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Top 3 reasons why marketing teams are increasingly investing in SMS and mobile
February 27, 2023
We’re all keen to the fact that email is one of the most reliable channels marketers have in their arsenal – and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Yet as of late, businesses have begun looking for new ways to reach customers where they are — and that’s where SMS comes in. While SMS may not be new, its effectiveness as a communication channel between brands and customers is a fairly recent development. Not only does SMS have open and click-through rates that rival email, but it’s increasingly become an impactful way to reach and connect with both legacy and new audiences within seconds.
Here, Bloomreach breaks down how SMS and other mobile channels are generating this kind of success, and why marketing teams are putting more emphasis on their role in omnichannel strategies.
1. Real-time personalization
Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re constantly on our phones. For retailers this means that consumers are relying on mobile at almost every stage of their shopping journey — from inspiration to comparison to purchase. And they are becoming more comfortable with, and even prefer, using SMS and mobile for connecting and shopping with a brand. According to a recent study, nine out of 10 consumers prefer to communicate with businesses through text messages.
With SMS, marketers are able to engage customers within seconds, even providing access to two-way conversation. This cadence of engagement lasts throughout all stages of the journey, from browsing to shipping updates, providing customers with that real-time personalization they appreciate.
Just like with other digital marketing channels, reaching customers with the right message at the right time matters. Meeting customers where they are in their journey with SMS may look like sending a “thank you” message after a completed transaction, a small reminder that notifies a customer they’ve left some items in their cart, or even shipping updates when their order is close to delivery. For brands to get the most out of their omnichannel efforts, they have to boost their personalization when it comes to SMS as well. And it doesn’t take long either– a text is 150 characters max. But going the extra mile to add in a first name, along with a promotion for an item that is left in a customer’s cart, could be the detail that makes the difference.
2. Save time,money, and energy
While constructing an engaging email can take a fair amount of time, the character limits of SMS often make it an easier starting point for customer engagement. Sending an opt-in message, for example, offers a simple and quick way to open the lines of communication with a customer. After a customer opts-in, messages can still remain short and sweet (while being intentional, of course). Marketers can spend less time crafting lengthy communications, while still conveying special discounts, personalized deals, flash or seasonal sales that entice shoppers to actively engage with the brand. And with SMS’s high open rates, it’s more likely that this type of communication will actually garner a return, providing a time and cost effective way of furthering your omnichannel strategy while providing real value to customers.
3. Retention made easier
With the majority of consumers owning a phone (and checking it constantly), mobile also has the power to reach a wider audience than many other channels. This offers marketers more opportunities to drive retention across a larger part of the customer base.
Using first-party customer data is key here, as it allows marketers to tailor communications to what customers actually care about. That could mean a “back in stock” message that links to an item they were interested in or a discount on an item they purchased last year and have likely run out of. With short, pithy, personalized content, consumers can quickly see the value being offered, ultimately leading to longer term brand loyalty.
One piece of the omnichannel puzzle
A valuable and efficient marketing strategy is one that is holistic, providing a personalized experience across multiple channels. Mobile and SMS should work in tandem with e-mail, social, or web and app communications to create seamless and enjoyable experiences throughout a customer’s journey. That being said, it’s clear marketers have begun to recognize the power of SMS and mobile within that omnichannel strategy and are prioritizing these channels accordingly. We only expect to see investment in these channels grow in the year to come — and both marketers and customers will benefit as a result.