Here’s something that I’ve never (although I should have) talked about before – SMS marketing! Over the past few years SMS marketing has become increasingly popular. I find a lot of businesses tend to steer clear of text message marketing because they have certain (false) connotations.
However, when you use this type of marketing properly it is an awesome opportunity for you to target your audience more precisely. Not only this, but it can help your reach one of the most important demographics – the younger age bracket!
Being successful in SMS marketing is certainly a difficult task. There are countless ways you can go wrong. Therefore it is important for you to carefully develop a plan to limit the chances of failure. Compared to other forms or marketing, SMS marketing is fairly new. To top it all off the digital landscape is ever-changing therefore making it even more difficult to develop a plan that is suitable.
One of the reasons you should be investing resources into text message marketing is because it is often overlooked. While others underutilise this tool, you will understand its true power and it will act as another way you can beat your competition.
You should also invest in SMS marketing because it is so simple!
It requires almost no ad copy, there are no design issues to worry about and it doesn’t take long to send out your message. As well as this, it is easy to measure the results of this type of campaign. Text message marketing gives you the ability to create a straight path to your target market.
If you want the best results out of a SMS marketing campaign, it is important adapt your strategy as you go. The digital world will change before your very eyes and if you can’t keep up you will certainly be left behind.
There is no one strategy fits all of your SMS marketing campaign. However, there are a few key components that you will need to consider when commencing a SMS marketing campaign if you want to be successful.
But before we go into the details about what makes a successful text message marketing campaign, it is important that we take a look at some vital statistics. If you still aren’t convinced about the power of SMS marketing, these facts should change your mind!
Facts about texting you just cannot ignore
Let me blow your mind with some of the most important statistics about texting!
- Almost 20 billion texts are sent everyday worldwide.
- Worldwide, more than 4 billion people text.
- Consumers that are sent texts tend to have a 40% higher conversion rate compared to those individuals who aren’t sent a text.
- Texts have a 98% open rate. Compare that to just 20% of emails.
- Texts are usually read within 5 seconds.
Pretty surprised with that right?
It is important to note that even though your message is opened, it doesn’t mean there is a conversion. You need to focus your efforts on what the messages say, who they are going to and how often, in order to ensure your SMS marketing campaign will be more successful.
Have a read below at the top 7 ways to help boost your SMS marketing campaign and ensure greater levels or success:
1. Send to the right people
It is obvious that your SMS campaign wouldn’t be successful if you don’t have people to receive your messages. It is important for you to build a contact list of people who you can include when sending texts.
Remember that you can only send text message to people who have opted in to receiving them.
If you want to boost the number of people you can send texts to, make sure you continually remind and suggest consumers to opt in. For example, you can include something on your website saying that if you opt in for texts you will receive a discount.
To keep consumers happy make sure you tell them why you want their number and what your texts will usually include. Also explain that they have the ability to opt out whenever they like. Consumers don’t want to be bombarded with countless texts from businesses every day.
Giving consumers the ability to opt out will mean they are more likely to give your business a chance. And if they don’t pick up what you are putting down they know they have the option to stop receiving your texts. Also, by asking for permission to send texts you ensure that all your messages are being sent to people who are actually interested in your business.
Like a lot of things in life, timing is everything. Timing is a difficult issue especially if you have an international consumer base. For example, when it is 5pm in Sydney, it is 8am in London.
If you have consumers from different countries, it is recommended that you break them up into geographic locations and send the texts at a suitable time.
Yes, it is a lot more effort sending the same (or similar) text in a staggered process. But it will most likely improve the chances of consumers reading it and having the time necessary to take action on your message.
Never send a text when there is a chance that majority of consumers would be asleep. As a general rule, you should stick to the times between 8am and 9pm. That is more than enough time to send your message. As well as this, you should look to write your text message in advance and then sending it at a later point.
Another important aspect to look at is the frequency of your texts. Nothing is worse for a consumer than receiving multiple texts every day by a business. This will usually result in the consumer getting quickly annoyed and choosing to opt out of messages.
Mobile Marketing Engine found that most business who use SMS marketing tend to send one message per week. This is a good figure to aim for. You are not overloading consumers with messages, but you are not sending so infrequently that your business has been forgotten about.
No two messages should be the same.
Make sure you spice things up and offer variety with your SMS marketing campaign. By adding variety you can keep things interesting. Your consumers will never know what you are going to say which creates a certain level of excitment and need to know when you do send a message.
As well as changing up the message, you should also offer different things through your campaign. It is a good idea to give these consumers special deals and privileges just for opting in for your messages. If they can get the same type of deal through social media or just by being a member, then there is no incentive for consumers to sign up for text messages.
4. Clear and brief message
Texting is all about creating short and quick messages. No one really likes to read paragraphs and paragraphs of texts. And this isn’t really what texting was made for!
I mean SMS literally stands for Short Message Service.
Keep your message short and it is important that you are also clear. Do not leave your consumers confused with what you are trying to say. This goes back to proof reading your work to ensure there aren’t any mistakes. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a sloppy message that is riddled with typos and mistakes.
Your message should always include a call to action and you should make it as easy as possible for that consumer to complete the desired action. Be clear in what you are offering and explain to consumers how they can obtain that offer. When including a call to action try to stick to a phone number or the URL to your website.
While abbreviations (like BRB, LOL, WTF, LMAO, etc.) are commonly used through text, it is important not to go overboard. Stick to abbreviations that you are sure your target market will know what they mean. If you have any doubts, it is best not to use the abbreviation.
Don’t forget to be creative with your messages. Your creative flare will help you stand out from all the other text messages that receive during the day.
Not only should you be messaging your data base frequently, you also need to be consistent. Don’t go sending a message every week for 4 months and then all of a sudden stop (then start again!). By sending your messages at a consistent pace, consumers will tend to be accustom to receiving a message from you.
Think about what you are offering people to opt in. For example, are you giving them exclusive updates about any new products as well as special discounts? If this is what you claim to offer your consumers then it is important that you actually give them these offers.
6. Keep an eye on your data base
Phone numbers get changed and deleted fairly frequently. Therefore you should always check your database to ensure the messages you are sending are actually going to the correct people. I find that this happens a lot. Business keep sending messages to the same number and after a couple of years, a significant percentage are going to the wrong people!
If you find that your database is looking a bit thin, make sure you are advertising the potential offers consumers could receive on all other forms of promotional material. For example, include a section on your website where consumers can sign up for SMS messages to gain exclusive offers.
7. Focus on VIPs
When sending text messages you should place a higher level of focus on those clients who are your best. These are the consumers who are loyal, consistently purchase from you, give you feedback as well as referrals.
It is important for you to identify these consumers and give them more of your resources. You know they love your brand so you can use that to your advantage by sending them more text messages with offers and incentives. Also, your messages to these clients can be more in-depth.
Most of the time the consumer will know you are putting in the extra effort, and because they are also in love with your brand, you know you are more likely to receive a reply. These people are important to your business so make sure they know they are special by giving them rewards and extra benefits for their loyalty and dedication.
Then hopefully the word will spread about how well you treat your loyal consumers. This then increases the chance that more consumers will become loyal to your brand in order to see the same level of benefits.
SMS marketing is certainly an under rated marketing tool to use. Many businesses do not understand the true power this type of marketing has to offer. By using SMS marketing you are potentially tapping into another world of consumers. This type of marketing presents an opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on.
When looking to establish a SMS marketing campaign there are many different ways it could go wrong. Therefore it is important to take your time and develop a well thought out plan to ensure you are as successful as possible.
When developing your plan there are 7 key components that you must be aware of to ensure you are successful. The components include; ensuring your message is sent to the right people, sending text messages at the right time and adding variety to your message to create excitement.
As well as this, you need to look at; ensuring your message is clear and concise, sending messages consistently, keeping your data base up to date and focusing on your important consumers. When you tick off these 7 key guidelines you know you are doing all you can to run a successful SMS marketing campaign.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner working in our Sydney office. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.