SMS Strategies

How to Plan Your New Product Launch With SMS

phone launching into space
Published
Aug 4, 2022
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.

Here's how to create a new product launch strategy that uses SMS to maximize awareness, engagement, and revenue. 

It’s exciting when a brand you love announces they’re launching something new. Maybe they’re making your go-to loungewear set available in more colors, releasing a limited-edition collection, or dropping an entirely new product. Whatever it is, you want to be among the first to know.  

That feeling is true for most consumers, and it’s one of the main reasons they let their favorite brands into their phones: to get text messages about new products and releases. 

For brands, SMS is the best way to let people know about an upcoming launch. Not only is it a direct line to some of your most loyal shoppers, but it’s also a more immediate way to reach them when you’re ready to build hype and drive sales.

Keep reading to learn how you can get the most out of your next product launch by putting SMS at the center of your marketing strategy. 

Generate buzz leading up to the launch

Use the time before you officially release a product or collection to build awareness and anticipation with your audience.

Customize your SMS sign-up flow to tease what's coming  

If you want people to be ready and excited to buy a new product when it launches, they need to know that something's coming—and that your SMS subscribers will be the first to know when it drops. 

Sign-up unit and text message from MATE the Label

In the days or weeks leading up to your planned launch day, consider switching your existing SMS sign-up unit with one that lets potential subscribers know that you have something exciting in store. Include language like, "Be the first to shop our new drop," as an added incentive for your website visitors (on mobile and desktop) to opt in to your SMS program. 

Make sure to update your triggered welcome message as well. Use it to confirm that a new subscriber has gained exclusive access to shop your upcoming launch before anyone else. You can even offer them a discount to encourage purchases in the meantime. 

Take an integrated approach to promoting your launch

Tap into other places where you already have an engaged audience—like your email and social channels—to spread the word about your upcoming launch to as many people as possible.  

Once you’ve updated your mobile and desktop sign-up units, create a dedicated landing page with a similar design. Then, when you tease the launch with your email subscribers and social followers, encourage them to sign up for text messages to get first dibs. You’ll grow your SMS list while setting your brand up for success later on. 

Start dropping exclusive hints for your SMS subscribers 

The goal of your pre-launch marketing efforts is to build excitement and keep people interested until you're ready for the big reveal. Use the air of mystery to your advantage by sending a series of text messages with clues about the product or collection. 

Text message from Farmacy Beauty

Depending on how much you want to share in advance, you can:

  • Keep it simple with a vague message like, “Something new is coming soon… stay tuned!” Play into exclusivity with a reminder that SMS subscribers will be the first to know. 
  • Share an image or GIF that gives subscribers a sneak peek at the style, colors, or packaging of your new product.
  • Create a conversational campaign inviting subscribers to reply directly to your message for an extra hint. 
  • Gamify the experience with two-way text messaging by offering a discount to subscribers who correctly guess what your new product is. 
Conversational text message from MATE the Label

Whatever approach you decide to take, remember to lean into your brand voice to capture your subscribers’ attention and get the most out of your pre-launch SMS campaigns. 

Make a splash (and drive revenue) on launch day 

The day your new product launches is when people are going to be the most excited about it. Here’s how you can continue to create hype and encourage your subscribers to shop. 

Let your SMS subscribers shop the launch first 

Maybe you’ve taken the mysterious approach and kept most details a secret up until this point. Or maybe you’ve decided to tell your customers what’s coming because it’s something they’ve wanted from your brand for a while. Either way, your SMS subscribers have been waiting for this day and the opportunity to shop before anyone else.

Text message from ILIA Beauty

To make the biggest impact on launch day, we recommend sending your first official text message to your entire SMS list and giving them all early access. Not only will your subscribers feel like VIPs, but you'll also be able to start driving sales immediately.

If you have a loyalty or rewards program and one of the perks of being a member is getting early access to new product launches, incorporate that into your launch strategy, too. Think about your release in tiers: give your loyalty members access first, then give your SMS subscribers a few hours to shop before opening the launch to everyone else on your email and social channels.

Show off your new product or collection 

Being able to see or visualize an item before buying it—whether it's a jacket or a beauty product—can be the deciding factor in making a purchase, especially for mobile shoppers. Consider including an image in your first launch text message that highlights your product’s best features. 

Text message from Cocofloss announcing new Go Bananas collection

You can focus on the packaging, the benefits or ingredients, the materials or colors, and more. Think about what would make someone want to buy your new product, and show it off. 

Lean into FOMO for limited-edition drops 

The fear of missing out is real, and it’s a powerful tool for incentivizing purchases—especially if something's only available in limited quantities (like an artist collaboration) or for a limited amount of time (like a seasonal scent or flavor). Tap into that familiar feeling and create a sense of urgency for your customers to try or buy the product before it’s gone. 

Text message from JuneShine announcing new "Summer of June" flavor

Be available to answer questions directly via text 

The beauty of SMS is the ability to have two-way text messaging conversations with your subscribers, which means you can answer their questions in real-time, so they’re more likely to convert. 

Two-way text message from Bliss assisting a subscriber

You can do this with Attentive Concierge™, or by integrating your SMS program with your customer support platform. You can even include a line like “Have questions? Text us!” in your product launch campaign messages to encourage your subscribers to reach out. The key is to make sure your subscribers know you’re there to help if they need it.

Keep your subscribers engaged post-launch 

Once you’ve sent your first official launch text message, the next step is to focus on keeping the momentum going. 

Promote your new product or collection more than once

While some subscribers might buy right away, others might just browse or wait to shop until later, so it’s a good idea to remind non-purchasers that you have a new product available.

Two text messages from Jones Road Beauty

One option is to use segmentation to make sure you only send these messages to subscribers who haven't made a purchase yet. But you can also send more targeted reminders based on products a person has purchased in the past.

If you’re a beauty brand launching a new foundation, for example, you could create segments based on shade range, and recommend the best match to complete their makeup bag. 

Tailor your browse and cart abandonment reminders 

Influence more purchases with your browse and cart abandonment reminders by adding language about your new product or collection. It can be a simple change ("See something you like? Check out our latest collection while you're at it!") to spark interest with anyone who browses your website or adds any item to their cart around the launch.

Or you can set up new browse and cart abandonment journeys using product data to specifically re-engage anyone who showed interest in your new product, and encourage them to take another look. 

Be prepared to sell out if you have limited stock

If you’re launching a limited-edition product or collaboration, make sure your subscribers know they won’t be able to get it forever. Give them a heads-up that quantities are limited in your initial launch campaign, and then use your follow-up text messages to share an update on availability. 

Two text messages from Golde

We also recommend setting up a low inventory journey in advance to help manage expectations and drive demand. They trigger when a subscriber views or adds a product with low inventory levels to their cart, based on a threshold that you choose. 

If you’re launching a permanent addition to your product lineup, but anticipate selling out due to high demand, you can also set up a back-in-stock journey. This will alert subscribers who missed the first opportunity to make a purchase that they have another chance now.  

Share educational content or go behind the scenes 

When your brand introduces something new, it’s important to take a moment to share the story behind it with your audience. Plan to send at least one SMS campaign a few days or the week after the launch that includes educational content—and send it to all of your subscribers.

You can go behind the scenes to show how you made a product, provide tips on how to use it, or highlight the local artist behind a collaboration. 

Two text messages from Farmacy Beauty promoting Waterless Vitamin C Serum

For purchasers, these kinds of messages can help build excitement about their recent orders. For non-purchasers, getting more information about a product can be the inspiration they need to convert. 

Use post-purchase messages to ask for reviews

Generating social proof and customer reviews is an important final step to include in your product launch plan. After the initial hype cools down, these testimonials are going to be what helps you inspire people to buy the latest from your brand.

Set up a triggered post-purchase journey that asks recent shoppers to submit a review on your website or snap a picture and tag your brand on social media. Also consider adding an incentive to your request, like a discount to use on their next purchase.

Post-purchase text message from CALPAK requesting a customer review

It’s best to wait until a customer has received their order and had time to use it for at least one week before asking them to leave a review. 

Product launch best practices 

Bookmark this guide and use it as a checklist of best practices and campaign ideas to amplify your next new release or exclusive drop with SMS. 

Once you've planned out the marketing strategy for your product launch, focus on creating all the content you'll need to execute it. You should have all sign-up units, landing pages, and image assets for your SMS campaigns designed in advance, so you can build and schedule everything from your Attentive dashboard before launch day.

Generate buzz leading up to the launch: 

  • Switch your existing SMS sign-up unit with one that lets potential subscribers know about your upcoming release. Include language like, "Be the first to shop our new drop," as an added incentive for anyone browsing your website (on mobile or desktop) to opt in to SMS for exclusive first access.
  • Create a dedicated landing page to tease the launch with your email subscribers and social followers—and anywhere else you already have an engaged audience. Encourage them to sign up for text messages to get first dibs.
  • Start dropping exclusive hints for your SMS subscribers early by sending a series of text messages with clues about the product or collection. 

Make a splash (and drive revenue) on launch day: 

  • Send your first official text message announcing the launch to your entire SMS list and give them all early access to shop before anyone else. 
  • Use an image or GIF to highlight your new product or collection’s best features, like the packaging, the benefits and ingredients, or the materials and colors. 
  • Lean into FOMO for limited-edition drops and create a sense of urgency for your customers to get it before it’s gone. 
  • Be available to answer questions directly via SMS to help your subscribers convert. You can do this with Attentive Concierge or with your integrated customer service platform

Keep your subscribers engaged post-launch:

  • Use segmentation to remind non-purchasers that you have a new product or collection available (without over-messaging subscribers who’ve already bought it). 
  • Update your browse abandonment and cart abandonment journeys to include language about your new product or collection and influence more purchases from high-intent shoppers. 
  • If you have limited stock or expect to sell out due to high demand, set up triggered low inventory and back-in-stock journeys in advance to help manage shoppers’ expectations. 
  • A few days or the week after the launch, send at least one SMS campaign to all your subscribers that includes educational content. 
  • Set up a triggered post-purchase message that asks recent shoppers to submit a review on your website or share a picture on social media and tag your brand. 

Want more ideas for using SMS to power your new product launch strategy? Browse Texts We Love for inspiration and examples. 

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