Exit Intent by Growthbuster

In an increasingly digital (and increasingly mobile) world, SMS is marketing’s new frontier — and it’s powerful...IF you do it right.

That’s the belief of marketing expert Vasa Martinez, founder of Growthbuster and CMO of Outer Aisle. He discussed SMS on Exit Intent, just after 2020’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend about the importance of timing, of educating on brand benefits, and of getting your text campaigns off to a slow, but sure start.

Show Notes

Show Links

Show Notes

Key Takeaways
0:36 — A human channel
The reason marketers are turning to text-based campaigns is because people like it — and it works.
“It's a very human channel. People are beginning to be more open to shopping via text. People are certainly open to communicating via text. I think it's a big homage to Dirty Lemon who began this years ago, in I think 2016, with their automation and their proprietary API. Now people are really catching up to it in the e-commerce space. And it's been really fun to watch. The numbers don't lie. That's 97% open rate, 40% click through. And it's, it's just easy to do”.
1:16 — Like a friend texting a friend
Don’t be fooled by the ease of SMS-based marketing. You still need to be strategic about how you frame your messaging.
“As easy as it is, there's always a way to do things the wrong way. And you know, you have to be very conscientious of your messaging and it can't feel corporate. It has to feel as though a friend is texting a friend. So it's not too intrusive. I like to call SMS a very intimate marketing channel. Not like romantic, intimate, but intimate as in, you're texting somebody, so how you think about when you're texting them, what you're saying is a very important thing.”
2:11 — People are still jumping on board
Vasa estimates that as many as 70% of consumers are happy to shop via text — and that percentage will keep rising.
“I think 70%, I think the numbers are — and don't quote me on this — but I think 70% of folks prefer to shop via text versus website. And that's a great thing; as long as your website's dialed, you can have a link going to that. So yeah, I think people are ready and I think the number is only going to increase. I think this past Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a Testament to that. I can't imagine the number of total dollars sold via text, but I think the ship has already sailed and people are still jumping on board.”
3:02 — Take it slow
There’s no rush. Playing your SMS cards right could account for as much as 20% of revenue, Vasa says, so take your time to make sure it’s right.
“I'm seeing between 10 and 20% of total revenue via SMS if done right. And one of the biggest things I would say is to really take it slow with your automations and your campaigns and really be thoughtful in how you're acquiring these numbers. Obviously there's some thought you need to put behind the legality of it with TCPA compliance. So acquiring the numbers is one thing, how you go about flows or automations, as well as campaigns is another.”
3:37 — SMS ≠ emails
SMS doesn’t replace emails, Vasa says; it works in tandem with your email strategy to achieve stronger overall response.
“It gets really tricky. When you think about how text communicates with email, I don't think that they're interchangeable. I think that they're in addition to, but I believe the number is, with both of these channels working in tandem, the overall results increase by 30%. So that's a huge thing to think about when getting set up — your automations, your flows, your campaigns. How are you capturing these numbers? Are you being compliant? And then it comes down to creative and copy.
4:38 — Same but different
The foundational elements of a campaign are often similar, whether it’s implemented via email or text.
“It's kind of like that same saying but different saying. They're both very similar. What I mean by that is with email — you're going to have a welcome series. You're going to have shopping cart abandonment. With SMS, you're going to have a welcome series. You're going to have shopping cart abandonment. But there's a lot more layers to that than just those two foundational flows.”
5:08 — Be quicker via text
Where those two channels differ is in timing; you generally want to reach out via text sooner than you would via email.
“It's important to really think about what the timing is of those flows or automations for both series. Example: if somebody signs up for, you know, on a fly out or a pop-up or modal — if your communications are going out at the same exact time, it might not be the best bet. It’s something to test. But I typically like playing with the timing of those automations, maybe 60 minutes or a day on a welcome series, test that out with the conditional splits for the first interaction via email. But I like to be a little bit quicker via text. Especially since most people are shopping on their phone. They abandoned their cart, maybe, you know, flip them a text in the next 30 minutes. Test that out — ultimately comes down to testing and learning.”
6:57 — Lead with RTBs
Before you jump in with discount codes in a text campaign, first give your prospects reasons to believe in your brand.
“And if you lean heavy into promotions on the front end, I would advise maybe trickling that back a little bit. And having that be something that is available in one of those automations or both. So if you have a three-part welcome series on email (I like to call it the cleanup better as the third part of the email and the third text) have that discount come then. But the first two communications are all about RTBs — reasons to believe in a brand. And I like to talk about what are the features or benefits? Why does this product exist?”
8:27 — A shitload of texts
The fact that so many companies texted their customers on Black Friday/Cyber Monday is proof that texting works — and that it’s part of the future of marketing.
“A lot of companies sent a shitload of texts and it worked. It's great to see — it's a proof of concept. More people are going into SMS and I think it's a great thing for e-commerce. It's exciting. It's fun watching what different brands are doing. It's fun seeing consumers being open to even being texted. I think 2021 is going to be even larger. I don't have any specific data points on text revenue (I'm sure there's some case studies out there. Postscript just launched one; I haven't read that yet.) That's what I learned on Black Friday/Cyber Monday — Holy moly, text is actually a part of the future.”

What is Exit Intent by Growthbuster?

Exit Intent is a CPG marketing podcast featuring the people and strategies focused on growth, investment, and acquisition. Growthbuster CEO, Vasa Martinez, hosts and curates bite-sized conversations packed with actionable insights.