Are you using text message marketing in your store? If you are not, you really should be. Often when we think of text messaging, we think of quick messages to friends or family. Most retail businesses do not think about text messages as an effective engagement method, but the reasons you use it to communicate with friends are the same reasons it works well for retail businesses. 

What is retail text messaging marketing and how can it grow your business?

Operating a retail business today comes with more challenges than ever before. Not only do you face competition from other local retail businesses, but you also face more online competition every year. So how do attract more customers, connect with them, and keep them coming back? 

One simple solution you can add to your retail digital marketing strategy is text message marketing. Text messaging can be used in every part of the buyer’s journey, from lead generation and nurturing to customer engagement and beyond. It can be used for requesting reviews, customer loyalty offers, or letting leads and customers know about upcoming deals. 

Why is text messaging so effective? 

We analyzed over 1 million website visitors over the last year across several of our clients. What we found is on average 58.5% of visitors use a mobile device to view your website (by the way, 34.5% use a desktop and 7% use a tablet). This means that most website visitors are using their mobile device already. You might as well capitalize on this.   

The key is building a text messaging list that allows you to effectively market. You can build your list in several ways including:

  • Website forms offering to answer product questions via text
  • Website popups offering exclusive deals by text
  • Having flyers at your store offering deals by text
  • Asking a customer if you can text them exclusive deals while checking out in your store

What type of text messaging works?

Text message marketing can be essentially used in three different ways:

  1. Mass texting. Mass texting allows you to send a message to several thousand customers at once. By using platforms like Clicksend, you can customize each text with the customers name and any custom field you have created. 
  2. Individual texting. This is effective if you are answering a question online using text messaging.
  3. Automation. You can use marketing automation to send text messages based on specific triggers you set up in your automation. For example, if you have a mattress being delivered on a certain day, you can send an automatic text message before the delivery as a reminder, or after the delivery to ask for a review.

All three of these text messaging marketing methods are effective and can be used in conjunction with each other. 

What are effective ways to use text message marketing in your retail store?

  1. Customer loyalty programs. Offer exclusive benefits to customers that subscribe to your text service. These offers can be flash sales, first access to new products, or customer only events. This is effective because research shows that repeat customers spend 67% more money than first-timers. 
  2. Text out coupons. This is an effective strategy for both customers and leads. Sometimes, it is the very thing that pushes someone to purchase from you over a competitor.
  3. Product updates. As mentioned before, text messaging is a great tool to inform customers on product updates. You can send a text reminder of a scheduled delivery time, or let a customer know when a special-order product is coming in to your store. 
  4. Customer reviews. This is one of the most effective ways to use text messaging for retail digital marketing. The best time to get a review is at time of purchase. You can send a review request via text before your customer even leaves the store, increasing the chance that they will leave that important positive review.

What are the limitations of text messaging marketing?

As effective as text message marketing can be, it does have some drawbacks:

  • Business-class text messaging comes with a charge per text. That charge is typically less than .02 per text, but that can add up if you are sending out thousands of messages per month.   
  • You are still limited to 160 characters. If you are sending marketing texts, that limit needs to include an opt-out option,  I.e. text STOP to opt out. That takes about 20 characters, leaving only 140 characters left. If you go over that 160 characters, it will send your message in two texts rather than just one. Again, this can add up if you are sending mass texts as 2,000 texts suddenly becomes 4,000 texts.  This may require you to be creative with your message, so you don’t go over the 160 character limit. 

Overall, text message marketing is a fantastic retail digital marketing strategy. It can open up many doors that you may have not opened otherwise and will allow your business to grow. Contact Focused Engagement for the best retail digital marketing help! We specialize in helping local retail businesses reach their full potential, so let us begin helping you today.