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In episode 113 of the Customers Who Click podcast I sat down with Blake Imperl, the Head of Partner Community at Attentive, to discuss SMS, and how it will contribute to ecommerce growth over the coming years. Attentive is an SMS platform allowing for both highly personalised messaging and conversational SMS.
SMS, at its core, is a relationship building channel.
There’s more to SMS than just a revenue channel, and infact if you treat it as one, you’ll see your list disappear quicker than a Man Utd title challenge.
02:53 - 10:35 - Biggest Opportunities for D2C Growth - SMS has really developed and matured as a channel in the last couple of years. It got a bit of a stigma as a promotional, spammy channel, and actually what customers want from it is 2 way communication. They want to use it as a way of having a relationship with a brand. SMS can and does drive a lot of revenue as well, but when used properly to enrich the customer experience, rather than spam it.
It’s the perfect channel to deliver important messages to customers. Whether those are transactional related to an order such as order confirmation, shipping updates, or giving customers ways to actually order products.
10:51 - 38:08 - Top Tips & Best Practise for SMS - Invest in conversational commerce, this can require a team particularly for a concierge style service but it is so powerful and is going to get even better, particularly if you enrich your data. If you don’t want to go down the team route, then you can build out personalised, targeted automation flows that answer common questions. Attentive are finding that customers who engage with conversational SMS spend about 31% more on average.
Allow customers to continue the conversation in their own time. One of the problems with live chat is that its difficult on phone because you have to keep that screen open, and even on a laptop, its very easy to lose yourself in some work while youre waiting for an agent, and when you come back they’ve already ditched you.
SMS allows people to respond when they want to, quite similar to email support, but crucially, the customer is likely to receive their response quicker.
38:26 - 44:53 - What Results are Brands Seeing? - On average, Attentive sees a 42% response rate from the first SMS message. Thats insane really, you’re lucky to get 42% open rate on an email, let alone actual responses! As mentioned before, brands are seeing about a 31% uplift in spend, and then there are the unattributable benefits. The relationships you build, the word of mouth you generate by giving people great experiences.
45:53 - Who Would Blake Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World?
A roundtable would be amazing with Ben Jabbawy from Privy, Adam Kitchen, Jeremy Horowitz, myself, and hosted by the guys at Future Commerce.
47:43 - Blake’s Must-Have Ecommerce Tools:
- Pen & paper for notes and to do lists etc
- Google suite