How To Harness AI for More Engaging SMS Campaigns
By Ian Donnelly
How To Harness AI for More Engaging SMS Campaigns
Table of Contents
In recent years, SMS marketing has emerged as a powerful way for businesses to reach and engage with their customers. The channel consistently generates impressive numbers and head-turning results, offering everything from a boost to your brand awareness to increased conversions.
But achieving these results requires a smart SMS strategy and the right tools to make it a reality. Luckily for e-commerce businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new doors and possibilities for SMS marketing. With these tools at your disposal, it’s more than a good idea to adopt SMS as a marketing channel — AI and SMS marketing are quickly becoming essential parts of an effective and modern marketing strategy.
By leveraging AI technologies, businesses can create more engaging and personalized text messages that resonate with customers. In this blog, we'll explore how AI can help businesses optimize their SMS campaigns and drive real ROI.
The Current State of SMS Marketing
As a marketing channel, SMS has come a long way in a short amount of time.
Just a few years ago, marketing text messages would be considered intrusive. But as smartphones have become the main way that people shop, communicate, and engage with the world, mobile marketing has evolved to play a prominent role in customer journeys.
Now, SMS marketing is crucial to communicate with your customers on their preferred terms, and there’s plenty of data to prove it.
SMS Boasts the Best Open Rates
Compared to other forms of digital marketing, text messages have incredibly high open rates. The average open rate for SMS campaigns is 98%, which is miles ahead of other channels.
Even email, widely considered to be the most utilized channel for marketers, can’t come close to the engagement that text messages offer.
This means that businesses can be highly confident that their SMS marketing messages are reaching their intended audience.
SMS Audiences Are More Inclined To Click Through
An SMS campaign also generates significantly higher click-through rates compared to other digital channels. The average click-through rate for an SMS campaign is 19%, which is 15% higher than the average email marketing campaign.
As a marketing channel, it’s one of the most motivating formats you can use to guide your audience further along in the customer journey.
Modern Consumers Prefer Connecting With Businesses Through Text Messages
Digital commerce has opened up countless touchpoints that businesses can use to connect with potential customers. But of all the channels available, SMS messaging is quickly becoming the most preferred way for audiences to connect with brands.
93% of US shoppers are interested in receiving texts or have already opted in for texts from a brand. The same study found that US shoppers who are subscribed to SMS are 87% more likely to make a purchase.
Customers are increasingly open to receiving marketing messages through SMS, providing a huge opportunity to reach customers where they are most engaged.
How AI Can Help Businesses Optimize SMS Campaigns
With so much potential for revenue-driving campaigns, SMS marketing is an attractive and lucrative channel for any e-commerce business. And with the power of AI, brands can optimize their efforts with more engaging, personalized, and SMS messages.
Here are some of the most powerful and useful ways that companies can use AI to streamline their SMS marketing.
Content Creation With ChatGPT
When you think of AI, you’re most likely picturing content generation tools like ChatGPT or something similar. These AI tools, which can instantly craft human-like text responses to conversational queries, have changed the game when it comes to designing compelling content for marketing campaigns.
With a few simple prompts, these content generation apps can cut down on valuable time and help streamline the content process — now you can instantly generate things like message copy variations, different tones of voice, and alternative CTAs to test and implement for your SMS marketing messages.
And with the right marketing platform, you can have this capability available directly within your campaign building process. Bloomreach Engagement offers an integrated AI content generator that helps you create excellent marketing content directly in our SMS campaign editor, so you don’t need to leave the platform to generate content ideas.
You can simply input the desired theme, character count, and language for your text messages and the content generator will create content options for you to use in your campaigns.
Customer segmentation is essential for effective marketing campaigns, and AI can be a revolutionary tool for integrating all your customer data and organizing your audiences into relevant, sophisticated segments.
Every modern marketer knows that data is the key to great customer experiences. You can use every interaction that your customer has with your brand to gain important insights into what your audience needs to reach the next stage of their customer journey. That’s why it’s so important to consolidate all your data into a single customer view, where you can unify each customer’s behavior, interests, and preferences in a unique profile for each user.
With AI, you can quickly and efficiently put all that data to work in a comprehensive marketing strategy. AI can help you identify key segments like new customers, lapsing customers, and your most loyal buyers in seconds. No more sifting through an overwhelming amount of data to manually segment your audience — AI can analyze and organize all your customer data instantaneously.
Plus, you can use artificial intelligence to craft marketing campaigns that learn and grow with each new interaction. Algorithmic analysis can be employed to keep your efforts one step ahead, helping you anticipate your customer’s next move, adapt to changing demands, and send SMS messages exactly when recipients are ready to engage with your brand.
AI-Driven Product Recommendations
No matter which channels you use in your marketing strategy, your audience wants a personalized experience with your brand. It’s the expected trade-off for the sheer amount of data that consumers allow businesses to collect — they want you to turn all the insights you gain into a relevant, tailored experience.
Serving personalized product recommendations is one of the best ways to speak directly to your audience and incorporate all their unique wants and needs into your SMS marketing, and AI can help you streamline this process.
Offering product recommendations that are generated by machine-learning algorithms allows marketers to personalize the products suggested to each recipient in real time. Since artificial intelligence can ingest and organize the most up-to-the-minute insights from a customer, every SMS marketing campaign you launch can be informed by the most relevant data points, like a recipient’s last opened SMS, their most recent on-site searches, and their latest in-store purchases.
Instead of building out laborious rule-based recommendations, AI can instantly recommend the most relevant items to a particular customer. You don’t have to blindly add recommended products to SMS messages and hope your audience engages with your campaigns — AI can do the heavy lifting for you.
This can cut down on the amount of campaigns you send and drive up the revenue of your SMS efforts at the same time.
AI in Conversational Commerce
Conversational commerce is a concept at the cutting edge of AI in SMS marketing, and it has the power to completely revolutionize your strategy — and the customer experience as we know it.
The process of using automated conversations is not a brand-new tool for e-commerce, but the recent advancements in generative AI have vastly improved a brand’s capability to offer two-way communication with their customers. With the help of AI, SMS marketing messages are quickly evolving to feel like a real conversation, not just a bot recognizing and responding to a few keywords.
Natural language processing techniques can turn conversations you have with customers in your contact list into structured data that can be used to gain insights into what your audience wants. Artificial intelligence has reached the point where it can read responses to your messages and grasp human intent, even when faced with colloquialisms, slang, or a lack of greater context.
This means that marketing text messages don’t have to be monologues. You can speak with your audience, not just at them, which opens up a whole new dimension of customer communication.
Conversational commerce isn’t just something that businesses should consider for short-term marketing gains. It’s the future of e-commerce, and is radically reshaping how shoppers and marketers think about online stores, the role of the search bar, and the one-way relationship that marketing channels have always established with their audience.
Read This Next: What Is Conversational Commerce?
Drive Real ROI With AI-Powered SMS Using Bloomreach Engagement
To truly harness the power of AI in SMS marketing, you need the right platform with the right tools for the job. And that’s exactly what you get with Bloomreach Engagement. Our marketing solution provides everything you need to build better SMS marketing campaigns with advanced targeting and AI-powered personalization.
From real-time insights into your customer’s behavior to setting up targeted and dynamic SMS campaigns, marketers can automate and streamline their SMS marketing strategy and use artificial intelligence to both their business’ and their customer’s advantage.
Are you interested in learning more about the future of AI and its impact on e-commerce? Register for The Edge Summit today, a special event that brings together the brightest minds in e-commerce for a conversation about the impact of artificial intelligence on the e-commerce world.