While much of the attention in mobile marketing is put on enticing shoppers to become new customers or to buy from a brand again, there’s a lot of value in another type of marketing message: transactional messaging.
Done well, transactional messaging can enrich the customer experience and further your relationship with your audience.
What Transactional Messaging IS
Just like you’d expect, transactional messaging centers around a customer transaction. Messages might update a customer on the status of the order or provide a receipt, but you can be much more valuable to your customers if you personalize the content you send even more (we’ll walk through some examples in a minute).
The great thing about transactional messages is that they can easily be automated through your mobile marketing platform. Just set them up to pull information from your point of sale system and they’ll go out without you having to lift a finger.
What Transactional Messaging ISN’T
Transactional messages aren’t marketing messages, per se. The customer has already made the purchase, so you’re not trying to entice her with discounts and offers.
But you are still working to build a relationship with her, and in the long run, that’s a smart marketing move. By providing value (useful information she can easily access through her text messages on her phone), you’re giving her more reason and desire to shop from you again.
Using Transactional Messaging to Build Customer Relationships
Now that you better understand the role that transactional messages play in your mobile marketing strategy, let’s dive into some tips to help you maximize their effect.
1. Know Which Types of Transactional Messages to Send
There are many types of texts you can send customers that would have value, but it may take some testing to discover which specifically your audience finds the most useful. Here are a few examples of transactional text messages you could send:
Mobile Wallet Instructions
Loyalty Program Updates
Out of Stock Item Available
Request for Product Review
You probably won’t want to send all of these, or you risk bombarding your customer with too many messages. In fact, 57% of consumers unsubscribe from a brand’s texts because they send too many.
2. Include a Clear Call-to-Action
With each transactional message you send, ask yourself: what do we hope to achieve with this text?
You might simply want to provide information on the status of an order, but even then you can have a call-to-action like “Click here to see where your package is.”
Have just one call-to-action per text so that your recipient knows exactly what you expect her to do.
3. Consider Using MMS
MMS provides an even richer experience for customers than SMS and can be applied to transactional messaging. You can include your logo or a photo of the product ordered to give some visual appeal to the text.
You could also include a video with instructions on how to use the product as a value-add.
4. Keep it Short
Even if you have more information that you think your customer needs to know, you shouldn’t include it all in the text you send. Your transactional text should be just a sentence or two; if there’s more that needs saying, include a link for more information.
5. Test Out Timing
Just like with email marketing, your text message marketing will be more effective if you hit upon the best time to send texts so that they’re immediately opened. Keep time zones in mind; sending a text to a customer on the east coast at 8 am might work, but sending a text to a customer on the west coast at the same time will be a waste since she’ll still be in bed at 5 am.
It may take some trial and error to find the sweet spot time wise for sending your texts.
Transactional messaging can enhance whatever else you’re doing in mobile marketing and build a bridge to your customer for a long and mutually beneficial relationship.