2022 was the year of SMS marketing. Marketers developed the confidence to directly ask customers how they want to be reached, and brands understood the need to gather more first party data as cookies have continued to diminish. With SMS open rates reported at 98% and response rates at 45%, companies are fully embracing this tactic to build their customer communications.
SMS marketing services have also made it easy for marketers to adapt to these products with lower entry costs, sending texts at mass for less than $0.01, and directly integrating with e-commerce platforms. However, with the spike in companies embracing this tactic, consumers are finding themselves overwhelmed with the volume of texts they’re receiving from their favorite brands.
Text messaging tends to feel more personal than other forms of communication, but also more intrusive. We’re used to reserving this format for connecting with friends and family – or the occasional business-related message. It’s easy to feel a sense of crossed boundaries if you are receiving two to three messages per week from each brand, with varying promotions trying to sell you a product – and even more so if that product is not relevant to you.
As with the text messages that your customers receive from their personal contacts, they expect a level of personalization to stay subscribed to your sms list after using that initial welcome offer. Blasting your entire database will certainly drive some conversions, but there is significant marketing waste involved and you risk losing these valuable customers and damaging your brand reputation. Your personalization strategy should go far beyond using a customer’s first name or location in your messaging. To be effective and stand out amongst the noise without irritating your loyal customers, consider these SMS marketing best practices:
Know your personas and their preferences – Beyond SMS, incorporate well-defined and distinct personas into your strategy. Using personas built on AI is an efficient and effective place to start, as these are generated from hundreds of data points to cluster customers based on their most distinct attributes and product affinities. Each persona behaves differently – from favoring a certain set of products to the frequency of their purchases. Use this information as well as lifestyle images, user-generated content, and blog posts to your advantage, and segment your audience by behaviors and affinities.
Target customers in the top 20% propensity to purchase – These are customers who have a very high likelihood of purchasing within a given time frame. Propensity to purchase is a customer-level metric based on past purchase behaviors. The Decile platform incorporates a classification model that takes into account the quantity of products and orders, statistics around product price and time between purchases, time since last purchase, time since acquisition, and a number of additional characteristics.
Engage your highest value customers (the top 10% AOV / LTV) – This group has a high average order value or a high lifetime value, making it low hanging fruit and likely to increase immediate revenue. This group may respond well to rewards programs that they’re opted into, or may just require a nudge to result in a purchase.
Tailor messages by product & category affinity – Send product-specific copy based on a customer’s stickiness to a particular product or product category. Utilize your personas to predict preference for specific products or product categories, or analyze sequential purchases to predict which product(s) a customer is likely to purchase next for best results.
As an example, let’s say your brand is getting close to launching new products. However, you have inventory left from the previous season and you’ve been tasked with reducing leftover inventory. You could utilize your personas to know which are most likely to purchase the excess products, if a discount is required, and how to best message to your customers.
With Decile, every new customer that you acquire gets mapped to a relevant persona and you can track the performance of the personas over time. Leveraging these personas in your SMS campaigns allows you to send the right message to the right customers so that you are not blasting your entire CRM with a broad, irrelevant message. With a personalized approach, you’ll reduce marketing waste and expand your base of loyal customers. We’re predicting that 2023 will be the year that your business gets even smarter about their SMS strategy.
Learn more about how Decile can help you access actionable insights to help you grow profitably. Contact us to schedule a demo.