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In episode 62 of the Customers Who Click podcast, I had a fantastic chat with Lisa Popovici about building customer relationships using SMS marketing.
SMS marketing is the customer relationship channel. Intimate, personal and highly efficient, it enables brands to scale their customer relationships, while driving revenue like no other channel. I know it can be seen as quite intrusive, almost pestering customers but when done well and adds value to the customer journey - it works well. Not to mention that 98% of all text messages are opened, and 95% of SMS messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered.
Unlike marketing blasts which push out promotions and discount codes with no intention of offering personalized real value, SMS marketing focuses on engaging customers, offering support, and getting real-time feedback. It’s an empathy-driven approach, which other mediums like email or push notifications can't offer
Lisa is the Co-Founder & COO at Cartloop, an SMS marketing platform that helps Shopify brands to drive revenue and scale their customer relationships. The beginnings of Lisa’s ecommerce journey dates back to… a med school when she opened up her first store. After successfully growing and selling two DTC brands, Lisa and her business partner decided to explore engaging with customers who abandoned their carts via SMS. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or head over to https://www.cartloop.io/.
05:23 - 15:17 - Lisa Talks Us Through SMS Marketing & Her Approach - SMS marketing is the customer relationship channel. It's intimate, it's personal, it's highly efficient, and it enables brands to scale their customer relationships while driving revenue like no other channel. Conversational SMS marketing is focused on engaging customers offering support, getting real-time feedback from them and it works best as a part of a multi or omnichannel strategy. Lisa’s approach to it is empathy-driven - it’s all about supporting and nurturing the customer across their journey instead of just selling, selling, selling.
15:33 - 24:05 - Why Don't More Brands Use SMS Marketing & Common Misconceptions - The biggest one is when people think SMS is spammy. It’s only spammy if you make it spammy. Customers want to be contacted via SMS; in some cases, it’s expected. They love the attention and they love the personalisation so if done well, it’s a win-win for everyone. Another common misconception is that SMS marketing is supposed to be transactional - it can be, but it should not be the primary use case for SMS. SMS should be a channel where brands engage with their customers as they engage with their friends.
And finally, many marketers seem to believe that SMS marketing only works for younger audiences. If you think about it, everyone is on their phone all the time. So not just millennials, Gen X or Gen Z - older demographics are also on their phone a lot these days.
24:12 - 28:33 - How Brands Can Make SMS Successful - The biggest thing that brands should really pay attention to is not treating SMS like another automated or transactional channel, because it's not. When crafting an SMS campaign, ask yourself: Is this a text I’d like to receive? Always think of how to add value to these communications, whether it’s educational content, new releases, promos & discounts, surveys, giveaways. The opportunities are endless.
28:54 - 31:38 - Common Mistakes in SMS Marketing - Sending only, you know, one-way messages and not providing the subscribers with the option to reply should they have any questions. And then, sending way too many texts - the recommended frequency is around eight marketing messages per month.
Another thing is that brands usually don't treat abandoned carts as opportunities to understand their shoppers better; to find out who their shoppers really are, what they need, what their expectations are, why they opted in for the emails or texts in the first place. They just want to see those cards being recovered as fast as possible.
31:51 - 35:31 - Upcoming Trends with SMS - SMS is slowly taking over the entire shopping experience and quite possibly, the entire web shopping experience will be done through conversational channels very soon. Customers today want convenience, and they will give their loyalty to the brands that provide it.
35:42 - 40:22 - Lisa’s Marketing Pet Peeves - Traditional marketing tactics such as sending automated LinkedIn connection messages and cold calling. It definitely works for some industries, but for some people, it can trigger anxiety, especially if the salesman is very persistent.
41:03 - Lisa’s Underrated Aspects of Marketing - Customer support. Many brands don’t even see it as an extension of their marketing and don’t treat it as a priority. But your customer support agents speak to customers on a 1-on-1 basis every day - can you imagine how much more you could learn about your customers just by listening?If you’d like to hear more from Lisa, you can connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or head over to https://www.cartloop.io/.