“It’s peer reviewed texting,” he told me. “We’ll send messages from a genuine man. It’s not a drip campaign. About 55 percent get replies. Our whole recovery rate on average is about 21 percent, which is really good.”
The notion of using SMS for abandoned carts is not new. But with people to do it individually is unique. I recently spoke with Hegstad about his organization and the rise of industrial SMS, among other subjects.
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What follows is the entire noise of our dialogue along with a transcript, edited for length and clarity.
Eric Bandholz: Tell us about LiveRecover.
It’s peer-to-peer texting. We’re going to send messages from a genuine person –“live texting agents” is what we call them. It’s not a drip campaign.
The brokers are mainly situated in the Philippines. They can type a particular number of words per minute, they speak English as a primary language, and they’ve had some ecommerce experience.
Bandholz: how do you convince recipients that the message is coming from a human and not a bot?
Hegstad: We experience a whole lot of people who will joke with our agents and say like,”If you can demonstrate that you are real, I will buy.” And then we’ll respond with a funny SpongeBob meme, for example,”Give me all your money” or something like that. And they’re like,”That’s so cool. I thought this was a bot. You guys have great customer service.” But for sure, a lot of people assume it is automated.
Bandholz: so that your agents send messages to abandoned carts. How many of them are converted to orders?
Hegstad: About 55 percent get replies. Our whole recovery rate on average is about 21 percent, which is really good.
We don’t text 24 hours each day. There’s a silent period once we can not text. No one’s texting after 9:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., each the recipient’s time zone. There are regulations relating to this.
Bandholz: Could shoppers text your service for general questions? Or is it just purely abandoned carts?
Hegstad: at this moment, it is just abandoned checkout recovery. I say”checkout recovery” because we gather the contact number from the checkout, not in the cart. But we are adding live agent support, so a merchant might have a widget which states,”If you have got a question concerning this arrangement, our agents will encourage you.” But that requires us to get more integrated with the stores on a customer service level because if shoppers are asking things live, we need answers on hand.
Bandholz: We did a little bit of that at Beardbrand. We had our live chat box that was connected to lots of individuals abroad. They didn’t necessarily know beard grooming questions. Plus, these widgets are intense resource hogs. They add so much time to loading a page. We killed our live chat altogether.
So, instead, we published a banner that says”Text’style’ for this phone number.” We have got an in-house community manager who will find the text and response to this.
Hegstad: Which makes sense. We’re in this wild west era of SMS advertising , which can be exciting and enjoyable. Everybody’s rushing to do SMS, whether that’s abandoned cart recovery or creating an SMS list, or winning back a customer.
But we don’t know what the long term value is, what the duration of a customer subscription is on email versus SMS.
SMS is excellent today, but it’s very likely to become less commercial and more concierge, real time, and personalized, versus only being a transactional machine that reminds you to receive stuff. I don’t think clients actually need that. They want to have questions answered. So, you will need to be somewhat sensitive about how you’re using SMS to the long term.
Can Beardbrand use SMS for left handed cart or welcome show?
Bandholz: No. For SMS, all we do is consultation. But we will examine promotional texts soon. We’ve got a new product launch coming up. We may do an SMS campaign to let people know about it. It would probably link directly to the item page, especially mobile.
But your company doesn’t offer a promotional text solutions?
Hegstad: No. We want to be the best at left checkout recovery.
Bandholz: How can phone numbers work? If I am a LiveRecover customer, can I pick a telephone number for my texts?
Hegstad: There are two distinct kinds of phone numbers. One’s called a succinct code, which is essentially a three, three, three, zero, zero, which is a mobile phone number where you can send tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of texts every moment.
There’s another number called a lengthy code, which is a more standard phone number. If you send millions of texts per minute with that amount, you’re going to get flagged by a carrier, which will likely impose a cool-down period when you can’t use the number.
So for LiveRecover, our customers do not select their contact number. We do all that for them. But they do get a number that’s used in regard to where the customer is. So in the event you live in Texas and you depart cart, then you would be getting a text out of a Texas number. If you live in Florida, then you would be receiving a text from a Florida number. 1 customer doesn’t have a dedicated number. They’re rotated out in a enormous pool amongst all our customers.
And, yes, there’s a much greater response rate with a local number because people recognize it.
Bandholz: Can LiveResponse have copycats?
Hegstad: Yes. It is somewhat annoying, but at the end of the day, nobody will be in first place by following the person facing you. And we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. Mailchimp was here when we began, as was Attentive and SMSBump. Now there’s a slew of competitors. We’re not upset with this. We think,”Good for you guys. You did a outstanding job.”
But when people copy and paste the copy that our staff composed and bid in the keywords on Google, that’s just scummy. I’m cheering for Postscript, by means of example, which is a rival. But I am not cheering for anybody who’s copying and pasting my job.
Bandholz: How do people associate with you and discover more about your company?
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