8 Text Message Templates for Conversational SMS Campaigns

It's not every year a new marketing channel appears, so what are you waiting for? Now's a great time to learn how you can adopt an SMS-first approach this year to forge deeper connections with your shoppers.

But we're not talking about any old bulk SMS blast. The key focus for brands this year is to connect and deliver how customers want to interact with and experience their favorite brands.

In 2021, move past aiming for fleeting transactions and take a more conversational approach when speaking to shoppers.

Take this tip for example:

It's so easy for marketers to write content that appeals to the masses, but conversational content needs to be exactly that - conversational. Use the conversations in the same way as if you were texting a friend or emailing a colleague and remember to talk to your customers, not at them.

— William Lynch, Partnerships Manager at Underwaterpistol.

If you found that useful and want to know more about conversational marketing, read crucial insights here from 25 eCommerce experts who share why conversational marketing is the next big thing in 2021.

Why is SMS a Great Personalized Channel to Reach Your Customers?

SMS by nature is a 2-way communication channel, and brands should get used to the idea of treating it like their personal channel between them and their shoppers.

As merchants and marketers ourselves, it's easy for us to fall back into whipping out the marketing jargon while keeping one eye on the conversion rate. But the core of your SMS strategy lies in how well your customers can relate to you in a span of 160 characters.

Unlike email marketing, sending frequency and deliverability strategies don't really apply to SMS marketing. But you should definitely keep your list healthy and engaged.

Which is all the more reason you'll need to shift your mindset and be more sensitive in how you come across in your messaging in text messages.

And this begins by getting to know your customers and leveraging SMS campaigns to check in with them.

Aim to Surprise and Delight Your SMS Subscribers

Right, so we promised 8 winning SMS campaign templates you can use right off the bat, and don't worry, we'll get there. But first, let's ground some basics before we let you take off with it.

Here's the 2021 way on how you should leverage conversational text messaging:

  1. Initiate a conversation with your abandoned shoppers 💬
  2. Provide value through each text
  3. Provide assistance throughout the entire shopping journey

First, remember that SMS is a great channel to gain you an instant and direct audience with your shoppers in their personal space— their mobile phones. Secondly, always keep in mind the psychology of why your customers will want to keep opening text messages from you or reach out to you (yay) in the future.

Here's the moment you've been waiting for.

8 Conversational Text Messaging Templates

Ready to see how a personalized SMS campaign and engaging message to your customers should look like? Let's go.

Wait hold up, what are SMS campaigns?

Oh right. We didn't explain the difference between an SMS campaign and event-triggered texts.

SMS campaigns are one-off messages or manual broadcasts that you send to highlight, notify and inform your customers.

We love to advise our customers to try out two-way SMS campaigns when they want to highlight seasonal, time-limited deals to drive urgency and provoke an immediate conversation.

Event-triggered texts behaves like marketing automation and drip campaigns. You can automate sending personalized, tailored responses when a shopper meets specific factors or an event occurs. For example, when a shopper abandons their shopping cart or becomes a new subscriber.

SMS campaigns are dynamic, whereas event-triggered texts are static. And this depends on which conversational SMS marketing platform you team up with.

Cartloop's Cart Recovery SMS feature only triggers the first text before Live Experts take over to have a live, 1:1 conversation with your customers.  Not so static after all.

In short, use both.

SMS campaigns are a great addition to your marketing arsenal to stay engaged with shoppers throughout their customer lifecycle even when they're not browsing, adding to cart, or taking actions on your website.

Ready? Finally let's dive in.

1. Celebrate Loyal Customers with a VIP Campaign

Your VIPs are your most loyal customers. They're a group of highly engaged shoppers who opted into your SMS marketing list and purchased from your store recently and frequently.

They're super valuable to the growth of your brand and are likely to become your unofficial brand ambassadors— so it's important you celebrate their status as VIPs.

You'll need to make your VIPs feel as if they're part of an exclusive community. Celebrate their loyalty by giving them access to the biggest discounts, new product launches, and priority during major sales events.

Take our example below.

Swipe Copy for a VIP SMS Campaign:

Hi {{ first_name}}! Emma from {{ brand }} here.

VIP status comes with VIP rewards.

Save 25% on your next order with code VIP25.

Ends Saturday midnight.

Shop at: {{ short_link }}

Bonus Tip: Knowing who your VIPs are now will prove to be a lucrative and successful SMS marketing strategy when Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) rolls around. You can fully maximize the impact of this once-a-year eCommerce sales holiday with early-access VIP sales.

So quick question, do you know who your VIP customers are? Before they reach VIP status,  start nurturing returning customers to encourage frequent buying.

Let's continue with more SMS campaign ideas below on how you can give your customers the right tap with the right text message.

2. Provide Value with Category Promotions

There are a few instances where category promotion campaigns will come in handy for your store:

  1. Highlight your bestselling products
  2. Push slow-moving inventory or product lines
  3. Up-sell products during special sales events (Anti-ageing bundle for Mother's Day)

Category promotion campaigns are a great way to value-add to your subscribers, and there are a few strategic ways to do it. You could target your customers based on a specific product interest or purchase history but more on this later at the end of this article.

In short, customers want you to show them what they'd want. And here's what makes your brand stand out from the rest— by talking to them and helping them find the best product to suit their needs and wants.

Here's a great conversation starter:

Swipe Copy for Category Promotions SMS Campaign:

Hi {{ first_name}}, Emma from {{ brand }} here.

This week enjoy 15% off on all of our {{ Product_category }}.

Use code 15OUT.

Ends Sunday midnight: {{ short_link }}

3. Drive Urgency on Storewide Discounts

It's important not to over-market and treat your SMS channel only as a sales channel that gets you the high open rates. Although that's true, it might ruin the performance of your SMS marketing in the long run.

Everyone loves a great deal. Here's how to text your shoppers as if you were sharing a great discount with a friend.  Remember to delight and surprise? If you have a great discount to offer your shoppers, don't delay good news.

And if you're looking for a situation where you can start to give your customers a good marketing push, you can drive some urgency to storewide discounts by highlighting the sales deadline in your text message.

Here's a great text message to keep your SMS subscriber list warm:

Swipe Copy for Storewide Discount SMS Campaign:

Hey from {{ brand }} ! This weekend only get 20% discount on EVERYTHING!

Use code WKND.

Ends Sunday at Midnight.

Click here to shop {{ short_link }}

4. Ignite Interest on New Product Launches

New product launches are always exciting, even more so for customers who love your brand and your products. Here's another way of providing value without really selling anything upfront.

Check out this optimized text message to let your customers

Swipe Copy for New Product Launch SMS Campaign:

Hey {{ first_name}}! Feel like your phone case is getting rusty?

Check out our new cases and covers at {{ brand }}

Shop here: {{ short_link }}

5. Incite FOMO on Almost Sold Out Items

Like any relationship, you need to spice things up once in a while. If you're running low in stock on a specific product, it's a great time to communicate product scarcity with your SMS list and incite the fear of missing out (FOMO).

Swipe Copy for an "Almost Sold Out" SMS Campaign:

Hey {{ first_name}}, Emma from {{ brand }} here.

You have only a few hours left to grab your favs.

Next restock comes in a few months.

Shop at: {{ short_link }}

It's a great strategy that's been tried and proven to drive short bursts of high sales— and you can replicate this campaign for a sales deadline. But our advice is to use it sparingly because it's easy to lose the surprise element.

6. Winback Almost-Lost Shoppers with Restock Campaigns

When done right, restock campaigns are a genius tactic to give your store a revenue lift and engage your subscribers regularly while maximizing the real estate of an SMS.

And you won't even come across as being too sales-y. Yes, it's an actual word in the context of this guide.

Depending on how you use them, these SMS campaigns are like a good combination of retargeting and product upselling or cross-selling.

And it's a great way to win back inactive customers—or customers who haven't bought from you within the last 60 days.

Here are some examples where you can leverage the flexibility of this campaign :

  • Remind customers of previously wishlisted /browsed products
  • Nudge inactive shoppers back into your store
  • Guide a Recommend a back in stock product that's relevant to their interests

Here's how to send a timely notification to get your customers interested in what you have to offer:

Swipe Copy for Restock SMS Campaign:

Brand: Our top-up is here!

All your favorite items are Back in Stock.

Items sell out FAST during our top-up events

Grab yours here: {{ short_link }}

7. Boost AOV with BOGOF Campaigns

Who doesn't love to buy more for less? BOGOF campaigns or "buy one get one free" is like a win-win situation for you and your customers. They get a great deal for their favourite products, you get extra brownie points with your shoppers. And maybe even get some slow moving products going.

Like what you've learned in the previous SMS campaigns, always make sure to convey the benefit to your shoppers before informing them of the promotion deadline.

Important tip: Always include one clear call to action (CTA) so they know what action to take next.

Swipe Copy for BOGOF SMS Campaign:

Hi {{ first_name}}, Emma from {{ brand }} here.

Save your hard-earned money this weekend.

Buy One Get One Free.

Offer expires in 48 hours.

Shop at: {{ short_link }}

Bonus: SMS Campaign Personalization ideas

When it boils down to campaign personalization strategies, take your SMS marketing strategy beyond automated text messages and bulk sends by messaging your shoppers based on their behavioral and product preferences.

No two customers are alike, so there's no one message that fits all.

Here are some suggestions on which customers you can send to and how you can go beyond a shopper's first name and mobile number:

  • Subscribers who have never purchased previously
  • Product Interests: What they've bought previously
  • Which discounts or sales holiday they prefer
  • What actions they've taken on site: Browse, Added to Cart, Added to Wish list
  • Their Birthdays
  • Know Their Concerns: Price sensitivity, Checkout Issues, Technical Product Information, Shipping Information

The Wrap Up: Get to Know Your Customers in 160-Characters

We shared the 8 SMS campaigns and the text messaging templates that are a great opportunity to build your VIP list and keep your subscriber list warm without annoying your customers.

Let's recap them:

  1. Celebrate loyal customers with a VIP campaign
  2. Provide value with category promotions
  3. Drive urgency on storewide discounts
  4. Drive engagement on new product launches
  5. Incite FOMO on almost sold out items
  6. Retarget inactive shoppers with restock campaigns
  7. Boost AOV with BOGOF Campaigns

Our main takeaway from this is, don't just treat SMS as another marketing channel with a numbers game when it comes to quantitative metrics.

The two-way communication nature of text messaging itself affords you so much more, but it first requires you to shift your mindset to a more conversational approach.

It's imperative that you go the extra mile to maintain a personal note when texting your shoppers and respect them by providing them with the relevant value they'd love to see— and not what you want to sell.

Actionables to take home:

  • Pick one or two of the templates above to try it out for yourself today
  • Find your brand personality
  • Text your customers like you're having a 1:1 conversation (like they're people)
  • Add some (on-brand) emojis to add visual excitement
  • Keep it within 160 characters
  • Prime your Checkout for SMS Marketing
  • Make sure your shoppers get your texts from dedicated 10DLC numbers
  • Do your homework on SMS Compliance
  • Or Install Cartloop's compliant and fully-managed conversational SMS marketing platform today in 3-easy steps

Learn more about sending 2-way SMS campaigns here or book a demo with us today to see how it works. Psst!— the first 14 days are on us.

Jun-Li is a content person at Cartloop. When she's not writing a blog article, you can find her collecting a new hobby or doing yoga.

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