Are you using SMS as part of your marketing strategy for your business? Here’s why I believe SMS should still be part of your marketing strategy.
1) People are glued to their phones
They usually have them with them. It’s the first thing people think to grab when they leave home along with car keys and wallet. This makes SMS the ideal communication channel because you know you are highly likely to reach them with your message, whereas emails can go into Junk/Spam folders and adverts can miss being seen.
2) It’s a cost effective way of reaching out to your customers
Nowadays text charges for SMS services are very low. You also don’t need to spend money on graphic design, so this can be a very cost-effective way to market to your customers.
3) People’s email inboxes are swamped
So you already have a strong platform to build your customer relationship on.
4) You can track results easily
Using a link or discount code on your SMS lets you track results and see what uptake there is.
5) It’s direct one-to-one communication
You know that your message will go direct to the person and that they will see it. In my experience, I look at every single text I receive (in case it is a message from a family member or friend). That means every marketing SMS I received, I see and read.
That doesn’t mean however that companies are doing a good job at what they send though! Here are some tips on using SMS for your business marketing:
Set goals, define your KPIs and make a plan
- Ask yourself “What are your goals and expectations from using SMS for marketing?”
- As with any marketing campaign, set the goals to start with and decide how you are going to measure the results.
- Consider which offers or content will customers find valuable. You may need to test these out.
- Decide how often you are going to run SMS campaigns. You might consider using an SMS text management system or platform such as Textmagic.
Make sure you have asked your customer if they wish to opt in for your service.
- I have received texts from companies who have my phone number as I transacted with them but they didn’t ask me if I was happy to receive messages from them.
This is a no-no. Make sure you always ask permission.
Always give an Opt out
- It’s best practice to give people a number they can text to unsubscribe from the SMS messages. Here’s a good example of a company that includes it at the end of their texts:
Engage your customer
- Make sure your texts are engaging for your customer. They should match your Brand Voice.
- Give them what they want. Don’t assume. Gather information about them. Ask them when you meet them face to face.
- Make sure you look at their purchase behaviour with you to understand what might be of interest to them. What’s the point in offering them a discount off Product B if they have never bought and never will? That is not to say that testing isn’t of value, of course it is, but when I see the 16th text appear from the same company continuing to offer me Product B, then I know they haven’t noticed I took no action on the previous 15 texts. (and by the way I usually don’t unsubscribe as I’m always curious to see how companies do their marketing!)
Segment Your Customers
- Don’t blanket text all your customers with the same message. This is lazy and it’s not what customers want.
- The optimum thing to do is to personalise every message and personalise the offer however that’s not always feasible. So at least segment your customers by groups that make sense for your business. E.g. Lapsed, Active, High Spend. Then send out different messages to each segment.
It amazes me how none of the companies that send me SMS do any form of tailoring. How do I know this?
- If I haven’t shopped at a particular outlet for some time, I don’t ever get a message saying We haven’t seen you for a while, pop in and say hi and here’s a special 10% off code.
- I get SMS offering me products that I have never bought from them (and never will)
- I get SMS addressing the whole audience not Hi Jill
Tie in your SMS campaign with your other marketing channels
- Tell customers what they can expect or how to connect with your SMS campaign on your other channels or even in your physical location. Again, none of the companies that I have agreed (or not) to receive SMS have ever done this. They didn’t tell me what to expect, it wasn’t on the form I filled in to e.g. join their loyalty programme, there was no notice up in the location I visited.
- Competitions are a good way to encourage people to opt in to your SMS marketing, you have to ask them for their mobile number in case they win. But make it clear that entry will mean that you can contact them afterwards.
- Use your social media and tell people that you text them when sales start or with special offers again maybe offering an incentive like a monthly draw to encourage opt in.
Measure, measure, measure
One final phrase to always keep in mind, Customer Relationship Management. Marketing to your customers is about building a relationship with that prospect to the point that they trust and like you and are happy to buy from you. This is just as true for SMS Marketing as any other marketing medium.
How is your company using SMS? What benefits have you seen from running SMS campaigns? Tell us in the comments below.
If you would like some help with your Marketing strategy, get in touch!