Best Practices & Tips for eCommerce SMS Marketing

Seeking a sturdy strategy to lift your eCommerce conversion rates? Look no further – SMS marketing promises to be your game-changer.

Picture a direct marketing channel where personalized messages land instantly on your customers’ phones, boasting open rates that far exceed those of traditional emails. This isn’t an unattainable dream; it’s simply the power of SMS marketing

However, despite its high levels of engagement and unrivaled connectivity with customers, the world of SMS marketing holds its share of complexities. There are many things to consider – rules and best practices, the choice of platform, the frequency and timing of messages, and let’s not forget the content itself. 

For beginners, this might seem overwhelming. This is why we decided to create this in-depth article on how you can best leverage SMS marketing. We’ll help your eCommerce business grow and thrive while building an engaged community of customers. 

Let’s boost your marketing efforts and innovate beyond traditional best practices!

Introduction to SMS marketing for eCommerce

In essence, SMS marketing involves utilizing text messages to directly convey promotional, timely, and transactional messages to interested subscribers. Amid the flurry of email alerts and social media updates, SMS marketing stands out as a uniquely impactful solution. 

It has a much higher open rate than any other communication method, invokes a sense of immediacy, and offers a much higher level of intimacy with recipients because of the utilized device.

In 2022, mobile retail eCommerce spending in the U.S. more than doubled compared to spending in 2019, leading to a 24% growth in orders. This statistic underscores the fact that a big chunk of people’s lives, including their shopping habits, have moved to their mobile phones – a trend that’s certainly not going anywhere but up.

Why eCommerce brands should leverage SMS marketing

There are many compelling reasons why eCommerce brands should incorporate SMS marketing into their strategy. As we briefly touched upon, one of them is its dominance over other channels like email marketing and social media for its remarkably 

High open and response rates 

According to a study about text messages in sales, a stark 98% of SMS messages are opened, and approximately 45% elicit a response. On the contrary, emails secure an open rate of merely 20%, and the response rate dials down to a meager 6%.

This goes to show that while emails can linger unread in an inbox for hours, if not days, a whopping 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.

Opportunity for personalization

Customizing messages to leverage the unique characteristics and preferences of each customer cultivates a stronger brand-customer relationship. Personalization isn’t necessarily complex. This can range from actions as simple as including the customer’s name in the text or referring to a recent purchase. 

A stylized graphic showing a customized SMS similar to those you can create with Flow Notify.


While the cost can have variations depending on the specific tools chosen, such as monthly or yearly fees, typically, the operating costs are still much lower. And with high engagement rates accompanying these low costs, SMS marketing provides a lucrative opportunity for a healthy return on investment.

However, the optimum utilization of these benefits heavily relies on the correct setup and execution of your SMS marketing strategy. Choosing the best tools and approaches that align with your unique business needs is essential. Read on to explore how you can do this effectively.

SMS marketing use cases

SMS marketing is direct, personal, and grabs attention immediately. For eCommerce businesses, this goldmine of engagement can become the game-changer they’ve been looking for. 

Here are some common use cases of SMS marketing in the eCommerce realm that showcase just how impactful that little ‘ding’ on a customer’s phone can be!

  • Promotional campaigns: SMS marketing becomes particularly beneficial during crucial customer engagement moments, such as sending cart abandonment reminders or offering exclusive discounts. By gently nudging customers towards completing the purchase they were considering, businesses can significantly improve their conversion rates.
  • Transactional messages: These notifications encompass order confirmations, shipping updates, or other order status changes. From the moment an order is placed to the moment it arrives, transactional messages provide regular updates to customers. They can significantly amplify the customer experience, reduce customer service inquiries, and foster trust and credibility among your customer base.
  • Customer service updates: These most commonly include status updates for support tickets and notifying customers when a product is back in stock. Additionally, in a subscription-based model, sending timely renewal reminders or subscription status updates can significantly improve customer retention. These automated messages not only reduce the workload on your customer service team but also improve the response time and elevate overall customer satisfaction.

Implementing these strategies can pose a daunting challenge, especially for rapidly growing businesses. However, with the aid of the right tools, like Flow Notify, businesses can automate these messages. Automation will not only preserve resources but also guarantee that each message is timely, personalized, and enriching to the customer experience.

Building an effective SMS marketing strategy

Creating effective SMS marketing strategies does not occur overnight. It is a step-by-step process that requires a keen understanding of your business operations, target audience, and the tools at your disposal. Here’s how to achieve it:

1. Choose the best SMS marketing tools

This initial step entails finding the right plugins and tools to aid you in your quest for SMS marketing domination. 

To find these useful additions, you need to start by defining the exact features you need, which may include:

  • Ability to automate SMS marketing messages and notifications.
  • Integration of multiple channels, such as SMS, WhatsApp, and email.
  • Effective contact management.
  • Opportunity to personalize messages.
  • Analytics and reporting capabilities.
  • High deliverability and reliability for your messages.

There are numerous SMS tools to help in this endeavor, such as Twilio SMS Notifications, WPNotif, and BulkGate SMS Plugin for WooCommerce

Notably, for WordPress businesses using WooCommerce, Flow Notify has uniquely positioned itself as a premier SMS tool. It offers a set of comprehensive features, including automated notifications, multi-platform messaging, custom WooCommerce order statuses, scheduled notifications, and personalized data fields.

Flow Notify is available for only $49 per year, making it an impressively cost-effective investment for WooCommerce businesses of all sizes. 

2. Grow your subscriber base

The heart of your SMS marketing strategy lies in the size and quality of your subscriber base. Collecting your customers’ phone numbers is a fundamental step in building an effective SMS marketing campaign, which can be achieved by:

  • Offering compelling incentives upon signing up, such as discounts or exclusive news.
  • Promoting your SMS program on various marketing channels like email newsletters or social media campaigns.
  • Ensuring a hassle-free sign-up process, making it easy for people to join without great interruption to their daily lives. 

In addition, customer consent is critical in SMS marketing. Provide clear information about the type of messages they will receive, the frequency of messages, and the ability to opt out at any given time. It’s also extremely crucial to make sure you’re operating within the boundaries of regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in the United States and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).

3. Set up your SMS marketing messages

With Flow Notify, setting up your SMS marketing messages is a breeze. 

  1. Install Flow Notify in WooCommerce. 
  2. Create a Twilio account. 
  • Once you’ve created an account, log in to access your Account SID and Auth Token and create a From Number to use for sending SMS messages.
  • Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard > Flow Notify > Connections and copy and paste the above information into the relevant fields.
  1. Set up automatic SMS notifications by navigating to the Notifications tab under Flow Notify and then clicking Add.
Add a new notification with Flow Notify.
  1. Choose a name for your notification, the recipient, and the type of notification. In this case – SMS. 
Flow Notify – notification settings.
  1. Write the message of your notification and include any of the supported data fields to personalize the text further. 
Add a notification message with Flow Notify.

When designing your messages, remember to include audience segmentation, personalization, and clarity. Here are some tips for structuring effective SMS messages:

  • An SMS message has a limit of 160 characters, so be succinct.
  • Use a strong Call-To-Action (CTA).
  • Personalize when possible.
  • Segment your audience.
  • Add urgency.
  • Provide value.
  1. Set relevant notification triggers. For example, you can send an offer message every time a customer account is created or give them a discount for the next purchase when they place an order. 
An image showing the notification triggers available through Flow Notify.

Measuring success in SMS marketing

The success of any marketing campaign depends on tracking the right key performance metrics, such as:

Open rates

As SMS messages are read nearly all the time, an evaluation of your open rates gives you insights into the timing and frequency of your messaging. Analyzing your open rates can provide valuable inputs, assisting you in fine-tuning your delivery timings and frequency to maximize reach. 

Click-Through Rates (CTR)

CTRs signify the percentage of recipients who acted upon the link present in your SMS. A high CTR generally depicts exciting content and well-constructed messages with clear and compelling hyperlinks. 

If your CTRs are sub-par, experiment with different CTAs through A/B testing, and try out different message formats and content to raise CTR. 

Conversion rates

Conversion rates demonstrate the percentage of click-throughs that translated into the desired action – a purchase or service sign-up. To bolster conversion rates, you have to improve the customer experience beyond the text message. 

Consider strategies such as refining your landing pages, streamlining your checkout processes, or creatively presenting your CTAs in strategic places. Using a heatmap tool such as Hotjar can be very useful to see how users interact with product and landing pages, and if any important messages are often left unseen because of bad placement. 

Return On Investment (ROI)

Calculating ROI allows you to measure the monetary returns from your SMS marketing campaign. To find the best SMS campaign strategy, you’ll have to experiment, so make sure that you carefully track how each campaign performs. 

When you have your results, you can focus on the ones with higher ROI, optimizing future campaigns and making soundly informed marketing investments.

How to optimize SMS marketing campaigns with Flow Notify

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into making a successful marketing campaign, which is why it’s so important to try and make the most out of it.

Flow Notify provides business owners with a seamless and straightforward process when creating an SMS campaign. Not just that, it also allows you to reach customers across various platforms, such as email and WhatsApp, all from a centralized location. 

Here’s how tapping into the power of Flow Notify can efficiently fortify your SMS marketing strategy:

Custom notification builder

This functionality extracts dynamic data from your WooCommerce store, crafting tailored and highly relevant messages. This boosts customer resonance with your messages, improving engagement rates. 

With Flow Notify, you can also monitor your progress through valuable insights and analytics, crucial in measuring the success of your campaigns and adjusting them for greater outcomes.

Automatic notifications

This feature enables the automatic sending of notifications when specific conditions are met, like changes in product stock or the creation of a new order, which keeps customers updated in real-time and saves you from the hassle of sending manual updates. 

Custom order statuses 

WooCommerce’s default statuses can be quite restricting, which is why Flow Notify lets you define custom order statuses. This enables you to trigger precise and relevant notifications that are completely customizable to fit your business and customer base. 

Flow Notify’s order status dashboard.

Instant and scheduled messages

Whether it’s an immediate update or a future communication, Flow Notify aids in delivering your SMS with flexibility, ensuring it is both timely and relevant. The “quick sending” option allows you to instantly reach customers and notify them about deals, promotions, discounts, and any other important news related to your business. 

You can also integrate the messaging with your Point of Sale (POS) and send out instant notifications when a payment is confirmed, or a customer’s order is ready to be picked up. For maximum results, integrate with a suitable WooCommerce POS like Jovvie

Another useful feature is the option to define “blackout” periods so that no automated messages are sent during off-peak hours. 

Cross-platform support

Extend your reach, ensuring a consistent brand message across various customer touchpoints, with cross-platform support encompassing SMS, email, and WhatsApp.

By leveraging these Flow Notify features in your SMS marketing strategy, you’re providing your subscribers with an immediate, personalized communication method, hence boosting customer engagement, leading to potentially higher conversion rates, and setting your eCommerce business up for success.

SMS marketing best practices for eCommerce businesses

To maximize the effectiveness of SMS marketing in eCommerce, consider the following established best practices:

Timing and frequency

Ensuring your messages reach consumers at the optimal time is crucial. Identify your target audience’s peak shopping times and schedule your SMS messages accordingly. Also, check the frequency of your messages to make sure that you’re not inundating your customers’ inboxes, which might prompt them to opt out of your SMS channel.

Fortunately, with sophisticated tools like Flow Notify, you can effortlessly manage these tasks. Flow Notify enables you to set up specific windows for sending your notifications. This feature not only ensures your messages land during peak engagement times but also prevents customers from being barraged with excessive messages.

Audience segmentation

Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and segment your audience based on buying patterns, demographics, and preferences. Then, tailor your messages for each segment to amplify personal connections and boost engagement.


Navigating the world of SMS marketing isn’t just about crafting the perfect message – it’s also essential to ensure you’re reaching out to your customers in a lawful and respectful manner. Before sending out any SMS marketing messages, it’s crucial to obtain clear and explicit consent from your customers. 

This typically means they should actively opt in, usually by signing up through a form or ticking a checkbox. It’s a good practice to keep a record of this consent, noting when and how it was obtained. Remember, consent shouldn’t be assumed or hidden in fine print.

As we mentioned earlier, you must also follow the compliance rules relevant to your location and target audience, such as the TCPA in the U.S. or the GDPR in the European Union.


The best strategy here is to not restrict your SMS marketing to a solitary channel. Amplify its potential by integrating it with other marketing platforms like email and social media, creating a more unified and resonant promotional voice. Use SMS to reinforce promotions from your other channels to create a comprehensive and effective multi-channel marketing strategy.

By following these recommendations, you can craft a powerful SMS marketing strategy that will drive conversion and customer loyalty for your eCommerce business.

Take the next step: Implement Flow Notify for effective SMS marketing

Throughout this post, we’ve explored how SMS marketing can amplify your larger marketing strategy and the unique value it can deliver when complementing traditionally dominating marketing channels like email and social media. 

The importance of picking the right platform to enable this integration cannot be over-emphasized – this is where Flow Notify shines. With its cross-platform support, it ensures that your messages resonate, regardless of device or platform. 

Whether you’re sending out promotional campaigns, transactional messages, or critical customer service updates, Flow Notify handles it with grace, amplifying your marketing prowess.

Take the leap and experience the magic of seamless SMS marketing. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s absolutely no risk in giving Flow Notify a go. Embark on a journey of enriched customer engagement and watch your brand’s narrative transform!

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