MSS Spotlight: Analyzing the Impact of SMS on the Customer Journey

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Mobile is one of the fastest growing channels for ecommerce, and with it comes the opportunity to further engage with customers using SMS. In the session Draper James: Analyzing the Impact of SMS on the Customer Journey, Elizabeth Ray, VP Client Strategy at Attentive and Helen Nightingale, VP of Ecommerce at Draper James discussed the growth and importance of SMS marketing, using Draper James as a case study for how to build out this channel. 

You can watch the full session on our Youtube channel



Overview: Mobile Matters

The emergence of SMS marketing comes as no surprise because it follows the pattern of mobile shopping. Mobile ecommerce sales have increased every year, and in 2021, they will make up 72.9% of all ecommerce sales. 

This slide shows the growth in mobile ecommerce sales between 2017-2021.

Within mobile usage, messaging is the most highly utilized function/app (98% of U.S. adults).  Additionally, text messages drive 10x more revenue than email per message, with 99% open rates and 30%+ click through rates. It’s now a thoroughly effective and proven way to reach customers.

Attentive completed a study in December 2020 to find out just how important mobile is for brands. Some of their key findings include:

  • 56.7% of U.S. consumers shop primary using their mobile, and 36.7% using their mobile and desktop equally
  • 55.8% of consumers already receive text messages from businesses, and another 34.5% would sign up for texts
  • 67% have signed up to receive texts from more brands over the past year
  • Consumers are most interested in transactional updates, limited-time promotions and product updates/launches

Bottom line: Consumers ultimately want 1:1 personalized messages from brands, but they need to hear the right messages from the right brands.

Session Case Study: Draper James  

Draper James wanted to analyze the impact of SMS on the customer journey, determining the ROI of this channel. Their SMS list is about 15% the size of email, but drives 4-5x more revenue, presenting a unique opportunity for customer engagement.

To do so, they partnered with Attentive to develop a segmentation strategy, including some of the following: 

This slide shows Draper James’ segmentation and criteria within their SMS channel.

One type of message segmentation that proved extremely effective for Draper James was based on VIP loyalty members. They had three tiers of VIP offerings, with the first two resulting in 24.7% CTR and the highest tier of VIP driving 49.9% CTR. They also used location-based segmentation and journey-based texts. Overall, they saw a 20.9% high average conversion when segmenting, 140% subscriber growth YoY and 26.5x average ROI of SMS. 

Through segmentation-based attribution, they maximized the value of their SMS program for subscribers, managed their list more strategically and increased ROI. 

They also tried a new personalization strategy during the holiday season with “DJElf” Conversational SMS, a gift concierge via text allowing customers to text with store associates. They wanted to give a deeper SMS experience to subscribers who wanted more than “one-way” messages. This truly allowed Draper James to focus on personalization through mobile, replacing some of the in-store communication that would have happened pre-Covid. 



Overall, SMS has been a very promising channel for Draper James and they continue to tune and scale the channel.

Check out the full session video on our Youtube Channel and learn more about Attentive.