Text Message Marketing is becoming the newest, most effective way to communicate with your customer base. A growing number of consumers ignore marketing emails and phone calls, however, most people check their text messages within minutes of receiving one. In a number of surveys in recent years, consumers have shown that when they have opted-in, they will respond positively to text message marketing from select brands.
Options for text message commerce are growing in numbers, so it can become difficult to tell what provider is the best one to go with. Let’s examine some key features to look for when determining the right SMS service for eCommerce for your company.
Pricing for an SMS service for eCommerce can vary in packages that are per text or a flat monthly fee. The price range options are about as diverse as anything else on the market making it incredibly difficult to determine the right options for your brand. The per text pricing can run from $0.01 to $0.15, while monthly rates can go from $49-200. Smaller operations may find it more economical to pay per text, especially if their text message marketing is very targeted, to only a few customers at a time. However, larger operations would find it makes more sense to pay the bulk, monthly rate.
It is also important to note that some companies offer free inbound texting while others charge a per text rate. If your campaign is dynamic, asking for customer feedback and interactions, this could become extremely expensive fast. However, static campaigns that focus mostly on the outgoing message with coupon codes or simple updates, it could easily make more sense to opt for a plan that may be lower overall but has fees for inbound texting.
Integrating new software into your company always comes with a hiccup or two. There will always be a learning curve associated with new technology, and this can especially be true when the new program is being introduced into a sales & marketing department and not IT, as these professionals have training that relies more heavily on communication over tech. You will want to look for a tech company that has great customer service and will be there every step of the way during your onboarding process. If a glitch happens, especially in those first few messages, a customer service team that can be reached via several methods of communication, at all times will be essential to ensuring the campaign remains successful.
Different SMS services for eCommerce offer a variety of different services. Some simply send bulk texts out, while others offer contact management, database sorting, and a live person to reply to. Two extremely important features to look for would be the ability to schedule your campaign and the analytics after the fact. Through trial and error with your particular customer base, you’ll be able to figure out what time of day is best for your marketing campaigns, and the frequency, and scheduling those to go out at the precise moment will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. Likewise, you need to know the analytics and click-throughs of your campaigns to further fine-tune and tweak them in the future.
As an extension, automation services are another feature that you may want to look for. Automation allows the user to send out text reminders, shipping updates, and customer surveys at very specific moments before, during, & after a transaction. An automatic text alerting the customer that their order is about to be prepped for shipment can even allow the customer to add further items to the shipment, increasing the company’s bottom line.
What kind of text messages is the company you’re considering capable of? Just like social media, texts with pictures achieve the highest engagement levels. Other highly desirable texts are auto-replies, text to win messages, and surveys. You may also need the messages to easily integrate with other apps or shopping abilities.
With so much to consider, it’s good to know that many services offer a free trial period, allowing users to test out the software and features to ensure that it is the right fit for their business. In all likelihood, you will probably tweak your messaging over time, learning more as you go, and may find one company works great but doesn’t offer enough for you down the line. Regardless, integrating an SMS service for eCommerce puts your business ahead of many others in your industry who are still relying on email newsletters.