If you’re looking for an effective strategy to build brand awareness, gain new customers, promote products/services, or increase sales, then look no further than SMS marketing. With more than 4 billion cell phone users worldwide, businesses have an opportunity to expand their reach while connecting with their target audience on a familiar medium. The trick, however, is to have an effective strategy. Here are some text marketing tips listed below:
Choose the Right Platform
Just as sending out mass emails to your target audience on your own would be tedious, sending out text messages from your business phone would prove difficult. An SMS marketing platform makes this task easier to master. Essentially, you can program text messages to be sent to your subscribers.
There are several platforms to choose from. Therefore, you want to keep key features like sign-up widgets, keyword usage, text forwarding, drip campaigns, 2-way conversation, link shorteners, picture/video messages, integration (with email and social media), analytical reports, and ease of use in mind as you comparison shop for the best application.
Use Multiple Channels to Build a Solid List
You don’t just want to start adding random numbers to your text messaging list as this would be a waste of time and resources. The idea is to build a list of subscribers who would be best served by your products and services. To get people to signup for your text marketing campaign, you have to be creative in expressing the importance of joining. In fact, you may want to use your direct mail lists to find phone numbers or vice versa and turn new text message leads into future direct mail recipients.
While simply asking customers to sign up could generate a few results, utilizing other digital and traditional methods of marketing to spread the word about your SMS campaign is a lot more effective. For starters, add the sign-up widget to your digital platforms like your company website, blog, and social media pages. You can also add signup instructions to the end of messages to your email subscribers.
Incentivizing your text messaging list is another way to get interested parties excited about opting-in. Simply offer a free gift, discount, or special offer to the first thousand (or a number of your choosing) people to sign up.
Make Your Messages Clear and Valuable
There’s nothing worse than receiving a text message with a bunch of meaningless information enclosed. Text messaging is a direct and personal method of communication, meaning that the messages to your subscribers should be of significance. Not to mention, you only have so many characters you can use to get your point across. So, make it clear, concise, and valuable to your audience. State the purpose of the message from the beginning, use language your audience can comprehend, and have a clear call to action.
Time Messages Appropriately
When you send a message out is essential. Sending a message too early in the morning or late at night could turn subscribers off. However, sending messages during times that most people are busy (i.e. rush hour, during work, dinnertime, etc.) can reduce your views, open rates, and responses.
Frequency is also important. No mobile phone user wants to receive several messages from any business multiple times a day. So, it is important to choose the appropriate times and give space (days or weeks) in between messages. For example, sending out messages around lunchtime is ideal for office workers who often browse their phones during their breaks. If you’re sending out reminder messages, spacing them out to once a week leading up to the promotional event is better than sending out messages every day.
Personalize the Experience
Sending out a blanket message to your SMS campaign list may save you time, but it’s not ideal. You have an opportunity to connect directly with each of your subscribers and it is important to make the most of this. Personalizing your text messages helps to further connect you with the receiver and increase your chances of converting them to customers.
More than just adding the person’s name to the text, you should dig deeper to get a clear understanding of what each of your subscribers’ interests are. Using keywords during opt-in is one way of doing this. For example, if you were an event planner, you could ask subscribers to reply CORPORATE for those interested in corporate events, WEDDINGS for those looking for a wedding planner, and PARTIES for those who are interested in getting tips or assistance with planning personal gatherings. This would help you to send messages, content, and promotional materials according to what each subscriber is most interested in.
With an open rate of more than 90%, SMS marketing is an avenue that all small businesses should consider investing in. This personal and direct communication channel provides a platform for business owners to connect on a more intimate level with their target audience. When used effectively, it can reach wide audiences, solidify your brand, and strengthen customer relationships, creating the perfect opportunity to increase sales.