What to do When Your SMS Campaign is Failing

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What to do when your SMS campaign is failing

It’s a terrible feeling. You’ve spent the time and money to get your SMS campaign started, but no one seems to notice. Very few people are opting in to whatever you’re offering and you don’t know what to do.

That’s a familiar feeling to Mike Hamukwaya, the secretary general of the Namibian Paralympic Committee. They had started an SMS campaign trying to raise awareness and money for their Paralympic athletes, but it wasn’t successful at first.

What was their problem? It turns out they weren’t getting the word out well enough. And that’s an issue for many running SMS campaigns.

What did they do about it? I’ll tell you in a little bit. But let’s say it’s probably something more drastic than what most companies need to do.

What Can YOU Do?

First, I want to share some ideas on what you can do to help your SMS campaigns to do better.  You want to make sure you’re sharing the campaign on as many different fronts as you can for free. That should always be your first step. And by free, I mean there is no additional marketing cost to use it for your SMS campaign.

Use the following checklist to see if you’re using all your possible channels. Note that while I use a retail terminology, the concepts will work for any type of business or organisation.

  • Is the campaign on your website and your mobile version of your website?
  • Do you have signs in store? (Physical locations only)
  • Do your cashiers or staff tell people about it at checkout?
  • At the end of a customer service call, do your agents tell the customers about the campaign?
  • Do you include information about the campaign in transactional emails?
  • If you have an app, are you sending notifications with information on the campaign?
  • Are you sending out social media updates about the campaign?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then hooray! You’re making the most of the free channels available to you. You may have even more though. Think about your organisation and how it works. What are the touchpoints with your customers, clients, or members? Which of those could be used to raise awareness of your campaign?

If you said no to any of them, then the next question should be “When can we start using those channels”? The exception being if the question doesn’t apply. For example, you can’t use store signage if you are an online-only business.

But if you are using all of them and still having trouble, you might need to rethink your campaign. Or you may just need to do what the Namibians did.

What The Namibians Did

According to an article in The Namibian, a marketing company came on board to help the Namibian Paralympic Committee with the SMS campaign. Specifically, they were going to “solicit advertising space on billboards, as well as in print and electronic media to promote the athletes. We are also aiming to get airtime on NBC and mobile bill boards…”

It’s clear they were looking to get the word out to everyone in the country. My guess is that the Committee knew a lot about its athletes, the requirements for the games, and how to manage the details needed to compete.

But they might not have had the time, or the know-how, to understand what it takes to get an SMS campaign rolling. The stakes are so high for them, that they needed an outside marketing company to come in to help.

I haven’t been able to find much information on the Namibian campaign, other than it exists and a marketing company is helping.  But I’m guessing it’s going much better than it had before the company joined.

Bringing on an external marketing company can be a huge step. It may be one you need to take, but first run through the checklist above. Are there any ways you can do more before taking that leap? And remember, our SMS experts are available 24/7 if you’d like a free consultation regarding your campaign.

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