David Hoos Conversmart

30. Driving Customer Retention with SMS Marketing

 October 27, 2020

By  Will

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In episode 30 of the Customers Who Click podcast I had the pleasure of speaking with the delightful David Hoos about SMS marketing.

I’m a huge fan of SMS marketing, I’ve used it in several previous roles and it’s always proved to be a fantastic comms channel with a great ROI, there are just a few things you need to be wary of when using SMS.

Firstly the cost, particularly in different countries. I accidentally spent a fair bit of money on an SMS campaign in Spain and found out the hard way that now only is an SMS there twice as expensive, it only gets half the characters…

Secondly, it’s a very intrusive channel. Which is great for marketers who do it well, but for those who do it badly you’ll see a very high unsubscribe rate very quickly.

David is the Director of Marketing at Conversmart where they help growing DTC brands run best-in-class SMS and email programs that delight consumers and drive more revenue. He's been featured in multiple publications including Digiday, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, and more. Outside of work, he's usually spending time with his wife and foster kiddo or cooking up a chunk of meat on his smoker. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Key Highlights:

02:21 - 10:39 - David talks us through SMS Marketing - It’s a really powerful channel as people have their phones on them all the time, it’s so easy to get a quick and powerful message in front of someone. Generally the younger audiences don’t even care much either, as long as the message isn’t annoying they can be pretty receptive to SMS, but older generations need a bit more care. It’s still a pretty underused channel though, so if you do get into that space you’re not fighting for the same attention as another email in a cluttered inbox.

10:50 - 15:19 - Myths and Misconceptions about SMS - Big misconception around SMS takeup actually, over 75% of people have submitted their phone number for marketing purposes. People are really comfortable with it, it’s not a new channel, it’s just an underutilised one, so get in there and make use of it.

15:32 - 31:52 - How to Get Started with SMS - Think about what communications you currently send via email, whether it’s campaign or automation, and sort of mirror what you’re doing there. Just remember that you’ve got to keep it short and sweet, so the copy has to be really powerful, and while MMS (multimedia messages) are a thing, you can’t rely on the power of imagery as much. Don’t forget to segment users either, don’t just blast your whole database with an SMS, pick and choose who needs to receive them and why, just like you should be doing with email. Don’t sell sell sell.

31:59 - 34:58 - Upcoming Trends with SMS - With increased popularity of SMS as a marketing channel it’ll begin to impact deliverability and timing of sends, SMS’s get delayed by backlogs so just bear this in mind. It might mean less use of MMS during peak periods, or just being more creative with your timing so that you’re not landing at the same time as every other brand.

35:06 - 37:45 - David’s Marketing Pet Peeves - Brands who market at their database, lose sight of what their customers really want. They’re not customer centric and tend to do things they want to do, not what would be best for their customers. At the end of the day if you don’t treat your customers well they’ll move to a competitor who will.

38:20 - 40:54 - David’s Underrated Aspect of Marketing - Storytelling. This is picking up a bit in 2020 and will probably continue to do so, but at the moment it’s really underrated, and without storytelling you struggle to create a hook with your messaging and marketing. If you could build your brand values into this story you’ll create a much better relationship with your customers, which will lead to better long term growth.

If you’d like to hear more from David you can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.


Will is a Customer Journey Marketing consultant, specialising in CRO, CRM and Customer Experience. Will has over 7 years experience working across a range of consumer facing businesses and has worked for huge brands such as MyVoucherCodes, Europcar, JackpotJoy, Virgin Games and Virgin Bet.


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