Back to all blog posts
Expert Field Guide: Incorporating SMS Along the Customer Journey
SMS Marketing Best Practices

Expert Field Guide: Incorporating SMS Along the Customer Journey

SMS has the power to evolve your digital marketing strategy and enhance your customer journey. Here's everything you need to know about integrating SMS into your digital channels for a complete customer journey experience.

November 18, 2022

Integrate SMS Into Your Digital Channels For a Complete Customer Journey Experience

SMS marketing and your digital marketing strategy go hand-in-hand. Brands that effectively integrate SMS with multi-channel marketing tactics have the ability to deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time, leading to improved engagement and a higher ROI. 

A customer journey is a consumer’s relationship with your brand and the sum of all the interactions that person has had with it—either directly or indirectly. This journey itself is crucial to your brand’s success; it starts with brand awareness, with the end goal being conversion.  

To create a customer relationship that is authentic, it’s essential to go beyond baseline SMS marketing and incorporate messages that complement your digital marketing efforts. Instead of having separate marketing channels that all reach a different audience, connect and integrate your channels to enable a seamless and personalized customer experience.


Chart your Customer Journey & Develop User Personas With Segmentation

The difference between marketing coming off as annoying SPAM versus valuable information is personalization. Understanding your customer personas will make it easier to personalize your messages in a genuine way. With an SMS marketing platform like Voyage, brands can easily segment customers based on their interactions with your brand (e.g., average order value, order frequency, loyalty program, geographic, acquisition source) and send targeted SMS messages based on loyalty status or other events. 

When you combine your loyalty program data and SMS messaging, you reach a new level of personalization through an immediate and highly-personal channel. Using segmentation and filtering, you can deliver personalized messages to your loyalty members that are relevant to each customer. Providing a consistently personalized experience will help customers build a deeper emotional connection with your brand. 

💡 Pro Tip: Beyond ecommerce platform and various integration data points, look to your organic search and website data for SMS campaign personalization. The acquisition location on the website can inform Welcome campaign variations based on product category and set your campaign up for higher engagement.


Open Up New Customer Journey Avenues Through Subscriber Acquisition

As of 2022, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 147 minutes per day. This means you should seize the opportunity that social media marketing offers and pop into your followers' feeds with posts or stories that offer an incentive or discount to sign up for SMS. Voyage Deep Link offers the ability to add customers to your SMS subscriber list from any mobile channel (e.g., email, social media, web, or QR codes).

Did you know that four in five Americans read reviews before making a purchase decision? With the constant battle against abandonment rates, customer reviews need to be part of your brand’s marketing strategy and SMS can help do that. SMS has a 98% open rate, meaning that nearly every SMS you send will be read, including inviting customers to leave a review on a recent purchase. By offering a discount code in exchange for a review, you’re not only gaining a (hopefully) positive review, but also a repeat customer. 


Connect Your Customer Journey Through Varying Touchpoints: Campaign vs. Drip

Understand the difference between running a regular SMS Campaign and Drip automation in parallel and when each is appropriate to use.

  • Campaign: A standard one-time send SMS. Optimized for special promotions or new product releases. Great for A/B testing that can inform Drip workflows.
  • Drip: Like the name implies, this is an engagement trickle that includes multiple touchpoints. These SMS Drips are usually triggered by behavior - everything from opting in to making a purchase, and even when going dormant after a set period.
💡 Pro Tip: Never miss out on an opportunity by using a Drip automation. Use automated SMS Drips for multiple touchpoints and to encourage a specific action including requesting a review, completing a purchase, or revisiting a shopping cart. 

Combine Email & SMS to Expand the Horizons of Your Customer Journey

By building out your marketing strategy to combine email and SMS, you are tapping into a pretty dynamic duo. While email tends to be the default outbound channel, SMS is the more personalized 1:1 messaging option that has higher CLTV. Both marketing tools are mobile-friendly and allow for highly personalized, customizable relationships that are cross-promotional.

While no longer considered cutting edge, per se, email is still a highly effective tool for generating new leads, acquiring customers and increasing retention, while simultaneously maximizing the ROI with each campaign. However, with more than 306 billion emails sent and received each day, it’s hard to stand out amongst the clutter. This is where SMS marketing can help.

Where SMS marketing outpaces email is intimacy and saturation. While your marketing emails are likely competing with a plethora of other brands for prime real estate in an inbox, your SMS messages are showing up alongside texts from your customer’s inner circle — leading to an open rate of 98%. Therefore, it’s far easier to capture the audience’s attention with creative, relevant, and time-sensitive messages using SMS.

💡 Pro Tip: Shhhh, it’s a secret…. If you’re looking for proven success, try sending a secret sale email — one of the most effective ways to grow your SMS subscriber list and gain revenue. Just send an email to your list of subscribers, encouraging them to sign up for SMS to receive exclusive access to your “secret sale.” By making your customers feel like they are VIPs and in the know on this exclusive sale, you’ll be able to build out your SMS subscriber list and see increased conversions. 

Welcome email campaigns offer a built-in SMS opt in avenue. Give your customers the option to opt into email and SMS to grow both of your subscriber lists. Once opted in, entice email subscribers to sign up for SMS by sharing exclusive discounts for SMS subscribers. This could be as simple as having a CTA in your emails that says, “Want 10% off? Sign up for our texts!” 

Avoid Dead Ends in Your Customer Journey With Advanced Automations

Strengthen the customer journey by identifying where your customers hit a roadblock and use SMS to open up more customer journey touchpoints. For example, if a customer signs up for a back-in-stock email for a product, in that confirmation email, you could add a CTA along the lines of “Check your texts more often? Sign up for back-in-stock texts, so you are the first to know when this item is available.” 

When motivational jewelry and water bottle company, Lokai, quickly sold out of its latest Star Wars bracelet design, it turned to SMS. To ensure the company did the most it could to convert dangling sales leads when the product was back in stock, it created a Star Wars keyword campaign that customers could text to opt in. Using segmentation, Lokai sent an SMS to these subscribers when the bracelet was back in stock, resulting in a 30% conversion rate. 

Based on the cart abandonment challenge facing nearly every eCommerce business, browse and search abandonment should be on your radar when considering conversion-driving campaigns. Abandoned cart automation targets varying steps within the sales funnel, including friendly reminders to help customers navigate back to their carts, and abandoned checkout automation to guide customers through their final steps in the conversion funnel. 


Guide Your Customer Journey With a Friendly Copilot

Successful customer journeys go beyond chatbots. First Mate by Voyage makes it easy to convert your customers with care at scale using conversational texting powered by live agents (aka your brand ambassadors). 

Using live agents to reach out to abandoned checkouts through SMS delivers a personalized brand experience, reduces checkout confusion, cuts back on support tickets, improves customer experience, and helps you drive engagements and conversion with a humanistic approach.


Get the Most Mileage Out of Your Ad Spend in Your Customer Journey

Combine the power of paid ads with SMS to get the most out of your ad spend. Consider advertising tools like Facebook lead ads to capture new SMS audiences or use influencer marketing to increase your reach to new audiences and convert them into subscribers. Similar to your owned social strategy, you can ask influencers to share your SMS sign-up with their followers with an incentive. 


💡 Pro Tip: Test out using Facebook and Instagram to run limited contests where the destination link is to a full-page SMS sign-up Modal on your site. Visitors enter the contest by signing up for SMS, helping you build engaged subscriber list segments. Combine this with a super-tailored SMS Drip automations based on the contest, with 3-5 SMS / MMS messages. This same approach can be combined for a paid social product launch update, applying the same full-page Modal approach to build a segmented audience from social.


Ready to evolve your digital marketing strategy and enhance your customer journey through SMS marketing? Get in touch today to find out how Voyage can help.

get updates to your inbox

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Never miss an update from Voyage. We'll send you the latest and greatest in SMS marketing, message commerce, and more.

Thank you! You are now subscribed!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our terms and that you have read our Privacy Policy.