Consumers don’t just want to hear from your brand. They want to text you back. These interactions are the tipping point in the era of conversational commerce.
I’ve spent the last decade in the mobile space and have seen consumer behavior evolve drastically over that time. When I founded my first company, TapCommerce, I saw there was a need in the nascent mobile advertising space for re-engagement to help keep consumers coming back. People were getting tired of “one size fits all” messages from brands, and they were starting to tune them out.
Consumer demand for personalization made sense even then. Our phones have always been personal. We curate our home screens and communicate with our friends and family. As a result, irrelevant or general updates can feel really out of place on a mobile device that you carry everywhere with you.
Soon, we noticed that consumers wanted even more personalization from brands. They wanted communications to be interactive. When a brand sent them a message they could engage with, and that was tailored to their interests, they felt seen (and not just talked at).
I saw SMS marketing as the just-in-time solution to this demand for personalization and interactivity. We built Attentive to give brands and consumers a truly engaging two-way communication channel—one that's relevant and conversational.
And today, I’m excited to share that we’ve entered a new era of conversational text messaging that’s taking customer engagement to the next level, with the launch of Attentive Concierge™—a new conversational SMS tool that drives personalized, human-powered, and automated messaging.
Want to learn how you can create personalized two-way text messaging experiences that will help you retain customers? Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about Attentive Concierge.
The first innings of SMS marketing
The first innings of SMS marketing were really about consumers getting used to hearing from their favorite brands via SMS. Today, 90% of consumers want to sign up for texts from brands, and 81.2% say they’re already opted in to at least one brand’s SMS program. That’s up 25.3% since 2020.
To meet demand, marketers needed a seamless and low-lift way to deliver personalized text messaging experiences at scale. And they needed to deliver timely messages during the most critical points of the customer journey—like when a shopper abandons their online cart. Enter automation.
Triggered text messaging made it possible for brands to send the right message at the right time to the right shopper. With automation, brands are delivering more personalized experiences via SMS to more people, and driving higher conversion rates. Not to mention, building loyalty with subscribers—marketing gold.
But there was still the untapped potential of giving subscribers the ability to have back-and-forth conversations with the brands that they love. The sort that you might have when you go into a store or call a customer service line.
The true power of SMS has always been in our ability to reply
Text messaging isn’t a “no-reply@” kind of channel. When we get a text, our first impulse is usually to respond. As brands began having automated two-way conversations, consumers realized they wanted to reply and get a response in return. Text messaging isn’t a batch-and-blast channel where you’re talked at. The power of the channel is that consumers can actually speak with a brand.
Not only is conversational text messaging great for two-way interaction, it paves the way for a better and more seamless transactional experience. Getting recommendations, advice, and answers to your questions in real time (without needing to switch devices or jump between tabs) removes a lot of friction.
Think about the last time you reached out to a brand with a question. You probably sent a message via a chat window on their website before moving to another tab while you waited for them to reply. Then you completely forgot about it. A few hours later, you found that tab again only to see a “How can I help you?” message followed up by a “This conversation has ended” notice.
Attentive Concierge brings in-store interactions with associates to mobile
If SMS marketing was the answer to impersonal, one-to-many communications, I believe conversational text messaging is the answer to having really simple two-way interactions. It’s why I’m so excited about the launch of Attentive Concierge.
Conversations have always been a cornerstone of brands’ loyalty strategies. Attentive Concierge allows brands to deliver the helpful conversations and experiences consumers have traditionally had with store associates to the palm of their hands.
From answering customer questions to providing recommendations at every step of the customer journey, brands like Igloo, Mented Cosmetics, and Made In are already using Attentive Concierge to deliver personalized interactions through SMS that keep shoppers coming back.
To increase customer retention, brands need to consistently deliver conversational experiences
Today, shoppers are faced with nearly infinite choices. At the same time, customer acquisition costs are only going up. Suddenly, customer loyalty and retention has become one of marketers’ top priorities.
So, how can brands deliver on (and exceed) consumers’ expectations? By creating interactions that feel nothing short of magical. Attentive Concierge lets brands create a 360° personalized customer experience—from helping shoppers find new products to quickly answering their questions.
SMS is rapidly becoming the center of brand communication and commerce. Conversational text messaging is only accelerating this shift. SMS marketing has evolved rapidly, and it'll continue to be a fast-changing and innovative space. I get really excited talking about all of the incredible things our customers are doing—and the opportunities that lie ahead with conversational commerce.