SMS marketing—how AI and data crackdowns are reviving the strategy

AI is starting to be used to create copy and push out SMS marketing faster.

For online bridalwear retailer Azazie, SMS is a critical part of its marketing strategy. It’s a huge driver of online sales—73% of the company’s website traffic and 45% of all sales come from mobile “and this is thanks to using SMS as the strategy,” said Azazie Senior Brand Marketing Manager Keily Hernandez.

Hernandez said Azazie started to invest in SMS marketing in 2018, when the company noticed an uptick in mobile web traffic and saw an opportunity to use texts to drive that further. The company has refined its strategy to make it perform better—including by using AI chatbot ChatGPT to write texts for campaigns such as its recent Barbie-inspired Doll House collection—and now it’s looking at ways to also add customer service capabilities via SMS, she said.

Even though some ad professionals, including Campbell and Joshi, argued that generative AI still sounds too robotic to use to write texts, AI is improving fast and it will likely be used to fully automate SMS marketing, and soon.

Also read: AI is revamping out-of-home advertising

“You can automate the entire process, which obviously saves a ton of money,” said Matt Null, co-founder and head of AI for brand and communications agency Human. “If you don’t know you’re interacting with an AI, it blends in a little bit more with just getting spam email or any sort of cold text from any number of services you’ve signed up for.  We have a long way to go but we’re going to be there very, very soon.”

Navigating risks 

Text message marketing isn’t without its risks.

Unlike email, where unsubscribing is usually a pain and takes time and multiple steps, all a person has to do to opt

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