In today’s era, people take their phones with them everywhere and are using them more and more. The number of text messages sent on a daily basis is 20 times greater than the number of tweets sent and 12 times greater than the number of Facebook messages – so it’s still the most relevant marketing tool for your business.
SMS marketing is defined by the use of text messaging to convey deals, offers or information to customers. When it’s used properly, SMS is a high-return and low-cost marketing method with the ability to provide your business with a stable and effective platform for reaching customers. The main goal of an SMS campaign is a conversion; you want the recipient to perform an action as a result of reading the text message, so it’s important to know what your customers will most appreciate. For a truly effective SMS marketing campaign, simply follow a few customer-centric guidelines.
Segment your target audience
The best message is the one that reaches the right people at the right time, with many complaints from consumers who receive messages that are irrelevant to them. To get your message right you need to implement audience segmentation and targeting, this ensures that each individual only receives messages that match his or her preferences, improving open rates and conversions in the long run.
Know your recipients
An extension of segmentation and targeting, it’s essential that you know the audience you’re speaking to. CRM platforms allow you to analyse purchase history, demographics and location data. Having this information allows you to send relevant messages to the people who will best respond to them. The more you get to know your audience, the more specifically targeted your SMS campaigns can be and the more specific your campaign is, the more successful it will be.
Customers want to know what to expect from a company when they opt-in to SMS updates and offers. It’s a good idea to let your customers know how many messages they are likely to receive, the frequency of the messages and information on how they can opt out if they wish – giving this information upfront should lower your opt-out rate. Make it easy for your customers to sign up (such as a single keyword that links to a mobile messaging list), and remember to tell your customers what you will do with their data. It’s important that you are careful with the data you acquire and you let your customers know that you can be trusted with their information.
Building customer relationships
SMS campaigns have the ability to deliver pertinent sales information, current promotions and news on new products to an array of customers on a regular basis for a low cost. Sending existing customers coupons to reward loyalty is always a good place to start. You can further personalise their experience by tailoring the messages to a specific location or store (if you have venues in more than one place) to ensure that the recipients have the most relevant information to them.
Linking SMS with additional advertising
Your business is using more platforms than just SMS, so you should ensure that opt-in opportunities are prevalent on these other platforms. Create opt-in points and posts on your social media sites, perhaps offering an incentive to opt-in. Add SMS information to business cards, print advertising, all company email signatures and within your company blog to maximise the number of customers you can reach.
Timing is key
Your timing is one of the most important aspects of your SMS strategy, so you need to get it right. Knowing which time of the day is best to send your text messages allows you to prevent over saturation of the market and reach your customers when they are most likely to take action. Being as timely as possible depends on how well you know your customers, yet another reason why knowing your audience is essential to SMS campaigns. For instance, sending SMS messages at 5pm when your audience is mostly working-age people with jobs won’t gain as many conversions as sending at 7pm (after the commute and dinner).
Get the content right
You know your audience, you have your list, now it’s time to think carefully about the content of your SMS. You have 160 characters to get your message across. Make sure that your message is concise, informative and relays a sense of urgency. Certain abbreviations are acceptable (depending on your business type and customer base) if the message would not otherwise fit, but it’s mostly best to try to reword your message to whittle it down. Company SMS campaigns should never contain slang, crude or colourful language or double entendre; this will create an unprofessional image of your company to the reader – which is likely to put them off. Many would say that emojis are unacceptable, but they’re being used more and more in company marketing to younger audiences, so emojis may be acceptable but only if your audience, your message, and your brand make it so.
Always ensure that messages are fronted with words like “coupon” or “discount” so customers immediately know what the content of the message is about. You also need to make it clear who you are so that your message isn’t mistaken for spam. Make sure you include the company name and contact information, as well as information on how to opt-out in each message. It might seem like a difficult take getting all of that across in 160 characters (or 456 with fastsms), but that’s around 20 more than you’d get on Twitter and the more concise your message is, the more effective it will be.
SMS marketing is the perfect way to get your message to customers. Linking your SMS campaigns in with CRM and other software allows you to better understand your audience while getting the right messages to the right people – all in a bid to increase you conversion rates.
Fastsms’s cloud-based software and powerful API technology allow you to reach more of the audience that cares about you, helping you to create effective SMS strategies from day one.