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Thought Leadership & Enablement
February 9, 2023

SMS Campaigns Every eCommerce Business Should Set up

The automated SMS campaigns every e-commerce brand should be using to convert leads and raise brand awareness.

Grace Lau
Director of Growth Content at Dialpad

Whether you want to scale your customer base or automate sales, automated SMS campaigns can be an invaluable tool for eCommerce businesses.

But how can you get started? And once you have the technology, what campaigns should you be running? Let's go over how SMS campaigns can help and which campaigns an eCommerce business can benefit from.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

What are SMS Campaigns, and What are the Benefits?

You'll have seen an automated SMS campaign if you've ever been texted about a limited-time discount, but they don't have to be a simple text blast. With personalization and auto-responses, SMS campaigns can get quite sophisticated and responsive. Whether simple or complex, SMS campaigns let companies address many customers on their mobile phones at scale. Because the message pops up on the customer's lock screen, it's great for both brand awareness and high-conversion messages like limited-time offers.

By fully automating SMS campaigns, they can "run in the background" without your team having to schedule anything more than once. These campaigns can be synchronous, like a text blast, or asynchronous, like a series of messages sent to one customer when they buy something from your site or sign up for a service. If you have experience with email marketing, this structure should be familiar to you. Adding it to the customer's mobile device is just another step closer to meeting them where they are.

Automating SMS means you can do personalization at scale. This could be a simple "mail merge" where your system fills in the customer's name, or some well-researched messaging that targets a specific customer persona. Once you do this work upfront, automation lets you deploy those messages again and again.

Like most marketing campaigns, investing time into researching trends, conducting audience research and investing in agency-standard marketing platforms such as GoHighLevel to streamline your campaigns and observe a top level overview can significantly improve your chances of reaching your goals. Ensure you’re in a position to tweak your SMS campaigns to the changing nature of your sector, business and audience. 

How Do You Set up Automated SMS Marketing Campaigns?

Setting up an automated SMS campaign will require some kind of automation platform that can take in customer lists and schedule SMS messages. Aside from scheduling these messages, this platform should also let you segment your customer list and integrate it with other tools you need to run your marketing operation.

There are so many tools and platforms out there to help with automated SMS campaigns. We can't list all their features here, but when you're looking, the important thing is to have a very clear idea of what goals you're trying to achieve.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

If you're looking to get closer to customers in general, an all-in-one platform like GoHighLevel can help you with an omnichannel communication strategy across all marketing channels. Klaviyo might be the tool for you if you want to automate your communications to scale them up.

Since you're getting onto the customer's phone, you might want to set up an auto attendant phone system to take simple calls without involving human employees. That could be useful for taking messages, making payments, or just directing customers to the right person.

Build Your Customer List

If you don't have a list of customer phone numbers already, you'll need to start building one. Asking for phone numbers at checkout is a natural place to collect them, as you can keep customers updated on their order while it is in transit. 

Once you have your customer list, you can start to break it down into different segments. By dividing the audience up based on factors like lifetime value or purchase habits, you can start to tailor messages to different "personas." You can use phone validation services to confirm the validity of your leads. This is essential for tailoring your messaging to the customer and A/B testing those messages for better conversions.

Create an Automated Text Campaign

After you know how you're going to address different audiences, you can set up your automated SMS marketing campaigns. Whatever the campaign is it'll start with some kind of trigger, like the customer making a purchase or their birthday coming around.

Once the system sees that a trigger has been set off, it'll set a flow of pre-written messages in motion. This could be a simple series of timed messages, or a branching flow that responds to customer input: you can even automate some two-way communication in these workflows with a simple chatbot or IVR provider.

Monitor Campaign Performance

Monitoring the performance of your automated SMS campaign is essential to ensure that you are achieving the desired results. To effectively track your performance, you should set measurable goals at the start of your campaign, like click-through rates or sales.

Then, use automated text analytics to measure metrics such as open rates, engagement rates, and response times. You should also use this data to A/B test different messages and subject lines to see which versions perform better. As your SMS campaign rolls out, you should use customer satisfaction metrics to make any necessary adjustments to your campaigns.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Automated SMS Campaigns Every E-commerce Business Should Set up

Welcoming new customers is an essential step in providing a good experience. You may choose to send out a welcome message when they sign up, followed by a thank-you message when they make their first purchase.

You might also decide to send out timed promotions or discounts that they may be interested in, based on what they did when they signed up. (Did they sign up in the middle of a successful purchase? Abandon their checkout?) With this campaign, you can ensure your customers feel welcomed and leave them with an impression of your brand.

Promotions and Discounts

Seasonal promotions and personalized discounts are great content for an automated SMS campaign. This campaign can be a great way to encourage customers to engage with your services if it has been a while since they last looked at your site.

A seasonal discount on all products is straightforward: one message can go out to all customers. But discounts to specific ranges might require different messaging and SMS flows for different personas. Luckily, you can make different flows in one campaign as granular as they need to be to get conversions from different customers. You can also send exclusive offers to loyal customers or integrate your SMS strategy into a broader rewards program in which customers can redeem points for discounts.

Birthday Greetings

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Localization and personalization can be very effective sales tools. It's why global companies invest in domains, and online retailers send special discounts and offer codes on customers' birthdays. Not only can these messages make customers feel appreciated, but you can also use them to drive one-off sales and long-term loyalty.

This is much more personal than a seasonal discount across all customers, but it doesn't need to be more complicated than one message sent after one event is triggered. This is one of several top retail trends used to generate increased sales.

Abandoned Cart

Abandoned cart emails are a great way to re-engage customers and encourage them to complete their purchases. If you send an abandoned cart email, it could get lost amongst the hundreds or thousands of other unread messages in the customer's inbox. By putting an SMS notification right on the customer's lock screen, you have a chance to get through to them instantly in a way that email often can't. By catching customers at the right moment, maybe by tailoring that send time per persona, you can motivate customers to complete their purchases and avoid missing out on lost revenue.

Customer Reviews and Surveys

Social proof is vital to any eCommerce brand's success, whether that's word-of-mouth advertising or on-page reviews on Amazon or your own site. But leaving that review takes time, and customers won't do it if there's nothing in it for them.

Automated SMS campaigns are an effective place to ask for reviews and run customer surveys, especially if you throw in a "carrot" to incentivize people to take two minutes out of their day. That could be a small discount code for their next purchase, or an entry into the prize draw for a much bigger reward, like a gift card worth hundreds of dollars.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Automated SMS lets you send follow-up messages to customers who have left a review to thank them for their feedback. Since SMS messages are collected in one place, it's more convenient than email for sending several messages at different stages, such as asking for a review, thanking them, and sending them a discount code for the next time.


It's not going to drive sales, but opt-out messages are an essential SMS campaign for any ecommerce brand. Like the unsubscribe link in a marketing email, it might be required.

It's important to ensure that customers know they can opt out of messages at any time. It's a good idea to give them the option to receive fewer messages or opt-out altogether. Sending opt-out messages through automated SMS campaigns will ensure that customers know their wishes are respected and can help reduce the number of complaints about your SMS campaigns overall.

You should send confirmation messages to customers who no longer want to receive texts from your company. They should confirm they've unsubscribed and give them a link to re-subscribe if they've made a mistake. Alternatively, they're an ideal place to ask for feedback as to why they unsubscribed; that could be done with a link to a survey or a simple keyword-based chatbot.

Automated SMS Campaigns for E-commerce

Whether it's text blasts for eCommerce or SMS sales for B2B businesses, automated campaigns offer several benefits for sales and brand awareness. They can enable personalized connections with customers at scale, and with several campaign types, you can run successful SMS campaigns for any eCommerce business.

Grace Lau
Director of Growth Content at Dialpad

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