The SMS Marketing Guide for Fashion Brands

August 8, 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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The SMS Marketing Guide for Fashion Brands

With the ever-changing fashion industry, mobile has become a dominant channel for customers –with nearly 60% of fashionistas using their mobile phones to make online clothing purchases.  With 98% open rates, SMS marketing can help fashion brands boost sales, keep in touch with customers, and expand brand loyalty.

Most high-end fashion brands on the Shopify platform build immensely effective and strategic digital plans with Facebook ads, Instagram (paid and organic), display and paid search, and email marketing to successfully reach their customers.  Adopting SMS is simply a natural evolution as customers migrate to more mobile communications. We’ll discuss building a strategic SMS marketing plan include list building, customer segmentation, creative messaging, and campaigns.

Step 1: BUILD YOUR LIST

Before sending out SMS marketing campaigns and automations, we’ll need to compliantly gather phone numbers–with compliance being the operative word.  Since regulations around marketing text messages are the second hottest area of litigation in the US, we’ve built this guide for new customers to update terms and services, include double opt-ins, and more.  

Once all compliance changes have been made on the site, fashion brands can begin growing their SMS customer list by:

  1. Turning on the Postscript Pop-up.  While most brands include an email capture pop-up, setting the phone capture pop-up is actually more important.  Based on internal Postscript data, SMS marketing is actually 100x as effective as email marketing.
  2. Testing Facebook lead ads to collect customer opt-ins via SMS
  3. Giving customers an instant reward for signing up. For example, offering customers 15% off on their first order if they sign up for SMS alerts. This gives them an immediate incentive to join your list.
  4. Creating a banner on the website that encourages customers to text a shortcode. For example, you can tell them to text “FASHION” to 121212 to receive exclusive offers.
  5. Leveraging offline opportunities to gain customer opt-ins
    • Putting a note on receipts, print advertising, and packaging to advertise SMS loyalty programs. Instead of saying, “Thank You. Come Again”, receipts can include “Text FASHION to 121212 to get coupons and deals via SMS!”
    • Encouraging interaction with customer service via SMS by enabling Zendesk and Gorgias helpdesk integrations to resolve customer service issues via text.

Step 2: Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is key to driving higher conversion rates and profits for fashion brands.  Postscript’s Shopify app integrates all customer data –allowing fashion brands deep segmentation into their customer base.  In turn, this drives higher conversion rates than other digital channels like Facebook and Instagram ads or even paid search remarketing.

Most digital savvy brands have tested out segmenting repeat loyal customers and new customers into different audiences –usually finding that happy customers are more likely to be loyal and help grow the business.  With the same tack in mind, successful fashion brands on Postscript have segmented their campaigns into:

  • Repeat Customers
    • Definition: Customers that have re-purchased with a set time period (15, 30, 60, 90 days)
  • New Customers
    • Definition: Customers who have not purchased an item

With this segmentation, one of Postscript’s top fashion brands enjoyed a 71% conversion rate with first time buyers and an 81% conversion rate for repeat buyers.  Adapting this strategy also helps the business understand and budget for higher cost per acquisition for new customers.

Step 3: Creative & Messaging

Having the right tone in your messages is crucial to the success of your SMS campaign.  If your tone doesn’t match your brand’s personality, it can create a jarring brand experience and increase opt-out rates. 

With a channel that involves instant communication, brands only have a few seconds to grab and hold a customers’ attention. Keeping the right tone can make all the difference in convincing SMS subscribers to engage. Here are some tips to mastering the perfect tone in your messages:

  • Avoid using ALL CAPS. Writing in ALL CAPS is pretty much the equivalent of shouting. Your customers may misinterpret your message and end up feeling uncomfortable. Remember, texting is not like face-to-face interaction where they can get the full effect of your emotions by reading your facial expressions and body language. If you want to emphasize a point, use bold or italics instead.
  • Feel free to use text speak, but only when it’s easy to understand. Using text speech like “U” or “Gr8” can add more personality to the  message. But don’t go overboard with it and only use the most common abbreviations. Use text speech sparingly and try to be as clear and concise as possible.
  • Keep messages spaced well and easy to read. Use no more than three lines at a time. Also, include a strong CTA and separate it from other copy to make it stand out. For example, “Shop: (insert link)” should have its own line.
  • Beautiful portrait images show best on a phone. You want your SMS to show up well on mobile screens. Since most smartphones aren’t very wide, it’s best to use portrait images in your texts. Your subscribers will appreciate the care you put into your messages.
  • Only use well-placed GIFs. GIFS can add extra flair to your messages, especially for fashion brands.  Well-placed gifs that rotate new outfit trends and collections help customers visualize outfits and drive additional sales.
  • Highlight exclusive events via SMS.  Everyone loves the allure of exclusive sample sales or events for loyal customers.  Drive customer loyalty and sales by creating specific sale events for SMS and driving additional engagement.