SMS has been a solid communication tool since its inception in the 1990s.
Its appeal lies in its simplicity – a short message delivered quickly that cuts through the noise and straight to the pocket of the recipient.
Its efficiency as a business marketing tool is evident when looking at the open rates of SMS; an impressive 97% are opened, the majority within the first three minutes of being received. This is largely due to the trust consumers have in this widely-used channel.
For marketers, SMS does not require copious amounts of copy or extensive design, saving businesses time and money. Furthermore, the success of campaigns can be easily tracked and measured.
While the benefits of SMS are abundant, there are many businesses failing to leverage the communication channel to its full potential.
The importance of communicating at the right time, in the right place, with the right message and through the right medium cannot be understated. With technology rapidly changing and every communication channel becoming overworked, getting the correct mix is integral to any marketing or communications strategy.
With this in mind, below are some guidelines and considerations to help you create a high performing, successful SMS marketing campaign for your business.
CHOOSE A SUITABLE CHANNEL
While you may be accustomed to sending an SMS from your mobile device, it may not be practical to send multiple messages to varying groups of customers in one hit. There are three distinct and unique ways in which you can send mobile messages; through your web browser, integrated with an API or by email. Sending SMS through your web browser gives you total control over your mobile communications; you can tailor messages to individuals or groups of your choice, and web platforms are designed to maximise your sending functionality and effectiveness.
If you’re a larger business, you may prefer to send SMS through API integration technology, which will give you have the flexibility to send messages through your own software. For something quick easy and effective, email to SMS converts standard emails into SMS messages, allowing text messages to be sent from any device that is email compatible.
CONSIDER YOUR TIMING
It is vital to reach your customer at a time when they are able to think about and action your message. For general marketing messages, reaching customers on their lunch break is optimal – between 11am and 1pm is perfect. If you’re promoting a weekend sale or special event, send a message Thursday afternoon or Friday morning for maximum engagement. Carefully consider the most appropriate time to reach your target market and ensure to schedule your SMS messaging campaign accordingly.
PROVIDE A GENUINE VALUE PROPOSITION
SMS is direct and using this technology allows you to enter your customer’s personal space. This means you need to be respectful and tread carefully; ensure that your customer’s choice to ‘opt-in’ to your messaging is worth their time. Engage your customers with incentives; contests, giveaways, exclusive and exciting deals. Don’t waste their time with unexceptional discounts.
KEEP IT PERSONAL
No one likes a generic message that begins “Dear Valued Customer”; once you’ve invited yourself into the pockets of your customers, you need to make them feel like they are more than a number. To maximise the effectiveness of your SMS campaign, choose a channel and platform that allows to you to address your customers personally, using their first name.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
People like consistency. From the moment they opt in you need to ensure they know what they’re opting in to. For example, “Enter your mobile number to receive exclusive updates about new products, sales and giveaways”. Then, deliver what you’ve promised. Be reliable, be consistent and you’ll be rewarded.
INTEGRATE THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE
SMS doesn’t stand alone in a digital marketing campaign. Ensure you are marketing across other platforms is mobile friendly and include links to these platforms in your messages to customers. Creating an integrated experience allows your customers to see all of what you have to offer, and ease of access is integral in the success of a mobile marketing campaign.
CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY
Finally, create a sense of urgency to encourage your customers to respond to your calls to action.
If you’re offering a discount, for instance, ensure you clearly state the offer expires next week. This will maximise your chances of receiving positive and immediate responses to your mobile marketing initiatives.
By Carl Krumins, CEO SMSGlobal