Starting Nov. 1, Too Faced is rolling out the holiday red carpet for its customers with its first-ever SMS text messaging service, dubbed “Pink glove” service.
SMS text communications from brands usually feature a version of the same thing: an announcement of a limited-time sale or a new product, or an incentive to purchase with a special discount code. But Too Faced wanted more interaction with consumers and sought out the opportunity to engage in two-way conversations. Billed as a concierge service, Too Faced tapped SMS marketing company Community to provide one-to-one texting capabilities. Community works with companies like McDonald’s and celebrities and other public figures like Michelle Obama.
From November 1 to December 30, Too Faced will text customers up to three times a week with new holiday product launches and gift-giving ideas, and open up a path for conversation by asking consumers who they’re shopping for. Too Faced’s social team and makeup artists are answering and responding to inbound SMS messages between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. It is expected that employees will spend one additional hour per day answering messages.
“This program was born out of the knowledge that the holidays are crazy; customers have lists of people they have to gift to, and they are trying to make their budget stretch further,” said Somer Tejwani, svp of global marketing for Too Faced.
The service is also an effort by Too Faced to facilitate a relationship with customers that is not dictated or influenced by social media algorithms or the latest privacy update from Apple iOS. One-to-one marketing and zero-party data have been the Holy Grail for companies. SMS marketing that supports back-and-forth conversations between brand representatives and customers is the closest thing yet to achieving that.
“A text message is far more likely to get noticed, be opened and be read than an Instagram post when you’re scrolling through your feed,” said Tejwani. “Even if you get past the algorithm, customers scroll right by it for another Instagram post. The challenge is on the brand to say something meaningful enough that they will want to connect with us.”
Too Faced is not offering a discount code to incentivize initial SMS signups. Instead, it will focus on promotion via its TikTok and Instagram accounts, where it has 1 million and 12.8 million followers, respectively. Tejwani did not share specific costs associated with using the SMS service but described it as “extremely cost-effective.” Comparatively, Facebook’s cost per 1,000 impressions was $8.52 in October, according to data tracker RevealBot. For TikTok, the same cost is $10, and the platform requires brands to spend a minimum of $500 on a campaign, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
“Consumers are critical and can ascertain a marketing message a mile away. It’s important [for brands] to figure out the next way to engage with customers at scale,” said David Ross, svp of growth and revenue for Community. “Brand managers have realized that one message for everyone doesn’t work anymore. It’s too generic. Customers expect their favorite brands and businesses to speak to them uniquely.”
Too Faced will look to customer interactions as its key success metric, including how often a customer texts back to the brand. Tejwani said the idea is not about driving sales but about building personal connections. From a data collection standpoint, Too Faced can use customer SMS interactions to personalize future texts from the brand based on what a customer said or asked about. Additionally, Too Faced can send geographic-specific texts for activations like store events based on where customers live.
“It’s expensive to build something in real life. Anytime you can use tech to enable building a relationship with customers is going to be powerful,” said Tejwani.