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SMS Strategy for Shopify Small Businesses
SMS Marketing 101

SMS Strategy for Shopify Small Businesses

Whether you’ve just started selling on Shopify or are an experienced veteran, SMS can help your small business communicate with customers, send reminders and alerts, and build loyalty with your audience.

February 15, 2023

Top ways to amplify your Shopify small business with SMS marketing.

Whether you’ve just started selling on Shopify or are an experienced veteran, SMS (short message service) greatly benefits your business. It can help your small business communicate with customers, send reminders and alerts, and build loyalty with your audience. 

On average, 18.7 billion text messages are sent a day. People are constantly firing off text messages to friends, co-workers, family, or schoolmates. It’s no surprise that sending text messages is one of the best ways to reach your target audience as a small business. 

With SMS marketing becoming a standard part of the customer journey, you need an SMS strategy that aligns with your business capacity to better connect with customers and get the most from your efforts. But how can you navigate the uncharted SMS waters while running a thriving Shopify business? We’re so glad you asked - let us help you get your bearings.

Shopify Small Business SMS Strategy 101

SMS marketing involves much more than simply sending a few text messages and hoping for the best. But when and how to start SMS marketing is murky. The following checklists can help you determine if your Shopify store is ready to roll out SMS marketing and how to get started. 

Is your Shopify small business ready for SMS?

Before you gear up to kickstart your Shopify SMS strategy, you’ll need to take an honest look at your business to see if you’re ready. Here’s a quick checklist of milestones to consider before trying your business hand at SMS marketing. 

Your business is ready for SMS marketing if: 

  • You have an established business: Dive into the SMS once you have an established business. After all, sending texts that lead customers back to a shady “404 not found” page is one of the quickest ways to find yourself on their blocked list - and who wants that? 
  • You’ve identified your target audience: Before you send out messages, you’ll need to consider your target audience. These people will eventually become repeat customers, so clearly identifying them is a must. For example, if your target audience is 24-35 female working adults, collecting phone numbers of 60-year-old males isn’t going to sell out your inventory anytime soon. 
  • You have a catalog: Since most SMS messaging is used to connect with customers about orders and gain product feedback, you’ll need to have, well, products. Make sure you have a catalog of products you’re actively selling on Shopify before getting your SMS messages into the text universe. 

How to get started with SMS 

If you feel that your business has passed the above milestones with flying colors, congrats! You’re ready to get started with SMS. Read on to discover our best practices for getting your SMS strategy off the ground. 

  • Determine your goals: What do you hope to achieve with your messages? Are you aiming to increase revenue? Drive conversions? Expand customer service? Determining your goals before you start your SMS strategy will keep you and your brand focused on the result. 
⭐ Pro Tip: Industry benchmarks are a helpful starting place.
  • Build your SMS subscriber list: You can’t send SMS messages without phone numbers (and permission!). If you aren’t already collecting phone numbers and opt-ins, make sure you have this enabled in critical customer journey touchpoints. Update your Shopify to include a pop-up modal for text opt-ins and add the option within your checkout workflow for easy subscriber acquisition. Before adding anyone to your list, get permission by adding a form to your website or trading unique content for customers’ phone numbers. 
⭐ Pro Tip: Be sure to follow these best practices when building your subscriber list. 
  • Choose the SMS marketing platform with deep Shopify integration: Shopify is the number one rated eCommerce platform for all businesses used by over 1.7 million companies worldwide. As an all-in-one platform you can start, grow and run your business through Shopify. Integrating Shopify with Voyage SMS enables small businesses to segment your customers based on attributes stored in Shopify & send event-based drip campaigns. Voyage SMS includes customizable website templates, a safe and efficient platform, and all-in-one marketing and payment options.
⭐ Pro Tip: Use the SMS Marketing Guide for Shopify Stores to help choose the right SMS marketing platform.
  • Plan your first campaign: Take a step-by-step approach when planning your first campaign. Don’t feel that you need to hit the ground running with a show-stopping campaign right from the start. Instead, give a clear introduction to your brand while keeping it short and sweet. Your audience could have forgotten about their subscription to your business, so let them know who you are and how often they can expect to hear from you. 
⭐ Pro Tip: Explore these 5 SMS marketing campaign types and the best practices for managing your program.
  • Get familiar with your customer base and optimal send times: Think about the time zones of the people on the receiving end of your messages. While you’re excited about your latest drop, customers might not be as receptive to a message while they’re out on the town at 8 pm on a Saturday. 
⭐ Pro Tip: Here are the best times, days, and strategies for sending an SMS campaign.
  • Track the success of your SMS campaigns: Tracking the success of your SMS campaigns is crucial to finding out what works and what you need to improve, and best of all where you can build out. Pay special attention to conversions and the level of engagement your text messages are getting. Setup standard automation workflows as you get more insights from single send campaigns. The first impression you make with new subscribers can help drive highly engaged visitors to convert. Critical campaigns like your welcome and abandoned checkout will support your small business revenue goals with an end-to-end customer experience.
⭐ Pro Tip: Explore welcome series and abandoned campaign best practices.

Discover how to get your SMS marketing initiative up and running and set up for success. 

Download the guide to cover everything your Shopify store needs from stern to bow.

Two-Way SMS for a Complete Shopify Storefront Experience

Checking all of the boxes above will give you the foundation to create an excellent SMS relationship with your customers. To go beyond basic SMS marketing as a small business on Shopify, consider adding a human into the SMS marketing loop. 

While customers enjoy the speed of automated messages, nothing replaces human connection. Automated SMS marketing campaigns help you establish strong customer journeys and standardize your brand experience, but some customer journey touchpoints deserve extra TLC to help convert. 

LiveRecover by Voyage empowers Shopify small business with human-to-human personalization at scale. Convert bottom-of-funnel customers with 1:1 conversations. LiveRecover lets you chat directly with high-LTV customers and intervene on triggered messages (such as abandoned checkout recovery). 

  • Promote real-time personalized brand experiences that result in fewer support tickets and increased customer satisfaction 
  • Recover up to 30% of abandoned checkouts 
  • Access high-level insights to help you make data-driven decisions

A popular online deals site incorporated LiveRecover by Voyage into their marketing strategy to increase customer engagement and lower abandoned checkouts. Within six months, they saw a 6.4 increase (1,800) of recovered carts, which translated into $289K in recovered revenue. 

Take your text message strategy to new heights: Explore LiveRecover by Voyage P2P SMS today.
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