How to automate SMS marketing on Shopify

When it comes to marketing communication, there are many options available to you. Each plays a slightly different role in terms of attracting and retaining customers, and with technology continuing to evolve at a rapid rate it can be difficult to keep up.

Some simply opt for a blanket approach to have ‘all bases covered’. It’s important that you avoid such a strategy, but rather selectively execute a targeted and relevant communication plan for your business. One arrow in the marketing quiver is SMS communication.

SMS marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and promote your products or services. However, manually sending SMS messages can be time-consuming and tedious. Luckily, there are ways to automate SMS marketing on Shopify.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the power of SMS communication and show you how to set up automated SMS messages so that you can save time and stay connected with your customers.

Ready to save time by automating SMS messages? Install MESA to easily manage marketing campaigns for your business.

The importance of SMS marketing for ecommerce businesses

Ecommerce businesses have no doubt caught onto the fact that SMS marketing is an incredibly powerful tool at their disposal. It can dramatically increase customer engagement, brand loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

With SMS, companies can get through to customers faster than ever with instant push notifications, about upcoming promotions or product launches, as well as personalized offers for each customer segment.

Furthermore, it provides a platform for businesses to communicate with customers directly in a conversational tone which builds relationships and trust in the long run. Automating SMS messages on Shopify is a surefire way to make the best of this marketing channel and ensure maximum return on investment.

Types of automated SMS messages that Shopify allows

First, to get started sending SMS messages, you have to make sure your Shopify store has “Phone number” enabled as a contact method.

Shopify admin - automate SMS marketing options

Despite Shopify offering customizations for many email notifications, its support for SMS is much more limited. From the Shopify Admin > Settings > Notifications, you’ll see many options but only the following support SMS:

Shopify admin notifications

Order Confirmation – Sent automatically to the phone numbers of a customer after they place their order. Disable this feature if the customer has both their email and mobile number saved to avoid sending duplicate messages.

Shopify admin - order confirmation sms

Local Pickup Notifications – Let customers know their order is ready for pick up. This is a transactional notification that isn’t editable.

Shopify local order pickup SMS notification

Gift Card Issued – Notify the customer or recipient when gift cards are issued or fulfilled. This is a transactional notification that isn’t editable.

POS Orders & Exchanges Receipts – Sent to the customer after they complete an order or exchange in person and want to be sent a receipt. This is a transactional notification that isn’t editable.

Shopify recommends using a third-party app if you’re looking to do more. There are plenty of options to choose from in the free Shopify App Store, such as SMSBump, Klavio, Tobi, Omnisend, and more.

Types of automated SMS messages you should be sending

SMS marketing platforms can be a great way to save time and effort for businesses of any size. It helps to streamline the process of sending out timely messages and notifications, helping to create a personalized experience that keeps customers engaged. Automated messaging is also cost-effective and easy to set up, giving merchants more time to focus on other aspects of their business.

SMS automation allows you to automatically send out many different types of messages including promotional, transactional, and reminder messages.

Promotional messages are used to increase sales and visibility.

Transactional messages provide customers with updates on their orders.

Reminder messages can be sent to remind shoppers of upcoming events or deadlines.

Here are a few types of SMS messages that you can automate:

  • Abandoned cart recovery: Alerts customers when items remain in their cart for an extended period.

  • Order status: Notify customers of the status of their items if they require custom steps prior to being fulfilled.

  • Package updates: Lets customers know when their packages have shipped or are updated while in transit.

  • Promotional messages: Informs customers of upcoming promotions, discounts, and sales.

By automating these types of communications, you can save time and provide your customers with a more personalized shopping experience.

How to send automated SMS marketing messages

By properly configuring settings within your Shopify store, you can create personalized and targeted SMS messages that are sent automatically to customers when triggered by certain actions.

The act of sending an SMS is somewhat of a commodity so pricing should be a major factor in your decision here. More importantly, consider an app that supports the triggering events so you have the most flexibility in building segments, filters and customizations before firing the SMS to recipients. We recommend automation tools to assist here since the best ones have SMS apps built in which makes everything simpler.

Abandoned Cart Recovery SMS Automation

SMS automation - recover abandoned carts
SMS Workflow for Abandoned Carts

Flash Sale SMS Automation

SMS automation - Flash sale
SMS Workflow for Announcement to a Customer Segment

Order Status Update SMS automation

SMS automation: order status updates
SMS Workflow for Order Status Updates

How to measure the effectiveness of automated SMS marketing

By using mindful of your analytics and key metrics, you will be able to observe how shoppers respond and engage with your Shopify store when they receive an automated SMS message.

Through that data your company can adjust its strategy accordingly to maximize ROI. Additionally, it is also important to track engagement metrics such as open rates, clicks, and replies. There are two important metrics that you need to focus on – click through rates and conversion rates.

Click-through rates are an important metric to measure the effectiveness of your automated SMS marketing because they show you how many people who receive an SMS message click on a link or take your action.

Conversion rates indicate how successful an automated SMS campaign is at driving customers to make purchases. This will give you insight into the success rate of your marketing tactics and strategies.

This data will provide you with key insights into which messages are capturing the attention of customers and allow you to refine your automated SMS campaigns for even better results. Take careful note of the results and the customer feedback to make sure that you refine your SMS strategy accordingly. The last thing that you want is to be paying for SMS messages that have zero impact.

An example of how you can use this data to optimize a campaign is by sending out a different message to customers who have already purchased from you or targeting those who haven’t yet made a purchase with an incentive. This level of segmentation and personalization will help ensure that your campaigns are as efficient and effective as possible.

The benefits of SMS automation

Automating SMS marketing offers your business innumerable benefits, from strengthening customer relationships and boosting brand loyalty to driving sales and reaching audiences at scale.

Traditionally, SMS messages have high open rates and engagement levels, making them a valuable tool for any business.

Compared to other forms of marketing communication like email or ads, SMS is faster, more personal, and can provide better user engagement — it’s no wonder that businesses are turning to this powerful platform for their messaging needs. 

For example, automated notifications and messages help shop owners keep customers posted on their order status, sales campaigns, discount codes, and more — ensuring a delightful customer experience with every interaction.

Here are a few of the benefits of SMS marketing.

  • Targeted: SMS gives you the ability to send highly targeted and personalized messages based on user behavior, preferences, and more.
  • Cost-effective: Automated SMS messages are far less expensive than traditional marketing tactics like print ads or television commercials.

  • Convenient: Automating SMS messaging is incredibly easy and efficient — it requires minimal setup time with no additional resources required.

  • Personal: Unlike other forms of digital communication like email, SMS allows for a more intimate connection between businesses and customers through direct one-on-one interaction.

With automated SMS marketing tools at your disposal, you can take advantage of the versatility and convenience of this marketing channel while reaping substantial rewards at the same time.

Best practices for SMS marketing automation

When focusing your presence through this kind of platform, there are certain best practices you can implement for maximum efficiency.

Let’s take a look at some of these:

  • Get the timing right: Timing is key. Ensure your customers receive messages at the right time of day to maximize reach and engagement.

  • Customize content: Personalize automated messages based on customer demographics and preferences to create a more meaningful dialogue.

  • Be concise: Keep messages short, sweet, and to the point so they are easy to read and understand.

  • Keep it relevant: Only send relevant information that has meaning — avoid sending generic or promotional content too often as this can lead to fatigue.

  • Automate critical notifications: keep customers up-to-date with order status changes and shipment tracking details. By automating these notifications, you can avoid increase support tickets asking about these details.

  • Track performance: Measure the success rate of each campaign by tracking engagement metrics like delivery rates, clicks, and replies for insight into which messages are resonating with your audience.

SMS automation examples

Here are some examples of successful businesses that have automated their SMS marketing campaigns.

  • Glow & Co: This natural skincare brand uses automated SMS messages to inform customers about new product launches, offers, and more.

  • Barefoot Venus: This beauty company sends automated SMS messages to promote new product launches and exclusive offers.

These are just a few of the many examples of companies that are using SMS messaging as an effective means of marketing.

With the right strategy in place, you can reap all the benefits of this powerful medium and get closer to achieving your business goals. Overall, automating SMS marketing from your Shopify store is a great way to take advantage of this increasingly popular communication platform and reach customers at scale.

By keeping these best practices in mind, you will be able to achieve maximum effectiveness with minimal effort — driving engagement and boosting ROI for your company.


Automating SMS marketing on Shopify is a powerful tool to help ecommerce businesses grow and increase their reach. When done correctly, businesses can benefit from automated SMS marketing by saving time and increasing ROI.

By taking the time to research automated SMS strategies and setting up messaging systems with clear objectives in mind, businesses can make sure their automated text messages only contain relevant content for their target audiences.

Furthermore, measuring the effectiveness of automated SMS campaigns allows businesses to optimize their own text message marketing, and strategies for the best results. Overall, investing in an automated SMS marketing strategy on Shopify can lead to successful business outcomes that help build customer relationships and promote brand recognition.

Start automating your SMS marketing today

Add automated workflows for SMS marketing on Shopify today to see positive returns. With the right strategy, resources, and insights in place, businesses can streamline their campaigns to deliver relevant content while engaging customers at scale.

So, what's next?

  1. Add MESA from the Shopify App Store. Enjoy a 7-day free trial to start.
  2. Ask the experts if you need help personalizing any workflow, or ask us to build one for you. We're happy to help!
  3. Discover pre-made, customizeable automation templates.
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