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SMS Marketing for eCommerce Brands — An Updated Guide

Learn why eCommerce brands should adopt SMS marketing to boost engagement and drive sales.
SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is highly effective, with 85% of consumers preferring promotional updates through SMS. But the question is: Why do SMS campaigns consistently achieve such high engagement?

This statistic emphasizes the effectiveness of SMS marketing, making it a crucial tool for eCommerce brands aiming to stay connected, drive sales, and build lasting relationships. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and best practices of SMS marketing for eCommerce brands.

Evolution of SMS Marketing in eCommerce
The evolution of SMS Marketing in eCommerce has been marked by its adaptation to changing consumer behaviors and technological advancements. A recent study found that SMS has an open and read rate of 94% as 73% of consumers open and read most messages while 21% read texts from recognized senders only.

Primarily used for sending transactional messages like order, shipping, and delivery notifications, SMS has become crucial for customer engagement and retention. Following are a variety of purposes eCommerce businesses use SMS for:

  • Promotional Campaigns: Send exclusive offers, discounts, and promotions directly to customers via SMS to drive immediate sales and boost customer engagement.
  • Personalized Communication: Using customer data and preferences, businesses can tailor their messages for a more personalized and relevant experience.
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery: Use SMS to send reminders to customers who abandoned their shopping carts and encourage them to complete their purchases.
  • Order Updates: Providing real-time updates on order status, delivery times, and tracking information through SMS enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Customer Surveys and Feedback: Seeking feedback through SMS surveys allows businesses to gather valuable insights and improve their products or services.
  • Feedback and Reviews: Businesses can use SMS to request feedback, reviews, and ratings after a purchase to improve service and products.
  • Product Launches: SMS can be used for the purpose of announcing new products or services to generate interest and sales.
  • Cross-selling and Upselling: You can recommend related products or upgrades based on users’ previous purchase history and boost average order value and revenue.
  • Retention Campaigns: SMS is a go-to tool for engaging existing customers to encourage repeat purchases and foster loyalty.

Why eCommerce Brands Should Adopt SMS Marketing
Following are some reasons for eCommerce brands to integrate SMS marketing into their marketing strategy:

High Open Rates: SMS messages have remarkably high open rates, often exceeding those of email marketing. This means that your messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by your target audience.

Instant Communication: SMS marketing enables instant communication with your audience. Whether it’s a flash sale, limited-time offer, or important update, you can reach your customers in real-time, fostering a sense of urgency.

Mobile-Centric World: With the increasing use of smartphones, people are more connected to their mobile devices than ever before. SMS marketing allows you to tap into this mobile-centric world and reach customers wherever they are.

Cost-Effective: Business text message marketing is a cost-effective strategy compared to other digital marketing channels. It allows businesses, especially smaller ones, to achieve a high return on investment with targeted and impactful messages.

Personalization and Customer Engagement: SMS marketing allows for personalized communication, helping you build stronger relationships with your customers. By sending relevant and timely messages, you can enhance customer engagement and loyalty.

How to Build a Highly Effective SMS Marketing Strategy
Building an effective SMS marketing strategy for an eCommerce brand involves creating a solid plan. Let’s explore how you can do so:

1. Understanding Your Target Audience

One of the foundational pillars of a successful SMS marketing strategy is a deep understanding of your target audience. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor your messages and helps you create personalized and relevant content that increases the chances of engagement.

  • Create detailed customer personas, considering demographics and preferences.
  • Gather insights through surveys, social analytics, and past interactions.
  • Use this data to personalize and send relevant messages at the right time.

2. Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Establishing clear goals and objectives is essential for any effective SMS marketing campaign. Define what you aim to achieve, whether it’s driving sales, increasing brand awareness, or promoting a specific event. Setting goals provides you with a roadmap for your SMS marketing strategy, guiding the content, timing, and frequency of your messages.

  • Create SMART goals; Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Use metrics like conversion rates and click-through rates to measure success.
  • Regularly review and adjust your goals and objectives based on campaign performance and business goals.

3. Compliance and Regulations

Navigating the legal landscape is crucial when implementing an SMS marketing strategy. Include relevant disclaimers and privacy policies in your communications to build trust with your audience.

  • Obtain explicit consent before sending promotional messages.
  • Include clear opt-in and opt-out mechanisms.
  • Update procedures to align with evolving regulations (GDPR, TCPA) and industry standards.
  • Failure to comply may result in legal consequences and damage to the brand’s reputation.

Strategies to Build an SMS Subscriber List

Building an SMS subscriber list can be a challenge but is possible through opt-in strategies. Opt-in strategies are crucial for building a high-quality subscriber list while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations. Here are some effective opt-in strategies:

  • Create a dedicated SMS signup landing page to collect opt-ins and subscriber information. This page should feature a simple signup form that serves as a focused entry point for potential subscribers.
  • Integrate the signup landing page onto your website, allowing visitors to access it from your homepage or relevant pages for a convenient subscription.
  • Promote SMS signups through email marketing campaigns by including clear calls-to-action that encourage subscribers to join for exclusive content, offers, or updates.
  • Leverage social media to promote SMS subscriptions by sharing engaging posts about the benefits and providing a signup link.
  • Display the signup form on the checkout page, offering customers the option to subscribe to SMS updates during the checkout process.
  • Offer a signup incentive or discount to motivate potential subscribers, creating an immediate sense of value for joining your SMS list.

How to Craft Compelling SMS Campaigns for Your eCommerce

Let’s explore the key elements involved in crafting impactful and engaging SMS campaigns that resonate with your audience, drive engagement, and yield measurable results:

1. Understanding the Power of SMS in eCommerce

SMS marketing involves sending promotional messages to customers via text. Unlike emails, which can often go unread or get lost in spam folders, SMS messages are typically opened within minutes of being received.

This makes them an indispensable part of marketing and an effective communication channel. For eCommerce businesses, this means a direct line to customers’ mobile devices, offering a unique opportunity to deliver timely and personalized messages that drive action.

2. Segmentation and Personalization

One of the key strategies for crafting compelling SMS campaigns is segmentation and personalization. By segmenting your audience based on the purchase history, browsing behavior, or demographics, you can tailor your messages to be more relevant and engaging.

For example, you can send exclusive offers to customers who have previously made a purchase or recommend products based on their browsing history. Personalization goes beyond just addressing the recipient by name; it’s about delivering content that resonates with their interests and needs.

3. Creating Irresistible Offers

A successful SMS campaign often revolves around irresistible offers that compel recipients to take action. Whether it’s a limited-time discount, a special promotion, or an exclusive deal, the offer should be compelling enough to drive conversions.

For eCommerce businesses, this could mean offering a discount on a customer’s next purchase, providing free shipping for a limited time, or giving early access to a new product launch. The key is to make the offer valuable and relevant to the recipient, prompting them to click through and make a purchase.

4. Crafting Engaging Content

In addition to the offer itself, the content of your messages plays a crucial role in their effectiveness. Since SMS messages have a character limit, it’s important to craft concise and engaging content that grabs the recipient’s attention.

Use clear and compelling language to convey your message and include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that prompts the recipient to take the desired action, such as visiting your website or making a purchase.

Example: “Time is running out! Grab your favorite items now and save. Use code HURRY20 at checkout. Shop here: [Link].”

5. Timing and Frequency

Another important aspect of crafting compelling SMS campaigns is timing and frequency. Sending messages at the right time can significantly impact their effectiveness. For example, sending a message about a flash sale in the middle of the night may not yield the best results, as most recipients are likely asleep.

Similarly, bombarding customers with too many messages can lead to fatigue and opt-outs. It’s essential to strike the right balance and send messages at times when recipients are most likely to be receptive. A/B testing can help determine the optimal timing and frequency for your SMS campaigns.

Measuring and Analyzing SMS Marketing Performance

Measuring and analyzing the performance of SMS marketing for an eCommerce brand is crucial for optimizing campaigns, improving customer engagement, and driving sales. Here are some key metrics to consider:

1. Delivery Rate

The delivery rate is the percentage of SMS messages sent that successfully reach the intended recipient’s device. A high delivery rate indicates that your messages are reaching your target audience.

Delivery Rate = (no of messages delivered ÷ no of messages sent) * 100

2. Open Rate

The open rate measures the percentage of delivered SMS messages that are opened by recipients. It helps gauge the effectiveness of your message in capturing attention. To calculate the open rate, divide the total unique opens by the total messages delivered and multiply by 100.

Open rate = (total unique opens ÷ total messages delivered) x 100

3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is the percentage of recipients who click on a link or take a desired action after opening the SMS. It indicates the engagement level and effectiveness of your call to action. Calculate CTR by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of opens and then multiplying by 100.

Click-through Rate = (number of clicks your messages generate ÷ total number of opens) * 100

4. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of recipients who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, after clicking the link in the SMS. It signifies the success of your SMS campaign in achieving business goals. To calculate the conversion rate, divide the total actions taken by the total number of clicks and multiply by 100.

Conversion Rate: (total actions taken ÷ total number of clicks) * 100

5. Opt-Out Rate

The opt-out rate represents the percentage of recipients who unsubscribe or opt-out from future SMS messages. It reflects customer satisfaction and helps determine if adjustments are needed in messaging frequency or content. Calculate the opt-out rate by dividing the total number of users unsubscribed by the original number of subscribers and multiplying by 100.

Opt-out Rate = (total users unsubscribed in a period ÷ original number of subscribers at the start) * 100

6. Response Rate

The Response rate indicates the percentage of recipients who respond to your SMS by replying or taking a specified action. It measures audience interactivity and engagement. To calculate the response rate, divide the total responses or actions received by the total number of delivered messages and multiply by 100.

Response Rate = (total responses or actions received ÷ total number of delivered messages) * 100

7. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV predicts the net profit generated from a customer throughout their relationship with your business. It provides insight into the long-term impact of your SMS campaigns on customer value. CLV is calculated by multiplying the customer value by the average customer lifespan.

CLV = (Customer Value * Average Customer Lifespan)


SMS marketing offers a powerful and effective way for eCommerce brands to engage with their customers and drive sales. By leveraging the unique characteristics of SMS such as high open rates and direct reach, businesses can create compelling campaigns that resonate with their audience.

This updated guide provides a comprehensive overview of the strategies and best practices for successful SMS marketing campaigns. As consumer behavior continues to evolve in the digital age, integrating SMS can be a game-changer for eCommerce businesses.

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Philip Portman,Founder/CEO of Textdrip

Philip Portman is the Founder/CEO of Textdrip, a business texting platform for e-commerce and retail, hotel and hospitality, Insurance, real estate, and healthcare. He has created several startups from the ground up like;,, and He is a leading expert in SMS marketing and automation in digital marketing.

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