3 ways to turn an SMS subscriber into a customer

3 ways to turn an SMS subscriber into a customer
Anthony Wallace
Anthony Wallace
Anthony Wallace
Anthony Wallace

So you’ve been building your SMS subscriber list and have a substantial number of opted-in contacts. Nice work! But your goal isn’t just to have a good database of numbers, you need to get your return and convert those eager subscribers into paying customers.

Let’s take a look at my 3 top tips for achieving a great SMS subscriber-to-customer ratio.

Tip 1: SMS timing is everything

More often than not, customers won’t be in a position to purchase exactly when you contact them. They might be laying down on the couch, busy out with their friends, or maybe they are shopping online but they’re busy buying groceries. But “BEEP”, they get your text message anyways. And sure, it’s interesting and a great deal but they’re not ready to buy right then and there, so you don’t get the sale. 

Situations like these make it vital to set up action-based messaging. Using triggers like browser and cart abandonment are great examples for text marketing. I’d recommend starting there. But I also have a less common segment to add to your strategy: wishlist buyers.

Currently, most ecommerce sites offer wishlists or allow customers to leave their cart full and exit the site. This means that when they return, their products are still waiting saved as a form of wishlist. You can create SMS automations for this list, targeting customers with high intent and using products they have already shown interest in.

Tip 2: Personalization for eCommerce

Personalization may sound like an obvious one, but it’s vital and it works! Many businesses believe they understand personalization but lack the follow-through in creating properly tailored experiences. Personalization in eCommerce is all about the customer-product relationship. If a customer has clicked your SMS link, added to cart, and abandoned cart, use that info to your benefit.

Send out another SMS campaign or promotion (perhaps with a discount for that product) but don’t stop there. When they land on your website, highlight the product they left behind right at the top of the home page or collection page. It’s important to remind them at every stage of their engagement that there is something special that they want and it’s waiting at the end of a few clicks. 

These website product highlights are also another opportunity to offer an incentive like a discount or free shipping. You could use a code at checkout or better yet, set up a button that automatically goes to the cart with the discount already applied automatically.   

Tip 3: Use your SMS subscriber lists to their full potential

This is something most businesses don’t think about and they’re missing out. You should use your SMS subscriber list as a source for research. Often, research is done via email or phone call, but with exceptional open rates, SMS is a far more effective solution. 

You can use SMS to ask your customers key questions about their experience with your product, on your website, or any other information that you may need for marketing or product development. 

I’d suggest keeping the message brief, you don’t want them scrolling forever. And offering an incentive in exchange for feedback will definitely improve your results. You could offer them $25 off their next purchase, a gift card, or anything you think will resonate with them. 

Keep it simple (but effective)

You don’t need a fancy strategy for your ecommerce SMS marketing to turn subscribers into buyer. These three tips will help you understand your customers and their engagement behavior and overall increase your chance of conversions. 

👋🏿 I’m Anthony Wallace, a conversion optimization practitioner for ecommerce brands. If you love these tips, you can follow me on LinkedIn for daily tactics.

Anthony Wallace

My name is Anthony Wallace and I run a conversion-focused eCommerce design ad development agency based in Harlem, NY where we execute all of the above every day. If you want to get to know me better follow me on LinkedIn where I ramble about all things eCommerce, or subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I give one actionable tip every Saturday morning to people who want to get better at optimizing the customer experience.