Announcing New Product Features from Our First Live Event of 2022: The Glow Up Recap Is Here
February 4, 2022
Reading Time: 8 minutes
It’s a great time to be an ecommerce merchant investing in SMS. If you’re one of them, you’re learning faster than your peers, getting early arbitrage on a new channel, investing in deepening your customer relationships, and—most importantly—making more money.
But even though SMS still feels relatively new, we’re already entering a new phase. Not so long ago, the question for merchants was, “Should I invest in SMS?” Now, it has become, “How do I optimize this channel?”
Translation: The time has come to glow up your approach to SMS, which is exactly why we chose this as the theme for our first big event of 2022.
Watch our full event below or skip ahead to read a recap of new product features and our big announcement: our first live event is coming.
All right—let’s glow!
1:46 - Key Lessons from 2021
3:30 - The Opportunity for Brands in 2022
12:05 - Flow Builder Enhancements
15:19 - Back In Stock Opt-In Tool and Automation
20:01 - Transactional Messaging
25:52 - Klaviyo Integration Updates
27:02 - Group Chat Conference
30:00 - Postscript Plus
36:08 - Q&A
What We at Postscript Believe
At Postscript, we are building the conversational commerce platform for Shopify merchants. We believe that SMS will revolutionize relationships with consumers and merchants for the better.
We have a unique philosophy, and it informs both the strategic advice we give and the products we build. Specifically, we believe an effective SMS strategy—no matter the time of the year—is real-time, personalized, two-way, and unique to your brand.
Given the fast-moving pace of our market, it’s more important than ever for merchants to move toward a more strategic, targeted SMS mindset—and away from generic, blanket promotional sending.
Key Lessons from 2021 [1:46]
We've learned a lot in the past year. Here are our three biggest light bulbs from 2021:
SMS can be the number-one revenue channel for ecommerce brands.
This is our vision, and it is possible. We’ve actually seen it happen already: during BFCM 2021, we saw leading brands like Dr. Squatch generate more revenue via SMS than they did via email. This would have been unheard of a few years ago!
Brands that play the long game will win.
One of the most common questions we get is, “How much should I be sending?” We believe the question should instead be, “Is what I am about to send going to add value?” Some brands send every day because their audience expects it—perhaps it’s even why they subscribed. Different types of products and brands lend themselves to different sending strategies, but maximizing your subscriber lifetime value (LTV) should always be your North Star. Remember, you’re using SMS to build a lasting relationship with your customer—not to get a one-time revenue rush. (Be sure to check out the video for a more detailed explanation of subscriber LTV—including the formula to calculate it and the sub-metrics that influence it.)
The longer you retain subscribers, the more valuable they will be to you. And to retain them, you have to be valuable to them. It’s the circle of value.
Text subscribers are more valuable than email subscribers.
Yes, it’s true—and we have the data to back it up. Our data science team found that over the course of a year, customers who signed up for SMS marketing made over 50% more purchases than customers who signed up for email marketing. If that’s not enough incentive to invest in SMS subscriber retention, we don’t know what is!
The Opportunity for Brands in 2022 and Beyond [3:30 ]
In line with this shift to a more customer-centric approach to SMS, we’re laying out four key areas for brands to dial in this year.
Growing Your List
To maximize SMS as a channel, you must constantly add to your subscriber list. So, list growth is not a one-and-done type of thing. There are always new things to try—whether it’s a new pop-up design, a new keyword on social, QR codes on your product packaging, a new email campaign, or even new collection points (more on that below!).
Sending the Right Number of Messages
To drive revenue and deliver a great customer experience, you must find the right sending cadence for your brand. Your sweet spot may not be another brand’s sweet spot; there is no one-size-fits-all benchmark. We’re not going to tell you to blast out three or four texts per week and call it a day, because that’s not going to give everyone the best returns. Instead, we’re telling you to test your cadence, measure results, and adjust accordingly.
Investing in Great Creative and Meaningful Segmentation
Your messages shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, either. To maximize revenue, you’ve gotta optimize your copy and creative, your offer, and your CTA for each segment. Each individual subscriber has different motivations and different levels of engagement with your brand, so take the time to think about what might resonate with different groups rather than sending everyone the same templatized 15% discount.
Reducing List Churn
Keeping a healthy list is integral to retaining customers and maximizing their lifetime value. You cannot have a profitable SMS program if people are constantly unsubscribing from your list. And if they are, it’s a pretty good indicator that you need to focus more intently on the items above (sending the right number of messages, improving message content, and taking a more thoughtful approach to segmentation).
What Postscript is Delivering to Help
Flow Builder Enhancements [12:05]
At our last product launch event in October, we unveiled our new, visual-centric Flow Builder. Not only is Flow Builder a massive improvement on the look and feel of Postscript, but it’s also a huge step forward in our vision for scaling one-to-one customer relationships through SMS—where multiple stages in the customer journey can be brought into a single thread.
We showed you how much easier it is to use the drag-and-drop builder to create regular campaigns—and how you can even create multi-step campaigns to send multiple related messages over several days or weeks. As a reminder, Postscript is still the only SMS platform that allows you to send multi-step campaigns in this way. We also promised that we would release more Flow Builder functionality over the coming months. Well, we stayed true to our word. Here are the latest updates:
You can now exclude a segment from your campaign. This is one more way to ensure each message goes to—or in this case, does not go to—the right customers. You’ll see this new “exclude” option directly below the area where you indicate the segments you want to include.
We’ve added a new split step, which allows you to split a campaign flow into two 50/50 branches. In other words, 50% of your segment will get the first message, and 50% will get the second. This makes running A/B tests much easier, because you can set up both test messages side-by-side (rather than creating two separate campaigns with different segments). After you send your campaign, the results for those messages also appear directly next to each other, so you can easily see the winner at a glance.
Once you’ve created your campaign within Flow Builder, you can send a real text preview to your phone number. That way, you can see exactly what the message will look like when your customers receive it.
You can now clone a campaign flow to quickly replicate successful campaigns.
We’ve added Safe Send functionality to Flow Builder, allowing you to automatically exclude subscribers who have received a text from you within the last 16 hours.
You can stop a flow anytime after activating it, which can be especially helpful for multi-step campaigns.
And campaigns are just one half of Flow Builder. Automations are coming to Flow Builder very soon, so stay tuned for that update!
Back In Stock Opt-In Tool and Automation [15:19 ]
As noted above, consistent list growth is a key factor in your success with SMS. Customers often ask us how they can convert more website visitors into subscribers—beyond using a popup or signup form.
Enter our new Back in Stock list growth tool and automation. This feature not only allows you to add high-intent shoppers to your list, but also gives you a powerful way to reclaim potentially lost revenue. If supply chain issues have impacted your inventory levels, then this tool will help you combat that shortage and retain more of those shoppers in the long run.
Shoppers simply click the option indicating that they would like to be notified when a sold out item is back in stock. Then, they enter their information in a pop-up form, which automatically adds them to the waitlist for that product. Once inventory levels reach a certain threshold, they’ll automatically receive a text letting them know they are able to purchase the product. (This is the automation portion of Back in Stock.)
We have been testing this feature with a few customers, and the results so far have been phenomenal. Keep in mind that your results will vary based on how much website traffic you get, how many products you have, and how often your products are out of stock—but here’s an idea of what’s possible:
One of our beta customers is a makeup and cosmetics brand with around a million website visits per month. In just over 30 days of using Back in Stock:
Back in Stock accounted for 11.5% of all net new SMS subscribers during that time period;
It became their third-most effective acquisition channel, behind their main keyword and opt-in form; and
It outperformed subscriber collection at checkout by 20%.
Being able to use Back in Stock as an acquisition channel in this way is unique to Postscript and not available on any other SMS platform.
Transactional Messaging [20:01]
Waiting for and receiving an order are the two most important steps in the customer journey—at least from the customer’s perspective.
Customers want to be kept in the know about their order status, where their package is, and when they can expect their product to arrive. This communication is a crucial part of delivering a first-rate customer experience.
That’s where Transactional Messaging comes in. This tool allows you to deliver on your promise of great service—and make customers happy they chose to subscribe to your messaging. While transactional messages typically have lower EPMs than regular SMS campaigns, they are an important tool for building trust and showing customers there is value in subscribing to your brand long after you’ve sent them that welcome discount code. (Because let’s be honest—for someone to stay subscribed to your list for several years, it’s not enough to just send them coupons.)
By providing value via SMS at every stage of the customer journey, you’re giving customers more of a reason to stay subscribed for the long run. So when you do have that big product launch, they’re still there to receive the message.
This way of thinking about and using SMS is at the core of Postscript’s vision. But before we get into the specifics of this exciting new feature, here are a couple of quick definitions:
Marketing messages are any promotional messages that communicate information related to sales, brand awareness, product education, product launches, etc.
Transactional messages are order-related, non-marketing messages (triggered by a Shopify order or shipping event such as order created, order shipped, and order delivered).
Until now, you could only send both promotional and transactional messages to customers who had subscribed to receive your marketing messages. With transactional messaging, customers can opt in to only receive order-related notifications triggered by the following events:
Order in Transit
We’re also in the process of adding these new transactional triggers to the list of options:
Order Out for Delivery
Order Ready for Pickup
Finally, we’ve added the following new merge tags (available for all the above triggers):
It’s important to note that with this new feature, you’ll now have two separate subscriber lists: Promotional Subscribers and Transactional Subscribers. If a subscriber has not opted into your SMS marketing program—but they have agreed to receive transactional messages at checkout—you cannot send them the same promotional messaging that you send those in your Promotional Subscriber list.
Deeper Klaviyo Integration [25:52]
In addition to all of the updates to our own features, we’re excited to share that we are continuing to deepen our integration with Klaviyo. Because a majority of our customers use Klaviyo for email, this integration is one of our top priorities.
This integration enhancement includes the following three components:
Syncing Postscript coupons to Klaviyo
Allowing users to segment Klaviyo email events in Postscript
Segmenting Postscript Click Events in Klaviyo
More information on this update will be coming soon, but if you’re an eager Klaviyo customer who wants to dig in right away, contact your Postscript CSM!
The Big Surprises
It wouldn’t be a Postscript event without a surprise announcement or two, and we definitely delivered on the hype.
Group Chat: The Conference [27:02]
Our first big reveal: We are stoked to announce our first live and in-person conference exclusively dedicated to helping leading ecommerce brands grow with SMS: Group Chat. This event will bring together industry experts and leading merchants and operators to help you maximize SMS for your brand. As an attendee, you can expect:
Small group sessions
One-on-one time with our team of SMS experts
Meal time hangs, and
A boatload more!
Tickets aren’t available just yet, but you can sign up for updates on all things Group Chat right here.
Postscript Plus [30:00]
Last but not least: We are introducing Postscript Plus to our broader community!
So, what is Postscript Plus? First and foremost, it’s a true incubator for SMS data, best practices, and approaches. It’s a place for us—and more importantly, the brands we serve—to test new internal tools, data science approaches, and early features.
It’s also a service—one where our experts work directly with participating brands to optimize the channel. In other words, we help you with the what, who, and when of your SMS program—with the overarching goal of making SMS an incredibly profitable channel for your brand.
So what, exactly, is included with a Postscript Plus membership?
Postscript Plus Labs: We provide you with proprietary Postscript tools and data like:
Custom pop-up creation
Campaign revenue and spend planning calculator and metrics suite
Response management and analysis
Access to advanced data science approaches through our Data Labs team
Postscript Plus Early Access: We give you first access to Postscript features and approaches.
Receive early access to beta features.
Be the first cohort to test innovative SMS approaches.
Postscript Plus Best Practices: Finally, the Postscript Plus team works with you to execute SMS best practices in areas such as:
Keyword and custom flows
And keep in mind that Postscript Plus is not just for merchants—it’s open to agencies, too! If you’re an agency interested in learning and working directly with us on any parts of Plus, reach out directly to your partner manager.
Note that there is an additional monthly subscription for Postscript Plus members. Depending on your needs and how much SMS volume you do, the cost differs. To learn more, check out this Postscript Plus page.
Ready to get after SMS in 2022? We gotchu. Hit us up using any of the social media links at the bottom of this page, schedule a demo here or install and start your free trial right now. Thanks for tuning in!