Last updated October 2023
According to Salesforce, the average marketer uses 8 different channels to execute their marketing strategy – including email, website displays, SMS, social ads and more. And that, in retail, sales growth via mobile is one of the top three growth-related business initiatives in coming years.
It’s an exciting time to be a marketer. Yet it’s also challenging, with things like the globalisation of audiences and the rapid evolution of technologies making it hard to keep up.
To stay one step ahead – and to start reaping the benefits of a multi-channel, mobile-first approach – it’s time to get rid of manual tasks and replace them with automation. From sales right across to customer support and operations, automation will help you save time, be more efficient and, crucially, respond to your customers faster.
Here, we explore why SMS has risen to the fore as a leading automation strategy.
Make SMS marketing automation work for your business.
SMS marketing automation helps you respond faster, personalise more messages, and win more business. Easy to test and run, and extremely cost-effective, it’s a great way to dip your toe in the automation waters. Even better, you’ll likely see results fast, as SMS campaigns achieve an average 23% response rate.
Here are some of the top reasons why you should have automatic text messages on your radar:
- It’s easy to nurture customers through the sales funnel
- It improves customer experience
- Lead generation happens faster
- Your marketing team saves time
- You save money
- And so much more
Automated text messaging becomes even more powerful when it complements a broader multi-channel marketing plan. For example, to extend the scale of your campaigns and drive more sales, you could automatically send a scheduled text a few days after an initial email marketing blast to cut through the noise and prompt your target market to take immediate action.
4 ideas to put SMS marketing automation to work.
Let’s look at the different ways you can add SMS automation to boost your business and marketing efforts right now.
1. Promotional campaigns.
Transform how you engage with your customers with personalised SMS promotional campaigns and achieve 29% click-through rates when integrated with other campaigns. As the stats show, SMS promotions are opened and actioned. Win-win.
Here are some ways you could run promotional campaigns:
- Encouraging repeat or related item purchases
- Reminding customers about abandoned carts
- Sending promos about holiday deals
- Alerting customers to VIP or special sales
- Simply letting customers know more about you and your business
2. Follow-ups and alerts.
Make sure your customers don’t miss important notifications, information or urgent alerts by sending automated text messages, such as:
- Event and appointment reminders (‘Your appointment is tomorrow.’)
- Confirmations (‘Thanks for subscribing! Please confirm.’)
- Flash sales or restock alerts (‘Your item’s back in stock.’)
Sending automated text messages can help your internal teams, too. Say a customer has finished trialing your product, but they haven’t converted yet. Alert your sales team when the trial finishes, so they can follow up and seal the deal.
Ready to give SMS a try?
3. Feedback and two-way conversations.
Text messaging is a great way to engage in better two-way conversations with customers. Think about personal text messages – they’re all about a two-way conversation. Yet in business, SMS is often limited to sending out a single, one-way broadcast to all.
Until now, little thought’s been given to the advantages of enabling customer feedback and responses via text message. It’s a bit like how we once viewed marketing as a simple, one-way magic bullet sent out to the masses. It’s time for a change.
Two-way conversations using text message automation can help you forge stronger relationships, and gather insights and business intelligence at the same time.
Here’s how sending and receiving SMS could work for you:
- Sending feedback surveys or canvassing opinions
- Inviting customers for 1-on-1 consultations
- Checking in with clients after you’ve delivered a service
4. Cart abandonment and win backs.
Customers can be fickle, and their attention spans are short. If there’s a better price or a shinier thing, off they go. Yet, given the widely-reported statistic that it’s 6x more expensive to win a new customer over than keep a current one, retention is worth the effort.
Take cart abandonment. It’s a huge problem for many ecommerce stores – 7 out of 10 shoppers leave your store without buying anything. And it increases by 15% (to 85%) if the customer is shopping on mobile. You can use SMS’s immediacy to your advantage here.
So how does SMS win your customer back? Timing. SMS has an open rate of 98% – if you send a timely reminder about their abandoned purchase, they’ll be more likely to buy. Some marketers suggest reminding them a day or 2 later – we recommend sending an SMS reminder less than an hour after they’ve left your store.
You can set the timing of your automated reminders to suit what works for you, and you could add discounts or ‘short time only’ offers to the SMS to further incentivise the customer.
How to get started with SMS marketing automation.
The good news is that technology exists to make SMS automation easy. Choosing the right platform to suit your needs is the first step – look for one that comes with a range of marketing automation templates you can easily customise to suit your business.
Also, look for one that integrates with your existing marketing tools and platforms. Sinch MessageMedia connects with leading platforms, like HubSpot and Shopify. Head to our Integrations marketplace.
For example, Sinch MessageMedia’s automation templates cover everything from customer support (to help you manage support requests with automatic replies to customers) to event RSVPs (so you can manage event attendees and find out who’s coming). And so much more.
Ready to give SMS a try?
Frequently asked questions.
What is SMS marketing automation?
SMS marketing automation is a way of automatically sending personalised SMS messages to customers. These messages are usually triggered by events like purchases, changes in shipping status, and other interactions.
How to automate SMS marketing?
There are a number of ways to automate SMS marketing, including:
- Scheduling promotional campaigns
- Creating transactional messages
- Sending abandoned cart reminders
- Integrating with marketing platforms
What are the benefits of SMS marketing software?
There are a number of benefits to using SMS marketing software. Here are a few:
- It’s useful for communicating quickly with your customers.
- Messages to your customers can be personalised to increase engagement.
- SMS can help you improve customer loyalty with your brand.
- SMS makes it easier to schedule and send messages to a large audience.
- By leveraging targeted offers, SMS can drive revenue and conversions.
How can I personalise my automated messages?
You can use merge fields or placeholders to include details like customer names, dates, times, tracking numbers, orders, and so on. Learn more here.