Conversational vs Automated SMS Marketing | Blog | Velstar - Velstar

Conversational vs Automated SMS Marketing

Digital Marketing, Technology

23/08/2021

Your customers don’t want more marketing automation.

In this article, our partners at Cartloop are going to talk about why you should take your SMS game *conversational—*theoretical and actionable strategies included. And why is this so important for ecommerce brands.

It’s not every year a new marketing channel appears. Cartloop shows you how you can meet your customers where they are and forge stronger relationships under one communication channel — a text conversation.

First, let’s see what conversational SMS marketing is all about.

What is conversational SMS marketing?

Unlike marketing blasts which push out promotions and discount codes with no intention of offering personalised real value, conversational SMS marketing focuses on engaging customers, offering support, getting real-time feedback, and forging stronger relationships.

It’s an empathy-driven approach, which other mediums like email or push notifications hardly offer.

This has a number of benefits, like reducing the number of support tickets, increasing customer retention, increasing LTV, converting more abandoned carts and driving insane ROI. With conversational tools such as SMS, your shoppers are guided and nurtured through every step of their journey. And the best part is it’s all happening under a single point of communication – their phones.

Writing content that’s appealing to the masses is easy, however, adopting a conversational approach means you are interacting with customers as if you are interacting with friends.

In a nutshell, it’s all about elevating the customer experience with a human approach to build stronger connections between your brand and your customers.

Now, let’s see why you should adopt a conversational approach.

Why you need conversational SMS marketing

In ecommerce, the human element that your customers crave is lost. So SMS — specifically conversational SMS, is bringing the real-world experience of being in a store to the online medium.

And the 2021 trends are aligned. Shopify Plus just released their annual report that spells out the 5 trends they predicted to be the future of ecommerce in 2021 are:

  1. Ecommerce boom fuels record online competition
  2. New consumer behaviours are reshaping future retail
  3. Fulfilment emerges as a competitive differentiator
  4. Brand building challenged by marketplace dominance
  5. Retention becomes a top priority as acquisition costs spike

In short, customer experience will be at the forefront for everyone in the ecommerce space.

It’s about delivering connected experiences from fleeting transactions, knowing what your customers want, and keeping the human element in ecommerce.

But how do you differentiate conversational from automated?

Conversational vs automated SMS marketing

It’s about responding instantly and reacting appropriately. SMS in its nature is a two-way communication channel. Personal, intimate and real-time.

Going beyond automation with a conversational approach means getting used to the idea of treating SMS like a personal channel between you and your shoppers.

This is important because your shoppers are granting you access to their personal space — their mobile phones, which is all the more reason you’ll need to shift your mindset and be more sensitive in how you come across in your messaging in text messages.

A conversational text messaging approach means adopting a human approach and personalisation that goes beyond Hey, {{First Name}}.

Here’s why conversational SMS brings you a competitive advantage:

  1. You can combine sales and support in one communication and save hours and costs in customer support. Read how LEVO did it in just one month and drove 28x in ROI.
  2. You can build and scale sustainable relationships with your customers and increase retention
  3. 90 seconds in average response time from customers, with a 55% reply rate
  4. High engagement score that drive action during crucial micro-moments with customers
  5. You create memorable shopping experiences

The biggest mistake that DTC brands often make when they first get started with SMS marketing is overusing the channel in the hopes of securing faster ROI. This not only renders your texts useless but obliterates your shoppers’ trust that you’ve worked hard to cultivate.

SMS marketing has the potential to be one of your most engaged and successful channels – that’s why cultivating and sustaining that sense of trust and rapport is crucial.

Next, let’s see how this applies to SMS marketing campaigns.

Conversational vs automated SMS campaigns

If we could simplify their differences, most of the time SMS campaigns are static, whereas event-triggered texts are dynamic. But of course, this depends on which SMS marketing platform you team up with. At Cartloop, all texts are conversational. No matter the trigger, shoppers can reply and engage in a 1:1 conversation with your brand.

SMS campaigns are usually one-off messages or manual broadcasts that you send to highlight, notify, and inform your customers. Event-triggered texts behave like marketing automation and drip campaigns. Expert tip: Switch to two-way SMS campaigns when you want to highlight seasonal, time-limited deals to drive urgency and provoke an immediate conversation.

SMS automation or flows allow you to automate sending personalised, tailored texts when a shopper meets specific factors or an event occurs. For example, when a shopper abandons their shopping cart or becomes a new subscriber. This is one of the stages at which you can capture your customers’ attention by reaching out at the exact time of abandonment and ask a simple “how can I help?” to find out the root cause that will help you adjust your business and know your customer from the inside out.

In short, you’ll need to master how to enable two-way communication for both SMS campaigns and SMS automations to deploy a complete and effective conversational SMS marketing strategy.

Why should I install Cartloop on my Shopify Plus store?

Installing a conversational SMS marketing tool that helps you build long-term relationships will not only drive you higher ROI, but will also offer shoppers a way to connect with you seamlessly. Choosing the right solution for your needs is critical, as not all SMS marketing apps offer the same features and performance. There’s a thin line between annoying your customers and actually delighting them.

Brands will continue to focus on marketing tools that enhance CX and create hyper-personalised experiences, and below are the reasons why Cartloop is your best choice.

Takeaways

Nowadays, customers have mercurial preferences and even bigger demands to be met. You’ll need to figure out a cost-effective way to keep them nurtured and engaged through every stage of their journey.

Moreover, your customers need instant gratification. You can quickly lose them, both new and old, to competition if you’re not providing a seamless experience across the board.

In conclusion, SMS marketing has the potential to be one of your most engaged and successful channels – that’s why cultivating and sustaining that sense of trust and rapport is crucial. Ready to start building memorable customer experiences and humanise the key touch-points in your funnel? Try out conversational SMS marketing with Cartloop. Schedule a demo or try it out for free — your first 14-days are on us!

Other SMS resources

Here’s a list of other resources you might find useful on SMS marketing for your Shopify Plus store: