SMS is a direct and personal line to your audience. Writing in a more conversational tone will help shoppers feel like they’re communicating with a friend. Consider speaking directly to subscribers (using “you”) to instantly make messages feel more personal, help subscribers get to know you better, and build brand loyalty over time.
Infuse your triggered browse and cart abandonment reminders with your brand voice, positioning your brand as a helpful shopping companion. Directly addressing shoppers or using a playful phrase can make quick reminders feel more personalized and relevant.
“Our subscribers feel like Skatie is texting them personally. I’m able to use the same voice I use across social media and other channels to make our audience feel like it’s me talking directly to them. When they reply, it feels like a more personal, 1:1 conversation.”
Skatie Noyes, Owner & Designer, Skatie
Share the Story Behind Your Brand
Use your text channel to tell your brand’s story. Help subscribers get to know you better by highlighting the people, philanthropic mission, inspiration, and creative processes behind your brand. Sharing educational content will help subscribers feel more connected to you—and more informed about what they should purchase first.
Texting subscribers recommendations is a great way to support mobile product discovery. Whether it’s achieving a goal, having a positive impact on the environment, embracing their personal style, or making their home more stylish, make sure to clearly communicate how your products will benefit shoppers.
Create a Welcoming Experience, Right Away
Think of your welcome message as the opening line of a conversation. Address your subscriber directly and welcome them to your text messaging program. Tell them about what they can expect, like offers, behind-the-scenes looks, inspirational content, or invites to events.
24 hours after a subscriber has joined your SMS program, send them a text message sharing more about how your products are crafted, your brand’s values and mission, and how their purchases will make an impact. Include a link back to your brand’s “About” page so they can learn more.
Establish a connection right away by adding a conversational message to your welcome series. Invite subscribers to reply back with a keyword correlating to what they’re most interested in hearing—whether that’s sales, branded content, or product releases. Then, create segments based on their responses to target future messages.
Add a message to your welcome flow—sent three days after a user has joined if they haven’t made a purchase—inviting them to take a quiz to get personalized recommendations. Whether you’re helping them find their perfect fit or the skincare routine that’s right for them, shoppers will appreciate the help.
Keep the Conversation Going After They Click “Buy”
A subscriber is most engaged after they’ve made a purchase. Build a post-purchase series that thanks them for their purchase. Link back to educational content about the product, or inspirational images to help them style the items. If your brand is built around a core mission—like sustainability or social causes—share how their purchase will make an impact.
Once a subscriber has had time to enjoy their purchase, invite them to leave a review or tag you in pictures on social media. If they’ve purchased a new product, consider incentivizing them to leave a review so others can learn more about the item.
Send subscribers who haven’t made a second purchase within a given period a special offer (like 20% off) to encourage them to click “buy.” Position the offer as a “VIP” perk they earned by making their first purchase.
Get Subscriber Input to Further Personalize Experiences
Help subscribers find their new favorite items by sending a conversational quiz. Pose a series of “If...then” questions (like “Your ideal Friday night is… (a) Going dancing (B) Trying a new restaurant, (C) Visiting an art gallery or seeing a show, (D) Hanging out with friends, (E) A wild night in on the couch”) and recommend products based on their responses.
Run a conversational campaign to discover what winter holidays your subscribers are observing. Send them offers and reminders relevant to their selected holidays, and segment them out for holidays they don’t observe. Give them an option to receive wintery deals instead.
“Having two-way conversations via text messaging showed us that gamification works. It helped us engage new subscribers, and it gave current subscribers the opportunity to re-engage with our brand in a really fun way. This two-way conversational campaign reinforced the value of SMS as a marketing channel.”
Bryant Garvin, CMO at Groove Life
Returning shoppers generate 22%-25% more revenue per online visit.
Explore more SMS campaign ideas your brand can use to engage shoppers and build awareness throughout the holiday season.
Target Messages Based On Engagement
Build segments aligned to the customer funnel that subscribers can graduate into. For example, add new subscribers who signed up on your brand’s website (but have not made a purchase) to a nurture segment. Send this segment offers to encourage them to make their first purchase.
Target subscribers based on their engagement history. Create a “go-to” segment of subscribers who have clicked on a text within the last two weeks but haven’t made a purchase to increase the likelihood that they’ll convert (increasing your ROI). Re-engage lapsed subscribers with an offer—like free shipping—to encourage them to convert.
Send personalized recommendations based on subscribers’ past purchases and browsing behavior. If you’re a high-consideration brand, consider recommending complementary accessories to the items your customer has purchased, along with styling tips to complete their look. If you’re a skincare or beauty brand, try positioning the recommendation as a “completion” of a routine or look.
"On average, our text subscribers make at least two purchases after signing up. That’s incredible—this is a group of people who are really engaging with Swap.com and are getting a lot of value from the channel.”
Maya Menon O’Connor, Director of Marketing, Swap.com
Create Teaching Moments
Invite shoppers to join a triggered educational “course” to learn how to use your products, like getting the perfect manicure. At the end of the course, promote a bundle deal for subscribers to purchase the items they learned about in the course.
Grow Your Loyalty and Referral Programs
Your SMS subscribers are some of your biggest fans. Ask them to refer a friend to shop your brand or join your rewards program. Thank them with a dollar amount off (or bonus loyalty points) for every customer they refer. You can even work this into your post-purchase flow to automatically drive referrals.
Incentivize purchases by offering your SMS subscribers the chance to earn double loyalty points during a certain time period. Send a complementary text to subscribers who haven’t joined your loyalty program yet, inviting them to join in time to take advantage of the offer.
Share Surprise Perks
Deliver gamified experiences—like “Spin to Win” and sweepstake-style games—that can help your subscribers feel appreciated and engaged. Invite them to “spin to win” exclusive perks (like a sample size of a new product, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase).
Offer your subscribers one surprise “perk” per month, delivered on their monthly anniversary of signing up. Then, set up a welcome flow to deliver offers like a bundle deal, free gifts with purchase, or a percentage off once a month. Subscribers will be eager to discover what their special offer is, and they’ll keep coming back each month.
Offer Access to Exclusive Events
Make subscribers feel like insiders by inviting them to virtual events (like interviews and classes) to engage with them in real-time. Before and after the event, send them exclusive offers and content. If your brand is online-only, consider giving subscribers access to video tutorials and other educational content.
Give subscribers who’ve made a certain number of purchases or spent a given amount of money access to a “Friends and Family” sale for 24 hours. Let them know they’re getting special access, and the perks they can enjoy. Include a secret code they can redeem at checkout to get the deal.
“We want to condition our VIP list to quickly act on what we’re sending them because it’s a limited-time offer that they won’t be able to take advantage of once we send it to our general audience...Sending these offers via text messaging ensures that our VIP audience will see them immediately.”
Chandra Cooks, Head of Marketing, Mented Cosmetics
Returning shoppers generate 22%-25% more revenue per online visit.
Explore more SMS campaign ideas your brand can use to engage shoppers and build awareness throughout the holiday season
Connect With Subscribers Over Shared Values
71% of consumers say they prefer to shop from companies that reflect their values. Share editorial content with subscribers that dives into the causes your brand supports. Communicate what your brand is doing to make a difference—like creating sustainable products, supporting organizations, or championing diversity internally—and how people can help bring about change, too.
If your brand is dedicated to sustainability, communicate that mission in your browse or cart abandonment messages to give subscribers a better sense of the environmental impact of their purchase. Highlight how your product materials are sourced and crafted, or share more about how their next purchase will make an impact (like if you’re planting a tree in honor of every purchase).
Environmentally-conscious shoppers may be more focused on finding sustainable shipping options. Send a text message highlighting how your products are packaged and shipped in the most sustainable way possible. You can also mention what you’re doing to reduce your products’ or brand’s broader carbon footprint, to make them feel even better about their purchase.
“Subscribers want to hear about your community and how you thrive within it—include messages in your program that highlight your culture and what you stand for.”
Griffin Thall, CEO & Co-Founder of Pura Vida Bracelets
Prioritize Inclusivity Year-Round
Help subscribers see themselves in your brand by using GIFs to showcase a diverse range of models. Whether you’re showcasing cosmetics or apparel, feature models representing different racial and religious backgrounds, gender identities, body types, ages, and abilities.
“I wanted to personalize our subscribers’ experience to give them the attention they deserve. In the past, our audience may not have seen themselves in images from cosmetics brands or known what a shade would look like for them. Because we focus on creating beautiful shades for their skin tone, it’s especially important that we give our subscribers tailored, relevant information.”
Chandra Cooks, Head of Marketing, Mented Cosmetics
Help Subscribers Get Involved in Big and Small Ways
For a lot of people, the holidays are about giving back. Text subscribers about how they can make a difference in their communities over the holiday season. Let them know about upcoming volunteer opportunities, or share virtual ways they can give back (like promoting charities or community funds they can donate to). To drive more engagement, encourage your subscribers to text you about how they got involved, and offer them a surprise perk as a “thank you.”
Invite subscribers to join your brand for an event that benefits a cause your brand believes in. Let them know why the cause is important to your brand, and how the event will make an impact. Consider offering attendees a percentage amount off their next purchase, or let them know a specific portion of their purchase will be donated.
“Text messaging is a highly personal channel. It’s a natural fit for sharing more on sustainability with our subscribers and getting our mobile audience more invested in living their most sustainable life. Whether we’re educating subscribers about how our products are crafted or how they can create small, eco-friendly habits that have a big impact, SMS is one of the channels we rely on to help our customers get even more involved.”
Jennifer Chiang, Head of Email and Retention Marketing at Cariuma
Communicate How Your Brand Is Making an Impact
Promote products and collections you create in partnership with organizations. Explain the meaning behind the collection, and share how the proceeds will be put to use. Consider highlighting the partner organization’s work to give subscribers a clear picture of how their purchase will make an impact.
Publish an impact report on the influence of your philanthropic initiatives. Invite the people who support your mission to remember the impact they helped make. Putting your audience’s purchases into a philanthropic context helps your brand connect with subscribers over your shared passions, helping your brand build loyalty.
Hear From an E-Commerce Marketing Expert
Learn how Cleo von Siebenthal, Director of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing at MATE the Label, uses SMS marketing to educate subscribers about ethical and sustainable fashion.