Get Ready for BFCM: Engagement Strategies to Maximize Sales with SMS Flows
The growing popularity of Black Friday and this year’s prominent shift to mobile shopping, mean one thing: eCommerce brands need to bring their mobile marketing game to a whole different level.
A mobile-only channel by definition, SMS marketing gives you the opportunity to communicate with each and every customer separately, directly and independently of third parties. Above all, you can personalize their journey and provide a tailor-made experience based on actual knowledge and understanding of your shoppers.
One of the ways to ensure that you will max up your BFCM with SMS is to automate key steps of your customer journey with the help of our SMS Flows.
Activate Flows so new subscribers are always welcomed at your store, abandoned orders are recovered soon after they are left behind, customers don’t go long without making purchases, and sales opportunities never slip through your fingers! Stay connected with customers and collect valuable insights from them, to build the ultimate customer journey! All of this - well before we even start seeing BFCM slogans!
Start by making a good first impression! One that will last at least until Black Friday. ;)
Engage Right Away with Conversational Welcome Messages
Make your first contact even more engaging by asking relevant questions and allowing customers to text you back with a specific keyword that reflects their preference. Enabling our conversational flows will allow you to study each subscriber’s personal taste and needs before extending an offer. Much like any good sales assistant at a B&M store would do before suggesting bright orange ripped jeans to a lady with a taste for classic designs.
You can ask any question you want to help narrow down your products and collections, and refer your new subscriber to the most relevant one of the bunch. And the best part - because you are making it clear that you want to provide them with the most suitable deal, your subscribers will be more than willing to respond to your question and make sure what they end up buying is really what they were looking for. They will appreciate that even during the busiest times, you’ve taken their experience into consideration and have made it so it’s enjoyable.
Later on, if you wish to retarget customers based on different attributes, you can just filter them by what their response was. Do you want to contact only your curly-haired shoppers - segment them by the keyword they texted you back, i.e. CURLY. This way you will be able to make your targeting extra on-point by splitting customers in relevant categories, according to their personal taste or preferences.
Go through our extended article and learn more about how to create a Welcome flow that will engage customers from the get-go and boost your conversions.
After you’ve made a good first impression and have extended a spot-on offer, it’s time to think about what happens if, even after this effort, your new subscribers click on your link but don’t finalize their purchase.
Never Miss a Sales Opportunity with an Abandoned Cart Flow
Abandoned carts are a huge black hole that sucks in millions of sales every year, and with that - millions of chances at a higher revenue. They happen even to the best of brands and can come from unexpected sources - whether it’s the new subscribers you just engaged with, or loyal customers that might have got distracted for a bit and forgot to hit “Checkout”.
The good news is that you can easily flip this around and turn abandoned purchases into a great opportunity for your business, especially around high-traffic shopping events, such as Black Friday. Because, naturally, as the number of site visitors increases, so will the number of abandoned checkouts.
For maximum recovery, it’s important to set up an abandoned cart flow as early as you launch your SMS marketing. Abandoned cart reminders run in the background and are triggered only when somebody leaves without completing a purchase, in no way interfering with your other text marketing efforts. Quite the opposite actually: enabling them will make sure no potential sales fall through the cracks of your online store. Done via SMS, this makes it even easier for customers to finish their order, as all they need to do is click on the link provided and check out.
Read through our article on how to build a two-step abandoned cart SMS flow that will boost your recovery rates. Take a closer look at how we used conditions to personalize the flow so it engages with the different types of customers differently.
Abandoned cart sequences are one way to additionally engage with customers to make the most out of any sales, be it during the Cyber week, or on a regular day. To keep customers engaged for longer, though, and also give a little boost to your average order value, your next step should be to try and upsell them!
Continue with an Upsell Flow
Black Friday might have not started yet, but this does not mean that you should not try and maximize your sales already. Au contraire. Setting up a personalized upsell flow before the holidays start will help you establish a better relationship with your customers and will save you some last minute preparations.
As on big sales days, such as BFCM, people are actively looking for package deals, it’s important that you map out what products fit best together well in advance.
With that in mind, the earlier you enable your upsell flow, the more time you will have to test different products and combinations, and see which ones convert best. This way, when the big week starts, you will be all set with the most converting upsell items!
The rest of our tips on how to create a converting two-step upsell flow for Cyber week you can find in our blog article.
Besides the upsell flow, another tactic you can go for to maximize both your pre-holiday and Black Friday sales is setting up a Winback Flow to try and re-engage customers who’ve been inactive for a while. And make sure these leads (and the revenue they can bring) don’t fall through the Cyber cracks.
Moving On with a Winback Flow
As Black Friday is entirely a sales-driven event, trying to maximize your reach is crucial, and this often means starting your communication with customers well in advance. In other words, take the time before Cyber week to throw a “rehearsal campaign”. Reach out to customers that might have not been active for a while and bring them back to your store with pre-Black Friday offers, based on what they’ve purchased from you before. This way, when you contact them again with your BFCM sales, you will still be fresh in their memory and they will be more inclined to do their holiday shopping at your store.
Why is this important? Тhink about it this way: wouldn’t it be great if at least half of the customers that have at some point shopped from you return to order from your Black Friday sales?
With a personalized winback strategy, you can make this happen!
Configure a winback flow that will contact subscribers who haven’t been active in 30, 45, 60 or however many days you think will work for your brand. Think of an enticing way to bring them back, such as a sneak peek into your upcoming Black Friday sale, a pre-holiday deal to have them beat the crowds, a flash sale to make them act fast, etc.
Go through our Winback guide for more ideas how you can reactivate customers before, during and after Black Friday. The strategies are evergreen, just need a bit of tweaking to match your brand voice and expectations. ;)
Raising the Bar with an After Sales Care Flow
During times when customers usually shop more and from different stores, proper after sales care is absolutely essential. Transactional messages, such as order confirmation, shipping status and updates, have 64% higher open rates than promotional ones, meaning one thing - they are important to customers, therefore - should be important to you.
Keeping customers in the loop about their order at all times gives them peace of mind and is the pathway to long-term engagement and loyalty. Including important information such as a tracking number, shipping company or a way for them to contact you in case they have questions, is what makes a transactional message valuable. Additionally, using their local language to communicate will make an even stronger impression on customers. And the best part is - you can automate all of this using SMS Flows!
Bottomline, after-sales courtesy is when your brand can truly shine as a good host, looking after its customers’ worry-free experience even during the most hectic of times, such as Black Friday. SMS Flows make the process simple and the results - guaranteed, so make sure to check out our tips on how to create a fully-automated flow that will take good care of your customers.
Finishing Strong with a Reviews flow
At times when sales and site traffic are high, it’s absolutely key to step it up and collect as much social proof as possible. Review requests through SMS enjoy a 66% higher conversion rate than any other form of review collection, which indicates that shoppers actually find it convenient to use their mobile phones to share feedback. Play this to your advantage and automate the process well before BFCM hits, so you can turn every upcoming sale into a positive review (hopefully :)).
To make your review flow even more powerful, add a step that will let customers know about a new sale you’re running, a new item you just added, an exclusive offer, or anything else that might get them back to your website. A happy customer is one that’s easy to retarget and reengage.
Brands who want to maximize their review collection by reaching customers where they already are: their phones. Simple as that!
Engage Actively from Day One!
All the interactions we talked about above give you the opportunity to collect valuable customer information. Using that data to identify trends and deliver excellent services, tailored to every customer, is what is going to bring them back to your store. Shoppers have and always will be looking for a personalized approach! They do not only want it, but expect it.
With Flows, this doesn’t need to be a complicated task.
And if you are looking for more ideas how to utilize Flows as part of your SMS marketing strategy, don't miss out on reading our comprehensive guide "Maximize Sales with SMS Flows". Don't forget to also visit our Black Friday Cyber Monday Knowledge Hub for more valuable tips and tactics for the most successful BFCM yet!
Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.