Every year, an average of 8.6 trillion SMS text messages zip their way around the world. That’s more than twelve times the number of Facebook messages and twenty times the number of Tweets.
With so much text messaging happening, it’s hardly surprising that marketing teams have found SMS marketing campaigns to be incredibly successful. Mobile messaging is the most effective means of direct marketing for a lot of industries. If you really want to capitalise on your SMS marketing campaigns and achieve the best possible results, there are a few things you can do. Here are our top five tips for running super powerful SMS marketing campaigns.
SMS Marketing Tip #1 : Segmenting Your Audience
The biggest complaint levelled at both SMS marketing and email marketing campaigns is this: “Most of the marketing messages I receive are totally useless to me.”
Even if someone has willingly opted into your list (be it email or SMS), not all your marketing messages are going to be directly relevant to them. When you dig a little deeper into how people respond to marketing campaigns, you find something interesting. While messages perceived to be of no value or use are seen as (annoying) marketing messages, messages that convey value or are of immediate tangible benefit to the customer are not seen as marketing messages at all. Rather, they are seen as a positive form of communication, from a company that cares about their customers and are dedicated to providing them with valuable, useful (and pleasant!) messages.
They're not marketing messages, but simply messages.
By segmenting your audience, you are able to effectively target your messages to the specific individuals who are going to find them most useful. At the same time, you can avoid sending certain messages to people who will find them useless and annoying. The individuals on your list only get messages that are most relevant to them. This is the difference between using your SMS marketing campaign to provide value and spamming people.
Segmenting your audience is easy. Simply integrate your preferred CRM into your messaging platform, ensuring you include demographics, purchase history, and any additional data you may have that will help you get the right messages to the right people. The majority of your customers will likely have smartphones, which gives you the ability to track your text message campaigns and gather data on individuals, regarding which messages they click on and engage with most – that data will enable you to constantly improve your segmentation.
SMS Marketing Tip #2 : Timing Is Everything
Timing is the key to successful SMS marketing. There are two absolutely vital elements to the timing of your marketing campaign. The most important is that open-ended messages are considerably less successful than marketing messages that have a clear expiration date. Create scarcity and demand by incorporating a clear ‘limited time only’ or ‘ending soon!’ element to your message. Offer a great deal or opportunity, but ensure your customers can only take advantage of it for a limited period.
Secondly, it’s essential that your messages are sent at the most appropriate time of day. If you’re hoping to get the recipient interested in a particular product or service, ensure you message them about it at the specific time they are most likely to be thinking about purchasing it (or something like it). The best examples of this are food and drink offers. If you have a great lunch offer, send it right before lunch time. If you’ve got a wonderful Happy Hour coupon, send it just as people are finishing work for the day and looking for a way to wind down.
Unlike email marketing campaigns, SMS marketing campaigns sent on a Saturday can be extremely effective. Play around with the times you send your messages out, collect data, and use it to refine your results.
SMS Marketing Tip #3 : Triggered Messages Are Powerful
70% of opens occur within the first 60 minutes following an SMS marketing campaign. This is very different to email marketing, which has a gradually increasing open rate for the first 24 hours following a message being sent.
Having such immediacy in your SMS message campaign enables you to utilise triggered SMS messages. Let’s say you have a regular customer who hasn’t been into your shop or got in touch for a while. You can send a text to them containing a deal that will tempt them back. Such messages can be triggered using specific actions, and inactions, on the part of the customer, from purchasing a specific product to failing to visit your online eCommerce shop.
Triggered messages are a really good way to gain feedback from your clients. If for example, a particular client visits your store five times in a month, you can trigger a survey message to gather more information about your most loyal customers.
SMS Marketing Tip #4 : Short, Simple & Sweet
One of the most vital elements to ensuring your SMS marketing campaign is successful is keeping your messages short, simple and sweet. The majority of carriers put a limit on the length of a text message, capping it at 160 characters (with fastsms you have 456 to work with). Even if this weren’t the case, however, the more quickly you get your message across, the better.
Make your messages brief, getting to the point as swiftly as possible, offering them an easily actioned offer, and ending it with the fact they have a limited time to take advantage of the offer. Don’t burden your customers by sending them trivial information. Only send messages you are certain will be of interest, which are directly relevant to them, and aren’t going to seem frivolous or superfluous.
SMS Marketing Tip #5 : Create Pretty Links
URLs may be the ugliest aspect of any marketing campaign. While email marketing allows you to embed your links in specific text, to conceal the unsightly (and often very long) links people need to follow, there’s no such option for SMS marketing messages. This is easily solved by creating attractive short links, using a URL shortener such as Bit.ly or Goo.gl. This is a fast, effective way of taking long, unattractive URLs and making them as short as possible. This will save you space, and make your message a lot more attractive.
The Bottom Line
SMS marketing campaigns are extremely effective, but they can be tricky to get right. While people have become accustomed to spam emails landing in their inbox, they’re a lot less tolerant of spam on their mobile phones. It’s often difficult to find the perfect balance, but if you follow our top tips, you can’t go far wrong. If you’d like more expert advice on SMS marketing campaigns, or you’re looking for an SMS marketing provider in the UK, get in touch, we’re here to help.