Why Two-way Conversational SMS Marketing Is the Best Way to Drive Sales

SMS marketing campaigns aren’t new for most of us.

SMS has been, and continues to be a lucrative source of broadcasting information to customers and buyers. Whether it is a marketing campaign talking about launches, abandoned carts, offers, or limited deals. Or about general product related information, or shipping updates!

But is your SMS marketing campaign really giving you the returns you hoped for? Or are you struggling to make a mark with SMS marketing?

Chances are you are doing something fundamentally wrong. And chances are, that you are using SMS marketing to blast users with texts, and not make a healthy conversation with them. 

You are essentially using a service designed for two way communication as a one way broadcasting service. SMS is not an announcement loudspeaker for your marketing team! It has been and is a channel meant for two way communication.

SMS have served as a channel of conversations for most. And today, most marketers are destroying their campaigns by sending customers and buyers notorious marketing texts.

If you want to revamp your SMS marketing strategy and actually drive conversions, it is time to start a conversation, now! 

What is a two-way conversation, really?

The answer is basically in the question. There are two entities in the conversation, aka, two way conversation. Let me explain.

Say you are running an SMS marketing campaign for your new launch. Now, you send bulk messages across your network of leads and customers. Your role is that of a broadcaster.

Imagine now, they could reply to that message via the same SMS thread and ask you questions or queries or simply share their excitement! That’s a two way conversation. Technically speaking, conversations are always two ways. One way conversations are not conversations at all.

And that’s why your usual automated SMS marketing campaigns never really truly rise and shine like they should. Because it’s just one sided broadcasting. No real engagement is witnessed with one way automated SMS marketing.

Why is your usual SMS marketing automation not enough?

Once you follow the traditional ways of SMS marketing automation with one way communication, you are nothing but a loudspeaker. All you are basically doing is blasting similar information over and over and over again, till the recipient flags you and ignores your messages.

The usual SMS marketing automation seeks no real engagement at the end of the user. The user has no say whatsoever in this bland one sided conversation. And the only thing they can do is either unsubscribe, or flag you. It is simply not fair to the recipient, or to your brand.

  • Broadcasted bland information. 
  • No direct channel to communicate.
  • In order to engage, the recipient has to step away from the SMS chat and scout through webpages.
  • No scope to upsell, or cross-sell.
  • Ruins a perfect chance to make real human connection with customers and leads.
  • Can be repetitive and robotic.

One thing that social media marketing is teaching marketers today is the importance of replies, and quick replies at that. A very crucial part of a healthy marketing strategy is replying to the customer. Notice how almost every marketing strategy will have a policy to reply to DMs.

Same goes for SMS marketing today. SMS is not a one way communication channel. It is and always has been a two way communication channel, even if most of us don’t use it that often. It still has an intrinsic property of conversation.

Inline with that, it requires a two way conversation from brands. Because SMS today are mostly associated with marketing and promotional messages. Although, most users willingly subscribe to it, and definitely like being in the loop of the brands they like. One way SMS marketing is simply becoming a stone wall. 

Marketers get no opportunity with the usual SMS marketing to connect with the customer, or upsell. This is a major miss with the usual SMS marketing.

Say a recipient is extremely interested in the new product launch SMS you broadcasted. In order to seek more detail on it, either they follow a link that leads them to a webpage and scout for that information. Or worse, they step away from the thread to Google it. Once they Google it, they not only get the results for your product launch, but similar products from competitors.

Had you used two way SMS marketing, not only would the recipient be able to ask you their queries directly via SMS. Your live agent could have also had the opportunity to get an instant conversion and upsell or cross sell.

How can a two-way conversation in SMS marketing change this?

A two way conversation in SMS marketing works with a combination of automated messages, and human interaction. So the first step is automated SMS broadcast.

Going with the same example of a product launch, you send an SMS to your leads and customers. This is the first step. The automated SMS broadcast.

With a two way conversation using SMS marketing, the recipient can now reply to your SMS and expect an answer from you. This is the second step, human interaction.

You don’t need to be directly replying to the customer, you can use an application like TxtCart. The nifty live agents at TxtCart take the conversation from here, and reply to your customers quickly. Whether it is a query, just a feedback message or an abandoned cart reminder, the live agents leverage two-way conversations with the help of smart automations to get a direct response from subscribers. 

Two way conversational SMS retains the broadcast of the one way SMS marketing campaigns, and in fact, makes it something more! It adds a layer of human touch by offering a space for the customer to interact with a real human.

Two way conversations are a direct roadmap to conversions and they change the entire ball game of SMS marketing. Not only does the customer have a channel to communicate, but a convenient marketplace query box. Right in the comfort of their mobile device, without even using their data.

Say hello to loyal customers

Here is what happens when you begin making conversation with your customers instead of blasting them with automated messages: you build real connections. And this is what makes all the difference. Your customers not only trust you, but also feel a sense of comfort interacting with your business. Both in terms of communicating and making purchases.

Harvard professor Gerard Zaltman in his book, ‘How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market’, says 95% of all buyer decisions are made subconsciously.  And a huge chunk of these subconscious decisions are influenced by human emotions. So instead of logical product based marketing, he insists we must take into account the feelings of the customer.

This is something two way conversations via SMS take into account completely. Two way SMS marketing campaigns put the human emotions of a customer at the centre front. And gives importance to the customer by real human interaction instead of informational broadcasts.

No more purchase anxiety: help customers make an informed decision

Purchase anxiety is simply the resistance to make a purchase that arises from a feeling of lack of knowledge. The consumer here feels like they either don’t know enough about the product or the brand to make a firm decision to buy. This could also be fueled by a lack of trust in the brand.

New leads who are hearing the name of a brand for the first time generally feel purchase anxiety. Two way SMS conversations handle purchase anxiety with utmost care and completely take away any fears or resistance to purchasing. How?

Well, simple put, the customer gets a safe space to ask questions directly. And get answers from an actual human being resolving their doubts, and relinquishing their fears. Live agents use positive language to get across their point, and make conversation for customers a pleasant experience.

Give exclusive offers, and upsell directly on SMS

One thing that usual SMS marketing is definitely missing out on is the opportunity to upsell and cross sell to high interest buyers. Customers have a lot of queries and doubts and once you begin a two way conversation with them via SMS, you get insight into what the customer likes.

For example, say you are selling electronics, and the customer is enquiring about a remote. After addressing their query, you can easily get your customer interested in buying a pack of batteries required by the remote.

The idea is to keep the buyer interested. This can also be done by offering them exclusive one time offers or deals. Something that can be presented as a gratuitous gesture on your part following a positive round of engagement or conversation.

After talking to a customer, you can simply hit them up with a “Hey, Steve, hope I was able to solve your queries. Thank you for being so patient. I have good news for you, we have an exclusive 5% off coupon just for you, valid for the next 15 minutes.“

This gives the customer a nudge in the direction of conversion. It is a renowned, simple marketing technique that can be easily implemented in two way conversation using SMS.

Instantly convert abandoned carts into sales

One thing that most marketers use is one way of traditional SMS marketing are the abandoned cart messages. Over 85% of mobile shoppers walk away from carts. And a small smartly worded SMS can make a lot of difference!

But, a conversational SMS marketing technique in place transforms the game altogether. Not only can you now remind the customer about their cart, but also engage them in a conversation. Ask them why they are leaving their cart and walking away. “Hey Steve, I see you liked our WC-9 series TV remote! Did you know it comes with a cordless charger? Text me if you have any questions!”

This just opens the door to addressing so many queries and doubts the customer was having. Maybe they didn’t like the additional accessories, or the price point you were offering, or maybe the shipping fee felt too much for them. Whatever it is, you will never know why the customer walked away, unless you ask them. With two way SMS conversations, you can directly ASK them! And by making a positive, healthy conversation, nudge them in the right direction.

With the ongoing pandemic, and home isolation becoming the new normal: online shoppers are seeking human interaction. In order to keep the ball rolling, and keeping your customers satisfied, you need to give them the human touch.

Forbes, views meeting customer expectations as a key aspect in eCommerce success. And today, the customers expect a basic level of human interaction from your website.

Of course, you can’t always be on your phone to talk to every customer on text! But you can have a conversation with the help of an SMS marketing app like TxtCart, that helps you set up automations and arms you with a team of live agents to converse with your customers and potential buyers. 

This is a guest post from the TxtCart team. TxtCart is a Shopify app that enables online stores to drive better results from SMS marketing with a mix of automation and live agents.