Promotional SMS is a form of personal and direct communication that not only helps you to engage with your existing customers, staffs, vendors but also in getting new leads and sales prospects.
No other communication medium is as effective as SMS because it enables brands to interact with its consumers in a highly personalized way.
The most important thing a customer prefer while receiving a message from a company or business is speed and convenience. SMS is a highly effective communication medium that has been delivering consistent results for decades.
The open rate of SMS is 98% which is way more than the other marketing channels.
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SMS marketing looks a very simple and straightforward strategy; however, there are many things you need to know to ensure the success of your promotional SMS campaign.
In this guide to promotional SMS, you will know exactly what it takes to make your marketing campaign successful.
So, let’s dive in.
What is Promotional SMS Marketing?
SMS Marketing is a method of sending promotional and advertising messages after taking the required permissions from the users.
It is different from the other marketing methods because in this a user has to first opt-in to receive the promotional SMS.
It offers a personalized touch while communicating with the consumers which help in increasing the overall brand loyalty and revenue.
How does Promotional SMS Work?
A web-based platform is required to run an SMS campaign. The software helps to send bulk promotional messages at a low cost.
All you need to do is create a message, select your contacts, and click send. The messages will be pushed automatically through the SMS gateway to reach the users.
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Why Should You Choose SMS Marketing?
Before knowing how to run an SMS campaign, it’s essential to understand why is it so effective.
According to a report, the response rates of SMS is 45% while the email response rates are much lower, 6%.
More than 95% of the text messages are read within the first three minutes after receiving.
Gmail has a separate promotions folder, but most of the people including me always ignore that section.
The promotional emails just sit there, and the users rarely go through them. According to a survey, more than 49.7% of the emails are SPAM.
Now, look at your SMS inbox on your smartphone. There is just one folder, all the personal and promotional messages are placed at the same place which creates an urge to open each and every text message you receive.
According to research, an average person touches their mobile phones at least 2,617 time/day.
With the rise of smartphones, these numbers are expected to increase in the upcoming days.
Also, more than 63% of a website’s traffic comes from the mobile device as compared to 37% from a computer.
How your company can use Promotional SMS
SMS are being used by several industries including healthcare, hospitality, and many more to scale their business.
Here we have listed the different ways to utilize SMS in your marketing campaign:
A promotional deal is similar to a sale in which a heavy discount is offered to the customers. For example, 30% off all products this weekend.
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It is used to create a sense of urgency among consumers. The promotional SMS should have valid terms and conditions, and it can also contain a URL.
It helps in making impulse decision which ultimately increases the sales and revenue of your business.
SMS coupons are similar to the promotional deals in which a special discount is offered to the consumers.
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It is valid for an extended period and is mostly used in the form of a multimedia messaging service.
The photo should be visually appealing including the details of the offer and the expiry date.
Quiz & Competitions
Enterprises are using SMS quiz and competitions for a long time now because they are very effective.
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The whole process is very simple. All you need to do is advertise your competition and include a number with the instructions.
Collect the response and select the winner. It is a great way to engage your customers and to increase brand loyalty.
How to Create Your Database
In order to run an SMS campaign, you need an audience. Therefore, you need to build your database before start sending the text messages.
Below is the list of strategies you can use to increase your audience list:
You need to have a unique virtual number for your business. Encourage your users to text a particular word such as “Yes,” “Confirm” to sign up for receiving the promotional messages.
A dedicated number helps in implementing loyalty programs, quizzes, and competitions. As soon as the user sends the keyword to your number, their details get saved in your database for future use
If you have an online website where you sell your product or services, then utilize the opportunity to collect the mobile numbers of your customers.
For best results, provide an option to sign up to the promotional messages instead of making it compulsory.
It will help to increase the overall return on investment as only those users will give their mobile numbers who are actually interested in your business.
If your business has a sign-up form, then make most of the opportunity. Create an extra tab on the sign-up form which requires user’s to provide their contact information including phone number.
Structuring your Promotional SMS
As the length of a single SMS is limited to 160 characters, you need to keep your message short and concise.
The structure of your SMS depends on the type of marketing campaign; however, there are some points which should keep in mind:
- Name of your business – The name of your business will be mentioned at the top of your SMS.
- Name of consumer – The primary goal of SMS marketing is to personalize the communication between you and the customer. Therefore, write your customer’s name in the opening sentence.
- Offer – Mention the exclusive deals, promotions, and other offer related details.
- Conditions – Inform them about what exactly they need to do to avail the offer.
- Instructions – Mention the instructions in a clear and concise manner.
- Expiry date – You can also include an expiry date to create a sense of urgency among your audience.
- Opt-out – This is an important part which many companies avoid using. Add an opt-out option to avoid any legal penalties.
Number Promotional Messages Should you send?
According to research, sending an average of 10 messages a month is considered a good SMS marketing practice.
However, it all depends upon your business type and the size of your audience. You can stop sending more messages once the overall ROI starts to drop or the number of opt-out begins to rise.
Many businesses are running a successful SMS marketing campaign with just 4 to 5 messages per month.
Automate your SMS Campaign
Automation increases the overall ROI and efficiency by reducing the time and effort. It decreases the use of human elements which amplifies the effectiveness of your SMS campaign.
Automation with SMS software
Most of the SMS service providers provide the feature of auto-reply. In this when a user types a particular keyword, the software automatically sends the predefined message.
It is mostly used for sign-ups, managing quizzes, and sending exclusive promotional offers and coupons.
Using with your existing CRM
You need to integrate API if you truly want to maximize your SMS automation. The API key combines SMS automation with the existing CRM.
You can use this to automate welcome messages after a user signs up, segment audience based on their behavior, and for managing loyalty programs.
Also Read: 40+ SMS Marketing Templates to Follow
How to Track the success of your SMS campaign
It’s important to track any marketing campaign to make it successful. You can analyze what is working and what are the changes required to optimize your campaign further.
Here are the different metrics you should monitor while running an SMS campaign:
A CTR or click-through rate monitors the percentage of clicks on a link within your message. The link can be of a landing page or an online store.
The click-through rate of an SMS campaign is defined as the ratio of the number of unique sessions to the total number of text messages sent.
As we already mentioned above that SMS has an average click-through rate of 19 percent. Hence, if your CTR is less than that, make some changes in your message structure, delivery time, and others.
You should not be sad when someone opt-out from your SMS because in almost all types of marketing campaigns there would be some people who unsubscribe.
In simple terms, the opt-out rate is the ratio of the number of unsubscribed users to the total number of subscribers.
All web-based SMS platform provides the feature to measure the opt-out rates so that you can tweak your campaign accordingly.
It’s essential to know whether the messages you are sending are being delivered to the users, or not.
The SMS software provides the details of the delivery reports, or you can import the receipts in your email.
If the number of unsuccessful deliveries is increasing, then it’s time to change your SMS service provider.
Track Coupon usage
If you are using coupons in your SMS campaign, then monitor its use to see if the audience is interacting with your campaign or not.
If the redemption rates are low, then create more valuable coupons to engage your audience more effectively.
SMS marketing campaigns are very effective as compared to the other traditional marketing channels.
However, there is no particular strategy to follow. Each business has to create their own SMS marketing plan based on their goals, and objectives.
You may have to combine a set of different strategies and tactics to get the best results.