The Impact of SMS on Conversion Rates and Customer Journey

– The brand is hesitant to use multi-step popups due to concerns about creating friction.
– The brand believes that SMS is not effective for their conversion rates, but the speaker suggests reevaluating the data.
– The speaker emphasizes the importance of collecting data to improve the customer journey and increase conversion rates.Reevaluate the use of SMS as a requirement during popups and consider alternative methods of collecting data, such as asking for email at checkout or through insightful questions, in order to improve the customer journey and increase conversion rates.Brand: I don’t want to use multi-step popups because they will create too much friction.
Me: The most friction you can create during a popup is to ask for a phone number, and you’re doing that.
Brand: No phone numbers are great, SMS kills it for us.
Me: I’d take another look at your numbers. In all our comparisons, we haven’t found a lift in conversion rates for those that have provided both email and phone numbers when the phone number was optional. However, we have found that 25% of people drop off at that step, even if there is a skip button, and less than 50% sign up for SMS during signup.
Brand: But everyone says we need SMS!
Me: Well, it doesn’t add to your subscription to conversion rate. It reduces the amount of data you can collect from a person and it pushes down form completion rates on multistep forms from 95% with actionable customer insights to less than 60%. Maybe there’s a better place to ask for it? Email? At checkout?
Brand: Why do I need that data though? Email and phone number should be enough, no?
Me: It’s not about that person; it’s about building models for the types of people that are visiting your website. The vast majority will not sign up. Without any data, you’re hoping people take an action. With data, you can improve your customer journey so that more people take action.
Brand: But our customer journey is rock solid!
Me: Keep telling yourself that. Odds are your conversion rate is less than 5%, and your product pages are missing a ton of information.
Brand: Well, no one is over 5%. It’s above industry average!
Me: This is a myth. If you have a low conversion rate, it’s usually a combination of a few things: poor customer journey, poor targeting, and/or poor offer. The problem with the customer journey is that a lot of these things that are promoted by agencies and companies are really hard to quantify the impact of when you look at hard data. Split testing this stuff is easy to do, but most people don’t track subscription to conversion rate, and most people play the company journey of collecting as much contact information as possible instead of the customer journey of asking insightful questions to improve the experience for everyone. Also, pretty much all the attribution around email and phone number is a bit wonky and over-attributed.

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