How to Engage Online Shoppers in a Mobile-First World with Text Messaging

Keynote: Teleflora's David Lorango

Welcome to another instalment of our Keynote series, this time brought to you by Teleflora's Senior Director of Ecommerce Marketing, David Lorango.

As part of the Wonderful Company, Teleflora has been providing customers with beautiful bouquets of flowers for around 80 years and, despite the bankruptcy of FTD in June 2019, the brand is still going strong today.

However, Teleflora wanted to change up the way it delivered marketing communications to its customers. Email open, clickthrough, and conversion rates were dropping significantly, and something had to be done. The company needed a new method of delivering personalized one-on-one messages.


Lorango made the observation that, while some view us as living in a mobile-first world, he actually sees it as more of a mobile dependent one. That is to say that most people would find it difficult to cope if separated from the various life-enhancing functions their smartphone affords them - social media, shopping, navigation, etc.

In fact, Lorango even goes one step farther and predicts that it won't be too long before we find ourselves in a mobile exclusive world.

This led Teleflora to start a brand-new partnership with SMS marketing vendor, Attentive. An innovative leader in the space, Attentive is a personalized mobile messaging platform that helps forward-thinking companies acquire, retain, and interact with mobile audiences.

SMS can be a powerful tool in the digital marketer's belt. When Lorango asked the room who was presently using SMS in their strategy, a scant few raised their hands, but when he asked how many were signed up to some kind of SMS marketing themselves, two thirds of the room did. This means that, when you're communicating with SMS, you're dealing with a far less crowded space than with alternatives such as email.

Once the decision had been made, Teleflora needed to build a mailing list of SMS customers. It achieved this by offering a 10 percent discount code to customers who submitted their mobile number. People are far more resistant to hand out their phone number than their email address, so a decent incentive is essential. With this strategy, Teleflora has seen a 570 percent exponential subscriber growth in just six months.

Teleflora primarily uses the channel during busy holiday seasons. The Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day are its biggest periods and SMS provides a great way to break through the noise and reach the intended audience. With SMS messages arriving alongside those from loved ones, it makes them far more likely to be opened and attended to than their email alternatives.

SMS is also ideal for automated communications such as abandoned carts. Using SMS in this fashion, Teleflora has seen a 40 percent average clickthrough rate and 45 percent conversion rate - far better than the numbers generated by email. Using Google analytics, Teleflora found SMS to be its second-best communications channel in terms of ROI and attribution - even beating Facebook on conversions.

Final Thoughts

Mobile is set to become an increasingly important communications channel for brands in the future. Mobile is already the preferred method of internet browsing and it's rapidly catching up with desktop when it comes to shopping as well.

It may not be too long before Lorango's prediction of mobile dependency is made manifest.

For more insights, join us at eTail Boston, happening this August 10 - 13 at the Sheraton Boston! eTail is four days of action-packed stories, conversations, and connections with the top minds at America's most successful retailers. Download the agenda here for full details.

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