You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about SMS marketing lately and wondered what it’s all about. SMS stands for “short message service,” which is just another way of saying text messages. Companies often use SMS for things like customer service, shipping updates, and account confirmation.
So what’s the big deal?
Well, for starters, SMS messages have much higher open rates and engagement rates than email. People tend to read and respond to text messages more than email. If you’re a savvy marketer, this is a golden opportunity.
For eCommerce stores, it can be a great way to increase engagement and sales. Some companies use it to offer highly personalized offers like birthday discounts and flash sale alerts. To start receiving texts from companies, the user usually sends an SMS keyword to a specified number.
As you can imagine, the SMS keyword you choose is crucial to the success of your campaign. Now that you understand a little more about SMS marketing itself, let’s take a closer look at why it’s excellent for eCommerce and how to choose the best keyword.
Advantages of SMS Marketing for eCommerce
If you’re not using SMS marketing to promote your eCommerce business – you’re missing out. Text message-based marketing campaigns allow you to reach your most loyal customers directly at the perfect moment. A well-crafted SMS drip campaign can cut through the clutter and give your customers valuable information exactly when they want it. You can customize your messages to fit their buying history, search history, and even their location.
Much like email drip campaigns, you can set up messages triggered by specific actions. But unlike email, there are no tricky spam filter hoops to jump through. SMS is a dynamic tool, and you must put a lot of thought into your messages. When a customer opts-in to your SMS texts, they’re inviting you into their personal space. You must provide value and treat your messages like conversations. Don’t text too frequently, and above all, be human in your interactions.
How Text Message Marketing Keywords Work
So, what are SMS keywords? An SMS keyword is a word that customers type in and send to a number to receive information from a company. You’ve probably heard or seen the phrase “Text BLANK to 55555 to win cool prizes” or something similar. That’s an example of a promotional SMS campaign. This process works very much like an email subscription; instead, they’re choosing to receive text messages from you.
Sidebar: SMS keywords should not be confused with SEO or SEM keywords. The latter refers to words and phrases people type into a search engine to find information. Your SEM strategy centers around ranking for these keywords in the search engine results page. The two are not related.
You will probably use some of your brand keywords as SMS keywords. For example, if your store is called Hazel Coffee Company, you could use “HAZEL” as an SMS keyword. But beyond that, there won’t be any significant overlap.
How to Choose Your SMS Keyword
Keep your keywords short.
Your keywords need to be short, so they’re easy for people to remember. Try to keep them under five characters, if possible.
Don’t use special characters.
Remember, people will be typing this keyword manually. Don’t make them think too hard.
Keep it simple.
Don’t get too clever with your SMS keywords. If your business name has an intentional misspelling, like Klassy Kettles, don’t use KLASSY as a keyword. Autocorrect will change it to “classy,” which is very frustrating for the user.
Stick to a single word.
One word medium-sized word is usually better than two short words.
Make sure that the keywords you choose tie-in to whatever your campaign is promoting. Your keywords should make sense in the context of your offer and should never seem random.
How to Promote Your SMS Campaign
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to opt-in. Give them a chance to do it at every point of contact. Here are some strategies you can try:
Add a CTA button to your home page that lets customers sign up for text messages. Only a handful of people will do so, but they’ll be the most interested in the program.
Promote your SMS campaign with social media ads, posts, or by adding a CTA button to your Facebook page.
Your email subscriber list is a goldmine of people who already want to hear from you. Encourage them to opt-in for SMS coupons and sales alerts.
People are accustomed to supplying a phone number and email whenever they buy something online. Add a checkbox that lets them subscribe to your SMS list as well as your newsletter.
Utilize your existing contact list by sending out an SMS message to your previous buyers. Ask them if they want to receive exclusive deals and news via text. Treat it like an insider’s club for loyal customers.
SMS Marketing Outlook For eCommerce
SMS marketing has been around for a long time, but people haven’t always been open to this type of contact. Only recently have customers started to expect it, and in some cases demand it. Young people, in particular, want to engage with businesses across a multitude of platforms because it’s convenient for them. It allows for a level of service that wasn’t possible before smartphones.
Savvy companies understand this and put a lot of thought into the types of conversations their customers want to have with them via text and when they want to have them. As you plan your SMS strategy, consider how you can use it to enhance your buyer’s experience. What kinds of messages would you want to get from a company? If you strive to be helpful and provide value, you can form solid relationships with your customers and generate repeat business.