Improve SMS Marketing ROI By Giving Your Customers Options

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Improve SMS Marketing ROI By Giving Your Customers Options

Did you know men and women like to shop for different things? Shocker, isn’t it?

Of course, it’s a simple concept. But Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) used it to increase their SMS click through rates. How much, they don’t say. The method they used though, is as simple as the concept.

In their SMS marketing messages, they include two links. One is for women and one is for men. It would look something like this:

A&F: Save 70% online for a limited time.

Men: a shortened link

Women: a different shortened link

When someone clicks the “Men” shortlink, they are sent to the men’s section of their website. And of course the “Women” link goes to the women’s section.

It’s an interesting alternative to dropping both men and women off on the same landing page of their website. The theory goes that A&F gets more clicks when using this method because customers know they’ll see exactly the sorts of things they want. They won’t have to search the site for men’s clothing or accessories. They’ll see men’s items immediately. And the same is true for the women.

If you’ve ever received a marketing message and hesitated to click a link, you might understand why this could work so well. Without even realizing it, you might have been thinking “Do I have time to look for something I want on the site?”  Or maybe “Will anything I want be on sale?”

The A&F message answers both of these questions. If you’re a man or a woman, they have something on sale for you. And you’ll be sent right to those items so you don’t have to spend time searching around or see loads of other items that you aren’t interested in.

By segmenting their offer this way, they make it easier for the consumer, which is why their click rates improve. Now, let’s look at how you can put this concept to work in your own SMS marketing.


A&F took the broadest categories of customers, divided them up, and gave them each their own link.

Your business might benefit from the same approach, but you can go beyond just using male or female links.

Let’s use an electronics store as another example. ABC Electronics is having a 70% off sale too. But they know not all their customers want everything they sell. So instead, they could include links with the broad categories like appliances, home theatre, computers, video games, etc.

Including too many separate links might become confusing rather than simplifying though, so they should probably stop at the three or four most important categories. They could even do tests on a variety of category descriptions to see which performs better.

Someone receiving a message like this might be more inclined to click if they are in the market for something in one of those categories. For example, say you were considering buying a new computer.

Imagine you get their SMS message, but there is only one link to click. You know they carry computers, but what are the chances any of them are 70% off? Not likely, right? So you don’t click.

You might also know they sell a ton of different electronics items. Even if you want to see if computers are included in the sale, do you have time to click that link right now? How long will it take to load, search, and find any computers on sale? It just seems like too much work or too much time. Maybe you don’t click. Or plan to come back to it later…but then forget all about it.

Now imagine you receive a message saying there is 70% off at ABC Electronics, and you’re presented with separate links to computers, appliances and home theatre. That’s a pretty amazing sale and you know if you click on the computer link, you’ll see all computers on sale. You’d probably click right? It makes it easier for you to act on what you want. The message is providing you with exactly what you want, and that’s part of what segmenting is all about.

Easy To Do

Marketers know that the better they segment their offers, the better the performance. But there’s a lot of work that goes into segmenting properly. If you have the tools, the data and the time, you could segment offers before you send them out (women would only receive women’s offers in the A&F example).

But offering choices in the SMS messages you send is an easier way to achieve a similar result when you don’t have the time, tools, or data to do it ahead of time. At the very least it’s another technique to put into your mobile marketing toolbox.

Just remember to keep the options simple, and you might see an increase in clicks in your next marketing message.

Have you ever used this technique before? We’d love to hear what you have to say. Please share your experiences in the comments.

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