by Blend Commerce Collaborator

In this blog, our partners at SMSBump provide an insight into how SMS marketing can be used to boost sales on your Shopify store. 

In a recent episode of  Shopify Across the Pond, founder of SMSBump, Mike Stoychev, discussed the power of SMS marketing for Shopify store owners. This blog provides a more detailed look at the points covered in the  podcast episode.

What Exactly is SMSBump 

To keep it simple - SMSBump gives Shopify merchants the opportunity to create a brand new communication channel through which they can reach their existing audience, expand their customer base, and conquer new e-Commerce territories. And all of this with the help of the all-mighty SMS. 

“SMSBump is like Klaviyo but for text messages” 

SMSBump allows users to send text marketing campaigns, to set up automatic SMS such as abandoned cart reminders, product upsell and customer winback messages, feedback collection, shipping confirmation and many more.

It also integrates with many other applications such as Klaviyo, ReCharge, Smile.io, LoyaltyLion (coming soon), ReConvert, Happy Birthday etc. to make the communication between customers and stores even more seamless.

SMSBump wanted to let customers get in touch with Shopify merchants and created the SMS Chat that lets customers reach out to stores. 

Two-way-communication, according to Mike, is the bridge between customers and stores. Texting nurtures meaningful relationships and assists Shopify merchants in gathering useful feedback to excel their business. 

Texting - the Ultimate Way to Reach The Most People 

Compared to other communication platforms such as Messenger, Viber, iChat, WhatsApp etc., SMS undoubtedly has the best odds of reaching the greatest number of people all around the world. 

Why? Mike explains: 

One of the biggest bonus factors here is that unlike all other apps, texting doesn’t require an internet connection. Whereas many people in the world don’t have access to internet, more than  70% of them have mobile devices. They can receive text messages with deals and offers, coupons and discounts they can easily use later, perhaps to checkout at home, from their desktop computer. 

What’s more, text messages have a 98% open rate and 90% of them being read in thefirst 30 seconds of being sent. 

However, SMS and other communication channels, such as Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, WeChat etc, are not necessarily competitors, Mike points out. They are different and serve different audiences.

Nowadays we hear more and more about omnichannel experience, which is exactly this - delivering the most appropriate message to the right target group using the right form of communication channel. And this is exactly what we strive to achieve at SMSBump. 

“Our short term goal is to make the best platform for text messages but our vision is to create the best communication platform.”

Grow Subscribers Like a Pro 

No matter which way you decide to go and what channel you decide to use, two things you should always keep in mind: 

  1. To enjoy good results from your text marketing efforts, first you need to have traffic coming to your store. 
  2. To send any type of text marketing messages, anywhere in the world, you need to have yourcustomer’s explicit consent

At SMSBump we have developed 5 ways for Shopify store owners to attract visitors, obtain prior customer approval and gather subscribers.

  • Keywords:get your US customers to text you a catchy keyword that will instantly subscribe them to your text marketing list.
  • Shareable Signup Page:  generate a link that will lead to a subscription page you can share anywhere you want around the web, social media, email, messages, etc.
  • Checkout opt-in box: the checkout page is a great spot to invite your customers to subscribe for text message marketing deals and updates without being pushy.

For even better chances of conversion, Mike advises Shopify store owners to include discounts and/or free shipping as a way to give visitors an incentive to subscribe. 

One other thing he puts extra emphasis on is that the number of subscribers doesn’t always affect the amount of orders or the ROI. Even if your list has 20-30 people, it is more important that their active as this is what makes a relationship meaningful, or in eCom terms - profitable. 

On the other hand, you might have hundreds of inactive subscribers which in no way contribute to your store’s well-being. 

Working SMS Strategies to Strike High ROI 

Now, let’s assume you have gathered several hundred subscribers that you want to treat to some nice deals. 

“Segmenting your customers is key to a successful text marketing campaign” 

Whereas big holidays such as Christmas, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, etc. are great for sending massive SMS campaigns, we strongly recommend all Shopify merchants to segment their customers. You can do that based on different characteristics, such as their product interests, purchase habits, order history, even location. The combinations are numerous but all in one place - SMSBump! 

“To keep the rate of unsubscribers low, you need to send out relevant content to relevant target groups” 

For instance, let’s say that last week you launched a very successful campaign and now you want to repeat it. What you can do, Mike says, is rerun it, but create two different segments and target them with two different, personalized, offers:

  • Engaged SMS Subscribers: all customers who clicked on the link in the SMS but didn’t place an order - go ahead and offer them a bigger discount than the one you initially proposed 
  • Inactive SMS Subscribers: all customers that didn’t even click on your link. You can ask them a question, say, “What is your favorite product from our newest collection”, and if you get a response - surprise them with a discount on that exact product. 

Again, he points out, even if your subscriber pool isn’t as big as you wish it would be, if your contacts are properly collected, and your messages - well-timed and have relevant content, your Shopify store will soon start rolling out good results. 

Pro tip from Mike: a good way to see which campaigns are better-received by which of your customers is to startA/B testing

Abandoned Cart Automations - From Start to Finish 

Since SMSBump is most widely used by Shopify store owners to recover abandoned carts, Mike took Across the Pond listeners on a quick trip through setting up a two-step abandoned cart sequence, looking at all key ingredients one by one. 

First Message: 15 to 30 minutes after a cart was abandoned 

This could be a reminderthat the customer has left their cart, but still catchy and with a delicate sense of urgency. Go ahead and include a small token (e.g. free shipping) to show your appreciation and to make your offer even more irresistible. 

Also: 

  1. Always start with your  Shopify store’s name. This way your customer will know who exactly is texting them and helps for better brand recognition. 
  2. Include yourcustomer’s namefor an even more personalized feel. 
  3. Sense of urgency  is gold. A short “Hurry up! Offer ends today!” can get you a long way!
  4. For an even greater chance at recovery - throw in a  small discount or free shipping. Always make sure to include the actual discount code in your message (e.g. ABCDE), not just have it embedded in the URL. Some customers like to checkout using their desktop computers or tablets at home, instead of their phones. Also don’t forget about theOpt out  verbiage. 
  5. Pro tip:  include an image of thе abandoned cart. Customers will be left without words when they get an MMS with an image of the products they left in cart

SMSBump internal research shows that adding a discount at this stage could increase abandoned cart recovery rate by as much as 15%! 

Second Message: 24 hours after a cart was abandoned 

Besides the ingredients we mentioned above, with this second abandoned cart automation you can go ahead and: 

  1. Give an even bigger discount. 5% will get you one foot in the door, but 10%, 15% will have your customer welcome you right in. 
  2. Don’t forget to add anextra dash of urgency to your SMS. In this case, it could be a “check out in the next 24 hours with 10% OFF”, which will gently nudge your customer to decide more quickly if they want these items, or not. 

Pro tip from Mike:Utilize thechatso you give your customers the chance to reach back to you if they are having some issues with their order, or if you want to get their feedback. To optimize the process and never miss a message from your customer, connect SMSBump with customer support helpdesk platforms such asGorgias  orKlaviyo

Chat also gives customers the feeling that they are working with a very organized, customer-oriented, caring company. 

Examples Speak Louder than Us 

SMSBump has over 12,000 happy app users so the examples you can get inspiration from are numerous. In the podcast Mike covers only very few of them, but if you are intrigued to see what other people have achieved with the app, read about10 of them  who gladly share their experience with the rest of the world. 

Price-wise Benefits 

All this talk about Shopify merchants making great ROI with SMSBump inevitably led the conversation to wrap up on the subject of price. And although you can’t put a price on happiness, which is what SMSBump eventually brings you, there is a small  monthly fee  to pay if you want to use premium features such as SMSBump Chat, A/B testing, Integrations and more. 

What sets SMSBump apart from its competitorsis that our platform gives the versatility of email marketing but for texts, including segments, chat (two way messages), integrations with the top Shopify apps and all third party checkouts. We also work great with any other marketing mediums such as Email marketing apps, Push and Facebook Retargeting. We offer a great Analytics which is just worked on to become better. On the pricing side we view ourselves as the most honest text marketing app so message credits always roll over, we never charge a percentage off recovered carts, and we never charge for undelivered messages or landlines, Mike summed up. What’s more, about 80% of the app’s features come completely free of charge for all users. 

So what are you waiting for?  Install SMSBump  today for an even more successful Shopify experience! 

Mike Stoychev is the founder of  SMS Bump,  an Enterprise-grade SMS platform designed for eCommerce businesses

Blend Commerce Collaborator
Blend Commerce Collaborator

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