Everything You Need to Know About eCommerce SMS Marketing

23 billion text messages are sent every single day. Those are some pretty staggering numbers and shows just how much people love using this medium for communication.

Although not everyone in the world has a smartphone with Internet access, five billion people can use SMS messaging. And it’s this sheer scope along with the frequency in which people use texting that makes it so potent from a marketing standpoint.

If you know what you’re doing, you can effectively leverage eCommerce SMS marketing to connect with shoppers, generate high-quality leads, and rev up your sales.

In-depth Guide on SMS Marketing for Ecommerce (FREE)

SMS Stats

I’ve already established that most people use texting on a daily basis. But does this really translate into a digital marketing opportunity? The short answer is yes.

Most shoppers (75 percent) are receptive to receiving SMS messages from businesses, as long as they’ve willingly opted in. Tech news site TechJury, says this is likely because of two main reasons.

“First, SMS marketing is less intrusive, as it is a permission-based activity.” Shoppers have a say in the brands they’re in contact with and are far less likely to encounter annoying “push” content that’s not relevant to them or they’re not interested in. “Second, it highlights the value proposition of an offer more effectively because of the limited space.”

Another big reason why many people prefer SMS marketing over email is that it’s less spammy. Although half of the emails are spam, only 10 percent of text messages are.

So people tend to put their guard down when receiving texts. Maybe that’s why “98 percent of all SMS messages are read, compared to only 20 percent of emails.” And when it comes to the response rate, this is off the charts as well. In fact, “SMS messages have a 209 percent higher response rate than a phone, email, or Facebook.”

More specifically, nearly a third (30 percent) of shoppers will respond to a text, and of those who do, nearly 50 percent will buy. If that wasn’t enough, people tend to respond much quicker to texts (in only 90 seconds on average) than to email (90 minutes).

So in many cases, you’ll get a response within just a minute and a half after sending an SMS message.

It should also be noted that 64 percent of shoppers think brands should contact them more through text. This is evidence that e-commerce SMS marketing is powerful but underutilized at the moment.

When you put all of this data together, it’s clear that working texting into your marketing campaign can be a smart business move and one that can prove fruitful.

eCommerce SMS Marketing Strategies

Now that you’ve got an idea of how receptive most people are to this medium and why it works, let’s examine some specific eCommerce SMS marketing strategies you can use to get the most from your campaign.

1. Offer a Coupon or Perk for Opting In

Just like email marketing, a big part of finding success with text-based marketing is giving shoppers a reason to opt-in. For those who already love your brand and are loyal, it may not take much coaxing. But for others, you’ll want to offer some type of incentive. And one of the best is to simply give them a coupon.

Research has found that eight million US adults redeemed online coupons in 2016, but that number is predicted to spike to around145.3 million by 2021. Moreover, people are especially receptive to SMS-delivered coupons, with shoppers redeeming them 10 times more than other types of coupons.

So it’s likely something that a large number of your shoppers will be interested in. It’s just a matter of giving them the right offer.

International discount footwear brand Payless ShoeSource gives shoppers 20 percent off on their next purchase by opting in.


That’s a pretty good deal and should motivate plenty of people to sign up. And it kills two birds with one stone because shoppers are more likely to complete a sale and become paying customers. Or if you don’t want to go the coupon route, you can offer some other type of perk instead.

2. Make it Easy to Opt-Out

Also, like with email marketing, it’s important that SMS recipients can opt-out in one simple step. Otherwise, it’s going to create friction and can potentially sour relationships you’ve built. This starts by clearly explaining how to stop texts in your initial offer.

Here’s a good example from clothing, home and kitchen store Kohl’s.


All a shopper has to do is type “STOP” to cancel, and they’ll no longer receive more texts. Besides that, it’s usually a good move to include opt-out information with every single text you send.

3. Keep Messages Brief

Like I mentioned earlier, a big part of the appeal of SMS marketing is that it concisely highlights the value proposition of an offer while taking up minimal space.

People enjoy it because they can instantly see what an offer entails at a glance without sifting through a lot of content. So you definitely want to be cognizant of how long your messages are and keep striving to make them as succinct as possible.

Macrobox Meals, a brand that specializes in healthy premade meals does a great job of this here where they confirm that a customer’s order has been successfully delivered.


There’s no droning on, and they get straight to the point.


Using e-commerce SMS marketing is a practice that’s been around for a while. However, it’s only recently that it’s really taken off and gained momentum.

More and more brands are recognizing the potential of texting as a medium and jumping on board. And considering that “consumers who get SMS marketing messages are 40 percent more likely to convert than those who don’t,” who can blame them?

As we’ve learned from this post, most shoppers are highly responsive to texting, and given that they check their phones so frequently, it’s an excellent way to stay in touch.

Following the core strategies, I mentioned above should help you take full advantage of this technique and get tangible results more quickly. That way you can build tighter relationships, nurture leads more efficiently and crank up your e-commerce sales.

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