At its worst, texting your customers can feel like you're invading their personal space with a chatbot. At its best, SMS marketing can allow brands to build stronger connections and nurture their shoppers into happy loyal customers.
More Shopify brands this year are looking towards text message marketing for reasons being:
- They want to elevate their customer support with a channel that allows for instant engagement
- They want to give their customers a direct way to reach their favorite brand
- They want to keep their customers close and make sure they're first to know on new deals, product launches or updates
But most importantly, it's because the SMS marketing stats for 2021 are out, and texting your customers may be more effective than email.
So let's take a tour of an SMS platform well known for its large-scale text messaging and SMS automation— Attentive and 5 other SMS marketing platforms in 2021.
We'll also look at what their customers are saying, pricing models and the boxes you should tick for any prospective SMS tool.
Have you heard about Attentive®?
Recently rebranded with a new look, Attentive provides text marketing services for eCommerce stores within the Shopify and Shopify Plus ecosystem.
How does Attentive Work
Attentive's SMS platform offers a do-it-yourself service model. This means learning how to wield it may take some extra time to navigate and a more hands-on approach from your team.
For example, their automated text messaging delivers "personalized mobile messaging" by leveraging your customers' behavioral data. Automatic text responses will be sent based on their shopping behavior and deliver targeted messages about products or promotions and respond to customer service questions.
This feature can be compared to email automation and is somewhat similar to the features of two other SMS platforms that we'll review in this article— Klaviyo and Emotive, which uses branch logic.
According to their G2 listing, their top 3 rated features are:
- Bulk SMS - Mobile Marketing
- Push Notifications - Mobile Marketing
- Coupons & Promotions - Mobile Marketing
Like some of the other SMS platforms for Shopify stores that we'll review in this article, a “dedicated client strategy team” will be there to guide new users to build their SMS marketing platforms.
However, they don't offer full international coverage and focus on sending messages to shoppers located in the US and Canada.
Attentive Pricing Plans
Based on their website, Attentive offers only custom plans. While a free trial is not available, you can book a demo to get a quote based on the needs of your business.
Is Attentive conversational?
When choosing the right SMS marketing platform for your eCommerce business, it's crucial for you to consider the next natural step for your business and whether it can fully support your business goals in 2021 and beyond.
Here are 3 things you can take into consideration:
- Using a conversational text messaging approach right off the bat can take your SMS marketing program from invasive to personal really quick
- If you're planning to expand internationally and sell without borders, providing the samelevel of support to your network of shoppers outside of the US and Canada should be a priority.
- Choose a platform that can text your customers using dedicated 10DLC numbers if you're going for personalized and effective this year
The difference between using dedicated 10DLC numbers and shared phone numbers to text your shoppers means they may get texts from different brands coming from the same number— pretty confusing business.
In short, choosing wisely now would save you the headache of migrating to a different SMSplatform later on.
And using two different SMS marketing apps for your store might incur additional costs and compromise your control over your customer's entire journey.
So let's take a look at 5 SMS marketing alternatives to Attentive.
5 Attentive Alternatives for Shopify SMS Marketing 2021
Cartloop is a conversational SMS marketing platform that helps Shopify brands drive more revenue and scale their customer relationships. It's great for online brands that want to truly engage with shoppers in real-time, with real people behind each conversation.
We're constantly adding more countries to our list. But right now, we support sending text messages to subscribers in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Here's how we take our conversational approach to SMS a step further than the rest.
How Cartloop Works: Conversationally✨
What's the biggest differentiator between us and Attentive? Cartloop's 24/7 Live Experts are a fun bunch to talk to.
We specialize in helping our merchants build stronger relationships with their customers in a more delightful and personal way— a Cartloop SMS conversation. Your shoppers now have a personal channel to interact with their favorite brands and get instant assistance by texting a real person.
Want to let build stronger relationships with your customers this year and drive more revenue at the same time? Check this out.
Cartloop's conversational text messaging features allow you to:
- Grow a compliant list of SMS subscribers with Cartloop Popup
- Engage with subscribers via Two-way conversational campaigns
- Recover 5x more abandoned carts than automated blasts
- Send texts from dedicated 10DLC numbers
- Keep all customer interactions under one single conversation with our Gorgias or Zendesk integrations
In the example of our Cart Recovery feature, when an abandoned shopper responds to a text message, our Live Experts will take over the conversation to recover up to 5x more abandoned carts— across different timezones.
We don't stop at cart recovery. Cartloop's Shopify SMS marketing service combines sales and support under one communication. This includes:
- Assistance with failed transaction
- Personalized product recommendations
- Product-related information
- Shipping and delivery information
- Up-sells and cross-sells
Cartloop Pricing Plans
Cartloop's pricing model is pretty straightforward. We charge our clients based on the revenue you generate using their SMS marketing— a must-have for brands that want to drive more revenue with no risk.
- Starter: $0 per month + 15% of Cartloop revenue
- Growth: $29 per month + 10% of Cartloop revenue
- Pro: $299 per month + 3% of Cartloop revenue
Cartloop are amazing, we actually weren't sure of how good they were until we stopped services, seen a massive drop straight away, so we knew we needed to get things set up again. Andrei and the team are an amazing support, nothing is too much work for them. Getting around 20x ROAs per campaign they send out! - The Essence Vault
I was incredibly dubious about using Cartloop, especially for a brand we're so cautious about keeping the right tone of voice for—we're in a quite sensitive space that requires an enormous amount of empathy. Outsourcing support on a channel as intimate as SMS was a risk. I cannot tell you just how impressed I've been!
Alexandra has been utterly fantastic at understanding our brands' mission and ensuring that Cartloop's support agents also understand what our brand is about and proactively monitoring conversations on our behalf. What's been even greater is the feedback we're seeing from customers. (......) — Empowered by Ashley
A 3-Step Setup for your Shopify Store
A plug-and-play setup process. Here's how easy it is:
- Search for Cartloop on the Shopify App Store and add it to your store with a 1-click installation.
- Optimize your checkout to stay compliant
- We'll take over from here to ensure your hit better results, consistently
Learn how Ava Estell, a British-based skincare brand hit 28x in ROI and grew 6k subscribers in a month.
Like Attentive, Klaviyo is an automated SMS platform that allows brands to drive sales on autopilot using their pre-built automation flows.
Currently used by thousands of growing Shopify and Shopify plus for their email marketing needs, Klaviyo is a pretty complete platform that offers a suite of marketing automation features.
Klaviyo email automation is the feature that stands out the most.
Using a similar concept to email automation helps give users a good idea of where they should start if they're new to SMS. However, if you're new to email automation and branch logic, it may take some time and legwork to master the ins and outs.
At this point in time, they have yet to announce international coverage but texting to US numbers is guaranteed.
Klaviyo Pricing Plans
While your first 50 SMS contacts are free, Klaviyo's pricing plans are steeper than most so scaling with Klaviyo can get expensive really quickly.
Play around with their cost estimator tool on their website here.
What Their Customers are Saying
If you liked Attentive and Klaviyo's approach, Emotive is another good option as a DIY SMS marketing tool. For anyone who's already familiar with email marketing automation, their automation interface will be a familiar sight to how you set up your responses based on the action a subscriber takes.
Unlike Cartloop, Emotive offers a somewhat different approach to SMS marketing. Their Emotive automation tool works to automate your responses using branch logic.
It's more suited to enterprise-level brands that want to be hands-on with theirSMS marketing channel.
Emotive Pricing Plans
While the Emotive website requires you to book a demo to get a quote, they offer two types of plans.
- Starter: Free-trial
- Custom Pricing
Postscript is an option for brands and stores within the Shopify ecosystem looking for mass-scale SMS marketing for their shoppers.
Currently used by thousands of growing Shopify and Shopify plus stores to manage their SMS marketing, they offer businesses SMS subscriber collection, automation tools, and SMS campaigns. They support both SMS and MMS.
Another do-it-yourself service model within a comprehensive SMS marketing service. This means learning how to wield it may take some extra time to navigate and a hands-on approach with your team.
How they differ from Attentive is that they're optimized to send in the US and Canada, but have also branched out to cover the UK and Australia.
Postscript Pricing Plans
The Postscript pricing model runs on a credit system to cater to brands that are looking for more flexibility.
- Cost Per Message is calculated based on how many messages you'd like to send per month
- The Total Cost per month is calculated based on the cost per message.
- The minimum starts at 2.5 messages per month with $0.01 cost per message.
While there is some calculation required, they have a calculator here for this.
If you're looking for an SMS marketing platform that will allow you to get on the ball with SMS and MMS marketing with a hands-on approach, Postscript's SMS solutions might interest you.
We want to help you make an informed decision this 2021, check out how Postscript compares to other SMS solutions here.
If you're looking for an SMS marketing platform that will allow you to test the waters with SMS and MMS marketing with global coverage, SMSBump might interest you.
SMSBump is built for merchants using either Shopify, Shopify Plus or BigCommerce.
SMSBump offers an SMS solution for brands and stores that want to focus on bulk SMS with global coverage and autopilot their SMS program with automation.
Like Postscript, their SMS platform is a do-it-yourself service. You'll have to set upthe automation yourself in order to capture subscribers and send them messages through every stage of their customer journey.
You can check out this review to see how SMSBump compares to other alternatives this 2021.
SMSBump Pricing Plans
- Free: $0 per month/ $0.0149 per SMS*
- Growth: $19 per month/ $0.0149 per SMS*
- Prime: $59 per month/ $0.0142 per SMS*
- Powerhouse: $199 per month/ $0.0130 per SMS*
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
- All message pricing listed are for within the US only
What SMSBump Customers are Saying
Want to go beyond stilted automated texts and SMS blasts? See how a US-based snack brand uses SMS to elevate personalized experiences for their customers.
Cartloop: The best Attentive Alternative for 2021
When choosing the SMS marketing platform with the best fit for your business, you'll want to balance price and features with usability, integrations and data availability.
By now you'd have probably realized that many SMS marketing platforms out there are equipped with advanced features, but not all are created equal.
To help you make an informed decision and get your SMS marketing program off the ground, here are 8 important features that can act as your north star:
- You can use seamless and beautiful popups to automate TCPA and CTIA compliance and grow your SMS subscriber list with confidence
- You have the flexibility to keep your SMS list warm and engage with your customers across their entire customer journey with Two Way campaigns
- You use a conversational approach to talk to your customers and forge closer relationships
- You can personalize your messaging by building targeted segments of your SMS audience
- You offer a direct and personal line to all your customers and keep all customer conversations within a single point of communication
- You can back up quantitative numbers with qualitative data to elevate your personalization
- You can seamlessly integrate your SMS marketing platform with your eCommerce platform
- You can sell without borders and text your international audience
In short, choose a platform that offers you the most flexibility to cater to your long-term growth and ROI goals.
If you're looking at a complete SMS marketing platform with the key features to humanize the key touchpoints of your customer journey, look no further than Cartloop.
With dedicated experts to help you get your SMS marketing program off the ground, you can combine both support and sales all under one new marketing channel.