Author: Aaron Hammond, Partner & SMS Marketing Specialist at 3BM
Growing up in a family full of entrepreneurs, I was able to glean firsthand just how difficult running your own business could be, but…
How rewarding and empowering!
I knew that eventually I wanted to join the ranks, become my own boss, and have the freedom to travel and see the world at the same time.
Well, Xebec was a brand I started following a couple years ago because I was personally connected with their mission to ‘enable anyone to work from anywhere’ and ‘embrace the ‘Free Yourself’ way of life’.
I signed up for their email list and SMS marketing and continue to be impressed to this day, so let’s break down one of their SMS messages to see exactly what is so unique about their approach.
Xebec has a simple mission, as mentioned above – enable anyone to work from anywhere.
Their mission drives ongoing design and development of innovative products to provide freedom of location without sacrificing productivity.
Here’s a little bit from the founders’ story:
After a few years of working in a corporate consulting world, Alex and Trevor created ‘The Xebec’ out of a necessity.
If you’ve ever worked on more than one screen, you know it can be very difficult, if not impossible to go back to a single screen. Enter the Tri-Screen.
Extending your laptop to three total screens, allowing you to work from anywhere without losing productivity.
The original product has gone through a few iterations since then, but the concept, mission and drive are the same: embrace the ‘Free Yourself’ lifestyle.
Rules: The SMS Sages
Each week, we brave the infinite attack on our senses to find highly-effective ecommerce sales texts… and we pull back the curtain to reveal what made them work.
Our goal with this weekly tangle with The SMS Sages is to teach you strategies and tactics you can use with SMS for your own brand.
Where do we find these mystical electronic shortened pieces of mail? Our own text inboxes, mostly, since we’re signed up to many lists of brands we enjoy following. We also take suggestions from readers who have striking texts they’d like to share.
Did you get a text recently that made you smile, take a second look, or literally laugh out loud? We want to see it.
Send an email with screenshots of the text to us at (aaron at threebeaconmarketing dot com) with a brief note about what you liked about it. If we choose to break it down, we’ll give you a shoutout and link back to your site.
Oh, and don’t forward us the texts you wrote. That’s the only rule.
The Opening Intro: A Dear Friend
Many brands are afraid to open up SMS marketing as an additional channel, because they feel that they are encroaching on customers’ personal life and space.
Sure, you will certainly anger your customers if you are constantly bombarding them with cold texts providing no value, but it can be done correctly and successfully.
Let’s dive in.
The ‘from’ name is the first piece of information the customer sees and sets the tone for the rest of the SMS message.
Xebec uses a pretty unique approach that gives you the sense that a friend just texted you to share a cool product they found with you:
The funny thing – Vinny is the name of the van the founders traveled to pick up to represent their brand as the mascot.
If you’ve done any research traveling around their website and reading about their mission and story, you’ll get a chuckle every time you get an email from Vinny the Vanagon at Xebec.
Even if you aren’t familiar, the customization is still a great touch that differentiates from others that are just leading with their company name.
Instead, be like Xebec. Lead with your BRAND, not just your COMPANY.
But, it gets even better…
Opening Line: Playing On Pop Culture with Humor
Alright, well Xebec definitely caught my attention!
They don’t dive into ‘hey, look over here, buy, buy, buy, we have a sale!’
Instead, they play off current pop culture to instill more humor.
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock has seen articles, social posts, video clips around the balloons (or UFOs depending on the news source) flying over the US, being shot down by the government.
Xebec plays off of the recent news for humor and humanizing their message…
Then they get to the point…
Body Text: What’s In It for Me?
Right, so here is the part where you provide value.
Why did you interrupt their day? What’s in it for them?
Basically – what do you want?
There we are, the discount and details around the promotion.
The value add doesn’t have to be a discount or sale, as it is in this case with Xebec.
It could focus on a free download, resource, article written on a topic you know your customers are interested in.
Either way, keep it short and sweet – get to the point, remember?
The Sign-Off: Keeping It Light
While ‘Shop Now’, ‘Shop’, ‘Enter Today’, and other direct call to actions are tried and true, you’ll stand out more with something unique:
‘Get to shopping’
Something you would say to a family member or friend.
Gets the point across, but stands out from the sea of typical call-to-actions everyone else is using.
And then of course you have your tracking URL, because you gotta be able to track engagement and direct ROI back to the SMS message, or what’s the point?
Bringing It All Together
And there you have it, folks.
From the Opening Intro to the Sign-Off, Xebec keeps it light, edgy and unique:
If not to purchase, I’m definitely clicking through to their website just because the entire message has piqued my interest and broken through the monotony of my day.
What You Learned
Here’s the tl;dr of what you learned today:
- Set the tone from the beginning, starting with the ‘from’ line
- If you can make the customer laugh, you won
- Relatable and edgy separates you from the rest
- Keep it short, sweet, and to the point
- Just think about the kind of text message you would want to see in your inbox, and have fun