Triggered Automations Every SMS Program Needs
Broadcast campaigns are the “bread and butter” of Text Message Marketing programs that likely make up most of your volume totals, but they can sometimes go unread or bring in fewer clicks. History, insights, and benchmark data show us that automations triggered by activity earn more engagement and revenue across the board and have become just as critical for maximum ROI potential. While you might already have many of these campaigns in place for your email program, let’s unpack which to prioritize with SMS for an elevated strategy and how to get the most out of your text messages.
Listrak’s Journey Hub automation tool makes building and managing automated cross-channel campaigns for your subscribers incredibly easy, including frequency, segmentation, and testing tools. There are even pre-built templates using the perfect strategies for getting started with automated campaigns. We highly recommend leveraging all this drag-and-drop editor can do across your customer journey. If you haven’t begun using this solution yet, learn more about it here: https://www.listrak.com/platform/journey-hub
Capture, Convert, and Retain
It’s important to remember that your customer journey isn’t always completely linear but can be cyclical and have different levels of engagement along the way. You should strive for touchpoints at each stage across your owned channels and be ready to connect with your SMS subscribers whenever and wherever they show interest. This includes at the very beginning by capturing opt-in and welcoming them into your program, nurturing them to convert as they browse and shop your site, and retaining loyalists as they buy, refer, and share.
We’ve found that contacts who subscribe to both owned email and SMS programs can have upwards of a 30% higher Lifetime Value than those contacts who are just subscribed to one channel. Triggered automation can help reinforce those connections and increase their value. As contacts move through, in, and around the customer journey, deliver targeted messages to move them to the next stage (whatever that may be).
Sending Critical Order Updates
Transactional messaging is now table stakes across email and SMS, as evidenced by our 2023 benchmark report. And triggering your order updates via text message can elevate your program immediately. Consumers now expect to receive this type of correspondence, and you can send a message for every order status change as needed. The message itself doesn't need to include much. The focus should be more on the timeliness of sending and communicating the latest details or update news. Include imagery and more specifics in your Transactional emails, but for the Transactional text message, just a little copy plus a link to manage the order. Not only does this keep the recent purchaser engaged in the mobile channel, but it also enforces awareness during a critical stage of the customer journey and keeps them informed – Bonus benefits!
Bringing Abandoners Back
While there are a few extra compliance considerations when sending Shopping Cart Abandonment and Browse Abandonment campaigns via text, they pay off in spades with some of the highest Click-Through and Conversion Rates. These campaigns are long-standing winners on the email side and have grown over the last few years to take up a substantial share of SMS program revenue with best practices in place.
After a subscriber leaves something in their cart or browses a product page on your site, and 30 minutes pass without activity, the abandonment event fires to trigger the corresponding automated text messages. While the messages have simple copy, they yield high Click-Through and Conversion Rates by encouraging the recent visitor to return and complete their purchase. It’s better to send the messages sooner than later, too, as the likelihood of purchase dwindles the longer you leave a cart after 60 minutes.
It's important per compliance rules to trigger just one Shopping Cart Abandonment message per event within 48 hours and ensure you have a proper double opt-in enabled for all contacts at the time of acquisition. Learn more about Shopping Cart Abandonment specific compliance in our earlier post: https://www.listrak.com/blog/compliance-for-sms-acquisition
Triggering Product Alerts
You can take targeting recent browsers a step further through campaigns from our product Alerts Suite, letting subscribers know what they recently viewed has a low inventory, new lower price, or is back in stock (if out of stock before). These are great extensions of Browse Abandonment campaigns because not only are they sent to contacts who previously had a specific interest in a product, but they’re triggered at those crucial moments that make for really compelling texts – SMS is already an excellent channel for creating a sense of urgency, and these messages lean into that.
Additionally, 2022 saw a lot more adoption of product alerts in the retail market. So having these in place for your program closes the gap with your competition and helps keep you top of mind with browsing customers. 2023 could bring even more acceleration and growth with these campaigns.
Welcoming Newest Subscribers
Some of the highest-performing automated campaigns across email and SMS are Welcome Series, thanking new subscribers for joining, confirming interest with existing subscribers, and delivering attractive incentives used to encourage opt-in. Not only are they required per compliance rules to deliver immediately upon opting into your SMS program, but they drive a considerable share of revenue from automated campaigns in general.
Once your initial messages are sent with all the required language for compliance, your coupon should go out with clear copy, terms, and a link back to your site. From there, send them a Contact Card to encourage saving your program shortcode as a contact on their device – This brands your conversation with them by including a logo or other image, and saves all relevant information you’d like to include, even contact information outside of your Text Messages Marketing program.
From there, continue to nurture your new subscribers over a few days by introducing your program and brand. Send a message with a direct link to your top sellers, trigger a coupon reminder to non-purchasers to take advantage of your incentive, and consider collecting more first-party contact data like birthdays and shopping interests through Info Campaigns and Data Acquisition Campaigns. Take advantage of the additional engagement from these subscribers to set the stage for highly personalized and captivating text messages to come.
Re-Engaging Lapsing Contacts
Even with a thoughtfully curated automated campaign strategy, some contacts need to be won back as they exit your customer journey or begin to click less. Post Purchase automations with timed messaging based on the last order, and re-engagement campaigns based on click recency are efficient ways of setting up that outreach without managing individual texts.
Messages should start to deploy around 30 days after a customer’s last order or click event, encouraging them to return to your site to see what’s new, trending, or flying off the virtual shelves. If they still don’t engage or buy, consider sending a coupon or evergreen discount to entice them back. You can even personalize these further with some strategic segmentation in Journey Hub to give your best customers more significant incentives while sending something else for those first-time purchasers to get them to repeat purchaser status. You don’t want to wait too long to re-engage, as that will likely cost you more to win the contact back. But rather curate a series with multiple messaging touchpoints.
Automated campaigns are vital for the ongoing growth and health of your Text Message Marketing program, just like they are for email. A strategically curated suite of campaigns is critical for accelerating to the next level and engaging with your subscribers as they move throughout your customer journey. With these campaigns in place, you will improve ROI and overall results to reach your engagement and revenue goals.
For more information or help implementing these automated SMS triggers in your program, contact your Account Manager, or get started with Listrak’s SMS.