One of the strategies that has gained strength in recent years is SMS marketing, in which using the text messaging channel it is possible to impact potential customers and capture their attention in order to increase sales volume. .
Given the growing trend of this online store sales channel, at ED Digital we had Attila Armos as a guest on our eCommerce with Shopify podcast, who works as an account agent for Postscript, a platform that offers SMS marketing services.
Here you can read Attila's full conversation with Obeth Seguinot, head of Growth Client.
Obeth Seguinot: Attila, as an agency we have realized that SMS has become incredibly relevant in recent years and even more so in 2022. What can you tell us about SMS? Why is this strategy so important?
Attila Armos: I see it from two main sides: First, we see a saturation of typical media that are now considered traditional, such as social networks, like Facebook and Instagram. This saturation of information causes a division of attention, but we are also constantly divided between several screens at work: the cell phone, Netflix, etc.
SMS is still a less exploited channel, so there is still a lot of opportunity to grow and to stand out as a brand in this channel, which we recognize is very personal and intimate.
So it requires a much more personalized part and an intention to generate conversation, but it represents a great opportunity to exploit.
Obeth Seguinot: Yes, in fact that is the barrier, I would say, number one that merchants who are not using it sometimes present when presented with this SMS alternative. They say something like: “But it is that they are very personal” or “it is that it is very intimate”. They feel that they are invading a personal space and that resistance is very noticeable, right?
Attila Armos: That is particularly relevant. It is the second part of this era of data privacy. Recent updates to Google Chrome to protect the privacy of personal data have severely limited the effectiveness of Facebook and other social networks that rely on tracking user activity on the Internet. The same happens with SMS, as a channel that particularly depends on this tracking, but it is also very important to take care of the quality of this conversation and it is something that we are completely committed to at Postscript: it is not enough to send the same message to all your list of subscribers waiting for it to appear and then become customers, but our platform is designed to generate a much more personalized conversation, that is, based on their purchase history. It is a relationship that depends on the intention of the consumer to say “yes, I am willing to receive messages from this brand because I care”, since I already have a pre-existing relationship with them.
Obeth Seguinot: In the last two years, basically, we have been adopting this in our agency, we have seen how it helps companies a lot, but the issue you mention is important: the compliance of complying with the rules, with the laws inclusive.
Attila Armos: Yes, it is something that is quite developed, especially in the United States, by the authorities, on how you can reach the user in your SMS base. And yes, there have even been very serious illegal issues by brands, when they do not respect the guidelines, so we help you take away that worry a bit, because there are aspects that prevent an automated message from reaching someone at midnight when they do not. is waiting. And a large part of the messages that are sent are generated based on actions taken by the user and are particularly segmented in this way, because the idea is to provide added value to the customer.
Otherwise, unsubscribing is very easy. When it goes up, it is telling you that we are either communicating very frequently or generating messages that are not adding value.
Obeth Seguinot: How do you recommend that a business take advantage of this ability to have conversations on both sides? (Email and SMS)
Attila Armos: For starters , not all brands are doing it today. I can tell you that many times the client will be taken by surprise and it is a pleasant surprise when they are asking: Hey, where is my order? Why isn't my account working? And you answer them more or less in an expected time. We are still at that point where the person who is going to surprise them and like them will be the one using the Postscript that we recommend, and that is to configure the account so that those responses flow to an email. From that email you can reply and the message comes out the same through Postscript, like an SMS message to be answering them on the same channel.
If a company or a brand has integrated help us applications , if they have to analyze all the messages from all the channels in the same app, they can do it too.
Obeth Seguinot: This brings us to this concept that has been talked about in recent years and is becoming increasingly relevant: conversational commerce. Can you tell us about that? What is involved in this topic of how SMS is integrated into this concept of conversational commerce? What is it about?
Attila Armos: Yes, well, as I mentioned, it is about generating a two-way interactive relationship with the customer, not that the brand is sending information or messages that they have never responded to, but that they use the medium, even to learn, as I was saying. about your customers. We have recommended brands that have a segment of users who have not recently interacted with their campaigns, who have never clicked, who are on your subscriber list and receive your campaigns, but do not take any action. Instead of excluding them from all campaigns. What we invite brands to do is generate a personalized campaign for this segment, as they call it, On Engage and write to them in a very personal way.
Well, that already makes the message much more interesting and invites the customer to participate. In addition, it generates learning about what they are looking for and when they answer they receive an answer.
Obeth Seguinot: One of the things we want to do is be able to give actionable tips or suggestions so that people can implement them in their stores. First of all, in order for us to start with an effective SMS strategy, we first need subscribers, we need people. How do you recommend doing it? What ideas can you share with merchants on how to grow their SMS list?
Attila Armos: If we start with the basics, very similar to email subscriptions, which is with Pop-up, they open everywhere. It is important to give them time to enter the store, for people to see what it is about. But before they leave your online store, invite them to be part of your list that can be supplemented with mail.
Many merchants prefer to ask for the email first because it's easier to get someone to share it with you. What we recommend is that immediately after, you offer an additional incentive for them to give you their phone number.
Obeth Seguinot: That is the starting point, because if we want to communicate we need that base and it is important that we do it in a compliance way . The fact that someone gives us their shipping email means that we can start sending them marketing.
Attila Armos: Even when a customer gives you their phone number when placing their order. That's not enough, and I'm not going to dwell too much on the boring details. But there is specific language that must be included in any email campaign so that we are explicitly notifying the client that they are opting in to receive marketing messages. They have to put the cross out in the box to receive their emails.
That is, there will be a separate list of subscribers, who can receive messages. If they have already made a purchase, they will be able to find out when their order left, if their order is late and that kind of thing that does not have to do with marketing, which they will also be able to handle from Postscript.
Obeth Seguinot : The idea is, as you say, to constantly invite people to join that channel and for the list to keep growing forever. And then once the list grows, of course, that effort never ends, but today we have to start addressing people. How do you recommend that this effort be made now to direct the messages, are we going to send a message to the entire list equally or what should the strategy be like?
Attila Armos: We can say that there are two types of messages that we are going to send to our clients: on the one hand, there are the automated messages that help them advance through the conversion funnel. So it is important to assemble, optimize and segment messages that they themselves generate with their actions.
We can also schedule loyalty offers for those who reach a certain number of purchases or to recover those who have been added to the list and have not made their purchase in 30 days. We can schedule these messages in advance so that they are running and reach all relevant users, without us having to make any additional effort beyond that initial level.
Obeth Seguinot: That's where that automation comes in: the merchant doesn't have to be individually writing to each of their subscribers. Rules are programmed into those automations and that is what really allows a business to scale today, that a personalized effort can be replicated.
Attila Armos: Exactly. On the other hand, we also have proactive campaigns, which are aligned to your marketing calendar. We also recommend creating exclusive offers for SMS subscribers, only that they add a value to designate and give them a reason to continue subscribing, not that it is, say, the same message that you sent by email, send it by SMS, at the same time you will achieve a saturation and they will go out of the channel.
Obeth Seguinot: Interesting. All this that you share and I know that there is much more: you have some additional idea that you want to finish with and that you want everyone to do, not to forget, a great idea that you want to share.
Attila Armos: Take advantage now that the SMS channel is not at the level of saturation that we have in our email or on Facebook. It is time to take advantage of the opportunity and profitability of this channel. We work with some brands that have been in SMS for a long time and already saw last year, for example, during Black Friday, that SMS was their most profitable channel, more than email, more than social networks.
This is going to change and level off in the near future. So it's time to start developing this strategy and developing that relationship, that bond with our customers.
If you want to listen to the full podcast, visit the following link: https://ecommerceconshopify.simplecast.com/episodes/sms-y-su-relevancia-como-canal-en-el-2022