13 Ways to Increase Your SMS Conversions Right Now
August 1, 2023
Reading Time: 7 minutes
If you’re feeling meh about your current SMS conversion rates, we have some easy wins. Even if you’re getting good results, there’s always room for improvement, especially when you take a look at your own metrics.
For anyone that’s new to SMS, you can compare your brand to our common industry benchmarks to see where you might be doing well (yay) or where you might be dropping off (we’ll fix that.)
If you’ve been working at list growth and optimizing the channel for a while, it’s time to take a good hard look at your core metrics: open rate, click-through rate, click-to-conversion rate, and our personal favorite—Subscriber LTV. This last one really is the culmination of lots of little factors that add up over time. If you want this to sky rocket, you can implement these 12 easy wins today.
Factors that Affect SMS Conversion Rates
Like any other marketing channel, SMS conversion rates start with the who, what, when, and why built into your campaign strategy. Lots of other factors come into play once they click on a message and get to a product page. You likely have a whole ecommerce team that obsesses about things like site copy, CTA buttons, UI/UX, and creating frictionless buying experiences.
The questions you should be asking yourself as you set out to optimize your SMS conversion rates are:
Who are you sending the offer to?
What is the offer and how are you communicating it?
When are you sending it?
Why should someone click through to your site?
Which factors you lean into first depends on which metrics most need improvement. Some metrics take a different approach than others.
Click-through rate (CTR): CTR is heavily driven by copy and audience. You have to create compelling messages and send them to the right people.
Click-to-conversion rate (CTCR): This one is a little trickier because it does depend on your ecommerce experience. But it also has to do with how relevant your message is and how well you’ve crafted your offers.
Subscriber lifetime value (Subscriber LTV): Increasing Subscriber LTV is a cumulative effect of a really great strategy. It’s about building connections that make people excited to get your texts, continuing to
13 Proven Tactics to Boost SMS Conversions
We’ve helped Shopify merchants generate over $3 billion in revenue using SMS marketing. So we’ve learned a thing or two about improving campaign performance. Here are 12 tactics that are proven to boost SMS conversions.
1. Create a VIP experience
Everyone wants to be treated like a VIP. And SMS is the perfect channel to deliver. If you want to build a VIP club that’ll have subscribers lined up and chomping at the bits for your next offers, think about working these details into your campaigns.
Treat every new subscriber as a member of your VIP club.
Send welcome messages with personalized offers.
Grant early or exclusive access to sales, deals, new product launches, giveaways, etc.
Launch a loyalty program where subscribers can earn points
Flattery will get you everywhere. Remember to slather on the compliments to make people feel special.
2. Use coupons effectively
Don’t just skate by with a blanket 10% off coupon. Put some thought into coupon offers. Consider A/B testing your existing coupon offer with a CashBack incentive. You could offer customers a bigger incentive (20% or 25% CashBack) will still adding an additional 5% lift on your overall contribution margin gains. It’s important to test your offers to make sure they are fully optimizing for list growth.
3. Plan a consistent communications calendar
Ecommerce brands with the highest performing SMS campaigns send almost 5x the number of messages as those with the lowest performing.
(That doesn’t mean you should spam your subscribers. Sending too many messages with no real substance to them will cause your unsubscribe rate to skyrocket.)
It does mean you want to stay in touch with your subscribers. Text them regularly. And try to plan out a thoughtful month of texts, for example, we like to see a mix of promotional, educational and 1:1 conversations over text. . Bookmark this SMS Marketing Calendar for a never-ending supply of ideas.
4. Send by timezone
Look back at your campaign performance and take note of what times of day your highest-performing messages were sent. Chances are you’ll see some trends. You might also find some pockets of time you’ve never tested.
5. Collect (and use) zero-party data
Zero-party data is the most valuable data you can get about your subscribers. It’s the information they share with you personally about their lives, goals, and interests. Data you can’t get anywhere else.
Like their weight loss or skin care goals.
Their pets’ names.
Or their favorite hobbies.
Be thoughtful about how you collect this data. If you’re a skincare brand and your main categories are aging, acne and inflammation, try to find out which of those buckets most affects your subscribers. Once you’ve got that information, you can segment them accordingly and make sure they are receiving messages that are most relevant to them. Customers that are receiving a new cleaning product for acne, but who are most concerned about crows feet, are going to be wasted sends. Collect information that can help drive more revenue for your business instead.
6. Personalize it
Texting is an intimate art. It’s how you tell someone you love them, how you ask your parents how to cook chicken and how you share hilarious memes with friends. And if you’re a brand making it into that space, you’ve got to remember that.
So how do you keep it personal? There’s a lot of easy wins like incorporating a name, creating super customized post purchase flows and sending out 1:1 conversations.
The need for personalization is one of the biggest perks of SMS Sales. You’ll have someone proactively reaching out over text, in your brand’s voice, to try and handle any objections in the purchasing process. It’s powerful stuff.
And don’t forget to take a cue from what your friends or family text you too. Even your subscribers will want to receive the occasional funny meme or recipe from time to time.
7. Get smart with your segmentation
There are definitely occasions when you’ll want to do a full list send, but not every campaign should be sent to an entire list. Segments can help you cater your messages and increase your attributed revenue per campaign.
Here are some segments to think about:
Brand loyalists: These are the folks who open all your messages, check out all your deals, and purchase time and time again.
Geo-based: Create hyperlocal offers and tailor promos relevant to the city or state they live in. This can be a great approach for weather events (i.e. a giant blizzard hitting Vermont!).
Purchase history: Building audience segments based on past purchase history can be super helpful when launching new products or driving sales for specific SKUs.
Think about the variety of ICP’s for your business and try to segment them accordingly over SMS.
8. Be data-driven
If you know there are customers that only buy chocolate flavored supplements, don’t be afraid to use that to your advantage. Take a deep dive into purchase history, browse history, demographic data—the works.
Not only can this help you cater your messages, but it can help you offer better customer service over text too. Data points can help you decide when to send post purchase messages, when to trigger a repurchase or when to engage in a 1:1 conversation if there’s been a drop off in buying.
9. Deliver a seamless buying experience
Much of the buying experience takes place on your website. So your ecommerce team has a lot more levers to pull here than you do. But you can certainly do your part.
One great way to create a streamlined buying experience for your subscribers is with cart abandonment messages that take them directly to check out. Get rid of any objections on site if they click to go back to cart.
10. Optimize your messages
No matter how smart your segmentation or personalization, if your copywriting isn’t cutting it, your SMS conversion rates will fall flat. Here are seven tips to optimize your SMS messages for better conversions.
Remember—traditional marketing jargon doesn’t cut it on SMS. This is texting! Be smart, concise and fun. This can be your brand’s most casual channel when it’s time to have conversations with subscribers.
11. Be a personal shopper
Brands are having great success using SMS to drive sales. This goes beyond sending sales-focused campaigns like flash sales and product launches.
SMS can be used as a personal shopper experience. Putting your sales hat on can go a long way toward increasing SMS conversion rates. With our SMS Sales Associates, they can proactively see that a question has been asked over text (not every brand’s support team is equipped to check for that) and they will also step in to see how they can help you move towards a purchase. This is powerful stuff and it’s more personal because it’s over text. And it leads to a 30% increase in new customer sales.
12. Tailor your automations
Don't just set up a single abandon cart automation—customize it based on what products they've left behind. The same can be done for other high converting automations like a browse abandon.
Tailor your messaging to why a customer needs this product in their life in either a second or third follow-up after they've abandoned their cart and haven't checked out yet. Use it as an opportunity to further educate a subscriber about why that cleanser or probiotic is going to improve their lives. A little imagination in your automations can go a long way.
13. Choose an SMS platform that is optimized for conversations
Last but not least, make sure your SMS platform makes it easy to have conversations with subscribers. People who engage in two-way text conversations are 4x more likely to make a purchase. So invite conversations and be prepared to reply when people respond.
Postscript can also handle incoming MMS, which is ideal for asking subscribers to submit content over text. Plus, social proof is another secret weapon for increasing conversions.
Regardless of tactics, data, or offers, much of your SMS success has to do with the tools that you use. Your SMS platform affects everything from your deliverability rate to your automation capabilities.
It’s one thing to use an all-in-one marketing platform that supports text messaging. It’s another entirely to choose an SMS platform that’s purpose-built to make SMS your highest ROI marketing channel, like Postscript. If you’re ready to pull out all the stops on your SMS strategy, claim your free trial of Postscript today.
Triniti has spent the last 12 years building brands, developing integrated marketing strategies, creating content that converts and delivering exceptional customer experiences.