Despite being around for nearly four decades, email is one of the most popular modern mediums for digital marketing. The platform is perfect for keeping customers engaged with attractive visuals, comprehensive offer details, and the occasional e-coupon. So why should you consider SMS marketing?
Well, SMS marketing offers a range of benefits that email marketing lacks. For starters, SMS marketing boasts the highest open rates, hitting well over 90 percent. Moreover, the average response time for SMS is faster, and the channel is more personal than traditional marketing mediums.
Of course, SMS marketing isn't a replacement for email marketing. On the contrary, the two work best together. So if email is working for you, growing an SMS subscribers list alongside your email efforts can complement your email marketing efforts and increase ROI.
Klaviyo is an excellent platform with which to launch your SMS marketing efforts. It comes with plenty of features and lets you customize your sending number.
Here's a quick guide to help you set up SMS with Klaviyo and kickstart your SMS marketing journey.
Step 1: Proper Consent Collection
Before sending your customers an SMS, formally collecting SMS consent is vital. SMS is an even more personal communication channel than email, so ensuring your customers don't feel intruded upon is imperative.
You can collect written consent with a form on your website. The form can collect customer's contact details and provide them with a choice to subscribe to your SMS list. SMS consent laws are pretty strict in some countries, so it's important to be clear and explicit when collecting consent.
Explicit language required at opt-in
At the opt-in point, be sure to use explicit language with your site visitors. Usually, a short, concise sentence along the lines of, "Yes, I consent to receiving SMS messages from your brand and joining your SMS subscribers list," does the trick.
Not available in all countries
Double opt-in recommended
Double opt-in is a recommended option, so you can confirm your customers' consent and avoid bot signups or spam traps. You can let users register via a Klaviyo form and verify their opt-in enrollment with a confirmation text immediately after. It's important to note that some major mobile carriers require double-opt-in.
Methods of collection
The following are typical journey points where consent collection is collected.
Klaviyo signup forms, which you can use to target new and email-only subscribers
Klaviyo's signup forms let you take opt-ins and collect information on-site. Business owners can design captivating custom forms with Klaviyo's Signup Form Builder, and you can even put up a custom popout or flyer to target new subscribers in real-time. If you have an existing list of email subscribers, Klaviyo lets you exclusively target them to build your Klaviyo SMS list.
Consent at checkout (for specific integrations only)
With specific integrations, you can collect consent from your customers at checkout. You can encourage customers to subscribe at the time of checkout with promises of future deals and sales notifications. Or you can offer them helping material related to their current purchase. These efforts also improve the overall customer experience.
Click-to-text forms make it easy for mobile users to subscribe to your SMS list. Since there's a growing number of mobile users in the ecommerce space, a click-to-text form is ideal for growing your subscriber list and is a top feature to consider. Klaviyo's Form Builder lets you design a click-to-text form in minutes.
If you're looking to use a non-Klaviyo signup form, then the platform's List API is a great way to collect phone numbers for your list.
Klaviyo lets you quickly build an SMS subscriber list with the help of your existing email list. All you need to do is create an email campaign and take it from there. You can send a signup form to desktop users and a click-to-text form for mobile users to make it easy for customers to subscribe.
Always provide an opt-out option
If your customers want to opt out of your text messages, let them. If they don't find your texts helpful and can't unsubscribe, you may lose their trust and even their business. So, make opting out easy - inform your customers of the 'unsubscribe' option when you first email them confirmation.
Provide a way to manage SMS preferences
Providing customers with the option to manage their preferences isn't just beneficial for them, but it is for your brand too. By letting the recipient explicitly state their preferred times to receive messages, you don't need to spend resources digging through current data and insights to determine the best sending times.
Step 2: Write and Setup Texts *You* Would Want to Receive
When designing SMS conversations with your customers, create content that you would want to receive. Keep your messages engaging, timely, and relevant.
Text campaigns are great for sending information about new products, special promotions, or essential company updates to your customers. SMS campaigns are one-off messages that you should reserve for the most critical information. Since SMS is a more personal channel than email, it's good to use text campaigns sparingly.
You can configure text automation with your SMS platform to encourage customer engagement and text message marketing. SMS automations work in response to specific user action triggers. Did a customer abandon their cart? Send them a gentle, automated reminder after a specified period to reduce abandoned cart occurrences.
Automated messages can also welcome new customers or encourage post-purchase upsells. After a customer buys a product, you can send them texts of related products that may interest them or complement their initial buy.
Step 3: Learn SMS Best Practices
If you're going to get started with an SMS marketing platform, it's a good idea to keep industry best practices in mind to get the most out of your campaigns.
Segment and personalize by audience
In the same way segmentation and personalization are vital for email marketing, the same principles are handy for your SMS marketing messages. It's unlikely that your entire subscriber list will be interested in a given promotion or offer, so limit what you send to customers who have previously expressed interest in similar products.
Also, keep in mind that some messages are better sent via email. If you've already sent customers certain offers via email, exclude them from receiving a text on the same subject.
Less is more (don't send too many)
Sending your customers too many texts comes across as invasive and may prompt them to unsubscribe altogether. High unsubscribe rates can hurt your marketing efforts, and they demonstrate consumer trust. Instead, keep your message frequency low and only contact customers with relevant, advantageous information and offers.
Step 4: Integrate With Your Email Strategy
Your email and SMS strategies should be in sync, as they're both channels for communicating with customers.
SMS does not replace email
SMS encourages two-way messaging and is a great way to get your message in front of your audience. However, it's no replacement for an email. SMS marketing text messages are limited compared to email. Text messages aren't a suitable medium for conveying more complex ideas.
For your promotional pieces that require memorable visuals and more contextual information, email remains the best option. You can compliment email promotions with accompanying SMS messages.
Don't double-dip (use the same communications)
A 'double-dip' is when you send customers the same notifications or information through both SMS and email channels. On occasion, this redundancy can be pragmatic, but it's seldom a good idea to simultaneously send the same notification across two channels. This action may come across as too aggressive and put your customers off.
Before reaching out to customers, determine the best communication channel for the message and stick with it. Alternatively, you can segment your audience and use different communication channels for each segment. If one group is more receptive to email than the other, segmenting message delivery by the most successful communication track is intelligent.
Use conditional splits
Conditional splits are a great way to supplement communication with customers that haven't opened or checked their emails. With Klaviyo, you can drag the "split" to the automation flow and use split criteria to send texts to customers that have yet to open your emails. Conditional splits are game-changers because they help engage your idle audience without annoying customers that have already engaged via email.
Step 5: Send creative messages
With SMS messages, you are constrained by a character limit and a lack of attractive visuals. This limitation means you need to get creative with the space you have.
Be creative with GIFs and images
GIFS & images help liven up your messages and communicate with visuals, but they're exclusive to MMS messages. According to Klaviyo documentation, "All text messages start out as an SMS message. You are able to add an image or GIF during the content creation stage. Once an image is added, the message will automatically be converted to an MMS. You will see the image appear in the preview."
Short and snappy copy
Descriptive copy encourages customers to take action, but given SMS' character limits, it's best to keep the copy relevant and concise. Although you could send longer copy across multiple messages, doing so may overwhelm your customers or annoy them. Remember, when it comes to sending texts, less is more, so make it count.
Build customer relationships
Maintaining customer loyalty is all about building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers. SMS presents a unique opportunity to establish closer relationships with customers. For instance, you can follow up on their purchases and see if they're happy or check whether they require assistance. By enabling customers to contact you through the most convenient methods for them, you can increase engagement and boost loyalty.
Setting up SMS with Klaviyo for marketing is easy enough, but growing your subscribers list and optimizing for conversions can take time. It would be best to consider the guidelines shared here, but they aren't a recipe for guaranteed success. After launching your first SMS marketing campaign, continually monitor user engagement and take customer feedback to optimize your efforts.
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