Brooke Burdge, senior vice president, Marketing, Attentive
Over the past year, the way people shop has fundamentally changed — from how they discover and research products, to where they purchase (primarily online and, increasingly, on mobile devices). The way they want to connect with brands is changing, too.
For many people, online shopping has become tied to a sense of convenience and ease — it helps them find the items they are looking for quickly and without risk. For those who were initially hesitant to rely on online shopping, the last year has proven to be habit forming.
Today, nearly 85% of people are shopping online. Days spent window shopping and scanning their favorite store’s aisles have shifted to finding inspiration on social media and browsing product categories on e-commerce websites. Customers still crave one-to-one connections to complement their shopping journey and to foster the sense of connection that comes from interacting with brands in real time — which is why they are increasingly opting-in to hear from brands through personalized text messaging.
Recognizing the opportunity this shift in behavior represents, Mented Cosmetics invested in text message marketing to connect with their audience and build brand loyalty.
“Make-up can be really hard to buy online, so we have to do everything we can to make purchasing as easy as possible,” said Chandra Cooks, head of Marketing at Mented Cosmetics. “Whether it’s telling our story to subscribers, walking them through our foundation quizzes or helping them find their perfect nude lipstick, we want to give them everything they need to be comfortable and confident in their purchase. Our text messaging program allows us to do just that.”
Deepening connections with mobile customers
Customer adoption of text message marketing is accelerating alongside e-commerce. A recent survey found that 91% of consumers are now open to signing up for text messages from brands. Of those who have already signed up for SMS updates, more than two-thirds actually signed up for texts from more brands in 2020 than in past years. Perhaps most interestingly, people who are signed up for texts from brands indicated that they want to hear from them more often — more than half are interested in engaging with their favorite brands via text two to three times per week.
When asked what kinds of text messages they would like to receive from brands, people unsurprisingly placed promotion and incentives at the top of the list, but loyalty updates and perks were ranked a close second. Customers want to stay closely connected to the brands they love, and brands want to make sure they are delivering content that inspires and drives revenue.
Personalizing messages to meet customer needs
Because text messaging is an inherently personal channel, sending relevant and timely messages is vital to building trust with customers. Tailoring messages based on an action a subscriber has taken — or has not taken yet — can help brands create impactful conversations.
Mented Cosmetics strongly leans into personalization in their text message marketing strategy. Knowing that many of their audience members have not felt represented in the beauty world, Mented Cosmetics leverages segmentation and personalization to curate exceptional mobile experiences for their customers.
“I wanted to personalize our subscribers’ text messaging experience to give them the attention they deserve,” said Cooks. “In the past, our audience may not have seen themselves in images from cosmetics brands or known what a shade would look like for them. Because we focus on creating beautiful shades for their skin tone, it’s especially important that we give our subscribers tailored, relevant information.”
Honing in on retention marketing
According to Forrester, brands plan to increase their spend on loyalty and retention marketing by 30% this year. Brands are planning to “double down on retention efforts and lean on brand loyalists (and their wallets) to help weather the economic storm” in 2021.
Brands are increasingly relying on personalized text messaging as a highly effective way to strengthen customer loyalty and drive repeat purchases. The direct and instantaneous nature of text messaging means that subscribers are not only interested in hearing what brands have to say — they are eager and able to take action immediately.
Mented Cosmetics’ text messaging program helps the brand build one-to-one relationships with their audience and celebrate their most loyal customers. By strategically segmenting their subscribers based on how much they have spent, Mented Cosmetics rewards VIP shoppers who have spent more than $70 with early access to sales and bonus offers. This strategy ensures that the brand has a highly engaged audience that will convert immediately.
“We want to condition our VIP list to quickly act on what we’re sending them because it’s a limited-time offer that they won’t be able to take advantage of once we send it to our general audience,” said Cooks. “Sending these offers via text messaging ensures that our VIP audience will see them immediately.”
Personalized text messaging has emerged as a powerful customer acquisition and retention tool for brands. Leveraging SMS marketing helps brands turn shoppers into buyers — and then build and nurture those relationships to grow lifetime loyalty.