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What you can learn from 2020’s best SMS marketing campaigns

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Trends & Innovations 7 min read | Sinch Messagemedia wrote in blog on January 28, 2021

2020 was quite the year for most businesses! While most struggled, others thrived. Across the board, investment in marketing activities dropped yet SMS marketing saw a huge uptick in use by retailers. Many have found texting to be a new way to more directly connect with their customers, consumers, and fans to build more loyal and fulfilling relationships. 

We’re going to look at three examples of businesses that were able to cleverly leverage SMS marketing to their advantage despite 2020’s challenges. We’ll also have a gander at what you can take away to help you improve your SMS campaigns in 2021.

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3 effective and creative SMS marketing campaigns

1. Simply for Strings

As many ecommerce sellers know, you can lose a lot of customers and sales to abandoned carts. 

As with SMS appointment reminders, abandoned cart reminders can be especially powerful in helping you drive customers back to purchase. Customers become easily distracted or, as music instrument specialist Simply for Strings realised, they want to be more informed and confident before making their purchase. 

Simply for Strings co-founder Toby Cumpstay resolved this challenge by combining abandoned cart SMS reminders with two-way texting through his Shopify store. Customers were drawn back to their abandoned carts with a reminder. Plus, they were able to initiate a customer service text chat with one of Toby’s knowledgeable and experienced employees.

RELATED: Selling through Shopify? Add SMS abandoned cart reminders right now with MessageMedia: SMS Marketing for Shopify.

This helped to recoup +40% more completed orders that Toby would have otherwise lost. For other customers, the addition of two-way texting has helped improve the customer service experience in leaps and bounds. One boutique internet provider found it cut queues by 50%.

2. Vinomofo

As your business grows, the more complex your systems become and the harder it is to wield strategically. When leading online wine retailer Vinomofo embarked on their journey to bring all of their marketing tools under HubSpot, they were also eager to find an SMS partner who could plug in alongside.

Email marketing has proved incredibly effective in the past with Vinomofo’s customers. They, however, wanted to consistently improve upon their customer experience to better reach those who were losing interest. 

To re-engage churning customers, Vinomofo used HubSpot’s automation tool, Workflows, to build more complex customer journeys. This allowed them to leverage texting’s high cut-through and 98% open rates. 

For example, should a customer not open or reply to an email within 3-5 days, a text would be triggered urging that customer to reconsider. From their simple addition of texting, they were able to reduce churn by 50%, raise conversion of purchases by 21% and recoup their initial investment in SMS by 120x.

RELATED: Want to integrate SMS into HubSpot? It’s easy with SMS for HubSpot OR you can learn how to build Workflows so you can add SMS messaging with our easy beginners tutorial.

3. Lollyology

When COVID shuttered the retail sector back in March 2020, smart store-owners moved online as quickly as possible. This included the owner of confectionery retailer Lollyology, Greg Smith.

Adapting fast, he built his ecommerce store within just a few days and started looking for ways to easily – and affordably – market his product. With Easter just around the corner (his biggest sales date), he had a lot of stock to move.

Building out his customer database was easy; the difficulty lay in getting patrons to buy. Greg needed a tool that wouldn’t blow the bank, was easy to understand and implement, and would reliably drive traffic and purchases from his website.

Lollyology text campaign example
SOURCE: Lollyology Case Study

Even with very basic text message marketing, Greg found that within five minutes of a single SMS broadcast, 10% of his customers visited his website with 8% going on to make a purchase. When Easter rounded the corner, Greg was able to move 20% more stock than selling face-to-face alone. 

Top 3 takeaways from successful SMS marketing campaigns

What can we learn from these three incredible text campaigns?

1. Convenience is key to long-term loyalty

What makes Simply for String’s SMS marketing so effective is the fact that Toby understands first impressions are everything in a post-COVID world. With economic normality still seeming far off, you really want customers to start investing in you from the get-go. 

To do this, it’s essential to make purchase and communication as easy and streamlined as possible from the moment the customer lands on your website or enters your store. As we found in our most recent Consumer Attitudes to SMS report, 76% of customers are more inclined to receive a marketing text over other forms of communication and to engage in more communications after. Once received, don’t force customers to go elsewhere – open it up as your newest customer service channel. 

TOP TIP: Make it convenient by introducing two-way SMS and learn how to open up conversations with your customers! You can also add a dedicated number so customers become more familiar with you faster.

2. SMS is most powerful in tandem with other channels

We tend to see marketing channels or tools as better than one or the other. This is the wrong perspective. Your tools should be used together in a cross-channel marketing strategy to reach customers where they choose. If one customer reads their emails, but another prefers getting texts, you could try to reach them on both – not one over the other.

Vinomofo wanted to improve their customer experience by finding better ways to use tools together or to improve – as they saw with their 21% conversion uplift – where one alone might be lacking.

Business texting, with its high cut-through, has the flexibility and ability to complement and strengthen your campaigns in ways you never considered before.

TOP TIP: See what else integrates alongside SMS when you check out our integrations marketplace! It will save you time, money and resources in the long run.

3. Widespread adoption means start now

The greatest advantage of running SMS marketing campaigns is the little digital literacy it requires. You can get set-up up fast and you can also learn the basics in less than 30 minutes! As one of the most ubiquitous technologies around, most people (business owners, marketers, and consumers) are familiar and understand how texting works. 

With how widespread adoption was after COVID hit, a lot more businesses are now clued in on the power of texting; how flexible, personalized and adaptable it is; how it drives results in ways that other tools do not; and more importantly, how it is becoming a ‘new norm’ and expected by today’s customers!

Also, you can be assured of results even if you send marketing messages that are very simple, as Greg did. Within a few days, Lollyology was sending texts and driving better outcomes.

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Final thoughts, further reading

While these are only just three of our top SMS marketing campaigns, there are so many more. Do you have a top takeaway or an innovative way you’ve used SMS in the past year? Let us know. 

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