How to Use SMS Marketing to Increase Foot Traffic at Your Stores

Learn how to turn your retail shoppers into repeat customers and score more business opportunities through SMS marketing.

In 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 comfortable with texting with a brand. In fact, SMS messages have a nearly 100% open rate (compared to 20% for email) and a faster response rate - as little as 90 seconds!

However, one concern we hear from brands using Endear is that text message may be too forward or intrusive. Are customers really comfortable with communication via such a personal channel? 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 SMS for omnichannel selling, and some language you can use when reaching out to customers.

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 (or else earn yourself an unsubscribe)

# 1: Thank Yous

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

What makes this message great:

  • Using your own name shows there is a human on the other side of the message.
  • The message clarifies that the customer can respond if they'd like.
  • The message has details illustrating that you remember the interaction and this isn’t an automated message. However, this should be a compliment to the transactional order confirmation email they should receive for their order.

#2: Product Restocks

Hey [client name], Leigh here from Endear! Great news: the brown Greta top you wanted is back in the store [and online] in your size! The store is open every day from 10am to 6pm if you want me to put it aside for you, or check it out online [here]. Let me know if you’re still interested!

What makes this message great:

  • The message indicates that the customer can respond if they'd like (but takes the pressure off)
  • The message again has elements such as SKU and size that are unique to the customer.
  • The message includes important logistical information to help the customer make their decision, such as when the store is open and whether or not they can purchase online.

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#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 Soho store just for our VIP clients and I’d love to see you there! Here is a preview of some of the items that will be available that I thought you’d be particularly interested in [link]. Hope you can make it!

What makes this message great:

  • The message clarifies that the customer is included because they're part of a special audience segment of customers (VIP).
  • The message promotes a special offer, and includes a link to some items they might want to use their offer for.
  • The message includes important logistical information (time and date) to help the customer make their decision (without requiring them to respond).

#4: Thinking of You/Lapsed Customer

Hi [client name]! Leigh here 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!

What makes this message great:

  • 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 their 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 online too. You can also find these pieces on our website!

What makes this message great:

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

Still on the fence?

Here are some easy ways to motivate customers to tell you whether or not they want to text:

  • Add your retail sales team's SMS number to your website, and see which customers take advantage of that line of communication.
  • Ask customers at checkout if they prefer email or text message for updates.
  • Always include an opt-out in your first text message so customers feel like they have a way to politely say no.

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