If you think about it, e-commerce marketing is like playing, “Where’s Waldo?”
Waldo is your ideal customer—someone who needs what you’re selling. Everyone else surrounding him is not your target market. Your job is to convince Waldo to purchase from you.
Most brands acknowledge this—and then apply a spray and pray approach to reaching their version of Waldo anyway. They run Instagram ads with special offers to broad audiences and send a bunch of emails to a barely-engaged list.
They cross their fingers and their toes. Meanwhile, everyone not named Waldo feels like this:
For years, e-commerce stores got away with this. Sure, it was inefficient, but the economics still worked.
Now there are too many well-funded direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands playing fast and loose with their marketing budgets. As a result, customer acquisition costs have reached a point where they’ve outpaced customer lifetime value (LTV).
You read that right, the total amount a customer spends with a brand is now less than the cost it takes to acquire them. It’s never been more necessary for your marketing to filter out the noise.
You’re likely reading this because you’re searching for a WooCommerce SMS marketing solution. So, you already have an inkling that text marketing is a great way to reach an engaged audience. You’re also probably well aware of the challenges facing e-commerce marketers.
While you should be dubious of money-making silver bullets, with SMS conversions rates as high as 45%, texting is a cost-effective way to acquire customers.
In this guide, we cover in detail how you can send SMS messages from your WooCommerce store. We also guide you on the kind of messages you should send.
We wrote an entire article on why text marketing is so effective. It’s worth reading in full if you’re still on the fence about whether you should send messages.
One reason that speaks to DTC brands is that people want to receive your texts. As our “Where’s Waldo?” analogy highlights, most advertisements are ignored because people simply aren’t interested in your product. It explains why cold audiences are so difficult to convert.
But since people subscribe to receive your texts, your message is guaranteed to reach an audience genuinely interested in what you have to offer. It goes a long way to explain the high engagement and conversion rates businesses see when they send SMS campaigns.
First things first, SimpleTexting is one of many WooCommerce SMS marketing solutions. We encourage you to do your research on what’s available.
It’s worth pointing out that the majority of options outside of SimpleTexting are WordPress SMS plugins. These plugins operate in two ways:
A) They integrate contact form builders like Gravity Forms and Formidable Forms with an SMS gateway like Twilio.
B) They integrate an SMS gateway with WooCommerce to send transactional SMS to customers, i.e. the customer is notified via SMS when their payment is processed.
The problem with option A is that you can’t send transactional SMS as most e-commerce stores don’t use these form builders for their checkout page. The issue with option B is that you’re limited to just transactional SMS.
Plus, if you’re not a developer—or don’t have access to one—SMS gateways might not be a good fit for you. For example, if you want to create an auto-response to a keyword using Twilio, you’ll need to use the programming language PHP.
With SimpleTexting, it takes less than five minutes to set up a keyword and an auto response—no PHP required.
Finally, the problem with installing too many WordPress plugins is that they can slow down your site. This may seem like a minor concern, but if your page takes 10 seconds to load, the likelihood of someone leaving your site increases by more than 120%.
We offer an affordable, user-friendly, and versatile WooCommerce SMS marketing platform that can send both promotional and transactional messages. You can connect it to your WooCommerce store through Zapier, build an SMS subscriber list with our free tools, or do both.
Regardless of the platform you choose, you’ll need to follow a few steps to send your first SMS. Each platform works a little differently, but here’s what’s involved with SimpleTexting.
In just three easy steps, you can start sending text messages.
The first thing you need to do once you sign up for an account is decide what number you want to use. By default, we set up every account with a toll-free number that can send and receive messages.
If you’d prefer, we also have a memorable short code specifically for e-commerce customers: 900900.
You can apply for access to this number under your account settings. Our team will ask you a few questions about your use case, then switch your account over at no extra charge.
You can read up on number types here.
This step is optional. You can collect numbers at checkout and trigger SMS messages based on specific WooCommerce actions using Zapier.
Want to collect numbers with a pop-up or widget? Skip to step three.
If you do want to set up the integration, you’ll need a Zapier account. Zapier is the glue that holds WooCommerce and SimpleTexting together.
To use WooCommerce within Zapier, you need to purchase the Zapier store extension. (It costs $59 for the entire year.) For Zapier, there is a free plan that allows you to send 100 SMS. Their next paid plan starts at $20.
From there, you can create individual Zaps based upon product, customer, or order triggers. For example, when a new order is created, you can trigger an order status SMS notification. You can see all of the different automation possibilities here.
Of course, to send messages for any of these events, you need to ask customers for their phone numbers and permission to text them.
SMS marketing is opt-in only, meaning you cannot message people without their express written consent. Leave it up to your customers whether or not they want to sign up for messages.
Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with high unsubscribe rates and possibly fall afoul of TCPA regulations.
In addition to keeping the phone number field optional, you should add the following disclaimer next to the field:
Reply STOP to unsubscribe or HELP for help. Estim. 4 msgs/month. Msg&Data rates may apply.
If you use the WooCommerce checkout page, you can go to Appearance in the WordPress menu → click Customize → choose WooCommerce (at the bottom of the menu) → select Checkout. You can now edit the checkout form. We recommend that you move the phone field to “Optional.”
From here, you can also add terms and conditions where you outline your text marketing program.
Alternatively, you can use the WooCommerce Checkout Fields Manager and add in the disclaimer and optional field in one go. The benefit is that if you’re not a CSS wizard, it’s easier to style these changes to your form.
The ultimate aim here is to reduce any customers receiving unwanted texts.
If you already have an email form on your site, you can add a phone number field to it then pass that info to SimpleTexting. We have a native integration with Mailchimp that lets you seamlessly sync your contacts between the two platforms.
With Zapier, you can also pass phone numbers that you collect with:
That said, there are two other effective ways to turn visitors into subscribers:
Both require what’s known as a keyword. You may have heard this referred to as text-to-join.
Here’s how a keyword works: text PAWPRINT to 900900.
With SimpleTexting, you get a free keyword with your trial and unlimited keywords with any of our paid plans.
You can add a keyword to an announcement bar about your site:
We’ve also seen customers add their keywords to product packing, inserts, and social media posts.
An announcement bar with a keyword is probably the quickest way to get started if you’re eager to try texting.
When someone clicks on it, their phone’s native messaging app opens with your phone number and keyword prefilled:
All they have to do is click send and boom—they’re subscribed to your messages.
Here are some further examples of how your WooCommerce store can use texting.
Many e-commerce stores use texting to answer more complicated customer questions that require a human response.
Text messages have a reputation for being more instant and personal than emails or webchat, so companies usually make themselves only available to answer questions for a select number of hours a week.
Take a look at this example from Versed, a leading skincare retailer. They offer an hotline that customers can text in for questions:
We already mentioned how you can send SMS notifications by connecting SimpleTexting to WooCommerce with Zapier. It’s also one of the top reasons customers want to receive texts.
The reason why people like SMS over any other source of communication is that it requires no extra effort and doesn’t disturb their daily routine.
You can also use SMS to launch products. If you have a VIP program, consider giving them early access and/or allowing them to pre-order the product.
This can also be an organic way for you to spread the word, as VIPs may naturally share how much they like the product with others in your customer base.
E-commerce customers are a clever lot: they know that all the shiny adjectives you’ve put into your product descriptions are there to provoke a sale.
That’s why adding customer reviews and feedback to your product pages can help you increase sales. And you can grab your customers’ attention by sending feedback requests directly to their mobile device.
Promotional texts are the bread and butter of most WooCommerce store’s text marketing strategy.
With SMS marketing, you can create a unique SMS keyword that your subscribers can text in to receive a discount code. When your subscribers text this keyword, they’ll immediately receive an exclusive discount code that they can apply to their next purchase:
Once you’ve built your SMS subscriber list, you can continue to send promotions regularly:
Finally, if you want to send abandoned cart text messages, we recommend reading the two following articles:
When starting with texting, it can feel awkward or even scary because you keep telling yourself, “Do my customers really want to receive texts from me?!
We’ve worked with thousands of e-commerce retailers, and the results they see from their SMS campaigns are impressive. Here’s a small sample:
And remember, if you don’t engage with your SMS subscriber list, it is useless. You want people to be able to depend on you through consistency in your text marketing, build trust by always offering value, and increase the front-of-mind factor.
As you can see, texting your list doesn’t have to be difficult, and involves very little extra work.
Sign up for a free trial, follow the tips above, and let us know how it goes. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us using the chat bubble in the corner of the screen. We’d love to hear from you.
Learn how the the team at Tiger Party New York worked together with SmileDirectClub to build an interactive out-of-home experience using SMS.Read