Learn more about the winning SMS strategies from the marketers who took home the gold.
Every year, our customers send incredible campaigns throughout the holiday season, so we launched our “Best of Text” awards program to recognize the most creative and impactful SMS campaigns. We asked our customers to submit their campaigns to five different categories, and they were voted on by three groups of judges—our online community, customer community, and a panel of Attentive team members. Out of the many compelling submissions we received, the following five stood out and won one of our exclusive awards.
We sat down with the winning marketers to learn more about their experience with text messaging and the strategies that have brought them success—including the one behind their winning SMS campaign.
About the marketers
“goodr is an active sunglasses brand dedicated to the four F’s: making sunglasses fun, fashionable, functional, and fffordable (we kicked the 'A' out of 'affordable'). I’ve worked with SMS for many brands as my previous career has been on the agency side, specifically with e-commerce brands.”
“CARIUMA is a sneaker company that delivers future classics crafted for all-day, everyday comfort, as well as longevity. I’d never worked with SMS before coming to the company, but it’s been amazing to hit the ground running and see the growth in this channel.”
“Carewell is an e-commerce company focused on offering products and support to informal caregivers—and through that create a community amongst them. When my marketing director went on maternity leave, I stepped into the role of implementing and running our new SMS channel.”
“BabyQuip is the #1 baby equipment rental service delivering thousands of clean, safe and insured baby items to families who don't want to haul bulky gear while traveling. SMS marketing is relatively new to our brand, but in less than a year, it's turned into a significant source of conversions and revenue.”
“electrIQ Marketing is a Gen Z marketing agency that works with brands on their lifecycle and retention efforts through ads, social, SMS, and email marketing. Previously, I was only doing email marketing, so at electrIQ Marketing, I had to pick everything up and learn as I went.”
On their company’s overall SMS strategy
Zurlo (goodr): "Although the company is relatively new to SMS, our strategy is to always deliver the most valuable and relevant messages to our users. Over time, we’re going to develop more campaigns focused on segmentation, creative lead generation, and keeping our copy short and succinct but still integral to our fun brand voice."
Chiang (CARIUMA): "Our SMS program started off as a separate channel where we could drive revenue, but it’s been great to see how we’re now able to connect more intimately with our customers. We love how we can send personalized messages where it seems like customers are having a conversation with someone on our team."
Pantaleon (Carewell): "We see SMS as a direct and instant line of communication with our customers. Besides promotional content and multi-channel marketing campaigns, our strategy for the channel has been focused on sending relevant and time-sensitive communications. Our customers value information just as much as an offer."
Wold (BabyQuip): "We use SMS to offer exclusive incentives that you wouldn't get on our website or via email. We also try to be fun with our copy, using GIFs and images to catch your eye. There are a lot of text messages sent every day, so having our subscribers see some sort of animated image is something that's been a great strategy for us."
Kessler (electrIQ Marketing): "We treat our SMS list as a special VIP group, who’ll get first access to product launches and sales. If we do a 24-hour flash sale or something along those lines, it'll go out only to SMS subscribers because we don't necessarily want to be hitting our whole email list with that information. We also usually give a smaller discount to email and a larger discount to our SMS group, since it tends to be worth it."
On the strategy behind their winning SMS campaign
"One of our core strategies is to always have fun and highlight our brand in the irreverent way that got us to where we are," says Zurlo. "That’s why this campaign was focused on our really creative promotion—”The Golden Shades”—and the Willy Wonka-inspired photoshoot we were able to display with MMS."
"We stand behind the quality of our products and don’t believe in promotions or discounts, which is why we wanted to emphasize our ethos and bring awareness to our mission in restoring the rainforest," said Chiang.
"We learned that giving our customers updates about our Customer Care department is incredibly important because they heavily rely on them," says Pantaleon. "That’s why our goal with the campaign was to let them know that our department was open during the holiday, and our agents were available to offer the support we know many of them need."
"We knew we had to do something pretty bold just to get the awareness of our subscribers and engage them quickly," said Wold. "For a service-based business, that's not always easy. That’s why we came up with this 'race for the discount' idea where customers had to hurry, because once the discount was gone, it couldn’t be used again."
"Since florence by mills—a makeup and skincare brand we manage—has a really fun brand voice, for their Halloween sale, I was able to play with the idea of ghosts and other spooky things to promote the brand’s cleansers and drive revenue," added Kessler. "We sent three text messages for that promotion, and this campaign had the highest revenue per message for the sale and the month."
On their top SMS strategies
Zurlo (goodr): "We’ve seen success with pairing SMS and email in a timely fashion, as well as segmenting recent purchasers from SMS messages. Also, sticking to short, concise messaging."
Chiang (CARIUMA): "Since SMS is so personal, we see our best results when we send personalized texts, such as early access to new launches or communications to our loyalty members."
Pantaleon (Carewell): "We’ve run multiple A/B test campaigns to try to find what works best for our audience. We found succinct, short text messages sent around mid-morning to be our winning strategy. Creating new journey triggers based on user interactions has also worked extremely well for us."
Wold (BabyQuip): "We're going to really focus on conversational messaging in 2022. We currently have dynamic segments that we're growing, and we plan to start engaging with them once they get large enough to provide more personal information."
Kessler (electrIQ Marketing): "Something new that we’ve been playing with is Two-Way Journeys™. With this capability, we’ve been able to ask our SMS subscribers to respond with a keyword based on their interest, and put them on a more targeted audience list that receives messages based on that interest."
On why more marketers should try SMS marketing
The future of marketing and technology is shifting to mobile, which is enough of a reason to try SMS to see if it resonates with your audience and brand. It's another revenue stream and a way to have fast, easy communication with your audience. It's been a great retention channel for us to foster current customers, as well as entice new leads to engage with our brand and convert into customers.
- Michelle Zurlo, E-Commerce Manager at goodr
We’ve seen the number of repeat purchases increase from this channel alone. SMS has helped not only contribute to order number two, but also three and four. The results have been massive and have led to a YoY triple-digit growth of the channel.
- Jennifer Chiang, Head of Email and Retention Marketing at CARIUMA
SMS is one of our fastest-growing channels. It’s also become an important customer touchpoint, since many of them don’t know how to use a computer. In 2021, our first year with SMS, the channel helped us reach our revenue goal—becoming one of the main sources of new customers that year.
- Wilhelmina Pantaleon, Marketing Campaign Manager at Carewell
We just started with this channel in April, but it's already a runner-up to paid ads in terms of marketing channel success. It has a huge impact. One of the biggest benefits of SMS is being able to have a conversation with customers in real-time. They feel comfortable sending a text message, since they're doing it all day anyway.
- Jennifer Wold, Director of Marketing and Communications at BabyQuip
I know that SMS has a higher buy-in because you’re paying per message, but from what we’ve seen with all of our clients, it’s definitely worth it. We’ve seen very high conversion rates and open rates. It’s also a fun way to keep a VIP group engaged, since they’re usually a higher-converting audience.
- Nikki Kessler, Email and SMS Marketing Lead at electrIQ Marketing
Explore Texts We Love, our SMS gallery, for more inspiration on text message campaigns that succeeded and caught the attention of their subscribers.