In our demanding, 24/7 world it is difficult to stay on top of your SMS marketing campaign but with scheduling you can ensure you are getting your message to your audience whatever the time.
Before we start, no one is advocating sending texts to your potential customers at midnight. That would be a sure-fire way to make sure your company never did business with them!
But SMS marketing can be a really useful way to get in front of the right people. By ensuring you gather customer data and phone numbers every time they visit your premises, phone your company or interact with you at all, you can build a valuable collection of information on your client base.
What Is SMS Marketing?
In short, SMS marketing is using text messages to disseminate your message and links to your website to a bank of potential customers.
But it isn’t just used to broadcast out information or links like it used to be, SMS marketing can also increase engagement, strengthen your brand and build long-term relationships with your customers.
As well as offering freebies or discount codes to your loyal customers, SMS messaging can be used to check who out of your customer base is still engaging with you as a brand. Once you have sent out messages, you can work out who is clicking through or responding and then you have an idea of the number of people who are actively reacting to your marketing.
You can also use SMS messaging to ask for feedback through customer surveys – two or three messages asking to rate the quality of a phone call will often get a better response than emailing out a link to a lengthy online survey.
Always allow your customer to give you feedback on messages. Adding a link will enable them to click through and give you valuable insights. It works both ways, however; adding a mobile phone number option onto an online form will also make sure you are capturing numbers of potential customers regularly.
So How Should You Schedule?
Firstly, think about time. As mentioned above, no one wants a 6am wake-up call from a marketing message! But a well-timed text can make all the difference. Catch your consumer as they are in the right frame of mind to buy your product and you’re already more likely to make that sale.
This is where analytics come into play. Is there a specific time your website is more popular? Do you get more enquiries around a certain time of the day or week? Use this insider knowledge to tailor your marketing campaign and send your SMS at the right time.
Knowledge Is Power
As mentioned above, knowing about your customer will help you schedule. SMS data doesn’t have to be consigned just to that medium, however; it can be used as part of the wider marketing mix.
If you know your customers respond well to SMS messages at 8pm on a Saturday night, for example, could this influence your social media policy? Think outside of one medium and use SMS messages to inform your overall marketing strategy.
Think About Your Product
What are you trying to market to your customer? This could (and should) influence the time you send your SMS marketing greatly. If you are a takeaway offering a deal via text message then Friday and Saturday nights could be your best times to reach your target audience. For job vacancies, a Sunday night message might just reach the right person who is dreading Monday morning.
While scheduling is a very useful tool, it will never replace the knowledge and experience you have of your own customer base. This is why the best SMS marketing campaigns run alongside a comprehensive CRM system.
Volume: How Much Is Too Much?
The temptation with SMS marketing is to hit send too frequently. The power of knowing you are getting straight to a customer at a specific time is intoxicating. Stop right there. Research shows the more you contact someone with the same message, the more likely they are to opt out and you lose their data forever.
You should not be sending messages of the same type any more than once a week. Any more than that and you risk upsetting your customers and that carefully collected data will go to waste.
The best way to make sure you are getting the frequency right is by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. How and when do you receive marketing texts? And what reaction do you have?
Think About What You Need To Say
SMS messages only have 160 characters available (or up to 456 with our linked messages) – just 20 over a tweet. This means you have to be clear and concise while making sure you get the point across. Think about your language and tone; what is it you want the customer to do?
Remember, if you have to include a link to your website, this will take up extra space so use link shorteners like bit.ly to make sure you don’t take up too many of your characters with links.
The best messages sum up your campaign. Read your company’s strategy for the campaign and then distil it into bullet points. Pick a bullet point and craft your copy around that. It really is that simple!
So How Easy Is It?
Scheduling SMS is really easy. Our system allows you just to pick a date from a calendar then input a time. You can even set a recurring schedule to send that same message at the same time on a specific day of the week or month (there’s more complex schedules too).
With our SMS API, you can even embed the fastsms features into your own systems. API documentation is available for free and it means you can get started easily. Our staff will always be on hand to offer support and guidance with using our API.
The API uses a wide variety of languages so just select your choice and get going.
So now you know how simple it is to set up SMS scheduling for your business, you can put these tips into practice. Remember to think about content, frequency, times and getting your message across quickly and concisely.
Used properly, business text messaging is a valuable asset to your company and can help drive customers to your website. What are you waiting for?