I

n an age where customers are receiving what seems like a never-ending stream of marketing emails, standing out again the pack and catching your customers’ attention can be a challenge. At the same time, shoppers are becoming more and more keen on text correspondence – in fact, according to SMS messages have higher open rates (98% compared to 20% for email) and a faster response rate - as little as 90 seconds!

One concern we hear often from retailers using Endear is that text message may be too forward or intrusive – are customers really comfortable with my texting them? That’s where proper protocol, just like with e-mail and phone calls, can make all the difference.

In general, if a message is truly personalized to the preferences and needs of a customer, you’re more likely to win them over than lose them. So how can you craft professional messages that still feel unique to your audience?

Below are some great opportunities to leverage text message, and some language you can use when reaching out to customers - some additional options have been included to account for leveraging e-commerce in your outreach:

General Rules of Thumb:

  • Keep your messages short & sweet
  • Always address customers by their name
  • If it’s the first message you’re sending, always introduce yourself
  • Avoid sending the same copy every time (this will for sure earn you an unsubscribe)

# 1: Thank You’s

Hey [client name], this is Leigh with Endear! Thanks for dropping by the store, I’m so glad we could find the perfect dress for your upcoming event. If you need anything else, you can message me at this number!

Important details about this message:

  • Using your own name indicates that there is a human on the other side of the message
  • The message clarifies that the customer can respond if she’d like
  • The message has details illustrating that you remember the interaction and this isn’t an automated message - it is still important to also send a more standard, transactional email confirmation for the customer's order

#2: Product Re-stocks

Hey [client name], this is Leigh with Endear! Great News, the brown Greta top you wanted is back in the store [and online] in a size 4! The store is open every day from 10am to 6pm so feel free to come by any time [or you can find it online here]. I’ve gone ahead and put it on reserve for the day just in case, let me know if you’re still interested!

Important details about this message:

  • The message indicates that the customer can respond if she’d like (but takes the pressure off)
  • The message again has elements such as size and color that are unique to the customer
  • The message includes important logistical information to help the customer make her decision, such as when the store is open and whether she can purchase online instead

#3: Promotions & Events

Hey [client name], this is Leigh with Endear! We’re hosting an exclusive sale next Thursday from 3pm to 8pm at the store just for our VIP clients and I’d love for you to attend! Here is a preview of some of the items that will be available that I thought you’d be particularly interested in. Hope you can make it!

Important details about this message:

  • The message clarifies that the customer is included because she is a part of a special segment of customers (VIP, highly loyal, a local, or has an affinity of some sort like being a mom)
  • The message a special offer as well as the items she might want to use her offer for
  • The message includes important logistical information (time and date) to help the customer make her decision (without requiring her to respond)

#4: Thinking of You / It’s been a while

Hey [client name], this is Leigh with Endear! It’s been a while since we’ve seen you at the store! I remembered you bought the Harley pants this time last year and I thought you might be interested in some similar items for the upcoming season. I pulled some recommendations that we currently have available at the store in your size! Hope you're still loving your job!

Important details about this message:

  • It's important that messages still feel casual and friendly, even if you're reaching out to a specific audience, such as customers who haven’t purchased in over 90 days
  • The message indicates that you’ve already taken the initiative to filter out specific pieces from all the store's new items
  • The message includes important logistical information (sizing) to help the customer make her decision

#5: New Arrivals

Hey [client name], this is Leigh with Endear! We’ve just got our new Fall line in and I found some pieces that I thought would go great with the pants you bought last month. I’ve included some fun ideas to match – let me know if you’d like to come in and try some of these on! The store is open from 10am to 6pm every day, and I’ll be in on Tuesday and Thursday but of course we’re all happy to help you find what you’re looking for. You can also find these pieces on our website!

Important details about this message:

  • The message points out that you’re helping the customer build a wardrobe based on what you know she already owns
  • The message leaves the purchasing channel up to the customer, while still helping her narrow down her options
  • The message includes important logistical information to help the customer make her decision

Still uneasy about texting customers? Here are some easy ways to motivate customers to indicate if they’re comfortable with text message:

  • Add your SMS number to your website and see which customers take advantage of that line of communication
  • Ask customers at check-out if they prefer email or text message for updates
  • Include an opt-out in your first text message (doesn’t have to be automatic!) so that customers feel like they have a way to say no
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