Peace Out Skincare is betting big on SMS marketing after it recently moved the channel from considering it experimental to part of its core marketing strategy in an effort to keep up with changing shopper habits.
The California-based skincare company launched SMS marketing efforts last summer in line with promoting a new product, messaging shoppers early access deals and other campaign exclusives. Since then, the channel has grown to make up an estimated 30% of Peace Out’s direct sales, per a brand spokesperson.
About 80% of Peace Out Skincare’s customers are shopping via mobile phone and online, said Erin Murray, vice president of brand and consumer marketing, who did not give exact figures. The brand’s SMS strategy is part of the plan to meet those shoppers there. Instead of hard sales, Peace Out Skincare is using the channel to offer early access to product launches, refill orders and cart recovery as well as reminding consumers of items in their online shopping cart, and nudging them to purchase. Peace Out also uses SMS marketing to roll out digital content that will direct traffic back to the brand website.
It makes for an opportunity for the brand to learn about shoppers and what they’re buying to inform overall marketing strategy, and create targeted marketing messages, Murray said, noting that the brand is pushing to diversify its ad spend away from traditional channels.
“We’ve been putting more paid efforts behind [diversification] versus putting all of our eggs in the paid social route because we know, as a consumer, you’re being fed a paid social ad on Instagram every two seconds. So how do we get more creative with our dollars?” Murray said.
SMS marketing is gaining popularity as brands look to move away from total reliance on Facebook and Instagram ads, and gain access to more first-party user data, said Duane Brown, founder of Take Some Risk, noting that SMS can be a complementary channel to email.
There’s also the fact that text message-based communication is an integral part of peoples’ everyday lives, according to Jamie Sutton, general manager at the e-commerce marketing automation platform Omnisend.
“Because they are opt-in channels, consumers actively look for and respond to messages,” Sutton said via email. “While social media is still a great marketing channel, promotions on these channels are not requested by users. This makes email and SMS appealing for both e-commerce brands and consumers.”
As shoppers slowly come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ll be taking their mobile devices with them. Per Sutton, SMS marketing could prove to be “a major marketing tool to reach consumers where they are, rather than waiting on them to check their [email] inboxes.”
However, brands will need to be careful not to spam shoppers on their personal devices, warns Jason Marks, chief creative officer at Laundry Service agency.
“SMS is alive and thriving within the behavior set of our audiences, and generates an astronomical response rate,” Marks said in an email. “The problem is that brands are reluctant to give up their email CRM, and they sometimes feel like SMS cannibalizes it — when really it should eat it all up and just replace it.”
According to Murray, the brick-and-mortar store closures that came with the pandemic led to an uptick in email marketing, making it a crowded space as Peace Out Skincare was “starting to lose a little bit of market share there.” Meaning: a pivot to SMS marketing was the right move.
“We’ve only increased our efforts on SMS further, while email is still highly growing we understand our consumer is more and more on their phone and SMS has become a bigger lever for us in terms of conversion,” Murray said in an email, noting that the brand has significantly increased its budget tied to SMS.
Still, the skincare brand has no plans to let up on digital marketing efforts like paid social or influencer partnerships anytime soon, Murray said. The brand is also still experimenting in-store, where it recently launched a new product with an attached QR code to drive shoppers back to the site.
While the brand declined to provide specifics on its digital media spend, Murray said the more money the brand earns, the more it will experiment with new and upcoming marketing channels.
“We want the consumer no matter if they’re in a store, or they’re online or they’re on social, that they can access our brand and learn more about our brand and about their skin concerns at any point in time,” Murray said.
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