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Unprepared Ep 39 - Developing Your SMS Campaigns and Abandoned Cart Recovery with Dennis Hegstad


  • [00:00] - Intro
  • [00:52] - The SMS landscape
  • [03:55] - What started LiveRecover?
  • [06:25] - What LiveRecover does
  • [08:27] - Where to find Dennis
  • [08:45] - Sponsor: Rewind


Key Points:

  • LiveRecover is a Shopify & WooCommerce app that sends human-powered SMS to convert your abandoned carts into sales.
  • LiveRecover is a peer-to-peer texting platform which means every text message gets sent and responded to in real-time.
  • LiveRecovery was built because they didn't want customers to get high intent messages like an abandoned checkout or cart and then the customers won't have a response from that brand. 
  • This allows LiveRecover to be like an on-demand, customer service sales team for brands powered by their software and tech for SMS.
  • Brands provide LiveRecover with some FAQs to support customer inquiries. 
  • When customers ask something that is not within the FAQ information, brands can learn new things and provide answers for their customers in the future. 
  • As Q4 comes up, the inbox is flooded with email and SMS. The frequency of SMS is different from email, so brands shouldn't expect to text their customers and leads daily. 
  • Build your list around October or earlier and nurture that list so you won't have to exhaust it before Black Friday and the holiday season comes. 
  • You'd be competing with a ton of brands if you send your SMS campaign on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the holidays. 
  • Be unique with how you use SMS in regards to how you build your list and how you market. 
  • For instance, you can send an SMS campaign to your customers that say if they shop earlier, they can still get the same discount that is going to start on Black Friday or the holidays.
  • This will help you build your customer's trust towards your brand and that the price will not change. 
  • Cart recovery through Facebook Messenger in 2017, through Shop Message, was cool to use since it automatically opted you in for a cart recovery by default and you didn't opt out so everyone's getting automated messages which were efficient. 
  • Over time, there are people who got recovered but some customers' questions were not answered which places a negative perspective on the brand.


Chase Clymer  

All right. Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. I'm your host, Chase Clymer. Today, welcoming to the show, someone I've known for literally over 10 years. We both come from music and now we're an Ecom. It's a fun world. Dennis Hegstad from LiveRecover. Welcome to the show. 

Dennis Hegstad  

Yo. Yeah, maybe even more than 10 years, but definitely 10 years and Warped Four days. Shout out, MySpace.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that's pretty much, that's where we all cut our teeth learning how to design MySpace profiles. It's probably like half of the people in the tech industry these days is what they did to kind of get...

Dennis Hegstad  

MySpace and Counter Strike, man, I swear.

Chase Clymer  

Oh man, I'm still a video game nerd. But we're here not to talk about video games. But to talk about the thing that is on everyone's mind, especially with q4 coming up, and just the ways to see returns these days is SMS. 

So you guys have a really unique solution over LiveRecover. And we'll talk about that in a bit. But I guess let's just get into the SMS landscape in general, and how that plays into how you want to use it in your marketing stack. How do you want to...where does it play?

Dennis Hegstad  

So I think that right now, like you said, q4 is coming up, things are getting really expensive on Facebook. For us, our ads are going up like 100%. And I hope that's just a pre-election thing and things calm down. 

But for the holidays, it's going to be, right, like your inbox is flooded with email. And it's probably going to get flooded with SMS too. Just because of the nature of now SMS is a little bit more mature, I'd say it's in like its sophomore year of the direct to consumer Ecommerce growth cycle. But last year, if you're doing SMS or Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas, you were probably one of the few people that was breaking through all the noise this year. If you're not, you're almost...that's almost becoming the default. 

So I would say SMS as a list creation tool is almost as important as email. But it's also important to recognize that email versus SMS in terms of frequency is not going to be the same. So don't expect to sign people up on an SMS list and then start texting them daily. And then hope that by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, they're still around, because they most likely won't be. I know for myself, and hopefully, this is for most people. 

If I got an email from Wayfair, and I get an email once a day, four or five times a week, I've probably been subscribed to that news list for eight years. And I don't unsubscribe and there's probably LTV data that says I buy stuff quarterly, so keep blasting me. But I know for a fact that there's no way any brand could text me at that frequency with SMS. And I would stay. 

So I think, thinking about maybe ramping up now, it's...we're in October. So we're getting really close. Ramping up now and building that list and sort of nurturing it in the right way where you're not exhausting it before the time comes. But also keep in mind that if you just do it on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays, you might be competing with a ton of other people. 

So maybe getting unique with how you use SMS and in regards to building a list, and when you market to those people might be more effective than just going with the standard. Like, hey, this is just a reminder for our VIP customers. If you shopped this link before you get the same discount that is going to start in the next 12 hours or the next day. 

As long as you can build the trust from customers that they know that this price will not change after the holidays, which is always a concern too. But yeah, I mean, obviously with us, we just do cart recovery. 

So I think it's a little bit of a different conversation since we're not as much focused on the front end with creating or creating lists or anything. It's more just recovering abandoned carts which are always happening.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, just to go into helping people, I'm sure some people are gonna be like, “How many SMS should I send this holiday season?”. And we wrap their head on it. 

And we're pretty much recommending something around six, and there's six specific dates, and you should look at them and you can figure it out on your own. I'm not going to give you the whole strategy, that's being lazy. Go do some research on your brand. 

But roughly, you can probably get away with six SMS campaigns this quarter, you know, give or take a few depending on how big your brand is, and how engaged your customers are.

But I do want to ask you about what you learned at Fashion Nova and of what started LiveRecover and like the cool data that you found there?

Dennis Hegstad  

Yeah, so I think it was really exciting to be working with a brand that was that big, as well as just having people who were flexible trying new technology. Obviously, a brand that big gets offered a lot of stuff. So you get to see a lot of cool things come inbound. 

But you know, doing cart recovery through Facebook Messenger in 2017 was like through ShopMessage specifically, which is a great app that I think has become maybe a pivot and their business model.

But back then it was the coolest thing to use because Facebook basically automatically opted you in for a cart recovery, by default. You didn't opt-out. And so everyone was getting automated messages, and they were very efficient.

But over time you realize that like wow, maybe I recovered 5 or 8%. And that was a great number. But there was two or three times those people who had questions that never got answered and that kind of puts a negative perspective on the brand.

If you sent me a message and you don't respond to my questions, and then over time, Facebook may or may not even negatively, you know, give you negative feedback and say hey, this brand doesn't respond to messages in X amount of time. 

That may have changed now how they've used some of those apps in terms of response time.

But that's sort of what led to how LiveRecover was built was because we didn't want to have anybody get a text about something, especially a very high intent event, like an abandoned checkout or an abandoned cart. 

And then if you ask somebody if they need help, or if they want a discount, or just reminding them, and they do have a question, and you don't help them, that will be like me texting you, "Hey, Chase, you know, do you want to get happy hour later?" 

And you're like, "Yeah, perfect. Like what time though? Because I'm busy after six." And then I don't text you until like, 10 pm. I'm like, "Sorry, Chase, I was gathering that information. How about now?" And you're like, "Well, I was busy earlier, I was free earlier. Now, I'm busy." 

So you need to act. It's sort of instantly on recovering cards, in my opinion, or any high intent event.

But SMS can be used in other ways. But that's what, yeah, that's where I learned or what helps upon the product idea.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, so essentially, well, this comes back to almost growing a brand in general. Anytime someone comments on your pictures or response to an email, or leave something weird and review, those are chances for you to make a customer for life. And you really need to respond to all that stuff. 

And then as you're saying those high intent things. If someone's in their cart, and they're asking a question, you have the sale, you just need to answer their question.

And so I mean, I guess we can quickly you know, dive into what LiveRecover actually does for people that aren't familiar with the product so they can have some understanding of what we're dancing around here.

Dennis Hegstad  

Sure. Yeah. And not even just for LiveRecover. But even post-sale. We were talking about this before the video started, but like, someone has a question on a live chat that can be live chat direct on the website that could be live chat through SMS, it could be through a phone call. If someone has a question pre-product, and they call you, you want to be able to answer that. 

So I mean, obviously a phone call resource might be a lot tougher than a live chat resource for most businesses, but even just live chat pre-sale is extremely important just because like you said, you can close a sale someone's showing that they want to buy if you just answered their question.

But with LiveRecover, we were an SMS abandoned cart recovery tool. There are a lot of other great ones out there that are automated, but we're called a peer to peer texting platform, meaning that we're powered completely by humans.

So every text message gets sent and responded to in real-time, which allows us to be an on-demand, you know, customer service sales team for you powered by our software and technology for SMS.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. So it's like having someone that can deal with all of those weird edge cases in real-time that robots can't deal with, you know what I mean? 

Dennis Hegstad  

It does require a little bit of education like brands provide us FAQ information. Sometimes our reps need to learn or we have to support their brand by looking up information on the product page.

If it's a CBD brand, for example, and they say hey, I want to buy this but is this a full spectrum CBD and where was it grown specifically? 

And the brand doesn't have that information, then we would unfortunately not be able to answer the question, but then that's a learning situation for that brand to say okay, maybe we need to provide full-spectrum grown in Colorado or Oregon or wherever on the page and now we're going to increase our conversion rate. 

And then also provide that information to our reps means that next time we can close the sale as opposed to having to refer that customer back to a general support email or whatever the case may be.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, if people, if this sounds like something that someone wanted to learn more about, maybe it's the right fit for their business, how did they get ahold of you, Dennis?

Dennis Hegstad  

Just probably Twitter at Dennis Hegstad on Twitter or LiveRecover.com. But yeah, you know, those are good.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on the show.

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