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Thought Leadership & Enablement
October 20, 2022

Why ECommerce Brands Should be Using SMS During the Holidays

Text your customers. They want to hear from YOU!

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

Email newsletters and Instagram ads are great for engaging with your target audience, but SMS marketing is an excellent channel to intrigue and capture the attention of your brand's biggest and most loyal customers.
Of course, not all consumers want to receive texts from every single brand they do business with, but for the brands they're mostly interested in purchasing from, chances are high that they will have no problem receiving real-time updates on the device they check at least 80 times per day. In all honesty, they probably want to.

When this tactic is done strategically, building an engaged text message marketing community can generate millions in revenue. Yes, millions.  

Now that your interest has peaked, let's back up for a minute.

We're Talking SMS Messages. What Exactly Is This?

SMS, (Short Message Service), commonly referred to as "text messaging," is a service for sending short messages up to 160 characters to mobile devices, including cellular phones and smartphones.

How Does SMS Work?

SMS is a powerful marketing tool. It allows businesses to reach their customers where they are spending the majority of their time. SMS allows businesses to send timely messages directly to their customers' phones with little to no effort.

Think about the last time you were waiting in line at the grocery store or out at a restaurant. How many people do you see looking down at their phones?  The answer is probably "everyone."

Are SMS Messages Effective?

Simple answer, yes, extremely. SMS has an exceedingly high open rate, a 98% open rate to be exact, which means that your message is basically guaranteed to be read by your customers than if you sent it through email or another channel. With nearly a 100% open rate, this is the most effective way to reach your target audience.

Email marketing rings in at just a 20% open rate. 32% of consumers respond to SMS from a brand (compared to email marketing’s 2% clickthrough rate).

Being successful at SMS messaging for eCommerce brands does require a strategy. This is a channel that can easily drive 10x more revenue when done correctly. That means devoting time to curate a growing list, setting appropriate expectations, building trust, etc, is the best way to win in the SMS text messaging world.


How Can I Grow My SMS List?

ECommerce brands can grow their SMS marketing list through a Lightbox popup on their website, as well as text-a-keyword programs that can reach subscribers on non-owned channels like social media.

First-Party Data & SMS Message

SMS is also a great way to collect first-party data. You can use SMS messages to run quizzes and contests that require customers to opt-in to your SMS list in order to participate. This is an excellent way to grow your SMS marketing list while also providing valuable content to those who opt-in.

First-party data is critical for SMS success because it allows you to send highly personalized and targeted messages. This is the key to SMS marketing–sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time.


Let's say you own an online clothing store and you send out a SMS blast to your entire list promoting a holiday sale.

One of the people on your list, we'll call her Sarah, receives the text message but doesn't open it. A few days later, she gets another SMS from you asking if she's seen the latest arrivals to your store. This time, she opens the message and clicks through to your website on her cell phone.

You can see from this example how Short Message Service can be used to re-engage customers who may have been inactive and turn them into active, engaged, and loyal customers.

Short Message Service marketing is an excellent way to reach your target audience during the holiday season and beyond.

How Can SMS Be Used For ECommerce?

Ecommerce businesses can use SMS marketing for net new customer acquisition, repeat sales through reward programs, and posting critical details such as new promotions, product drops, etc.

What Types of Texts Can be Sent to Customers for SMS?

When it comes to this question, the ball is in your court. It comes down to what makes sense to you, your audience, your brand, your goals, etc.  

There are SMS campaigns for every type of eCommerce business out there. The key is to personalize each SMS so that it speaks to the customer and drives value for them.

That being said, you can send pretty much any type of text message to your customers, but you’ll want to be as on-brand as possible. Keep it authentic and genuine. You should also be mindful of not sending a surplus of messages in a short amount of time.

SMS marketing can be used for various purposes such as appointment reminders, shipping notifications, event updates, but during the holiday season, SMS can be used to promote deals, quizzes, SMS only exclusive offers and promotional messages.

Think about it, consumers are already on their phones (and in their text messages).

Consumers actually prefer this way of receiving updates and important notices, and not enough eCommerce brands are taking advantage of it.  

Let's Not Forget, Engagement is Ridiculously High.

  • SMS engagement rates are 6-8x higher than email marketing engagement rates. (Retail Dive, 2018)
  • 67% of consumers believe delivery updates are the most effective SMS messages, followed by order confirmations (64%), appointment reminders (64%), calendar reminders (54%), and promotional coupons (49%). (TextLocal, 2017)

Based on the numbers above, it is clear that SMS for eCommerce can be perhaps best used to increase loyalty and grow revenue as a result. After all, increase LTV and your LTV-to-CAC ratio is looking pretty dang good.

Let’s Give You Some Inspiration.

Here is an example of how Jebbit provides SMS solutions for eCommerce marketing:

The consumer goes through a series of questions via their Jebbit Product Match quiz solution that narrows down which products are right for the customer to purchase.

Then presents the customer with an option to receive a text with a discount code that will be sent to their mobile phone.

We'll Leave You With This Thought

Every marketer in the industry is looking to connect with their customers on some sort of deeper level, and now that the holidays are creeping up, it's more important than ever to strengthen those customer relationships. Traffic on your site is high, keep the momentum going with SMS text messages!

Ready to get started on your short message service journey? Come chat with us!

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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