SMS text messaging has become a de facto tactic that beauty brands are employing in the pandemic, and acne brand Peace Out Skincare is positioning it as a key strategy for continuing its rapid growth.

Peace Out first began using SMS text messaging in mid-July and has ambitiously scaled it in the months since. Between August and October, SMS has driven 18%-34% of its total sales per month, or over $150,000 in revenue, said Junior Scott Pence, Peace Out Skincare CMO and creative director. The company currently over 15,000 SMS subscribers and its conversion rate for texts is 35%. Every month, Peace Out reevaluates its marketing strategy for SMS messaging, and in December, the main focus is holiday sales. Overall, Peace Out Skincare experienced 300% sales growth and reached $12 million in total sales in 2019, according to previous Glossy reporting. Peace Out expects to double sales this year to over $20 million, according to a brand spokesperson. It’s a Sephora-exclusive brand in the U.S., and it expanded to Sephora Canada on May.

“Since the first lockdown, we began to immediately think about how we were going to attract consumers that couldn’t shop in-store because, as a Sephora exclusive brand, if somebody can’t shop at a store, [we’d have to] drive them to Sephora.com and or to our DTC [site],” said Pence, though he clarified the brand is only able to direct texts to PeaceOutSkincare.com.

To encourage customers to subscribe, Peace Out offers them 15% off their first order for opting into SMS via a pop-up on the brand’s e-commerce homepage. Peace Out sends people approximately 2-3 messages a week featuring new products, sales and educational content. Peace Out has also tied its loyalty program into SMS, by sending users info on referring friends to earn points. Peace Out is offering SMS subscribers 24-hour early access to its Black Friday and Cyber Monday site-wide sale (which begins Nov. 24), and the same early access to a new product launching December 21. During the holiday season, Peace Out is heavily focused on revamping existing SMS marketing messages and creating new ones to address abandoned carts and one-click reordering. Pence said he hopes to increase sales via SMS by another 10-15% during the holiday season.

“We try to implement SMS into every strategy that we have as we move forward — because it goes hand-in-hand with what you’re doing with your advertising, how you’re growing your social media platforms, and how you’re building out your e-commerce and customer base,” said Pence.

Working with its SMS partners Chatitive, Peace Out is further exploring how it could use referrals to expand its customer base.

So far, Gen-Z consumers engage the most, comprising 30% of SMS purchases in October, said Pence. Since October, Peace Out has shifted its SMS strategy to focus on skin-care routines and two-way conversations, asking about users’ skin concerns, skin needs and skin goals.

“One thing that’s important to know is there is an educational component to beauty that can’t be overlooked, and there is a true value to providing real-time [information] and consultations to people looking into a specific skin-care product or concern,” said Eitan Reshef, Blue Wheel Media president. “SMS can be really powerful to not just sell a product, but also to inform a brand about who the customer is and what they are looking for and need.”