerce store orders growing slowly? Then it’s time to consider a tactic embraced by many brands—SMS marketing for drop ship.
What is SMS marketing?
Chances are, you’re already receiving it, unless you’re the extremely rare person who eschews text messaging or using a mobile device. SMS marketing is the sending of text messages to shoppers and customers who opt in to receive them, usually because they were offered some kind of discount when they supplied their phone number.
It’s popular because, quite simply, texting has become the preferred communication method for just about everyone. Telemarketing phone calls are ignored, and emails can pile up in Promotional or Junk folders. But there is something about a text message that compels us to open it.
How compelled? Well, according to some studies, SMS marketing texts have a 98% open rate. What’s more, they boast 45% reply rates and engagement rates that are six to eight times higher than email marketing. With numbers like those, it’s no wonder that countless companies are increasingly focusing their digital marketing efforts on this channel.
Consider your own personal experience. Chances are, you rarely dismiss a text message. It sits there on your phone as a constant reminder, and can’t be ignored like that endless batch of unopened emails. That human reaction to texting is why SMS marketing for dropshipping makes so much sense.
Collect data for SMS marketing.
The first step to effective SMS marketing is building a database of contacts that have demonstrated interest in your brand—they browsed your site or responded to communications from another channel.
What’s the best way to collect their information? Be open and honest— make sure they know that by supplying their numbers they will be receiving messages, and allow people to opt out at any time.
Most importantly, provide real value in exchange for their information. Visitors to sites expect discounts if they supply their SMS information, so offer at least 10% off their first order when they join your list. In fact, try different discount levels to see if that boosts the number of people signing up.
Follow up immediately once someone is in your database. A message that thanks them for their support, reminds them of their discount, or brings news of another surprise offer will go a long way to keeping that valuable contact in your database.
Save abandoned carts with SMS marketing.
If you have an online store, you know how frustrating it is to know that carts are filled with merchandise and then abandoned—shoppers get a phone call, need to start making dinner, or just start to question how much they want an item.
SMS marketing is about the most effective way to combat this problem. A text message can do much more than alert the consumer about the abandoned cart, it can provide an offer on the items that are in it. That can be the tipping point in a decision. What’s important is to make sure the message you send is relevant and useful to your customer—don’t simply bombard with marketing-speak about your brand. There are software platforms specifically designed for this purpose.
Use SMS marketing tactically.
Initial success can lead many brands to ramp up their SMS marketing efforts to levels that wind up defeating the purpose. Too many text messages will annoy your costumes, especially if they don’t perceive value in them.
In other words, don’t send mere reminders of your existence. And definitely don’t send them on a daily basis. Do that and your brand becomes something like that needy friend whose texts fill you with a certain dread.
Any SMS marketing message should provide something special—savings, a special advance announcement of a not-yet-released product, news of an endorsement from a prominent social media influencer. If it’s news, make sure you provide shareable links to help spread your message widely.
Bottom line: don’t get so excited about initial SMS marketing efforts that you ruin your database. Remember that it’s a valuable asset. It needs to be stoked like a good fire—carefully maintained but not so overloaded that it burns too hot.
Compound the value of SMS marketing.
Your carefully curated database can become a giant brand ambassador.
Research suggests that consumers are more likely to respond to a request for a review from SMS marketing efforts than any other channel. Compared to email, text messages have a conversion rate that is 66% higher when it comes to requesting an online review.
Remember that customers who engage with your SMS marketing are mobile-first consumers—they spend hours on their mobile devices watching, commenting, and reviewing. This is the world they live in, and leveraging their engagement will grow your brand exponentially.
What’s more, your database can become a valuable focus group. Engage these customers by asking for feedback on new product ideas or find out what they like most about one of your items. Offer some value—another discount, for example—in exchange for their opinion. Do this enough and you’ll slowly transform that database from a collection of numbers into a community that supports your brand or online store.
Integrate SMS marketing with everything else.
To make SMS marketing efforts as successful as possible, integrate them with the systems that drive your business.
If you run an ERP, you probably have data that can fuel SMS marketing. Your EDI and online order processing software can also be a powerful tool, ensuring that you capture information from the people who are buying your product.
In other words, don’t spray SMS marketing messages all across the digital landscape. Use the tools you have to ensure that they are targeted, relevant, and valuable.
SMS marketing is organic growth.
SMS marketing is 180 degrees from, say, a splashy Super Bowl ad. The results will be incremental, but they also compound over time. Instead of getting one major hit, your brand will spread tentacles across the digital universe, growing with loyal customers, key influencers, and heavy online shoppers.
Lean into your mobile marketing efforts in 2022, and use this channel to fuel growth in ways that other tactics simply don’t deliver.