SMS Strategies

Text-to-Buy Strategies That Get Subscribers to Convert Faster (With Examples)

illustration of mobile phone with shopping bags and text bubbles
Published
Dec 12, 2022
Written by
Kayla Ellman
Kayla is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Attentive. You can find her binge-reading, baking from her (rapidly growing) cookbook collection, or exploring local hiking trails.

Learn how to make it easier for your customers to buy what they want—directly via text.

Consumers have embraced mobile shopping because it's convenient. But, when they're ready to check out, there's a potential roadblock in their path to purchase: the hassle of entering payment and shipping information on their phones. In fact, a long or complicated checkout process is a common cause of cart abandonment.

Mobile payment options that allow customers to save their information—so they don't have to enter it every time they buy something online—remove some of that friction. But there's another payment option that makes the shopping experience even easier for your SMS subscribers from start to finish: Text-to-Buy with Shop Pay.

Rather than having to click-through to a brand's website to make a purchase, Text-to-Buy lets subscribers place an order directly via SMS by simply replying with a keyword. Here's how to use it to deliver a seamless mobile checkout experience that gets shoppers to convert without leaving their text messaging app.

Incentivize Shop Pay authentications as a first step

Getting your SMS subscribers to set up or authenticate their Shop Pay accounts is a crucial first step in building an effective Text-to-Buy program. Here’s why:

When a subscriber receives a Text-to-Buy campaign message, they can respond with the specified keyword to initiate the checkout process. If the subscriber is a first-time customer, they'll get a message prompting them to sign up for or sign in to Shop Pay to complete the purchase. Then, their Shop Pay account is linked to their mobile number for future transactions.

GIF demonstrating the text-to-buy shopper experience

But returning customers can check out even faster, in as few as two text messages, because their information is already saved. After responding with the first keyword, they'll be able to confirm their shipping and payment details, and then just reply with “BUY" to place their order via text.

We recommend promoting products with a significant discount—especially early on—to encourage your subscribers to authenticate their Shop Pay accounts and convert from Text-to-Buy campaigns.

Feature individual items (and include a discount)

text-to-buy campaign example from Buttah Skin

Text-to-Buy is ideal for promoting simple, standalone products that are easy to understand and have a relatively low price point with a discount applied. A single bracelet or facial cleaner will typically perform better than more expensive items that customers might want to research before deciding to make a purchase, like a fancy dress or a complete collection of full-sized beauty products.

Think of this like any other one-time campaign you might send, but with the added option for subscribers to buy directly from the text message. Make sure to include an incentive (e.g., a percentage off the specific product you're promoting) to help drive immediate revenue.

Send replenishment reminders to prior purchasers

text-to-buy campaign examples from Madluvv and Skull Shaver

Remind customers when it's time to restock their favorite everyday use products: skincare, coffee, or even longer-wear items that don't need to be replaced very often (e.g., running shoes). You can use your past-purchase data and typical replenishment cycle to help determine the timing of these messages.

This strategy is an effective alternative to subscriptions that allows you to drive repeat purchases. Be sure to include a discount in your message that gives customers the benefit of "subscribe and save" without the actual commitment.

Pro tip: If you’re promoting a product that comes in multiple colors or flavors, consider segmenting your audience based on the specific variant they purchased.

Offer subscribers the option to “try before you buy”

text-to-buy campaign example from Beachwaver

Message your subscribers with an offer to get sample size or travel-sized versions of your most popular items at a reduced price or for the cost of shipping. Not only does this give people the flexibility to see if they like something before fully committing, but it also creates a natural opportunity for you to follow-up with any buyers later and upsell them on the full-sized version of the product.

Recommend complementary or upsell products

text-to-buy campaign example from Chamberlain Coffee

Another way to encourage repeat purchases is by targeting subscribers who’ve purchased particular items in the past and upselling them on a complementary product, variant, or upgrade. For example, you could recommend toner or sunscreen for people who recently bought a face lotion or cleanser. Or, you could cross-sell subscribers who’ve purchased matcha or coffee on a milk frother to help them make better beverages at home.

The key is to promote relevant products that you know these shoppers will be interested in—and that add value, like improving their skincare or morning routine—so they’re more likely to convert.

Promote new and limited-edition product drops

text-to-buy campaign example from Madluvv

When you’re getting ready to release a new product or collection, you should lean into the immediacy of SMS to build hype with your subscribers. But if you want to take your strategy a step further, incorporating Text-to-Buy can help maximize your immediate revenue on launch day, and then keep the momentum going.

For limited-edition drops or products that are only available for a limited amount of time, we recommend following up with non-purchasers when stock is running low. There’s already an inherent sense of urgency to buy the product before it’s gone. Giving them the ability to just reply to your text to order right away ensures they won’t miss out.

Text-to-Buy tips and best practices

Keep these tips and best practices in mind for creating and sending Text-to-Buy campaigns that convert customers at the point of promotion.

  • Start small and experiment. When you’re first launching with Text-to-Buy, we recommend selecting one or two individual products and targeting your campaigns to relevant subsets of subscribers (e.g., past purchasers of those products). Running tests like this will help you determine which items in your store to highlight and how best to position them.
  • Prioritize affordable products that are easy to understand. Think about items with relatively low price points that stand on their own—like a small piece of jewelry or an individual skincare product—and don’t require a lot of research or explanation for customers to make a purchasing decision.
  • Personalize your Text-to-Buy keywords. Branded keywords that relate to the product you’re promoting (e.g., CLEANSER) perform better than generic ones (e.g., SHOP). Because keywords are case-sensitive and must be exact, it’s also best to choose words that won’t be auto-corrected on mobile devices.
  • Use capitalization as a conversion tool. We recommend capitalizing the Text-to-Buy keyword in your call to action, and making sure it's the only word capitalized in your entire message, so subscribers clearly understand how to complete their purchase via text.
  • Always include the full price in your messages. Your subscribers need this information, including applied discounts and shipping fees, to feel confident making a small purchase directly via SMS. Formatting these details consistently, across all of your Text-to-Buy messages, can help mitigate customer confusion.
  • Emphasize your offer with an image or a GIF. Include descriptive language, a clear explanation of the deal your subscribers are getting, and your branded keyword.
  • Remember the basics of writing SMS marketing copy. Keep your messaging concise, create a sense of urgency for your subscribers to buy now, and add a line break before your call to action to increase clarity and conversion.

Want to make the checkout process faster and easier for your customers? Join the waitlist to try out Text-to-Buy.

Related Articles

Share