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SMS Marketing for Jewelry Brands

In episode #140 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I discuss SMS marketing or text marketing for jewelry brands. SMS marketing basically refers to text-message marketing, which means you send texts to your customers in conjunction with email marketing or in lieu of email marketing.

Did you know that only 39% of businesses are taking advantage of SMS marketing? And only 13% of businesses allow for customers to respond to their SMS marketing messages. However, on the other end of that, 64% of consumers think businesses should contact them via SMS more often, and 50% of consumers say they would opt into an SMS loyalty program if they were offered flash sales, deals, or coupons in return. Check out the transcript below.

0:00
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast, I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and innovators, so they can thrive by doing what they love. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you. This is Episode 140, and today I’m going to discuss SMS or mobile marketing for jewelry brands. So SMS marketing basically refers to text message based marketing, which means you send texts to your customers, maybe in conjunction with your email marketing strategy, or even in lieu of email marketing.

0:38
But before we get to today’s episode, I want to share some marketing related news and insights from the past week that caught my attention. So first, there was a really great update type of article from JCK about the state of jewelry sales. So jewelry sales in July jumped 83% over the last year. That’s really exciting and great news. Overall retail sales in July 2021, excluding auto and gas actually rose 10.9% over the previous year. This is fueled in part by pent up savings and the child tax credit that was part of President Biden’s American rescue plan. In general, brick and mortar in store sales made up 81.9% of total retail sales for the month. And in store sales grew 15.5% over July of last year. So the July numbers are really reflecting a return to in store, do you have a brick and mortar store or in store retail presence, I would love to hear if you are experiencing these kinds of numbers in your space.

1:48
So next I saw a great article from Practicalecommerce.com. That was all about lifecycle marketing, which is something that I’ve never really talked about on this podcast. So when I saw it, it really sparked a thought in me that I should mention this to you. So what is lifecycle marketing? It connects a business and its customers providing the proper communications at the proper time. When done well, it can really help retain buyers and provide a better overall shopping experience. In general, lifecycle marketing should really be viewed as a relationship instead of just email or text messages or like one off communications. With lifecycle marketing really focused on building an ongoing long term relationship with your customers. It’s also a conversation with your customers. And I think this will really tie in well to the topic I’ll be discussing on the podcast today with SMS marketing and its goals. Lifecycle marketing is kind of similar to dating, it’s helpful to brands to think for brands to think about real life scenarios that carry over into customers lives. Lifecycle marketing is knowing how to communicate with each customer at scale. So even if you have a lot of customers, understanding how to personalize your messaging to different segments, or even one on one to different customers. So again, it’s super important to think about marketing as a relationship at its core, to stop getting caught up in the technology aspect of marketing and the tactics of marketing, and to really think about how you can build those lasting relationships with your customers.

3:29
And then finally, an article from the New York Times is all about a trend in jewelry right now. Nostalgia y2k culture is alive in jewelry, and accessories. So brands are taking all the tacky aspects of y2k culture and refining them and making them fun and joyful in jewelry designs. Accessories are now supercharged with bright colors, kitschy patterns and beads to stand in contrast to the pandemic’s new normal of masks and comfortable clothing. So it’s almost like a rebellion against this kind of like, boring, covered style that we need to present. So why not accessorize with these fun looks that are a throwback to a time where for some people was a more simple time. Maybe they look back on that time fondly. So consumers are definitely looking for bolder ways to express themselves, and this year accessories have been a way for people to really stand out and express their individuality.

4:37
If you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment with a podcast you can sign up for my email newsletter by visiting joyjoya.com/signup, and you’ll get a digest with the links whenever a new episode drops.

4:50
Okay, let’s talk about SMS marketing. Did you know that only 39% of businesses are now taking advantage of SMS marketing? That is a pretty small number, and only 13% of those businesses that are taking advantage of SMS marketing actually allow for customers to respond to their SMS marketing messages, so creating a two way communication channel. However, on the other end of that 64% of consumers think businesses should contact them via SMS more often. And 50% of consumers say they would opt in to an SMS loyalty program if they were offered things like flash sales, deals, or coupons in return.

5:33
So one of the most common complaints that I hear from jewelry entrepreneurs at probably every day I hear this from someone is that they really have trouble standing out from the crowd, especially on social media and with email marketing. Both of these platforms are super crowded. On Instagram, there’s a ton of jewelry, how do you really distinguish yourself and stand out and be unique? With email marketing, people are bombarded with promotional messages, hundreds of them on a daily basis, how can you really get yourself to stand out? In Episode 135, I had a guest and we talked about handwritten notes and marketing and how direct mail and print marketing can now be one way to stand out because not many brands are doing it. I think there’s also another opportunity in SMS marketing with not as many businesses as you would think doing it. And I actually see in the jewelry industry, very few jewelry brands actually utilizing SMS marketing effectively. So if this is a channel that you think would resonate with your customers, I think you should definitely at least learn more, and then consider taking advantage of it. I personally love receiving SMS marketing messages from my favorite brands.

6:50
Since this tactic is not as common or prominent, I’ll only really sign up for brands that I love. So my curated list of texts from brands doesn’t feel super overwhelming. And I get kind of excited when I get that notification on my phone that I’ve received a new text, especially if it’s telling me something really valuable about a brand that I already love and follow and want to hear from. It also feels more immediate and urgent. So it’s perfect for things like flash sales or timely updates. Honestly, I’m often really overwhelmed by my email inbox and try to avoid it at certain times of the day. So I’m happy to get really simple, clean, direct and to the point texts, with short messages and then I just delete them or ignore them. If I’m not interested. It’s such a small portion of my time or attention that I don’t mind it very much. The frequency is also usually much more manageable than email. Sometimes from the brands that I follow, I don’t typically receive texts more than once a week or sometimes bi weekly. But when it comes to emails, I’ll sign up for a brand and sometimes get daily emails and that is way too overwhelming for me.

8:02
So if this is something that’s interesting to you, how can you get started with SMS marketing? First and foremost, like with any marketing tactic, you really want to decide on your goals and set really specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based goals, those SMART goals. Do you want to send regular updates to your customers and stay top of mind with them? Do you want to convert them and make more sales? Do you want to have an open communication channel for your VIP customers? So using a two way text communication service, decide on the specific goals that you’d like to achieve before you actually start putting any sort of SMS strategy into place.

8:44
Next, you want to make sure that your e commerce website is fully optimized for mobile shopping. I mean, this is just a best practice. In general, since more and more people are browsing and shopping from smartphones and other mobile devices. Shopify themes in general tend to be pretty well optimized for mobile. But that doesn’t mean that your Shopify theme is perfect or that it’s it’s working at its highest potential. So you may want to work with a web developer who can audit your mobile site and make recommendations for how you can improve it, whether that means increasing the page load speed, putting certain search and navigation features in place, whatever that is, make sure that the mobile version of your website is very strong.

9:29
Next, you’re obviously going to want to choose a technology platform that will allow you to facilitate this SMS marketing, it might be a no brainer. But this type of marketing does not mean that you’re just on your personal phone, texting people one on one. That’s not how this works. It actually has to come from an SMS marketing provider, the same way that your email marketing campaigns would as well. So this platform is something that will enable you to stay compliant with all the rules and regulations and give your subscribers a chance to opt out if they no longer want to receive texts from you. So some of the more popular providers and you can definitely do your own research on this because there are a ton of them out there all with different features and pricing structures, some have free trials, etc. EX Texting is one of them. That’s the letters E and Z. Twilio is another one. And Attentive is a third option. Again, do your own research about it. Every brand has different needs and requirements when it comes to SMS texting. So I would recommend if there are free trials out there to sign up for them, test them out, see what you do and don’t like about them, this will be a really individual decision for you.

10:49
So you’ll definitely want to know the rules about adding people to your SMS marketing list. And then the rules about actually communicating with people, customers must explicitly opt in to your list. So you can’t just add people willy nilly. And they must also have an easy way to opt out the same way that it is with email marketing. It is slightly more complicated if you’re sending text marketing to people outside of the US because there are actually stricter laws in other countries due to GDPR. But you should basically familiarize yourself with the rules and know what you’re getting yourself into, so that you don’t get in trouble with your marketing. But again, I don’t mean to scare you with SMS. This also holds true with email marketing and most digital marketing communication. So you should just be aware of the rules and regulations in general.

11:43
In your opt in for SMS marketing, you want to be really clear about what customers can expect when they receive texts from you. The same goes with your email marketing opt in, is this a VIP program? Will the people who sign up be the first to hear about new products and collections? Will they get exclusive discounts or content? Will they be the first you hear about events in their area? What other perks will you be offering people who sign up for your SMS messaging? Set the expectation upfront and also tell them how frequently they’ll be texted. So if you plan to do a weekly text, make that super clear, you don’t want to like create false expectations, and you want to be really transparent. That will help build trust and get customers to feel more comfortable about opting into your SMS marketing.

12:36
You also might want to mention in your social media captions that you’ve launched an SMS marketing program, and invite people to sign up. Or you can cross promote this in your email marketing. So maybe there’s a campaign that you send that specifically about the launch of your SMS marketing, and you can invite people to sign up that way.

12:56
As you continue moving forward with SMS marketing, you definitely want to pay attention to the data and use that to better cater to your customers. Because remember, at the end of the day, this is about improving the customer experience and giving your customers better and easier access to you. So once customers start signing up for your list, you’ll be better able to understand their behavior. Are they clicking on links that you send them? Are they opening the text? Do they write back and attempt to start a conversation with you? Do they have questions about products? Once you have better data about this, you can start making better educated guesses about your customer, and actually kind of tweaking and changing and evolving your SMS marketing strategy over time to deliver a better content to your customers so that they remain loyal to you and that they stay subscribed to your list.

13:51
Another thing that’s really important about SMS marketing is you want to think about it as its own medium. This is not like email. This is a text. They’re usually really short and punchy, and fun and to the point. So they should not be regurgitating your email marketing messages or just be like a copy of your email design, it can definitely compliment your email marketing and maybe have a similar message. But the actual way that it’s written should be adapted to the medium. So this is not a time to do like a word dump in a really long text. Nobody likes getting texts like that. It will make your customers super angry. So this is a time to practice brevity, getting to the point and being really compelling in a short space. You may want to enlist the help of a copywriter to help you do that. You also obviously want to make sure that you’re in alignment with your brand messaging and that you’re using your brand voice to communicate in your text messages. So if you’ve never done this exercise before of developing your brand voice, SMS marketing can really help you hone in on that Because you have to imagine your brand almost as a person who’s communicating via text. So how can you do that effectively? What kind of words are you using? What kind of tone are you using? These are all important questions to ask.

15:13
You also obviously want to measure your results over periods of time and then continue to iterate your strategy. So some key performance indicators or KPIs that you’ll be using to measure the success of your SMS marketing include click through rate or CTR, your conversion rate, list growth, unsubscribe rate, and honestly, this is very similar to email marketing. So if you’re familiar with email marketing KPIs, then you’ll already have no problem measuring the success of your SMS marketing campaign. So what do you think is SMS marketing something that interests you? Do you think that you want to try it for your jewelry brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai