Top 6 Methods to Build & Engage an SMS Subscriber Base

Site & eCommerce
Content & Messaging
Brand & Positioning Strategy
August 27, 2021
Beauty & Selfcare

Key Takeaways

Blume is a skincare and period health company with 104K average monthly website visits from August 2020 to July 2021. Blume saw 88% of their traffic from mobile devices and a majority of their website audience in the 18-34 year old range (57%). From August 2020 to July 2021, Blume has been building a SMS marketing strategy to reach their audience in new and more intimate ways.

Building an SMS Subscriber Base — Blume has built a subscriber list by: 

  • Keeping Customer Interests in Mind: Blume targets their customers and their interests by offering ‘first come first serve’ Starbucks gift cards periodically for signing up to receive SMS communications. 
  • Using Trends to Promote Initiatives: Blume stays relevant by using timely promotional material such as flip phones to match the current Y2K trend in the summer of 2021.
  • Maintaining Strong Branding: Blumes font, branding and purpose is riddled throughout their messaging for SMS marketing.

Keeping SMS Subscribers Engaged — Blume has engaged their subscriber list by using: 

  • Welcome Messaging: Blume builds messages to invite subscribers into their community and feel welcomed. 
  • Creating Dialogue: Subscribers can engage in conversations with Blume by following prompts to learn more about their brand values and team beyond a transactional relationship.
  • Promoting Sales: Urgency is created with sale content to let subscribers know when and how they can access discounts.

Blume is a skincare and period health company with 104K average monthly website visits from August 2020 to July 2021. 88% of their traffic is generated from mobile devices.

From August 2020 to July 2021, Blume has seen 57% of their website audience in the 18-34 age group of Gen Z and Millennials.

Partaking in SMS marketing has allowed Blume to focus on two elements of their strategy:

Building an SMS Subscriber List. Since mid-2020, Blume has been hosting sign up campaigns to incentivize their followers on Instagram to engage with their SMS marketing communications. 

Keeping SMS Subscribers Engaged. To keep SMS subscribers engaged, Blume also employs a strong conversational and non-selling approach to their marketing content and messaging. 

Building an SMS Subscriber List

Blume created Instagram Stories to raise awareness about the SMS communication program by treating people to a ‘first come first serve’ gift card to Starbucks if they opt-in. 

Blume also raises awareness about their SMS list by hosting contests to incentivize people to sign up online. All users need to to do to win is sign up for SMS communication.

While gaining in popularity, SMS marketing is still a niche form of communication between businesses and their customers. Blume makes the transition more approachable by: 

1. Keeping Customer Interests in Mind. Blume recognizes who their customer is, what they do and where they shop. By using Starbucks as an incentive, they are speaking directly to the people who buy their products.

2. Using Trends to Promote Initiatives. With trends coming and going, Blume makes an effort to stay relevant with their content. The use of flip phones in their giveaway speaks to the recent comeback in Y2K nostalgia

3. Maintaining Strong Branding. Regardless of what they are promoting or how they are promoting it, Blume’s purpose and branding remains consistent across messaging. During the giveaway participants needed to text “SELFCARETREAT” to enter. Ultimately, this reminds Blume’s audience why they exist.

Keeping SMS Subscribers Engaged

As SMS is an intimate and immediate form of communication opposed to email marketing, finding the right balance between how and when to text an audience can be challenging. 

From August 2020 to July 2021, Blume employed three methods:

1. Welcome Messaging

Blume uses introductory messages that inspire feelings of community and acceptance into their group making up about 15% of their texts from August 2020 to July 2021. Bright, happy imagery is included in the message to provide extra dimension and context to the branding and a welcome discount is provided for new customers.

Blume uses a 4 part introduction similar to email marketing but more concise:

  1. Bright and fun imagery
  2. Welcoming messaging
  3. 10% introduction discount
  4. Call to action 

2. Conversational Accessibility

About 55% of texts from August 2020 to July 2021 are conversational providing insight into how Blume was started, what their values are and how they’re doing better as a brand. Blume uses SMS marketing to build a relationship beyond the product to promote diversity and inclusivity and value alignment with subscribers.

Blume uses 3 tactics to encourage organic and fun conversation:

  1. Causal tones such as “Hi”, “Cool”
  2. Subscriber prompts in all caps
  3. Emojis and formatting to make larger bodies of text more readable

3. Sales & Promotions

Blume communicates sales and promotions through SMS as a way to build excitement and exclusivity into their messaging for subscribers. 30% of the texts Blume sent from August to July 2021 were about promotions and deals. Similar to welcome messaging, Blume must convey traditional email marketing copy in shorter and concise messages. 

Promotional copy is broken down into:

  1. Promotional imagery 
  2. Strong headline in capital letters
  3. The discount amount and code
  4. Call to action with urgency

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