Promotional vs Transactional SMS: What you should know before starting a marketing campaign

Within the context of a pitched battle between brands to engage more customers, SMS marketing presently remains one of the top four most adopted mobile marketing tactics. It also offers positive results since the SMS triggered has open rates and response rates are 98% and 45% respectively.

Before taking an SMS campaign into practice, you need to understand different types of text messages and choose the appropriate ones. Business text messages can be divided into two primary categories, which are promotional and transactional SMS.

Let’s dive deeper in light of how you can make the best use of them in your business.

Promotional SMS

Promotional SMS is used to inform prospects and consumers regarding new offers, deals and discounts. Through this advertising purpose, you can gain buyer interest and have your target customers engage with you directly and feasibly. Integration with calendars will assist you in sending automatic promotion on a certain period.

An example of promotional SMS includes sending a discount code to consumers for a special occasion.

If you’re searching for a way to increase customer engagement, website traffic, buyer retention or purchase rate, you can consider promotional SMS. This marketing campaign can affect intensively because SMS-delivered coupons have the possibility of redemption 10 times more than other types of coupons. Both new and current consumers are driven through some promotional text message campaigns:

  • Discount/ cashback days: build brand pulls by announcing to audiences about sale off periods.
  • Seasonal promotion: inform consumers of appealing deals for a special occasion (Ex: Black Friday, New Year, etc.).
  • Flash/ clearance sales: increase the incentive of purchasing by focusing on the instant offers or cutting prices on out-of-season stock.
  • Loyalty program: usually applied for existing customers to get more by burning their points.

As a matter of fact, promotional SMS should follow Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which means you cannot send messages for marketing or advertising purposes before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time. Besides, this type of text message normally ends up with “Unsubscribe content” that customers can block ads from disturbing. Hence, you must write your messages attractively and send them at the right time to ensure that your campaign does not lose any valuable consumers.

Transactional SMS

Transactional SMS is applied to share time-sensitive information or any non-promotional notifications such as order status, payment confirmation or reminder. You can trigger these messages based on particular actions of audiences, which have already been pre-determined and configured in your SMS vendor’s dashboard. The pre-crafted templates sent automatically to audiences whose personal details inserted by SMS software. In this way, your text message campaign will run automatically based on the time or the condition you’ve set before.

Check out this reminding message about the abandoned cart

“Triggered” text messages can be a good solution if you are expecting to build brand credibility or strengthen your consumer journey by informing them with detailed updates. Indeed, transactional SMS is preferred by more than 50% of customers when receiving support-related information as most common customer service queries can be handled via text message simply. This lifecycle SMS campaign can be run effectively under some circumstances:

  • Cart recovery: remind buyers about abandoned cart
  • Partner communications: reach out to visitors and shoppers and build relationships with them. Ex: welcome new subscribers, customer win-back, etc.
  • Order follow-up: keep buyers up-to-date through every single step of the order.

Those transactional text messages can be sent at any time without restrictions due to their non-advertising essence. Additionally, the compliance rules for lifecycle SMS are slightly more lenient than promotional SMS’s as it is informative and can be essential for audiences to receive.

Best practices for both SMS strategies

Many companies, especially e-commerce brands, often utilize both categories of SMS strategies to optimize their performance. If you’re running a Shopify eCommerce store, applying an SMS marketing campaign will be appropriate for you to send targeted audiences details regarding promotion (new product launch, a discount code,…) and transaction (shipping updates, cart reminding,…). As your business is not restricted to one SMS campaign, bringing both SMS types into practice can help enhance the customer journey and drive positive performance. Here are some tips for combining these two fundamental SMS marketing strategies:

  • Include advertising in transactional SMS: you can add marketing content together with the store’s link into a transactional SMS template while constructing your custom triggers. Therefore, the message is used not only to update information but also to promote offers. This will help you leverage a higher impression or perhaps conversion rate by gaining shoppers mindshare.

Here’s an example of a welcome new subscribers message including coupon code inside.

  • Contain sign-up link in product alert message: the manual product alert message is far obsolescent. You can set an automation flow to notify shoppers when inventory levels change. A link attached in SMS can stimulate the audience to click on and sign up on-site to receive the notifications when the stock is replenished. It can help you keep an ongoing conversation alive with both first-time and returning customers.

There is a famous quote by Stephen King for summing up: “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” It also fits SMS well. For over a decade, SMS has been utilized widely as a marketing channel of choice to communicate with customers as it is rapidly deliverable, mobile-friendly, and cost-effective. By applying promotional and transactional SMS, you can ramp up your marketing strategy and reach your precious consumers directly.

Also, if you want to ensure your messages are sent timely and followed the tips above, ManySales will be a good choice for you. The app provides many great features including building subscriber lists, automation flow based on user actions,… for Shopify eCommerce brands, which wish to start running SMS marketing campaigns effectively.

ManySales is your must-have Shopify tool for conversions with targeted banners & automation upsell emails/ SMS.

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