It’s a form of communication a lot of brands overlook, but SMS is actually more effective than email in terms of engagement and conversion. To put some stats to it, marketing emails see an average open rate of around 29%, whereas for SMS, open rates exceed 90%.
With specific reference to review collection, SMS invites have proven three times as effective as email. They do however come at a cost, so you need to make sure you’re hitting all the right notes - both in terms of how you design the content, and how you incorporate SMS in your review collection flows.
1. Be concise, but clear
SMS is powerful because it’s direct. It lands in a customer’s inbox, they open it, and within seconds understand its intent. And that’s exactly what should happen with your review request. Make it immediately clear who the message is from, the purchase it relates to, and the action it’s intended to prompt. Include a strong CTA and a direct link to your collection platform.
Whilst you need to keep things brief, try to avoid text speak or abbreviations - their meaning might not be as obvious to every customer as you think. What you’re aiming for with an SMS review invite is clear, concise content and a frictionless experience.
2. Nail your timing
When an SMS review invite lands is just as important as its content. It’s pointless crafting the perfect message only to deliver it before you’ve delivered the order itself, so carefully consider dispatch times when setting time delays.
Timing is also product specific. Some purchases can be reviewed pretty much on receipt, whereas others take time to experience. The key is to connect with the customer at just the right point in their personal journey.
It’s much easier to do this with a tool like Klaviyo or REVIEWS.io Flow. With this you can set up specific campaigns dependent on product category and even customer location, so you can account for every variable and perfect your SMS timing.
3. Set different campaigns for different markets
If you sell outside of the country you’re based in, you’ll need to take this into consideration. There’s another very important timing issue here, though. Say you sell to customers in both the UK and Australia. The last thing you want is an SMS to land in the middle of the night because you pushed a generic campaign with no accounting for time difference. Always factor geolocation into your sending conditions.
There’s also the more subtle differences, like terminology. It may not crop up that often but it’s worth keeping an eye out for. After all, there’s quite a difference between inviting an Australian customer to review their recent thong purchase, and inviting a UK customer to do the same.
4. Use SMS strategically
So far we’ve talked about SMS review requests in isolation. Using them this way is fine, but given the cost attached to them, they’re better put to use as part of a wider strategy - essentially to give your email requests a bit of a power boost.
There are two main techniques to consider here. The first is to create flows that use SMS to follow up on unanswered email invites. Where the original email may have been missed or forgotten about, the SMS offers an impactful reminder. This way, you can boost conversion rates by taking advantage of text engagement, but only when necessary.
The second is to use SMS to request video content from 5* reviewers. SMS is ideal for this, as customers can record and upload video reviews without ever leaving their screen. And since they’ve already shown brand advocacy with their written review, you know you’re targeting those most likely to submit engaging, powerful UGC.
5. A/B test your campaigns
If you intend to make the most of every SMS review invite you send, you need to know what delivers the best results, so run thorough A/B testing on your campaigns. There are multiple things you can tweak here. It could be the content of the text message, or the time of day it lands. It could be the action you encourage with the SMS, or experimentation with time delays.
The key thing is not to change too many variables at once. You need to be able to pinpoint which variations were responsible for a better outcome, so make subtle changes one at a time and continuously fine tune your approach.
Need More Convincing?
While you may think SMS technology is out of date, the statistics speak for themselves. If you need a little more convincing or you just want to know more about how you can use SMS reviewing to boost your business, get in touch with us to use reviews with Blend.