Competing for customers’ attention has never been easy, and the rapid e-commerce growth in the last two years certainly did not make it any less challenging.
Quite the opposite – paid search spend spiked 17% and paid social advertising increased by 24% at the end of 2020, causing uncertainty about the future and making the competition for online attention even fiercer.
Although attracting new buyers will always remain important, growing customer acquisition costs are forcing brands to experiment with alternative channels and prioritize existing customers.
Enter SMS marketing.
Being such a direct and personal channel, SMS can be a great way to reconnect with your customers after they’ve already shopped with you. Continue reading to learn about 9 types of post-purchase SMS that can help you boost customer satisfaction and achieve better retention rates.
What is a post-purchase message?
A post-purchase SMS message is a text/a series of texts that you send to your customers after they’ve made a purchase on your store or used your services.
Although sometimes underrated, post-purchase is actually a very important part of the whole customer journey. Post-purchase behavior refers to the way a shopper feels and acts after completing the transaction, which can bring different outcomes, such as returning the purchased items, writing a (positive/negative) review, placing another order in the future, etc.
Put simply, by sending post-purchase SMS, you can make an impact on your customers’ post-purchase behavior and nudge them in the right direction.
Why use post-purchase messaging?
- Reduce post-purchase anxiety. Post-purchase messaging can help you stay transparent about the post-purchase process, provide more details about your products, and simply show that you’re there if they need anything. Therefore, this can help keep customers at peace.
- Increase repeat purchases. Customers that enjoy shopping with you from the moment they’ve discovered your brand to thorough communication after purchase, are less likely to consider your competitors over you the next time they need to buy something again.
- Reduce the volume of complaints and inquiries. Post-purchase messaging can help you prevent recurring questions that customers always have, like where is my order or any product-related inquiries. By sending order status updates, instructions, etc. via SMS, you’ll be resolving issues before they actually land in your inbox.
- Stay on customers’ radar. Sending relevant and valuable messages to buyers from time to time will strengthen your brand awareness and keep your business at the top of your customer's minds.
Post-purchase SMS examples to send to your customers
1. Order confirmation text messages
An order confirmation is a text message that informs customers that their order has been placed successfully and is ready to be proceeded.
These messages should be sent as soon as possible to reassure shoppers that they’ve done everything correctly, their payment went through, and all that’s left is to relax and wait for their parcel to arrive.
There’s no one rule about what you should definitely include in an order confirmation text message, but it’s common to provide the most important details of the order, like the order number, payment confirmation, and estimated delivery time.
2. Thank you SMS
Saying thank you as customers leave brick-and-mortar stores seems obvious, so why should it be different when they shop online?
Usually, thank you messages are merged with order confirmation texts, but you can also send a separate one once the order is delivered. Thank you text messages can serve several different purposes, including bringing a brand closer to a consumer and encouraging shoppers to order again. For instance, to show your gratitude, you can offer a special discount on the next purchase.
3. SMS shipping updates
Okay, honestly, thank you messages are nice to have and can give you some extra points, but shipping and delivery notifications are absolutely a must.
Online shoppers are getting more demanding by day, expecting a quick and thorough shipping process and a great overall experience. Delivery is a crucial point that can either become a cherry on top or leave your customers very disappointed.
Providing people with an order tracking number within the order confirmation and sending SMS shipping updates will let them follow their order journey and keep them calm. Moreover, every time your name appears in their inbox, they will just get more and more excited about the delivery!
4. Video instructions and other tips
Depending on what you sell, sending video instructions and other relevant tips can show customers that you care about their experience and are happy to help.
It’s also a great way to welcome them on board and provide more details on how to get started with your products, which can be a lot easier to understand than reading several pages of written instructions.
If you sell something that doesn't really need explanation, think about what other information might be relevant in a particular context. For example, if your customer just bought a pair of top-notch hiking shoes, send a message with tips on how to take care of them.
5. Post-purchase surveys and feedback requests
Another use for post-purchase SMS is to learn about your customer experience during their last order.
You will never be able to see your business and the processes that are happening the way your customers do, and that’s why it’s important to get honest opinions from “the outside.”
By sending a feedback request via SMS, you’ll give shoppers a quick and easy way to share their ideas and thoughts, therefore, will be able to improve and grow.
6. Review requests
SMS is one of the best ways to ask for customer reviews for a few reasons:
- SMS has a great open rate of up to 98%, meaning that the majority of customers will read them.
- It’s just easy to complete in a few clicks, which is appealing.
What’s important here is to direct customers to the exact page where you want them to leave a review. It can be some third-party website like Google reviews or Trustpilot, or you can ask to leave a review on your website.
This will not only provide you with valuable information about your products but will also encourage other store visitors to buy since (positive) customer reviews are a proven way to boost conversions.
7. Cross-selling and upselling opportunities
Just like sending SMS promotions can drive customer purchases, cross-selling and upselling text messages can increase your average order value and encourage customers to check out the items they weren’t planning on buying. The final result of both – more sales.
The difference? As promotional messages target everyone in your subscriber's list, post-purchase upsells and cross-sells target only those customers who have already shopped with you. Meaning, they’re more relevant and have higher chances of conversion.
8. SMS reminders
Post-purchase SMS reminders can work great for products or services that need regular maintenance or have to be changed or purchased once again after some time has passed.
For example, if you sell toothbrushes and offer e-commerce subscriptions, you can send SMS reminders every three to four months reminding customers that it's time to purchase a new one. Or if you specialize in dog food, you can remind dog owners that their pets will soon need a new package of treats.
9. Invitations to join loyalty programs
If you have a loyalty program, use post-purchase messages to inform your customers about it and grow your loyal customer base. They’ve already bought something from you, most likely enjoyed the experience, why wouldn’t they consider joining?
Tell what additional benefits they can expect, or link to more information that they can access right from the message you’ve sent. You can use two-way communication to let shoppers enroll easier or direct them to fill the necessary form to become a part of your customer loyalty program.
To make the offer more appealing, entice customers with the first discount that only members can get – just to give them a nudge and that taste of exclusivity.
Turn customers into repeat buyers with post-purchase messaging
Every business is unique, and what works for others, will not necessarily suit your brand.
However, customer retention is a universal goal that can help any company in any industry grow. Repeat buyers tend to spend more money, they are easier to sell to, not to mention that they usually become the best brand advocates.
Use the post-purchase SMS examples above as a starting point for your own campaigns and reap the benefits of your SMS marketing efforts.