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SMS Automated Drip Best Practices
SMS Marketing Best Practices

SMS Automated Drip Best Practices

Automation + personalization = never missing an opportunity and delivering delightful customer experiences. Automated SMS Drips allow you to be on top of customer actions and provide timely messages to drive sales, retain customers, and ultimately increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).

August 10, 2022

Automation + personalization = never missing an opportunity and delivering delightful customer experiences. 

Automated SMS Drips allow you to be on top of customer actions and provide timely messages to drive sales, retain customers, and ultimately increase customer lifetime value (CLTV). 

What’s an Automated SMS Drip

An automated SMS Drip is a specific set of messages sent over a controlled period of time to retain, engage, and convert subscribers. With Drips, you can target specific customer segments or cast a wide net across the full customer journey. Drips are only activated when your subscribers perform a specific action (i.e. an event or "trigger"), such as viewing a product on your website or adding a product to their cart.

SMS has a 98% open rate, which means nearly every subscriber will read every SMS message. So, a generic message may not cut it. To make automated SMS Drips more effective, you can layer filters and segmentation to make sure your messages are perfect for that subscriber. 

General SMS Automated Drip Best Practices

Here are some quick best practices to follow when you are creating SMS Drip campaigns: 

  • Don't be shy to target your SMS subscriber with Drip messages. A general SMS goal should be sending one text every week to each SMS subscriber. 
  • If you are just starting to develop Drip campaigns, we recommend you start with abandoned browse and checkout.
  • SMS delivery relies on cell phone carriers. Delay times may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the carrier so keep that in mind when creating delays in your Drip. 
  • For each Drip flow, we recommend having three messages in your series (except for abandoned cart Drips, which are limited to one message).
  • Segment and personalize! We want to move past the “hi {{first name}}” and into a personalized and delightful experience for customers. You can read more about segmentation and personalization here. 

Now that we’ve got the general best practices out of the way, we can move on to specific Drip campaign best practices. 

SMS Automated Drip Examples and Best Practices

Abandoned Browse

At this point in the eCommerce sales funnel, a visitor has browsed your site, then left without taking any action. This is a regular occurrence when customers investigate new products or compare products and promotions with competitors.

An abandoned browse Drip automation can recapture the attention of your recent visitor, bring them back to the product, or offer a small discount to seal the deal. 

SMS best practices for abandoned browse:

  • Use a URL that will bring your customers back to the correct product page they were browsing. 
  • Use the product images of the last viewed product. 
  • Utilize the product title or other useful information about the last viewed product to catch their attention.
  • Use earlier messages in the Drip as reminders and save the promotional discount/incentive for the last message.

Abandoned Cart

Abandoned cart visitors are showing higher buying intent and therefore deserve thoughtful engagement. To find the sweet spot for increasing conversion rates with your abandoned cart audience, test your tactics by segmenting groups based on AOV (average order value) or cart size, and testing varied levels of promotions. Understanding what drives your conversions for this stage of abandonment will help you craft higher converting SMS automations. 

SMS best practices for abandoned carts:

  • Drips are limited to one message only by industry standards.
  • Use the URL that will bring customers back to their cart or your homepage.
  • Utilize personalization such as product photos, product titles, etc.  

Abandoned Checkout

Consumers at this stage are ready to buy products, making them the easiest to convert. SMS abandoned checkout automations are a powerful tool at this stage, especially when you focus on removing the most common roadblocks. Unexpected delivery expenses, a lack of customer service, additional transaction fees, or pricing reconsiderations are some common reasons for checkout abandonment.

SMS best practices for abandoned checkout:

  • Use a URL that brings customers back to their checkout page
  • Use time-sensitive wording, for example: "your cart will expire soon".
  • Consider incentivizing after the first reminder message. You can use free shipping and promotional discounts.
💡Abandoned checkout best practices can go beyond automation. Learn more about how brands are reaching 30% checkout recovery rates.

Welcome Messages 

Welcome messages are the first hello to your new subscriber. You want to make sure you put your brand's best foot forward. 

SMS best practices for welcome Drip messages:

  • Including an image that reflects your brand’s voice and tone. We’ve found that images can directly increase initial conversion rates.
  • Welcome messages should include their incentive, confirming their subscription, and/or providing helpful information.

Wealthshare, a brand that makes investing more accessible, saw incredible success with their 3:2:2 welcome Drip sequence. Wealthshare was looking for an automated way to engage with new subscribers on Patreon while saving time and driving more Patrons.

Instead of sending every message in the Drip to every subscriber, Wealthshare deployed a 3:2:2 Drip sequence that first sent a series of three messages.

If a subscriber clicked on any of the three initial messages, they received two more. Finally, if they engaged with the second set, they received the final two messages in the sequence.

After launching the three Drips (Welcome Flow, Welcome Flow - Engaged Users, and Welcome Flow - Double Engaged Users), Wealthshare saw incredible click-through rates. The second Drip, Welcome Flow - Engaged Users, achieved a 48% CTR. The final Drip, Welcome Flow - Double Engaged Users, had a CTR of 85%.

More SMS Drip Options 

We’ve listed just a couple of the use cases for Drips in this blog. So don’t be nervous to apply Drip messages wherever you think will be best for your brand. Drip sequences can be used for post-purchase follow-up, loyalty rewards, re-engaging inactive subscribers, and so on. 

The Voyage SMS platform gives you all the tools needed to build delightful subscriber experiences. Automated Drips, A/B testing, live conversations, and hyper-targeted text messages are just the start of what Voyage can do for your brand. Click here to get a demo of Voyage.

To learn more about SMS best practices and more, download the Definitive SMS Marketing Guide today!
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