How to Deliver Personalized Experiences This Holiday Season With SMS Marketing
Consumers don’t just want relevant content, they expect it. With increased expectations from consumers, delivering personalized experiences will be especially crucial during the upcoming holiday season, when shoppers are busier than ever. However, with more channels and data available to marketers, it can be hard to decide where to begin.
The first step is engaging your audience where they spend the majority of their time: on their phones. People are interacting with brands on their mobile devices twice as often as anywhere else. And now more than ever, they’re engaging with brands via text messaging.
Follow these three steps to create personalized text messaging experiences that meet your audience where they are, inspire action, and drive incremental revenue:
1. Analyze how your subscribers are engaging with your content.
Before you can start personalizing your SMS content, you need to understand the frequency and types of text message campaigns that resonate with your audience. Keep in mind your text subscribers are generally your most loyal customers or high-potential purchasers, so they're eager to hear from you.
Many of the brands we work with have found that sending eight to 10 messages per month is their "sweet spot" for maximizing revenue and engagement. Frequency preferences can vary by brand.
Start sending a variety of messages (e.g., new product announcements and special offers) to discover what your audience is most interested in. You can also run A/B tests to learn how variations in tone, message length, emoji usage, and imagery can impact engagement. Analyze clickthrough, conversion and opt-out rates to keep optimizing your strategies.
2. Segment your subscribers based on their behaviors and preferences.
Text messaging is a direct communications channel, so it’s important to consider how you can create personalized and highly relevant experiences for your subscribers. Tailoring your text messages based on subscribers’ preferences and behaviors means shoppers are more likely to click through and shop.
You can develop groups of subscribers based on what sections of your site they've browsed. Their geographic location can clue you into the types of seasonal products they may be interested in. If a user has joined your loyalty program, you can send them exclusive content and perks. Layer on transactional data from your e-commerce platform, like Shopify, to create even more robust subscriber segments.
Take cues from your subscribers and create dynamic segments based on how often they’ve engaged with your text messages. Maximize revenue by sending your largest campaigns to your most engaged customers who are actively clicking through. Send less engaged subscribers win-back campaigns designed to pique their interest, such as special offers or product recommendations.
3. Align your messaging strategy to your customer journey.
Personalizing your subscribers' experiences at a one-to-one level, based on where they are in the customer lifecycle, is the key to increasing subscriber lifetime value.
You can automatically send subscribers triggered text messages personalized to actions they've taken — e.g., like leaving something behind in their online shopping cart.
Meanwhile, a triggered post-purchase series will help you automatically build loyalty with customers who recently purchased from your brand. Once a subscriber has had time to enjoy their purchase, you can invite them to leave a review or tag you on social media. Target subscribers who have made multiple purchases with automated messages inviting them to join your loyalty program or refer a friend.
Interact with your subscribers individually (and at scale) with two-way conversational messaging — e.g., solicit feedback on new product designs or respond in real time to customer service questions.
By considering how to create one-to-one experiences for your mobile subscribers, brands can drive powerful results through personalized text messaging this holiday season and beyond.
Brooke Burdge is the senior vice president of marketing of Attentive, the most comprehensive text messaging solution for innovative brands.
Related story: 3 Steps to Launching a Successful SMS Marketing Program
Brooke Burdge is the SVP of Marketing of Attentive, the most comprehensive text messaging solution for innovative brands. Prior to joining Attentive as part of the founding team, she was the Head of Marketing at TapCommerce, a mobile advertising company acquired by Twitter in 2014. During her time at Twitter, Brooke led B2B marketing for the Mobile Apps & Telco verticals. She has also held prior marketing roles at Movable Ink, a real-time email marketing technology, and Deloitte, the global consulting firm. Brooke has a BA from Fordham University, and resides in New Jersey with her two rescue dogs.