SMS Remarketing: What It’s All About
Have you ever visited a website, then realised you were seeing ads from that site everywhere else you went online? It wasn’t coincidence, it’s called “remarketing”. Marketers have been using it to get people back to their website for years. But the evolution of mobile marketing calls for something a little different. And that’s where SMS remarketing comes in.
The basic concept is the same, but instead of presenting ads to website visitors, you send them follow-up SMS messages. And you only do it in specific circumstances, like when they abandon their cart.
While exact rates vary between industries and even countries, average shopping cart abandonment rates run between 70-80%. So, between 7-8 of every ten online customers leave their shopping cart prior to checking out. A SaleCycle.com survey of retail and fashion clients found the following reasons for abandoned carts:
- 34% Are just browsing or researching pricing
- 23% Shipping either costs too much or the delivery time isn’t acceptable
- 18% Prices are too high or they want to comparison shop to find it cheaper
- 15% Plan on buying the item in the store rather than online
- 6% Payment related issues
- 4% Technical issues
Many of these are hurdles that can be overcome, if only you can get the potential buyers attention back. As a retailer, you may already use email to reach out to these customers and try to get them to come back. But email is slow, and even if you contact them immediately, they may not see it. This is even more likely with Gmail addresses since they’ve added their “Promotions” folder. Anything Google determines is retail-related is filed away out of the inbox unless the user specifically tells it not to do that.
Email still has its place, but when you’re trying to reach out quickly, SMS is often the better option.
Using SMS to Get the Sale Back
The first consideration in using SMS is whether you have the mobile number of the person who abandoned their cart. If they are a regular shopper you might already have it. But if you don’t capture that information already, you may want to consider asking for it during your account creation process.
If you do have their mobile, and they’ve filled up their cart and left, you can contact them about it. According to the ICO guidelines this is a “soft” opt-in. You can send them SMS messages that relate to the items or sale they attempted to complete. It doesn’t give you cart blanche to send them messages about everything, but as long as you keep it relevant to their purchase (even if it was incomplete) then you are ok.
But why would you want to use SMS when you already use email? Well, why do you do social media when you do email? Or online advertising when you do email? They are different channels to reach the same goal. Some customers, especially if they’ve given you their mobile number, might respond better to getting an SMS message. In fact, almost every study that compares SMS and email reports that SMS receives higher open and click-through rates than email.
But you just won’t know if one works better than the other (or they work better together) for you unless you try it. If you still need some motivation to get started, here are some other numbers from a Salecycle.com study of SMS remarketing:
- 5% of people who got an SMS with a link to their cart, clicked the link to view their selections
- 7% of those that clicked on their cart link, completed a purchase
Those numbers translate into 4-5 sales for every 100 abandoned carts that received SMS notifications. That’s a pretty impressive conversion rate. According to SmartInsights, average online conversion rates in the UK ran between 4% and 5% in the last quarter of 2016. If you can get back another 5% by using SMS, isn’t that like doubling your conversions?
Of course, SMS can be used by online retailers for other purposes too such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, customer surveys, product announcements, and marketing. If you want to know more about it, you can download our Mobile Marketing Guide. You can also reach our friendly SMS experts via live chat, email or phone. They’d be happy to talk with you about using SMS messaging for online retail business.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
The other day I received a text message promising me ten days of deals. All I had to do was reply “DEALS” to the shortcode each day and they would send me a coupon for their service. This was great I thought, because my kids had been asking about the company for a while. A deal was just what I needed to get me to let my kids have their way...
SMS messaging can be a one-way, or a two-way affair. Sending coupons, sale notifications, or event announcements are all one-way messaging. The recipient doesn’t need to reply in order to use the information sent. In two-way messaging though, recipients can reply to your messages. And that makes it much more interesting, engaging, and potentially a lot more work to manage.
In many ways, SMS messaging is so commonplace people don’t think about it. They just do it. For example, using SMS for mobile marketing in retail is a fairly standard use case whether you’re a company or the consumer. But there are always exceptions – those who innovate when it seems there’s nothing new to be had. Here are two examples of companies from the US using SMS in ways no one else is – yet.
In my last blog I looked at five reasons you want to use SMS messaging in your business. In this blog we're looking at the same topic, just from the consumer's point of view. For example, how do you really know your customers want you to send them messages via SMS? Isn't email or a phone call good enough? Is it worth your time to learn how to use SMS messaging in your business?
Mobile Marketer is holding the mCommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2016 today in New York City. And you'll get to find out what happens when I get back and write about it next week. But today, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at what I'm seeing in New York at this moment. Before I do though, be sure to check our fastsms Twitter feed throughout the day. I'll be sharing the best tidbits as they come up in each session as they happen.
Have you ever been inside a Walmart or ASDA Supercentre? If you have, you’ll appreciate the possibility of what I’ll share in a moment. If you haven’t, try imagining walking into a store so big you can barely see one end from the other, where the shelves are packed with everything you might ever need, and staff who are often less than helpful (not everywhere mind you, but often). The point is you can get lost or frustrated if you’re trying to find a certain item that you need, or is on sale. Finding the right section is sometimes challenging, and even if you think you’re in the right spot you might not be.
Discover how to come up with an SMS marketing campaign in this article which looks under the surface of some of the UK's most successful ever SMS marketing campaigns. Whether you are looking to boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction or help your brand stand out with a unique and memorable promotion, this article shows how a simple approach to SMS messaging can work wonders for your company.
It’s said over and over that SMS is one of the most personal forms of communications today. That’s mainly because people guard their mobile numbers and only give them out to those they think worthy of them. So anyone who has opted into your SMS messaging has indeed invited you into their personal world.