SMS Marketing basics: why personalisation matters

Using personalisation at scale means you can be smarter with your customer data and create ultra-targeted SMS campaigns for better results.

When it comes to building strong customer relationships, it’s all about making it personal, but if we had to take the time to handcraft a custom message for every single customer in the database… Well, who has the time for that? 

That’s where the art of personalisation at scale comes into play. Essentially we’re segmenting our customers into similar groups and then creating variations of our SMS copy to resonate with each one.

If we drop a first name token into a bulk SMS send, your message will instantly appear more targeted and meaningful. This is just one basic example but depending on your data, you could look into demographics, activity, location, purchase history, company type or size, and other insights that communicate to each customer you know exactly who they are and what they need. 

In the same way you’d select a gift for a friend based on what you know about them, you can be smart with your SMS marketing campaigns and use information about your customers to make your outreach feel ultra-relevant. The aim is to make customers feel you have written a message just for them. 

I’m sure you’ve shopped with a brand before and then a few days later received a timely message about other products from the same range that you might enjoy. That’s an example of a brand personalising your interactions.

Does personalisation really make a difference? 

In short? Yes. In this market, customers don’t just want relevant and timely communications, they expect it. 

Boost opt-in rates

A recent study uncovered that 76% of consumers get frustrated when brands don’t deliver personalisation. In fact, many consumers refuse to engage with a brand if all they’ve received are generic offers and irrelevant content. That’s a one-way ticket to getting unsubscribed, according to 62% of consumers. 

Offer value

The good news is that because customers expect this, 83% are also willing to share their data so you can collect the insights that you need to build a more tailored experience.

By using customer data effectively, you can crack the art of personalisation. You’re not only increasing your chances of conversion, but you’re showing customers that your messages offer value and are worth their loyalty. 

78% of consumers say that targeted content makes them more likely to buy again and to refer your brand to family and friends – another great source of keeping the revolving door of new customers going. 

Enhance the buying experience

Creating a bespoke purchase experience using personalisation is one way you can single out your brand from the crowd – 77%  of buyers claim they won’t purchase without personalised content and 83% admit that it sways their decision.

Either way, personalisation at scale can be very good for business. 

And if you’re still unconvinced, according to McKinsey, companies that personalise experiences: 

  • Reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50%
  • Increase marketing return on investment (ROI) by 10-30%
  • Lift revenue by 5-15%
  • Increase average order value (AOV) by 98%

Personalisation in SMS marketing

We’ve established that personalised marketing equals a better customer experience, a higher level of engagement, and ultimately, a higher ROI. So let’s think about some ways that we can use customer data to supercharge our SMS marketing campaigns. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Appointment reminders
  • Discounts sent around customers’ birthdays
  • Product recommendations based on order history
  • Reminders for abandoned shopping carts
  • Alerts for products that are low in stock or newly restocked
  • Alerts based on location, such as a new branch opening or in-store event
  • Priority new season or sale access 
  • Discounts sent to tempt back less active customers 

The point of personalisation is to form a closer connection with customers.Here are the essential do’s and don’ts of personalisation to follow before you send your next SMS campaign. 

Why SMS? 

SMS or text marketing removes barriers you may face on other channels. You’re not fighting against a social media algorithm or getting lost in a crowded email inbox where, for the average person, 121 messages land every day. There’s also no need for customers to go to the effort of logging into an app, and it doesn’t rely on having a good internet connection.  

All active mobile numbers can receive SMS messages, which will stay visible until it’s read (and 97% of the time that’s within 5 minutes).

Here are some recent performance statistics:

Average open rate

  • 98% SMS
  • 60% Direct mail
  • 21% Email

Average response rate

  • 45% SMS
  • 9% Direct mail
  • 6% Email

Average click-through rate

  • 28-33% SMS
  • 6-7% Email
  • 1% Social media advertising

Sources: 99firms, DMA, Statista 

The bottom line 

It’s important to note that if a customer opts into communications via SMS, there’s a fine line between offering value and sending spam. SMS can open the door but it’s compelling content that will drive customer loyalty and engagement. 

If you need some advice on how to write excellent SMS copy, check out the section on writing great copy in our SMS Growth Guide