SMS Marketing – As a blogger or marketer, probably every day, you might come across of this word, right? So, what does SMS Marketing exactly mean? SMS marketing (short message service marketing) is a technique that uses permission-based text messaging to spread promotional messages. To receive text message specials, new product updates or more information, customers are usually required to opt into an automated system by texting an initial shortcode. In this article, we are going to discuss “How to Do SMS Marketing Effectively” and “How Small/Medium/Big Sized businesses can make use of this SMS Marketing?”
What is SMS Marketing?
Generally speaking, the goal of SMS marketing is to build a database of subscribers to increase customer loyalty. When implementing close range marketing tactics, text messages are an ideal way of notifying people within your vicinity of any immediate offers, without having to use push-notification applications. More than informing your customers of upcoming deals, it can also be a great way to send reminders for upcoming events and engage your customers by polling their opinions.
Click Here: Enjoy the Benefits of SMS Marketing
In fact, for at least 60% of consumers, SMS marketing is preferred to other email marketing and push-notification services (Forbes). Many delivery platforms allow for easy segmentation and management, so the most relevant text messages can be sent to those who are most likely to convert. It’s also preferable in that it tends to be less expensive when compared to other methods of distribution, making it a cost-effective mobile solution.
Keep in mind that while similar, SMS marketing is not the same as close range marketing. To learn more about the relationship between SMS and close range marketing, read my brief on the differences between the two. Furthermore, see how we can help you with your SMS and mobile marketing needs.
Why Use SMS Marketing?
Your customers are devoting more time than ever to mobile use so keeping up with the voracious appetite for mobile media and targeting your customers through their favored channel is a must. And the good news is, it’s an easy, cost-effective way of reaching your target audience with a personal message.
Being agile in response to the wants and needs of your customers means the difference between success and failure for your marketing campaigns in this age when technology moves at lightning speed.
The time is now to make the most of the phenomenal rise in smartphone ownership and the engagement of mobile users. Statistics launched by the Ofcom1 state that 93% of UK adults own and/or use a mobile phone and 61% have a smartphone. The number of mobile subscriptions tops 83 million. Those stats confirm that mobile is here and SMS is here to stay.
Things to Consider Before Diving Into the SMS Marketing Campaign
- How will you collect mobile numbers for SMS marketing?
- What pitfalls should you be aware of when it comes to SMS marketing?
- How will you send your SMS marketing messages?
Collecting Mobile Numbers for SMS Marketing
Consumers see their mobile phone numbers has sacred, so you may find that many of them are not as apt to give you their cell phone number like they are their email address.
We all know what’s happened to most of them regarding email marketing and they have a right to fear that the same will occur with SMS marketing.
In order to gain their mobile number, they will have to have a great deal of trust in you and a relationship will help as well. They also need to know that what you’ll be sending them via SMS message is exclusive offers, not the same offer that you give via email and social media. Be clear with your customers and use the following guidelines when introducing SMS marketing to your customers:
- Guideline 1: – Infrequent messaging, perhaps once a month, no more than two times a month.
- Guideline 2: – Offers will be exclusively for customers that share their cell phone number with you.
- Guideline 3: – SMS will be used to send them premium notices such as an order coming in, an appointment reminder or an upcoming service date.
You will have a greater chance of gaining access to their mobile number by following these guidelines and making it clear to your customers what you will use their number for.
You can collect their numbers using a sign-up sheet at your register, asking them when talking on the phone, allowing them to submit a form on your website, or by giving them a number that they can text to subscribe to your SMS messages. Whatever you do keep a copy of their permission to market to them via SMS, if you run into problems you will be glad that you did.
Do Your Due Diligence
As you collect the numbers and begin to use them in your SMS campaign be sure that you have measures in place that if a customer unsubscribes they are removed from your list immediately, it is illegal not to do so. There are actually a few laws you need to be aware of when it comes to mobile marketing.
- Opt-In Only: You must obtain consent from the customer before sending an SMS text message.
- Unsubscribe: With every message, you send you must provide an unsubscribe option in the message and if they select that option you must unsubscribe them immediately.
- Be Aware of the Cost: For customers without unlimited text messaging plans, they can incur costs from your messages if it puts them over their limit. You need to make the customer aware that additional fees may apply if they are not on an unlimited SMS messaging plan.
These are only guidelines, be sure to consult with an attorney to ensure that you have fulfilled all of your legal obligations before venturing into this marketing medium, it’s your duty to understand the relevant laws.
Setup, Create and Start Your SMS Campaign
Once you’ve collected your mobile numbers, verified that you have followed all of your legal responsibilities you can start your SMS marketing campaign.
I’d suggest using a 3rd party service provider to ensure that you are able to track the return on investment for your campaign, embed an unsubscribe message and easily manage your SMS marketing database including unsubscribes.
How To Do SMS Marketing
If you’re doing SMS marketing but not seeing any positive results, and you’re about to drop this channel from your marketing strategy altogether; thinking that this channel doesn’t work anymore. Let me tell you – how to do SMS Marketing.
Always make sure your message deliver value. Why? SMS messages are very disruptive in nature; they demand attention to your brand the moment they land in your subscribers’ mobiles. According to stats, 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of delivery. And no one likes getting interrupted unless they’re getting something good in return.
Not providing value with your messages can actually work against you too as these days it’s very easy to opt out from text messages. Also, you don’t want your subscribers to become desensitized towards your SMS messages.
No matter how good and well-timed your messages are if they’re not relevant they aren’t valuable. Segmenting your customers is the key to relevant messaging. But when it comes to SMS marketing marketers often overlook segmentation, as figuring out the best way to compartmentalizing the contacts is tough. To make it a little easier for you, given below are few ways to segment your SMS marketing database:
- The geographic area or Zip code
- Past Purchases
Be Intelligent With Promotions
Promotions can be an excellent way to gently push subscribers to purchase. But they’re a great responsibility. If you send too many promotional messages people will get annoyed; no one wants more of the same. Also, if you send the same promotional messages to everyone, it can hurt your business badly. For example, if a subscriber purchased a particular product from your site and you messaged him a discount on the same product he will never purchase at full price again. So, it’s important to be smart with your promotions and send only targeted promotional SMS.
Keep It Concise
Write your text messages with rigor. SMS messages have a limit of 160 characters but, just because you’ve given a certain amount of space doesn’t mean you have to use it all. People get turned off by wordy messages; your copy should be concise and to the point. When writing the copy the emphasis should not just be on being brief, but being clear and action-oriented too.
The copy is the most important element of an SMS, but it’s often the most ignored one — once written, you should edit it and try to cut your text as much as possible.
Update Your Database
SMS marketing works but only when it reaches to right contacts. Most businesses don’t update their SMS database for years they forget that people change their mobile numbers all the time. If you have the same list for years, you’re losing money by sending text messages to wrong numbers.
Update your contact database regularly and delete all the subscribers that haven’t opened your messages in the past few months.
Timing Is The Key To Success
Sending right messages at wrong timings won’t help you get good results from your SMS campaigns. To get good results consider when your subscribers want to hear from you. Here are some specific questions to ask yourself before deciding the send time:
- Does a certain time of day make sense to reach out to users?
- What time zone your subscribers are located in?
- What time of the day did subscribers prefer receiving your messages (Look at your data to find the best time)?
The Do’s and Don’ts of SMS Marketing
- DON’T send texts simply because you can
- DO have a good reason to use SMS instead of email
- DO get permission to send for a very specific purpose
- DON’T send anything but the messages they opted into
- DO keep your message short (160 characters)
- DO personalize the message as much as possible
- DON’T fail to take time zones into account
- DO stay away from marketing speak and jargon
- DO limit how often you send
Text message marketing can be very effective if you respect its strengths and weaknesses and remain in tune with how your messaging will be received by your contacts.
Ways to Implement SMS Marketing Campaign
- Use SMS as your benchmark for covering all bases
- SMS to determine which of your customers are still engaged with your business
- Use SMS to send offers to your customers – not only rewarding them but also reminding them of your business
- Integrate SMS with your email campaigns and your ecommerce
- Use Direct Mail as the box, and SMS as the key
- Run customer surveys that aren’t too big to swallow
- Find out who your Influencers are with SMS
- Use SMS data to tailor your Marco MMS across media
- Ultra-customize communication, by learning the best time to contact
- Season every campaign with SMS
Is this article too lengthy? Here’s a rundown:
- Use SMS to determine engagement with your business, to remind customers about your brand and reward your key supporters
- Integrate SMS with your email campaigns and your ecommerce
- Use SMS as a customer support or feedback tool as it’s easier to work with than a long survey
- SMS data can help tailor and support your marketing strategy across media
- Get insight about your customers’ behavior to find the best time to send
All of these ideas can be nicely tied to create a massive success of your SMS Marketing campaign. And if you’re new to SMS marketing, just Signup BulkQ! We will guide you further to reach potential customers in a second! If you’d like some advice on setting these ideas up in your account, drop us an email or leave us a comment below.