How to Use SMS Marketing to Generate Ecommerce Sales

Chris Hoff
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SMS marketing is becoming the new tech superpower for generating sales in eCommerce. In fact, SMS marketing is so effective that people report open rates 4-5X higher than your typical email.

So, what kind of open rate percentages are we talking about here? Well, here’s the scary part. Some eCommerce store owners are getting SMS open rates as high as 98%! This number far exceeds the email average of only 20%.

That’s not all! When comparing the response rate of text vs email, you get very different results.

The average person takes 90 seconds to respond to texts, versus 90 minutes for someone to respond to emails. That means that your response rate with SMS marketing is 60 times higher than email! Crazy, right? This makes it possible to get your marketing message across to your customers in a much more powerful way.

The best way I can describe the power of response rate is by showing you the following. Look at your email inbox right now. How many unread messages do you have? Do you have hundreds? Maybe thousands?

Now look at your text messages. How many unread messages do you have? Probably a fraction of your unread emails.

Frank Kern, a high profile marketing expert says, "We need to be everywhere in order to get our message in front of our prospects."

As you can see, SMS marketing is a tool you absolutely want to take advantage of.

Now, I’m going to go over some SMS marketing strategies you can apply to your eCommerce store. My hope is that after reading this article, you implement everything immediately and start making extra sales!

Now, let’s dive into it.

Do You Have Permission to Send SMS Marketing Messages?

I’m going to emphasize something clearly before I go into detail about SMS marketing campaigns.

Make sure you have the full PERMISSION of your customers before you send out text messages. Most brands acquire customer permission through a little “check-box” once they begin the checkout process.

Another way of acquiring permission is by asking them to send a “keyword” to your shortcode. For example, "Text ‘I WIN’ to 12345 to receive weekly discounts.”

You’re probably thinking, "I don’t have their permission to send texts! How do I get them to see this keyword promotion in the first place without texting them?"

Simple, you can show them the keyword promotion through different advertisements. For example:

  • Banner ads

  • Flyers

  • Social media posts

Tell customers who text message your brand what type of advertising they will get in follow-ups. You’ll also want to tell people how often you plan to send SMS marketing messages.

For a more comprehensive plan on SMS marketing compliance, check out this guide.

SMS Marketing Action Plan for Abandoned Carts

Did you know that up to 80% of online purchases become abandoned? So, wouldn’t it make sense to have a powerful abandoned cart strategy that includes SMS marketing?

Many eCommerce stores stop at email marketing when it comes to recovering abandoned carts. However, it would be smart to reach them in other places besides their email inbox.

That’s why I want to talk about SMS abandoned cart strategies.

When you send your abandoned cart SMS message, you’ll want to send it with an image or GIF. The GIF can be something funny to “grab” the recipient's attention. Or, you can send an image of the product you’re trying to sell. Many eCommerce stores forget how powerful an image can be, so make sure to include one in your SMS marketing campaign!

Now that we’ve discussed images, what’s next? Let me show you what an abandoned cart SMS message looks like:

(BIG Image or Gif )(Brand name) "Hey, Rachel, did you forget something? Your shopping cart is about to expire! Use coupon code XY22 to get free shipping! Today only: Stop100 to unsubscribe."

And that’s it! Simple, right? Make sure to give them a chance to unsubscribe at the end of your SMS marketing message.

If you need help setting up your abandoned cart campaigns, take a look at hiring a dedicated copywriter. If you’re not sure what to look for when hiring a copywriter, then make sure to check this article out.

Order Confirmation Secrets for SMS

Now, let’s imagine one of your customers is about to complete their order.

You can enable SMS marketing messages for customers that complete the checkout. Why? You’ll want your customers to get notified when it comes time to order confirmations. This is your chance to make them feel at ease, and include their tracking information and a friendly message.

Include something like the following:

“Hello Steven, this is Joe, owner of (Your Brand). Your order is on the way, and your package is in good hands! If you have any questions or concerns, please call our number at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.”

This is a simple SMS notification that can help your customers feel a sense of relief. Now, I don’t know about you, but this message still feels incomplete. Do you think we can make this message even more profitable?

What if we included an offer inside the order confirmation message? Let’s take a look at tweaking our original text.

“Hello Steven, this is Joe, owner of (Your Brand). Your order is on the way, and your package is in good hands! If you have any questions or concerns, please call our number at (XXX) XXX-XXXX. P.S. For the next 24 hours, use coupon code 'XYV02' for 25% off your next order!"

See how the end of that message makes all the difference? Amazing, right? Now you’ve turned a simple order confirmation message into an offer. This tactic is very powerful! So make sure to apply these strategies to your eCommerce store immediately.


SMS marketing is full of opportunities to generate some additional cash flow for your business. By making a few minor tweaks to your customer's journey, you increase the average order value of every sale.

Just remember, SMS marketing provides some of the best open rates and responses in the eCommerce industry. By showing up on your customer's radar using different touchpoints, you’re more likely to make a sale.

Make sure to use SMS marketing in a responsible way, and stay compliant!

Are you looking for more advanced SMS strategies? Consider hiring your own dedicated copywriter. They can take your eCommerce business to the next level.

Chris Hoff

Chris Hoff is a full-time copywriter and marketer, who specializes in e-commerce.

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