Back to all blog posts
SMS Marketing Platform Evaluation Checklist for Retailers, eCommerce and DTC Brands
SMS Marketing Best Practices

SMS Marketing Platform Evaluation Checklist for Retailers, eCommerce and DTC Brands

In order to harness all that SMS marketing can provide, brands need to evaluate the most effective features and functions available.

April 6, 2022

Top 10 Features, Functions, and Service Considerations when Reviewing SMS Platforms

SMS marketing allows brands to not only reach customers throughout the buyer’s journey, but deliver personalized, and unique engagement experiences that generate a mutually beneficial relationship with your brand. 

Direct to consumer (DTC), eCommerce, and retail brands can leverage this capability to increase conversion and ROI, while simultaneously improving customer loyalty and brand equity. 

In order to harness all that SMS marketing can provide, brands need to evaluate the most effective features and functions available. Here are the in-depth top ten must-have SMS platform capabilities and services to look out for.  

  1. eCommerce and Marketing Tech Stack Integrations
  2. Platform Setup Ease
  3. SMS Compliance Guidance
  4. Robust List Growth Tools
  5. Segmentation Capabilities for Personalization
  6. Drive Conversions with Diverse Campaigns
  7. Creative Media Capabilities including SMS, MMS
  8. SMS Triggers & Automated Workflows
  9. Conversational Messaging
  10. Reporting and Analytics

1. eCommerce and Marketing Tech Stack Integrations

To ensure your SMS marketing platform is set up for a successful voyage from day one, assess your current tech stack – from eCommerce platform to CRM, ESP, CDP, and beyond – to help you understand what you need now, and in the future for integration capabilities

Ingest, combine, and leverage your data. Integrations are essential for delivering the most engaging experiences for your customers across every touchpoint you offer. Using integrations to align your data sources will give your team the most holistic view of your customers as they interact with your brand across these touch points. 

Voyage API allows for diverse tech stack integration options into your unique databases for effortless system synergy. Push and pull data from any data source using REStful API, designed to be predictable and resource-oriented.

  1. eCommerce Platform Integrations including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and Squarespace
  2. Modal Integrations like JustUno, Privy, and using Google Analytics with your Voyage Modals
  3. Customer Service Integrations including Zendesk and Gorgias
  4. Email Integrations like Klaviyo and ReSci
  5. Payments Integrations for partners including ReCharge
  6. Reviews Integrations with platforms like Junip

2. Platform Setup Ease 

Launching your SMS marketing platform should be a quick and efficient process. Understanding the level of lift required to begin engaging with your customers is important as you set sail, and getting started is half the battle. 

With Voyage, this process can take place in just one day. Install Voyage Tags, connect Integrations, and launch Keyword & Welcome Drip all within a matter of hours.

Once you’ve launched your platform, Voyage Compass is by your side, delivering expert guidance throughout the early stages of setting up your platform by leveraging our DTC eCommerce experts to drive revenue and cultivate customer delight. 

3. SMS Compliance Guidance 

It’s critical to choose an SMS platform that leads with compliance. Making sure your platform is in full compliance with all regulatory bodies, including the TCPA, CTIA, and other governing bodies that regulate application to person (“A2P”) text messaging, is an important part of delivering engaging customer experiences without interruption. 

Not only does it ensure compliance, it confirms you’re finding an audience that is receptive to your brand’s messaging. 

Gain peace-of-mind and leave your compliance worries to Voyage. We continually monitor changes in the wireless carrier landscape to meet the strictest compliance requirements, and have helpful features that act as safety nets, like complying with regulated quiet hours. As your partner, we also share helpful best practices to keep you and your crew up to date on the latest compliance.

4. Robust List Growth Tools

You’d never leave dock without your manifest, so avoid beginning your voyage without first evaluating your SMS platform subscriber list features. Building out your list with pre-existing resources can be helpful, but it’s important to utilize SMS marketing functionality in order to maximize list growth and improve conversion. 

Custom SMS Website Modals

Capture the attention of your mobile and desktop visitors with SMS opt-in modals. SMS dedicated modals are the most effective way of converting mobile visitors into subscribers, and eventually customers. Voyage offers fully-customized modals crafted by in-house design experts to match your brand perfectly.

SMS Keyword Campaigns

Keyword capabilities give your brand the ability to build your lists online and offline. Keywords empower eCommerce brands to keep the line of communication open with their audiences, by easily engaging potential customers with targeted offers. Voyage Keyword campaigns enable hyper-targeted segmentation so you can send the right message to the right customer.

Easy Two Tap SMS Opt-In

Make opt-in as simple and smooth as possible for your mobile subscribers. Choosing an SMS platform that empowers you to offer easy two-tap opt in will allow your brand to build your list with ease. Voyage Two-Tap Anywhere works for all mobile users with an embeddable button code that you can add to your website and your custom modals with full attribution tracking in the Voyage platform. 

SMS Deep Link Opt-In on Any Device 

When assessing an SMS platform, ensure it empowers your brand to acquire subscribers natively from your social channels. Your SMS platform should reduce the friction of turning your followers from social channels including TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter into subscribers with ease. When your customer clicks a Voyage Deep Link on their mobile device, a text message automatically opens that allows them to opt-in to your SMS list.  

SMS Opt-In At Checkout 

Choose a platform that allows you to capture your highest engaged visitors with ease during the checkout process. Voyage’s eCommerce integrations allow you to prompt customers to join your SMS list directly in checkout, covering the entire customer journey funnel with opportunities to maximize your acquisition opportunities. 

5. Segmentation Capabilities for Personalization 

As the most direct, personal digital channel, your SMS marketing platform should be equipped to support your diverse segmentation campaigns. Chart a course towards micro-marketing at scale with personalized messaging campaigns. With Voyage, hyper-target with customer attributes and event history like the following examples:

  • Purchase History: Craft campaigns based on last order data, amount, and frequency.
  • Engagement Behavior: Connect with your most engaged subscribers, and reduce churn by segmenting your dormant subscribers.
  • Geography: Segment by retail and shipping locations, offering unique promotions at different store locations and seasonal promotions based on weather.
  • Shopping Behavior: Develop segments based on how and when your customers like to shop.
  • Shopping Personas: Identify your VIP, high roller customer segment and target them with exclusive offers and promotions.

With Voyage you can segment your lists with other platform integration, like Recharge, a leading subscription payment platform on Shopify. 

6. Drive Conversions with Diverse Campaigns

The timing of your messaging is as important as the content itself. Developing a diverse set of promotions during busy retail seasons will be key to reaching your customers when they’re most receptive. Finding creative ways to boost your brands SMS conversions during slower seasons is just as important.

Get the most out of you SMS provider with strategic campaign support. Your SMS platform should support your brand’s unique campaign needs with strategy and execution services. 

With Voyage Compass you have a team of experts to help prepare you for peak Holiday season, and support diverse campaigns to drive off-season engagement like Back to School, National Ice Cream Day, and everything in between, driving customer lifetime value (LTV) all year long.

7. Creative Media Capabilities including SMS, MMS 

Reaching your customers with messaging that leverages multimedia ensures a unique and engaging experience at every digital touch point, driving ROAS. The key to a successful MMS strategy is knowing how and when to use it.

When assessing the best SMS platform for your brand, be sure to evaluate the functionality AND support around creative assets. Voyage Compass Creative Services leads design with data, steering you towards messaging and imagery that engages, converts, and delights. Using graphics, GIFs, and emojis, our design team can help you craft memorable messages and campaigns built just for your brand.

With Voyage’s Dynamic Product Image automate SMS messages with images of recently browsed, adds to cart, and checkouts. Keep your customers’ interest afloat and delight them with thoughtful GIFs and emojis in line with your brand’s voice including:

8. SMS Triggers & Automated Workflows

Event triggered SMS campaigns and automated drip text workflows empower your brand to craft a personalized customer journey from welcome to conversion, and beyond.

Your SMS platform should help you drive customer engagement at the most actionable stages of the funnel. Manage your automated workflows and SMS triggers with Voyage to improve key touch points for your brand.

Welcome Campaign

Confirm new customer relationships at initial interactions and throughout additional digital touch points.

Abandonment Campaigns

Don’t let your customers abandon ship! When considering SMS for your eCommerce brand, be sure to add this to the top of your must-have list. Increase your SMS conversion rate with thoughtful reminders of items your customer browsed, added to cart, and checkouts they left behind.


Your SMS platform should support closing the loop on sales and help you send post-purchase campaigns. Follow up with your customers to garner satisfaction ratings, or ask for product reviews.


Order confirmations, shipping reminders, delivery notices, and return confirmations are just some of the many transactionally triggered SMS capabilities to consider when assessing SMS platforms.


With integrations like ReCharge, make sure your SMS platform can support subscriber reminder workflows and updates. Inform customers of planned charges or subscription details, keeping them up to date with their reoccurring orders in the palm of their hand.


Effective re-engagement workflows should be table stakes for your SMS platform evaluations. Waterfall automation based on engagement helps you deliver delightful customer journeys and scale outreach for lapsed or mildly engaged subscribers based on their latest interaction or lack of interaction with your campaigns. 

Preventing chargebacks

Prevent chargebacks by creating better connections with your customers through support and active communication. Setup recurring transaction reminders to give your customers a heads up that their card will be charged soon. 

Click to buy 

Your SMS platform should make purchasing seamless for your customers. Campaigns like click to buy allow your customers to go straight from your message to checkout with dynamic message links.

9. Conversational Messaging

Nobody wants to speak to a robot. Use conversational messaging to deliver human to human interaction for your customers that creates the personalized experience possible. 

Traditionally, building conversational messaging at scale, without automation, has cost you in time and money hand over fist, but Voyage’s LiveRecover delivers this SMS marketing service without breaking the bank. Connect your customers with our live agents who act as your brand ambassador in a one-on-one chat. These live conversions can recover over 30% of checkout abandons and increase your ROI 20x, all while building brand equity. 

10. Reporting and Analytics

Identifying actionable insights from your data collection will be essential as you build and grow your SMS marketing platform. Dashboard & Reporting make it easy to track metrics, monitor your campaigns, and produce CSV reports that include all of these key performance metrics. 

Final Thoughts for Evaluating SMS Platforms

When evaluating which SMS platform is best for your retail, eCommerce, or DTC brand, choose one that allows you to drive revenue and build customer relationships through personalized text messaging — at scale. 

Voyage understands performance is measured not only in today's reach, ROI, and bottom-line, but that brands value sustainable health of customer relationships and experiences.

Make waves with your SMS channel by partnering with Voyage. Discover the results of powerful message commerce today.
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.