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How to Use SMS For Sales and Product Launches
SMS Marketing Best Practices

How to Use SMS For Sales and Product Launches

In this post, we’ll cover the most effective ways to implement SMS into your sale and product launch strategies and go over best practices to make sure everything runs smoothly.

July 13, 2022

SMS has a 98% open rate, which means nearly every SMS you send will be opened. By combining the power of SMS and your sales or product launches, you will reach your loyal customers quickly and effectively. 

In this post, we’ll cover the most effective ways to implement SMS into your sale and product launch strategies and go over best practices to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Creating Hype for Your Sale or Product Launch

To take advantage of SMS open rates, you can start cross-channel promotion for your sale or product launch. Using a combination of SMS, email, and social will get as many eyes as possible on your marketing. 

For example, you can ask site visitors or social followers to “sign up for text messages for early access” for your product launch or sale. You can easily do this through an SMS platform’s custom modals on your site or Deep Link capabilities, making it seamless for customers to sign up through social stories or the link in your bio.

This tactic of offering early access also creates a feeling of exclusivity with your customers, which is a key aspect of increasing your CLTV (customer lifetime value). 

Pre-Product Launch or Sale SMS Prep 

There are a couple things to do first before using SMS for your sale or product launch. 

A/B Testing 

First is A/B testing for SMS campaigns. By using A/B testing on previous campaigns, you have learned what resonates with your customers. If you have not A/B tested yet, here’s a few things to try: 

  • Emoji usage 
  • Message copy 
  • Message length 
  • Discount expiration length 
  • Offering buy now, pay later payments
  • Send times 
  • Images or GIFs 

Voyage’s A/B SMS testing capabilities makes it easy to test up to four variants separately. Once you have created your variants, you will choose the start time of when your variants will be sent and the number of subscribers that will be exposed to the A/B test. The winning variant is determined by the variant with the highest click-through-rate (CTR) and will be automatically sent to the remaining portion of your audience.

SMS stats already look incredible, but if your brand can A/B test SMS campaigns to make them even more effective, you will truly be able to utilize SMS to its fullest potential. Whether you use previous A/B testing insights to develop your marketing material or if you run an active A/B test on your sale or product launch text, it’s vital to find the most effective variable. 

Sending Sale or Product Launch SMS 

You’ve prepped and now you’re ready to send! Here are a few best practices for sending your sale or product launch SMS: 

  • Especially for product launches, we’d recommend showing the product with a visual image to increase conversion rates. If you are promoting a broader product line, create a GIF to highlight multiple SKUs.
  • If your SMS partner has the capabilities, consider using dynamic click-to-buy message links. With Click-to-Buy links, you can take SMS subscribers directly to your checkout and create a frictionless buying experience. 
  • If there is any concern about sending a large amount of people to your site all at once, consider throttling your SMS to protect your site from crashing. You can segment your SMS subscribers based on order history or any other variable to make sure your most important customers receive the sale text first. 

Post-Sale or Product Launch Follow Up 

Post-sale or product launch follow up is a vital part of your overall SMS strategy. 

Back-In-Stock Notifications 

A product launch or sale creates a lot of interest in your highly sought after products. While every merchant hopes for a wave of customers to wipe out your stock, having “sold out” on a product page can create a disappointing customer experience. By providing the opportunity to sign up for Back-in-Stock SMS notifications instead of just displaying “sold out'', it turns a poor customer experience and loss of potential revenue into the promise that they will be the first to know as soon as the product is available. 

Lokai, a motivational and inspirational bracelet, jewelry, and water bottle brand, is an incredible example of how using back-in-stock SMS notifications with a product launch brings back customers and closes dangling sales. 

Lokai launched their “The Child'' Star Wars bracelet and we’ve all seen how adorable baby yoda is, so naturally it sold out very quickly. Lokai allowed customers to opt-in for back-in-stock text notifications. Lokai's back-in-stock text secured a CTR of 70.23% (unique clicks) against a Fashion/Apparel benchmark of 5.59%. The CVR for the text was 36.83%, for a 20,000% increase over industry benchmarks. Their ROAS was about 916X.

💡 Click here to view Lokai’s and other SMS success stories.

SMS Recovery Campaigns

If your customer got distracted from purchasing, sending an SMS is the perfect way to remind customers and urge them towards purchasing. There are two approaches to recovery SMS campaigns—automation and live agents.  

Automated Recovery SMS Campaigns 

The key to creating a successful automated recovery campaign is to use segmentation and data to create personalized, non-spammy messages. For example, sending an image of the product your customer was looking at with a copy along the lines of “Don’t forget to checkout by the end of the day to take advantage of our sale” is a personalized message that creates a sense of urgency.

Best practices for automated recovery campaigns include: 

  • Personalize - Use the customer’s first name in the text to grab their attention 
  • Incentives - Free shipping and promotional discounts are great to incentivize the customer to complete their purchase
  • Urgency - Use time-sensitive wording, for example: "your cart will expire soon" 
  • Creative - Try a variation of images or GIFs 
  • Frictionless - Provide a link that will take your customers back to their checkout page

Live Agent Recovery SMS Campaigns 

“What we’ve seen with the dramatic shift in customer behavior is consumers spending time on their mobile devices. This includes browsing and shopping. What we’ve seen success with is a lot of these automations and the scalable technology that allows a brand to reach out to these customers through SMS. What’s been lacking though is this human element,” said Rev Reddy, CEO of Voyage.

When you use live agents to help recover abandoned checkouts, they can have a nuanced conversation with customers to understand why they didn’t purchase, answer any questions, or even offer a small discount or free shipping to help finalize the sale. Many consumers don’t want to receive messages from automated bots, which is why SMS platforms that use live agents have seen amazing results. (👀 30% checkout recovery rates

Using live agents as the final push after your sale or product launch is the perfect way to capitalize on all the hard work that went into your marketing efforts. 

Finding an SMS Partner That Can Do It All 

Leading eCommerce brands use Voyage SMS to drive revenue growth and cultivate deeper customer loyalty through hyper-personalized SMS automation. Voyage recently acquired LiveRecover, which brings us the expertise of a brand that powers conversions by sending messages from live agents: real conversations from real people. 

Together, we offer brands the best of both SMS worlds, allowing you to build long-term, valuable customer relationships through frictionless buying experiences and seamless two-way conversations. 

Request a demo today to see the most powerful SMS marketing and message commerce platform in the world.
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