August 26, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Texting your subscribers is the easiest way to get immediate feedback, engage in real-time conversations, and—okay, we’ll say it—have a good time.
But we constantly hear from merchants who feel nervous to text their custies just because. With no CTA, what will the ROI be? What do I talk about? Won’t sending them a text annoy them?
The short answer is no, but the other answer is—test it. Find out how your subscribers want to interact with your brand on this inherently conversational channel. Their preferences may surprise you!
SMS and email are not one in the same, and just because you’re sending out a specific message on email, that doesn’t mean you need to mirror it on SMS. In fact, we’d argue you shouldn’t.
We doubt your emails sound and look the same as your Instagram posts, so keep that same mindset as you plot out both promotional and conversational SMS marketing campaigns.
Here are 7 examples of brands simply texting their subscribers. These are the kinds of messages that feel like they’re coming from a bestie or your parents—not a brand. We love to see it!
Call for Hype Songs
Have you ever tried to curate the world’s greatest playlist? Now you can—over text. Super Coffee sent out this campaign to try and engage with their subscribers. Expectations were low—and the responses blew them away.
Turns out, this text was exactly the type of content Super Coffee subscribers were after.
“We received over 820 responses!” says Liz Moore, Content Marketing Specialist at Super Coffee. “This campaign was a change from our usual revenue or CTR-focused campaigns, as the goal was to drive engagement and make our community feel valued. We were excited to see the overwhelmingly positive responses.”
Testing these types of campaigns can really pay off if you’re increasing engagement across the platform and turning into a brand that subscribers actually want to see pop up in their inbox.
Ask a Simple Question
The most powerful aspect of SMS marketing is the ability to engage directly with your current and future customers. If you’ve ever wished you could text a group of your most valuable customers and get feedback on a company decision, you actually can—thanks to SMS.
Here’s a survey that supplements brand Obvi sent to their entire subscriber list.
Not only did they receive orders through this send, but they were also able to gather meaningful data that helped cement their next drop.
If you hop into our Flow Builder, you can even set up “Wait for Event” branching to send a thank-you promo code or follow-up message to anyone who completes your survey.
Play on Childhood Nostalgia
Step aside, flash sales—nothing gets subscribers going quicker than a heated debate. So if you want to get into it with your subscribers, ask them to weigh in on a polarizing topic (though maybe stay away from politics). Keep your debate friendly, like Doe Lashes did with this campaign.
Depending on how a subscriber responds, they receive different follow-up messages through our Flow Builder.
For example, here’s the response for those who choose Mama Mia.
Here’s the follow-up if you’re on Team Finding Dory.
This is a fun way to add brand personality to your SMS marketing strategy, incorporate your employees, and engage in friendly banter with customers.
(Psst! Does this campaign example look a little different to you? It’s because it was made using our Flow Builder. Learn all about it here.)
Be a Motivational Speaker
If you subscribe to texts from Curl Bible, you occasionally receive a motivational text to your inbox.
And sometimes founder Dana uses her own words of wisdom in messages to the brand’s text subscribers.
Messaging subscribers over text is super personal, which is part of why these messages really feel like they’re coming from a friend and not a brand.
They also might be just the pick-me-up someone on your list needs at the moment it hits their inbox.
Have a Heart-to-Heart
Not to sound like a broken record, but texts are personal. So, get personal with your audience by asking a deeply personal question, similar to what skincare brand L’Amarue sent.
In this instance, L’Amarue scheduled a response to those who replied with an answer, as well as to those who opened but did not engage.
Here’s how those two responses looked (and they were both super easy to set up with our response branching).
An open-ended question leaves room to either respond directly to subscribers within Postscript or use scheduled messages that automatically fire depending on how they interact.
The more you test texts that allow for responses, the more you can segment your most engaged and active subscribers. Then you’ll be able to cater your messaging to the subscribers who love this type of content—and avoid sending it to those who don’t.
One important thing to note is that although setting up a flow is a great way to handle a bundle of responses, asking a super personal question is also an opportunity to use text the way you do in real life and respond to customers manually.
If your list is still growing—or you have the staff to do it—this can be a powerful way to humanize your brand and really create brand loyalists.
TL;DR Automate what makes sense and then free up some time for more personal conversations when the opportunity arises.
Share Some Memories
What do summer memories have to do with deodorant? Not a whole lot, but Native knows that’s not the point of asking subscribers to share their favorite summertime stories.
It’s easy to spin up conversations with subscribers when you’re asking them to share something personal. This idea can be adapted for so many different seasons—best birthday gift ever, most memorable run-in with Santa, you get the idea.
Help With Life Decisions
If you’ve ever had trouble making a life decision before—what paint color to put on a dining room wall or where you should go on your next vacation—your subscriber list is that personal sounding board in your pocket.
It’s true! Organic Olivia needed help naming their office pet, so they polled their subscribers.
And the people have spoken—Banks was the resounding winner.
SMS is the “fun” channel. But to get the most out of it, you’ve gotta rethink the way you communicate with your subscribers. Test different content to see what resonates best with your audience, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. If you want to see even more creative SMS examples, download our free guide and see some of our favorite SMS campaigns of all time.
Senior Manager of Content and Community
Laura is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. She has spent the past decade working in ecommerce. When she isn't writing about her favorite topic (marketing) or listening to podcasts about her other favorite topic (ecommerce), she's hanging out with her two sons on an island off the coast of Maine.
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