Before you jump in and spend money on credits for messages or anything else, stop and plan how you’re going to make your SMS list work. The most important question is:
How are we going to let people know about our list?
Much like those first websites on the internet, an SMS marketing list that no one knows about does you no good. This isn’t a question that should be in the “we’ll figure it out later” pile. For an example, here’s a quote from Craig Weinberg on Marketing Land,
“When I first cut my teeth on ringtones, SMS shortcodes and album art phone wallpaper (back in ye olde days, 2006–09), we quickly learned that plastering Billy Joel’s SMS shortcode with a CTA to text in for a few MP3s in exchange for joining his fan club doesn’t get you very far if that shortcode isn’t plastered on Billy’s site, his physical albums, his posters, in concert venues and so on. If no one sees it, it’s as if it isn’t happening.”
In that quote you see the point that you need to advertise it. He also does a quick list of all the places they needed to put it in order to be successful. What opportunities do you have to advertise the list in your existing situation?
You can put it on your website, in your physical store (if you have one), send out an email about it – put it anywhere you’d normally advertise and then some. I’ve read a few great success stories that started from people posting signs in their loo. Really. Anywhere people will stop and read it, you should put it.
If you’re able to get the word out and get people to notice and sign up, it’s the equivalent of getting your website on page one of Google.
But even before you get to that point, you’ll want to continue planning and ask these three questions to help ensure your campaigns will be successful:
What do we want from our SMS list? Are you looking to generate sales, foot traffic, website traffic? Make a list of your goals – and it can be all of those things and more – so you’ll know how to measure if you’re successful.
What sort of offers do we want to make? Will you offer discounts, special sales, exclusive events, or other promotions? Once you have this list, move on to the next question.
Will our customers want the offers were sending? This is a hard one to answer honestly sometimes. And sometimes there’s no way to know until you try. A BOGO sale in store might fail miserably when sent out via SMS. It may be because of the timing, or other factors you’ll have to discover. But pretend you’re a customer, would you want to be alerted via SMS for your offers?
Just taking the steps of asking and answering these questions will help you avoid many pitfalls of beginning an SMS marketing campaign. There’s more to learn too. Check out this page with our business sector guides to learn more about using SMS marketing in your particular business. Don’t see one you think fits? Connect with us on Live chat and we’ll be happy to help you get started.