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How To Drive More SMS Subscribers For Your Shopify Store And The Must-Have Automations To Keep Them Engaged

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SMS marketing has the highest engagement rate amongst other communication channels. More than 90% of SMS messages get opened. What is more, the response rate is higher than 30%.

In fact, 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of getting delivered. With such high engagement rates, it’s a must-have for your marketing strategy. 

Still don’t agree? But customers do. Over 85% of them prefer to communicate with their favorite brands over text messages. 

And so, you shouldn’t miss out on the benefits this simple, easy, and cost-effective channel can bring to your Shopify store.


I. Why Should Ecommerce Stores Not Miss Out On SMS Marketing?

Consider these cases:

  • Seattle Sun Tan’s inaugural SMS campaign saw a 57% redemption rate of the coupon code. Plus, customers who redeemed the offer spent 500% more than those without the code.
  • Viking Cooking School ran an SMS campaign to increase class enrollments. The brand spent just $15 on the campaign and increased revenue by $632.
  • AirBnB introduced SMS marketing automation to help hosts and guests get in touch faster and close bookings at a much faster rate. It made their booking process more efficient.

The above case studies indicate the power of SMS marketing automation. Your marketing automation strategy must include SMS or you will miss out on a number of benefits and opportunities.

How SMS marketing automation can help:

  • SMS increases engagement. The instantaneous quality of SMS means brands can communicate with customers, share alerts, and notify them as soon as there is an update.
  • It enhances personalization: Mobile is an extremely personal channel of communication for people. It is always handy and directly accessible to the individual. SMS increases the possibility of personalization, more so when there’s two-way conversation.
  • Generates sales: According to a study, the conversion rate of automated SMS messages has increased by 20% year-after-year. Automated messages are based on customers’ actions and hence, are more relevant to them than promotional marketing messages.
  • SMS has a high conversion rate: The conversion rate of SMS marketing is 29%. It is higher than any other marketing channels such as email, Google ads, etc. That makes it a must-have for brands to meet their campaign goals.
  • SMS is measurable and trackable: You can easily calculate different metrics such as new subscribers, active subscribers, open rate, conversion rate, etc. when you use SMS marketing automation.
  • You can easily integrate SMS into other channels: It’s easy to combine SMS and other communication/marketing channels that you’d be using. Cross-promotion is one way to do so. For example, inform your email subscribers about your SMS exclusive campaigns.

II. 8 Ways To Get More SMS Subscribers

To enjoy the benefits of SMS marketing, you have to make sure your SMS subscriber list is always growing. And here are 8 effective strategies to do so.

01. Strategy #1 — Attract potential subscribers via website pop-ups

If your website is already getting a good amount of traffic, it’s a great opportunity for you to convert those visitors into your SMS subscribers. 

Website pop-ups can do the following:

  • Grab your site visitors’ attention
  • Create opportunities to engage visitors (in the future as well)
  • Give you an opportunity to share incentives with visitors
  • Work for you on auto mode while you focus on other tasks
  • Enhance customer experience
  • Prevent visitors from leaving your site

But to harness all the above benefits, you’ll have to set up SMS marketing automation. You can time pop-ups after customers take the following actions:

  • To begin with, allow customers to sign up for the customer account through SMS. You can use a special pop-up on your home page only to boost SMS subscriptions
  • When customers are about to leave your site or move the cursor to the ‘close window’ button, show them a pop and invite them to join your SMS list
  • Insist customers to share their mobile number at the time of a purchase by showing a pop-up. Pro tip: you could give them an incentive. For example, ‘Join our SMS list and unlock a discount’
  • While customers are browsing products that are discounted or going to be on sale soon, you can show a pop up such as, ‘Join our SMS list to receive discount and sale alerts for this product’

Pro tips:

  • Choose an efficient SMS marketing tool to help you
  • Design the pop-ups to match your brand
  • Keep the design simple and clean and the message clear

Here’s an example:

Website popup


02. Strategy #2 — offer incentives to boost SMS opt-ins

Customers love to get something more from brands. And that’s the best way to entice them to take the actions you want them to take.

That brings us to incentives. 

  • Incentives help attract customers’ attention
  • You can drive customers’ actions by offering them incentives in return
  • Incentives boost customer loyalty

How to go about offering incentives to boost SMS opt-ins?

Offer a discount on customers’ first purchase 

When you want new customers to opt-in to your SMS list, you can entice them by offering them a discount. Invite them to join your SMS list by sharing their phone number to receive the discount code. This way you can be sure they’d share the correct number.

Offer incentives


Give them a gift 

If you don’t want to give them a discount, you could give them a gift. Human beings are wired to feel happy when they receive something for free. A gift is a good incentive to encourage shoppers to sign up for your SMS list. 

Offer free shipping

The biggest reason for shoppers to abandon carts is shipping charges. Offering free shipping can have a psychological positive effect on customers. Use this psychological tactic to attract customers to join your SMS list.

Tell them about the future benefits

Customers don’t just want freebies and discounts from brands. They also want good experiences. Tell them how you can add value to their relationship with your brand by sharing educational and informative content, etc.

03. Strategy #3 — Encourage customers to share their phone number at checkout

This strategy is pretty simple, easy, and can be effectively incorporated into your new shoppers’ purchase journey. 

When customers share their personal and shipping details during checkout, collect their phone number as well. 

Here’s how you can make this more effective:

  • Inform customers the phone number is required so you can send them order updates via SMS
  • Make the process of collecting phone numbers compliant with data privacy regulations
  • Let customers know what all you’ll be using their phone number for
  • Let them know they can opt-out any time


Encourage customers to share phone number


04. Strategy #4 — Use email marketing to increase SMS opt-ins

Email has been and is a channel that has one of the highest open rates. If you already have an email subscriber list, why not turn it into an SMS list as well.

Moreover, email and SMS marketing work well together. Email automation ensures customers have proper updates and proof in their inbox. In the meantime, with the instantaneous nature of SMS, customers can get a quick glimpse of the update on their phones.

Here’s how you can use email marketing to collect SMS subscribers:

  • Think of creative email campaigns to collect phone numbers
  • Run contests exclusively on SMS and promote them through email
  • Have a clear call-to-action in your email
  • Offer a discount to email subscribers simply for joining your SMS list
  • If customers have contacted you via email, you can suggest them to take the conversation over SMS/ phone as it is a quicker mode


Use email marketing


05. Strategy #5 — Run SMS opt-in campaigns on social media 

As an online business, you’d most probably be using many different channels, including different social media platforms, for promotion and marketing purposes. 

Cross-promotion on your different channels can help you increase subscribers on all channels. For example, you can use social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to grow your SMS subscriber list. 

Here are some ideas for your inspiration:

  • Run campaigns on social media to offer exclusive SMS offers. This way you can target your social media followers to join your SMS list
  • In your social media bio and account details, you can have your phone number or an opt-in button. This makes it easy for your followers to join your SMS list
  • Run contests on social media that require phone numbers of participants or require you to send entrance codes on their phone number
  • Run campaigns that tell your followers the benefits of subscribing to your SMS list. For example, links to informative content, notification of new blog posts, new products, etc. 


Run SMS opt-in on social media


06. Strategy #6 — Convert shoppers from web chat to SMS subscribers

The web chat feature is a must on every ecommerce website. It helps shoppers get quick replies to their queries, brings a human-to-human connection, helps brands increase conversions, among other things.

Moreover, it can help you grow your SMS subscriber list as well. 

Here’s how:

  • When shoppers reach out to you with queries, you can smartly drive the conversation to a point where they’d need to share their phone number
  • If shoppers are chatting with you about purchasing a product, you can increase the sales probability by offering them a discount. But you should share the discount code via SMS only. That way, they’ll share their phone number
  • During your chat with shoppers, you can encourage them to sign up for your SMS updates

07. Strategy #7 — Track campaign performance metrics and optimize

Many marketing platforms are highly measurable, for example, email, WhatsApp, social media, Google ads, etc. 

And it goes without saying that every campaign requires analysis and optimization. By reviewing your marketing campaign’s performance, you can get a better understanding of what’s working for you and what isn’t. 

Based on your analysis, you can tweak the campaign to bring better results. Here are some metrics you can measure, and ways in which you can optimize the campaign. 

  • Measure the open rate of a campaign you just sent out. If the results aren’t up to mark, you could try changing the time at which you sent the email, message, etc.
  • If you aren’t seeing too many clicks on the link in your communication, try opening up a two-way conversation. Allow subscribers to respond to your message and jump into a conversation with them
  • If there are too many opt-outs during a campaign, reach out to those subscribers via another channel to understand the reasons. Or, send them a goodbye message with a discount or a surprise gift to make them stay
  • Use all the data you collect from your campaigns to make actionable decisions to drive better results for SMS opt-ins

08. Strategy #8 — Make SMS subscribers feel like VIPs 

SMS is an extremely direct and personal mode of communication. Hence, if your new subscribers don’t get a good experience, they might soon opt-out.

For example, if you spam them with text messages, or if they don’t find any value in joining your SMS list, they might feel it was pointless to subscribe and leave.

To make your SMS subscribers feel like the most-valued customers, you could do these things:

  • Make them feel special by offering them a good discount or an incentive
  • Let them see the value you bring to them by sharing informative content, blogs, articles, etc. that are relevant to their interest
  • Segment your SMS subscribers and create different campaigns for each segment so that they receive only relevant messages
  • Give them a community feel by running exclusive SMS contests and events

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III. 5 Types Of SMS Automation To Include In Your Business

01. When customers subscribe to SMS — welcome message

As soon as customers subscribe to your SMS list, you should send them a welcome message, the next second. That’s the power of SMS marketing automation. Since the customers’ experience is fresh, your welcome message will add a pleasant touch to the moment. You can even personalize it by sharing a discount code. 

02. When customers abandon their cart — drive purchase completion

The average cart abandonment rate is around 74%. And so, when customers leave their carts without making a purchase, you should have SMS marketing automation set up to revive those sales opportunities. Entice shoppers to come back to your site. 

03. On customers’ birthday — send personalized wishes

Customers expect high levels of personalization. One of the best ways to personalize their experience is by sending them wishes on their special day – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You can even share store credits or a discount with them to boost sales.

04. When customers make purchases — request review

Most shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. This makes customer reviews your best kind of social proof and a must-have. Hence, once customers make a purchase, send them an SMS to request for a review within a couple of days. By sharing a link to write the review and a clear call-to-action, you can turn review request SMSes into your top ROI-generating campaigns.

05. When a new lead is generated — lead nurturing texts

You may have generated leads but it’s not that they’ll convert into purchases on their own. Most leads have potential but they’re not ready for purchases. You’ll have to set up a series of lead-nurturing SMS campaigns to drive these subscribers to take actions that you want them to take. 

IV. Harness The Power Of SMS Marketing Automation For Your Shopify Store With TxtCart

There are a lot of options for marketing activities for ecommerce stores. And marketers often face the challenge of limited resources and time given to each marketing channel. 

By adopting SMS marketing automation, ecommerce marketers can boost SMS subscribers by using the strategies we discussed above.

Automated SMS text messages are a must-have for your text marketing strategy. Having customers subscribe to your list is only half the battle won. You also have to have a strategy in place for retaining them. And that’s where SMS automation helps. 

To set up and manage your SMS marketing automation strategy, you need an efficient tool such as TxtCart. The SMS marketing app makes it incredibly easy for Shopify brands to set up SMS campaigns and boost customer engagement through SMS.

To get started, install TxtCart on your Shopify store today!

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