Best Practices

Remarketing with SMS

Unlock SMS Remarketing: A vital yet overlooked tool in campaigns. Target past visitors with specific marketing for enhanced engagement.

Mathew Gorka

By Mathew Gorka

May 30, 2023

9 min read

Remarketing with SMS

SMS Remarketing is one of the most overlooked aspects of most businesses' campaign efforts. Before we get into how to capture the power of remarketing and what it means for your business, let’s look at what remarketing is.

Defining remarketing

Remarketing is a marketing process of serving targeted marketing collateral to people who have already visited or taken action on your website or storefront. Essentially it's a two step process. Digitally, remarketing is enabled by a pixel, which will place a cookie in the user’s browser. This enables you to see the actions they take on your site. Pertinent information for retargeting can also be gathered from a CDP or CRM platform. When businesses pair consumer behavior and intent with outreach they are remarketing. The more personalized remarketing is the better, but we’ll get to that later in this article.

Remarketing is often confused with retargeting. While similar, the key difference is that retargeting is achieved by paid advertising, often PPC (pay per click). The beauty of remarketing is that it’s much more inexpensive. Also, its personal touch tends to land better with its audience. Pairing remarketing with conversational commerce is a powerful duo.

Examples of remarketing

Now that we’ve defined remarketing let’s look at common examples. There are many examples of remarketing. The most common is abandoned cart recovery. Statistically speaking, improving your abandoned cart recovery by even a few percent can lead to massive revenue gains. There are many other instances where remarketing is the influential and correct choice. Remember, the goal of remarketing is to re-engage cold leads; you want to hit them with your best offer and you want it to be personal. These instances include: new product releases and product recommendations that are relevant to their history and interests, special offers, and urgency regarding an item of interest. For example, if you run a ski shop and someone viewed and favorited a set of skis early in the season but now some time has passed, you could:

  1. Offer them a discount on the Skis (discount)
  2. Recommend a similar or newer set that might interest them (behavior)
  3. Share exclusive content (interests)
  4. Remind them that the season is halfway over, but there’s still plenty of time to hit the slopes (urgency)

Benefits of remarketing

SMS remarketing boosts conversions and audience engagement with customers deep in your funnel. The magic comes from a friendly nudge, a reassurance, a reminder, a willingness to make a connection with that customer. This is why conversational commerce is the best way to drive revenue and awareness for your business. These are the experiences your customers have come to expect. Think of remarketing like advanced SMS marketing. Yes, text blasts from your business work. So do 1:1 text support. But if you stop there you’re leaving countless dollars on the table. Don’t miss out on a massive cohort of customers.

Alright, so you’re sold on the idea of remarketing campaigns but unsure of where to start. Well, you need a power SMS tool that has the automations necessary for execution. We’re not going to go into a long Helios pitch here, but obviously it’s our not-so-humble opinion that we do it better than everyone else. So which tool do you start with for SMS retargeting campaigns? Segmentation.

Starting remarketing with segmentation

Segmentation is used in SMS marketing for the personalization you’ll need. Simply put, it’s time to separate your audience based on their behavior or your planned campaign. You can segment by their specific action, like cart abandoners, you can segment by your action such as discount, interests, urgency. Have a list of subscribers who haven’t made a purchase yet? That's a segment. New subscribers are a segment. Long time loyalists and top customers are a segment. Seasonal shoppers are a segment. And the list goes on and on.

Improve your remarketing with templated messages

Next, create your message. With Helios you can store unlimited templates. Then, simply assign the chosen template to the appropriate segment. Make your content engaging. Ask a question or give valuable information. This ties into our first principle of SMS marketing, which is always to provide immediate value. Interactive content is key. Make sure your messaging includes a clear CTA or call-to-action so that the customer has a clear way of interacting with you.

Automations to power your remarketing campaigns

Now it’s time to implement automations. Automations do the monotonous work of several people all by themselves. This time and money saving hack is a great way to accelerate your business. Start by determining when the message will be sent. As we mentioned before, this includes time of day, day of week, and the amount of time that passes between the user action and your message. As we’ll cover later, you’ll want to optimize this time by testing.

Automations aren’t always one-offs. You may want to set up a flow. A flow is a series of messages that are sent based on time lapse or reply triggers. With Helios you can do both. Triggers are keywords that tell the automation engine to reply with the next templated message. For example, you might craft a message that asks for a keyword reply such as “reply ‘Spring’ to hear more about our best deals of the season.” Once the user replies “Spring” they will be sent another message, ideally with a product offering, either instantly or on a time delay that you choose. These automations are the engine that powers conversational commerce and leads to more conversions.

A/B testing and analysis to remarketing optimization

As we’ve alluded to earlier, A/B testing is the most impactful way to improve the efficacy of your remarketing campaigns. In fact, A/B testing should be done on all of your marketing campaigns. A/B testing is simply ‘this vs. that’ or ‘option 1 vs. option 2.’ You can test many aspects of your campaigns. Optimization is always necessary and can be done for nearly anything. Don’t know where to start A/B testing? We suggest optimizing for:

  1. The time lapse between customer action and your response
  2. The headline of your message
  3. The length of your message
  4. The content of your message
  5. How many messages are within your flow
  6. The effectiveness of your offerings or discounts

Measuring the success of your remarketing campaign

To measure the success of your campaign, start with defining the KPIs or Key Performance Indicators you’ll measure. If you’ve worked in marketing before, you know it's laden with acronyms, so we’ll give you one more. An tried and true saying is to make sure your KPIs are SMART – Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-based. Our best tip in regards to KPIs is to avoid “vanity metrics.” Vanity metrics are things you can measure or highlight in your performance that don’t truly affect your business’ bottomline.

Are you thinking, “Which KPIs should I use for my remarketing campaign?” We can offer a place to start, but hope you’ll modify these KPIs based on your business and its unique goals. The endgame/ primary goal of any marketing activity is to boost revenue. Revenue is oxygen for your business. While brand awareness is fantastic, you cannot survive without revenue. So start with your ROI or Return On Investment and revenue growth. And as always, pay attention to your conversion rate.

Here's our article on setting smart, attainable KPIs.

The next most important thing depends on where your brand is. If you have a long list of subscribers and customers then driving higher engagement with your leads is a priority. If you're interacting well with your subscribers or customers but feel like you could use more of them, then scaling the size of your list and outreach is a priority. Conversion rate is also useful when determining engagement, depending on what the conversion is. For a more specific correlation look at your response rate and attrition rate. If you’re looking for growth, subscriber growth rate is a great place to start.

Remarketing campaigns summary

As we’ve covered, remarketing is a powerful way to boost revenue and engagement with your audience. We hope this all inclusive guide to remarketing has provided the steps necessary to propel your business forward. If you’re still looking for the tools to power this quest look no further than Helios. Helios has all of the automations and features necessary to execute optimal campaigns. Want to learn more? Book a demo today!

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