Blog/Best Practices

How 11 Marketers Use B2C Text Messaging in 2021

With the death of third-party cookies reshaping marketing, channels like SMS are in the spotlight. Here's how 11 marketers approach their B2C texting strategy.

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The coronavirus crisis has changed the way people shop. Our recent survey of 1,000 American consumers found that 97% have made at least one purchase from their mobile device in the past year.

Not only is mobile shopping on the rise, but the looming depreciation of third-party cookies and the crippling costs of social media advertising mean marketers are looking to build direct relationships with their customers.

Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that B2C text messaging is gaining popularity. 

SMS marketing offers brands a way to reach consumers on a channel that is an integral part of their everyday lives.

If you’re interested in experimenting with SMS, then you probably want to know how others are incorporating it into their strategy. With that in mind, we spoke with 11 marketers to learn their texting tips and tricks.

1. Use Voice Messages to Stand Out 

Mashman Ventures puts an unique personal spin on their SMS messages to build rapport. They prefer sending voice messages to clients whenever possible, believing that voice texts emphasize emotion and conviction.

"This screenshot is of an early touch with a prospect. I sent a voice message as an introduction, and it sparked curiosity which later led to a conversation over the phone."
Isaac Mashman
Isaac Mashman

Founder

2. Nurture Leads With an SMS Drip Campaign

Texts can also be used to nurture leads. Melbourne Video Production Company Moment2Moment uses automated text messages as part of their strategy. 

First, they separate leads by the type of event they’re planning and the corresponding service. Then they send a series of messages leading up to the event. These messages help educate prospects on why they should choose them. Here’s an example:

Today 8:00 AM
Drew, we love capturing once in a lifetime moments for weddings, creating videos that will be enjoyed decades later. View an example wedding video here – https://youtu.be/peJ
"Make the text about your buyer persona’s pain points and values to ensure a strong response. Segmentation and content customization will drive a higher response rate."
Adam Marsh
Adam Marsh

Creative Director

This article covers everything you need to know about SMS drip campaigns.

3. Bring Value to the Table

Instead of blasting your subscribers with the same vague promotion each week, focus on “SMART” marketing. With each offer or announcement, ask yourself if it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely).

Discounts, exclusive savings, important announcements, event alerts, and useful information are valuable things to share with your customers. Consider layering in some rich media, like photos or videos, to diversify and engage your audience.

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, recommends this approach.

"The only time you should be texting customers is when you have something you know they really want."
Jeremy Yamaguchi
Jeremy Yamaguchi

CEO

4. Keep Your Messages Brief to Improve Response Rates

The team at RoverPass Campground Management Software uses texting to shorten their average sales cycle length. They find that simple, brief texts with a casual tone perform the best.

They have found that texts are more effective and less obtrusive than calls or emails. Most importantly, people respond quickly.

"We keep our follow-up texts short, sweet, and informal without being rude. It’s important to end with a question or in another way that provokes a response."
Ravi Parikh
Ravi Parikh

CEO

Today 8:00 AM
Hi Kathy, it’s Ravi from RoverPass. We chatted last week about booking software for your campsite. Just so you know, if you sign up in the next week, you’ll be eligible for our summer discount special. Want us to send you the discount code?

5. Collect Reviews With SMS

Moriarty’s Gem Art makes use of scheduled messages to stay engaged with their customers following a purchase. These messages are designed to make customers feel appreciated and encourage feedback.

The team uses texts to thank customers post-purchase. Two weeks after that, a message is sent asking them to review their purchase一and the company一on Google My Business. 

Three months from that point, customers receive an email that promotes items related to the one they bought. A year after their purchase, the team sends a check-in email to see if the customer’s jewelry needs to be cleaned or repaired.

According to Marketing Manager, Jeff Moriarty, customers appreciate this strategy. It makes them feel that the service is personalized, which has resulted in more sales and reviews for the business than their previous email-centric strategy.

6. Create Texts That Stand Out Visually

Images and media are a flashy (and effective) addition to your texts. At DigitalPR, these MMS messages have made a major difference in their text message conversion rates

"If you want someone to act fast for a limited-time offer, put that into a graphic to include with the text-based message. Use symbols like a bullseye, timer, clock, megaphone, or lightning bolt to highlight the need to take action."
Zach Hoffman
Zach Hoffman

CEO

We’ve found that businesses who use MMS see click-through rates that are 52% higher. Certain industries like e-commerce, tourism, real estate, and other highly visual verticals benefit even more. 

7. Combine SMS Marketing With Other Channels

SMS messages can be combined with your other marketing channels. PeopleFinderFree advertises their text messaging program to their email subscribers. 

They do this by including a keyword that customers can text to PeopleFinderFree’s phone number to receive texts too.

From there, the PeopleFinderFree team uses a short survey to learn more about these customers. And while they also send these surveys by email, they have found that SMS generates a higher response rate.

"More often than not, sending an SMS after an email is a unique trick that is similar to delivering a one-two punch, in that it usually does well to boost your response rates, since they don’t require much time or input, in comparison."
Eden Cheng
Eden Cheng

Co-Founder

According to Co-Founder Eden Cheng, “Using multiple marketing channels raises response rates and makes their outreach efforts more effective.”

8. Include Non-Promotional Content

Including helpful, useful information in your texts, rather than just your product or service itself, can pay dividends. It’s why Chic Pursuit uses SMS to promote new blog posts and important fashion and lifestyle news. 

Founder Maria Juvakka has discovered that the best way to get clicks on her website from text messages is to send out a text blast immediately after she updates her blog. Her conversion rate speaks for itself:

“When you provide information without trying to sell anything, you would be surprised by the number of clicks you get. I did a comparison and I had a 43% increase in conversions when I stopped texting out promotions and started blasting fashion news updates.”

9. Include a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)

Simple tweaks to your text marketing strategy can lead to impressive results. Daniela Sawyer, Founder at FindPeopleFast, improved her texts’ CTR (click-through rate) by tweaking their CTA. 

To keep messages short & precise, the team uses a “click here” CTA linked to a specific product page. This creates suspense to force the audience to go further, as in, “Click here to see additional offers for the product.”

According to Daniela, when it comes to creating a text marketing CTA, shorter is better: “SMS is a bite-size medium by nature, so folks expect to see a concise message.”

10. Send Out Exclusive Offers With Your Texts

When someone subscribes to your texts, they’re giving you access to the most direct and personal way to reach them. So, successful campaigns offer value in return for this trust. 

Click Intelligence finds that their clients benefit from including exclusive, text-specific offers.

That means avoiding recycled content or offers from social media or other channels. Everything you text should be relevant and exclusive to your SMS list. 

"Today’s consumers use their mobile phones 24/7, so they are very likely to be attracted by such offers. The convenience of looking up such deals on the go is also a very important factor for them, increasing their overall engagement."
Simon Brisk
Simon Brisk

Co-Founder & Commercial Director

11. Highlight Your Customers’ Special Occasions

We know personalizing your texts appeals to your subscribers, but how do you put a special spin on personalization? Caring Advisor chooses to celebrate its loyal and repeat customers’ birthdays.

"We send birthday wishes to each of them through SMS, offering them discounts, coupons, and much more. Text messaging is much more intimate than emails."
Chris Westmeyer
Chris Westmeyer

Founder & Marketing Director

The Future of B2C Text Messaging

SMS has gone beyond hitting send and calling it a day.

More marketers than ever are competing for consumers’ SMS inbox. Using strategies that make you stand out is crucial. In 2021, it’ll pay to think outside the box.

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