How to supercharge your SMS retail marketing for better sales & attribution

It's no secret that SMS messages are an effective channel for retail marketing, but by segmenting your audience and personalizing your messages you can further increase sales.

There was a time when Display Advertising ruled the game during the early internet. Some of you may remember flashing banner ads at the top of your favorite Geocities site, imploring you to punch that monkey to win a free CD (an abbreviation for something called a ‘Compact Disc,’ according to Wikipedia). And because the internet was so new, these display ads actually converted incredibly well; we were clicking on everything in those days.

Goodness, have things changed.

Today, your retail marketing strategy can’t rely on broad strokes like general display ads. The modern shopper is much savvier, and studies show that your strategy needs to get much more personal in order to have any sort of effect on what they may purchase next.

According to Harvard Business Review, “personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more.” Segmenting your customers and targeting specific groups with relevant marketing will save your company money, while returning more profits.

So what’s the most personal marketing channel today?

Three stats on SMS texting

Let’s make the case for SMS texts as the most personal and targeted form of marketing that your team can utilize on a mass level, and why it should be the main focus of your marketing strategy, and not just an also-ran.

1. 75% of Gen-Z and Millennials use smartphones to shop online

According to Epsilon, three-fourth of young shoppers use their mobile devices to do their shopping. Furthermore, about half of Gen-Z uses smartphones while they’re shopping inside brick & mortar stores.

The days of computers being the primary devices to access the internet are long over, and smartphones are the most direct channel to modern shoppers. Because of that, push notifications are the most effective ways to get their attention, which is a great way to remind them of sales and promotions while they are actively in your store.

2. Text messages have an open rate of 98%

According to kenect, the average marketing email has an open rate of about 20%. Meanwhile, nearly every single text gets read. Because texting is perceived (and actually is) a more personalized form of communication, there’s a much higher likelihood of your customer reaching “inbox zero” with their text messages as opposed to their email inbox.

SMS texts have not only a higher open rate, but a higher conversion-rate-to-action as well. Endear’s own clients see a 26X better conversion rate than email marketing.

And the kicker…

3. Only 13% of SMBs use text messages with customers

Smallbiztrends (via EZ Texting) showed that while 54% of customers would like to receive promotions via text, only 13% of SMBs actually communicate with customers via this channel.

The first two stats show just how effective SMS marketing is, yet only a small percentage of your competitors are leveraging this channel at all to reach shoppers. This is a huge opportunity to leapfrog over these other brands by launching an effective, personalized text message marketing strategy.

Next-Level SMS marketing

There are 3 S’s to supercharging your SMS marketing strategy:

1. Segmentation

Personalization comes down to knowing the slices of your customer base. Ideally, your business would have a robust CRM system in place that has captured in-depth details about your shoppers: age, location, average order value, preferred products, etc.

You may have thousands of customers in your CRM, but say you want to just text out a Happy Birthday 20% off promo SMS text to those born in May. You should be able to easily segment those customers out in order to send a personalized text message.

2. Scale

One of the reasons only 13% of SMBs use text message marketing is a matter of resources. If a sales representative had to actually use a phone to type out a text message to each individual customer, your business would need a fleet of reps to affect any sort of mass text messaging strategy.

Instead, a good CRM can segment those customers out in a few clicks and set up a text message campaign that a single marketing associate can send out from one phone number to an entire group, as one-on-one conversations. These texts are not sent from a phone, but rather through the CRM system itself where it can be tagged, tracked, and followed up on.


This way, a small team can manage SMS communications at scale, creating a channel for effective personal marketing that doesn’t strain your team’s resources.

3. Spectacle

Finally, your brand’s text messages should be as bold and creative as your brand itself! Just because they are text messages, shouldn’t mean that they are text-only messages. These marketing campaigns can seem uninspired and boring.

SMS text

Instead, make your SMS campaigns both personal and actionable with curated LookBooks that users can browse right from their mobile devices, and click through to actually make a purchase right from your ecommerce site. We call them Shoppable Stories:

Shoppable Stories
shoppable stories via Endear checkout (smaller)

By looking at your CRM data, you can curate a selection of products they have browsed or ordered before, or items similar to what they have purchased in the past. These product images can be arranged into a Shoppable Story that streamlines the purchasing process by making the LookBook on their phone an instant-order digital catalog.

And because the purchasing is done right from their phone on your company website, you can easily track and attribute the sale down to the text message campaign sent by a sales rep. This way, even online orders can be attributed back to your team, incentivizing them by making sure no commissions are ever lost just because the purchase didn’t occur in-store. (Read more about better attribution in our last post)

Is your business ready to supercharge your text message marketing? Don’t be part of the 87% of SMBs neglecting this channel. Make it a primary focus of your retail marketing strategy to deliver a more personalized experience to your customers.