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Unprepared Ep 23 - Develop an Organic Relationship Through SMS Marketing with Osa Gaius


[00:00] - Intro
[00:15] - What Parrotmob does
[00:48] - The importance of SMS marketing
[01:40] - Chase’s approach to SMS
[02:31] - Osa on Chase’s SMS approach
[03:08] - One of the mistakes in SMS marketing
[03:45] - Online strategies derived from brick and mortar
[04:21] - Osa’s story of brick and mortar strats for Ecom
[04:57] - Organic content from organic customer interactions
[06:21] - There is no real open rates for SMS
[07:28] - When to consider SMS marketing


Key Points:

  • Parrotmob is an SMS marketing platform that helps sellers on Shopify reach out to their customers and make more sales using SMS.

  • SMS marketing is going to be big this 2020.

  • After buying something, most consumers expect a follow up. Someone that reaches to them and asks how the product/service has been going.

  • Individuals use different channels of communication for different interactions. Communications with friends are usually done through SMS. Business interactions are done through emails.

  • People do not use emails for personal communication anymore.

  • Email platforms often sort marketing emails as promotional emails or spam which decreases reach and open rates even more.

  • One idea for SMS content is boiling down your content for the month --or depending on what your cadence is-- and fitting it down to an SMS message.

  • An SMS message should feel like a conversation between your brand and the person you’re messaging.

  • Treat your SMS content as if you’re talking to a customer face-to-face in a store.

  • SMS content would feel organic if your messaging has a personal tone of just having a conversation with your customer.

  • One of the mistakes that brands make on SMS content is trying to save money by compressing the content.

  • Think of what you would share to someone if you are with them in the same room, then translate it to SMS. That would feel very organic to the customer.

  • Most of the marketing tactics that are applied to Ecommerce are based on the principles of brick and mortar marketing.

  • The goal for SMS is to make customers feel like they have a relationship to the brand even if your responses are automated.

  • Using your phone for communication feels more natural than using your computer.

  • Once the world opens up again, one of the strategies you can do for organic content is to observe organic interactions from brick and mortar stores.

  • Online customers subconsciously expect online store interactions with your brand to be personal and unique to them, just like the experience they get from high-end brick and mortar stores.

  • Open rates for SMS are just estimates, instead of true interactions. There is no technology yet to track that and carriers don’t allow that yet.

  • Don’t consider SMS as a channel just because it has a higher “open rate”. Think if you have messages that your customers are willing to receive on their phones.



Chase Clymer  

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. My name is Chase. And welcoming, I am welcoming to the show today , Osa from Parrotmob. How are you doing? 

Osa Gaius  

Doing Good. How are you today? I'm doing great. 

Chase Clymer  

So for people that are unfamiliar with Parrotmob, just quickly, what does parrot mob do?

Osa Gaius  

Parrotmob essentially is an SMS marketing platform. So we help sellers on Shopify reach out to their customers and make more sales using SMS.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome, I feel like SMS is a super big channel in 2020. A lot of new players in the game yourself included. Obviously, there's pros and cons to all of them. But we're not going to really this isn't a compare and contrast episode or anything like that. 

Let's talk about the pros of SMS and maybe some tips and tricks that you've obviously picked up now, being very deep into SMS and focusing that in that channel. So I guess, where would you like to begin?

Osa Gaius  

Yeah, I'd like to begin with sort of like the customer journey, right? So a lot of folks who I talk to always ask me, like, why does SMS matter? It seems like an old technology, it's been around for so long. 

And what I always tell people as well, you know, think about your personal interaction, right? Like when you buy something from a store, you know, what do you expect, right? You expect someone to reach out to you to ask how the products are going, so on and so forth. 

And if you interact with your friends, you tend to do that over SMS. And if you interact with businesses, it tends to be over email. 

So I think the way I describe people is like, well, if you really want to touch your customers where they are, right, it only makes sense to reach out to them via text, because more often than not, people are not really, you know, handling email in the same way as they used to, right. 

A lot of folks filter out a bunch of stuff, they filter out things from stores, and Gmail does a good job also filtering out most things from businesses as sort of promotions or in some cases, spam.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I like what you said, he said, reach your customers where they are. And that goes hand in hand in kind of with your content marketing as well. 

Obviously, certain channels are going to play very well. But I see that brands that are doing it better are once they figured out that one channel, they just kind of clone the strategy and put it in the other channels where maybe their customers aren't as active. 

But I mean, you've already done the work to get the first thing done, might as well just, you know, rinse and repeat. I personally when we're talking to clients, or we're even running stuff for them. 

We're not reinventing the wheel with SMS half the time, it's like, what is your biggest message of the month? Or whatever the cadence is that we're reaching out to customers through SMS, and it's like, “Cool, we're gonna distill that message down into something that fits on a text message.” Basically, I mean, I don't know, how's that strategy sound? From your perspective?

Osa Gaius  

It sounds good, right? I think it's a really good start. But the thing I always try to tell brands when they're thinking about SMS is you want it to feel like a conversation between your brand and the person you're messaging, right. 

And I think that's a real opportunity to really think about, well, what are the kinds of things you would say to your customer, if you had them physically in a store, right, where you have like a short interaction with them. 

And I think translating that to SMS feels really organic, if you can start from that position, we want to talk to our customers and have a conversation with them. R

Rather than we want to announce something because sometimes, and you've probably seen this, brands will announce something, but they'll like to try to save money on a text message. And so you'll get essentially this weird, garbled looking message with a bunch of acronyms in it. 

And that feels weird, right? It feels like a message from sprint or T Mobile right? on a weekday. 

I think instead brands really are thinking about what's the what are the images and like the content that you naturally would share with someone if you have them in the same room, and then figure out a way to text that, right? 

Because that feels organic, that's a brand that messages you with something real that feels more natural than a brand trying to compress their email marketing campaign into an SMS.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I mean, just with everything that we're doing with marketing tactics, and the new wave of trends in e-commerce, it's funny that we're kind of resolving back to how do we like to duplicate what happens in a retail store in an online environment? 

I don't know if you see that same pattern, but like, it's, it's really funny kind of seeing that, from my perspective. 

Osa Gaius  

Yeah. And to me, I think, you know, especially for folks who are ecommerce sellers, right, you, you may have started your business only online. So you may never have had the experience of running a brick and mortar business.

But I think there are a lot of lessons learned there, right, where, you know, I'll give you an example. There's a woman who has shopped from a small town and went to school, and she sends out a message every day telling people what she cooked for the day, you can come in and buy it, right. 

And I remember like having texts with her late at night, be like, Hey, are you making x tomorrow? And she'll be like, yeah, to me, when I think of the best kind of SMS marketing. It's that right? 

It feels like a relationship with the business, even if, you know, it's not directly someone on the other end, or you know, there's a bit of automation in there. It should feel natural, because I'm on a phone. I'm not on a computer receiving email automations

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I mean also, it's actually Going back to just like how can you duplicate the in store experience? Like there's nothing like that cash register? Like, hey, like you got x like, do you want to get why like those types of upsells, they can be done digitally. 

I've seen them done very well, I've seen them done through text messages, you know, so maybe maybe a good idea here for brands is like, once you know, the world opens back up, go into some stores where you either share the same ideals as the same product, or maybe it's the same product and get some ideas, ideas from just like experiencing how those customers interact with the employees? 

Because that's essentially the conversations that you want to have in these more direct personal channels.

Osa Gaius  

Yeah, I totally agree. I think one one might be helpful for stores, you know, who are online primarily think about going to stores like, you know, the Gucci store, for instance, like I would never buy something from that, because I can't afford it. 

But going in there and seeing the really high touch experience, right? Where, like you're being served by hand, you know, you're being served like by a very personal person, they're serving you things, they're like, really helping you through the experience. 

I think that's the expectation people will have not just in retail after you know, COVID is over. But also from online retail, I think people are going to expect that you treat them like a special customer, not just as someone who you know, click Checkout on Shopify.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. Now, is there anything that I didn't ask you that is like worthwhile? Or just that's top of mind today?

Osa Gaius  

Yeah. So this is a thing that I've been thinking a lot about. So one thing you'll see on our website and other people's websites, who are sort of talking about SMS marketing, is open rates and click through rates, right. 

So I think that's something I want to kind of tell people about just in the spirit of honesty, and the way I'll kind of put it plainly is open rates don't exist for SMS, right? 

It's not, it's not real. Um, there are a bunch of ways you can like, guess what the open rate is, but there is no actual open rate for SMS. So when I talk to a lot of merchants, they come to me and they say, hey, oh, so I'm thinking about using SMS marketing because it has a 95% open rate. 

And I'll use a caveat like, not really, that isn't true, because there is no way for you as a seller, or even us as a platform to know if someone opens an SMS there isn't that technology doesn't exist yet. Right? 

The carriers like at&t don't allow that today. So everything when you see open rates are just guesses based on surveys that people have done, right? 

So that's important to know, because you should not make a decision on SMS just by saying it has a higher open rate. You really should think about whether or not your business is one that can leverage SMS, right? 

Like do you have something that people are going to be willing to receive on their phones? Or are you selling something that no one really wants to get on their phone? Maybe it's not that kind of product.

So that's one thing it's top of mind for me because I've been digging around and trying to find any real research on that open rate and I found that it's all just surveys and he respects not not actual you know, truth based in like actual tracking.

Chase Clymer  

I've already guessed that there wasn't a real open rate thing but no one just came out bluntly and set it so I really I thank you for doing that. Now people are picking up what you're putting down. How do they get a hold of you?

Osa Gaius  

Yeah, the best way to reach me is osa@parrotmob.com or if you're interested in kind of learning more about us just go to parrotmob.com and you know, definitely definitely open to continue the conversation.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Oh, thank you so much for coming on the show today. 

Osa Gaius  

Awesome. Cheers.

A few weeks ago the world changed forever. Every business, every entrepreneur, every single person was unprepared for the sudden change we'd all experience. I'm going to use this time to create content focused on what you can do right now to help your business grow. We're all in this together, we're all unprepared.