As mobile marketing is relatively new in the digital landscape; therefore building an effective SMS marketing strategy can be a difficult task. Although SMS has been there for a long time now, it has not been yet utilized by the marketers to its full potential.
It is one of the marketing platforms that has been overlooked, and because of this reason, it is such a powerhouse.
You might think that SMS is a simple and old technology, and will not contribute to your overall marketing efforts, but the opposite is true.
SMS in one of the most widely used features on mobile phones which has an open rate of 98% and almost all the messages are read within the first three minutes after it is received.
Beside the open-rates, you don’t have to worry about any design errors, advertisement copy, and it can also be sent very quickly.
It is also very easy and affordable to track and is trusted by most of the smartphone users.
However, just like any other marketing efforts, you need to research and plan your SMS marketing strategy to get the best results possible. It’s not a magical panacea that will solve all your problems.
Now let’s discuss the five high performing SMS Marketing strategies to create a successful marketing campaign:
Get user’s permission & Have a Clear Opt-in and Opt-out option
The first step of a successful SMS marketing strategy is getting permission from your customers to send them promotional text messages. This is the most important and fundamental rule of SMS marketing, but still, many businesses do not implement it.
You don’t want to spam people with unwanted messages; it can have irreparable damage to your brand value.
Ask your customers to opt-in to receive the promotional messages by sending a keyword to your business mobile number. You can also include a check-box at the end of the checkout process to encourage people to opt-in and to let them know about the messages you are going to sent them.
For example, “Test SUBSCRIBE to 121212 to receive daily notifications.” You can use any marketing channels to get more SMS subscribers including email, online store, social network, and others.
Image Source – Mosio
There should also be an opt-out option which can be availed by the users who do not want to get the promotional messages from your brand.
For example, a user can type “STOP” and send to a particular number for not receiving the promotional messages. Once someone opts-out, then you must not send any new text message to that particular person.
Image Source – Tatango
You also need to identify your target audience to make your SMS marketing strategy successful. For finding your ideal audience, you can use a combination of different metrics such as age, occupation, demographic, location, interest, behavior, and others.
If you send text messages to the right type of users, then it increases the chances of conversions and sales.
Timing Matters and Less is More
While selecting the best time to send text messages, research about your audience daily habits like when they are most likely to use their mobiles?
In a survey conducted by Mobile Marketer, it was found that out of all the seven days of a week, Monday has the lowest open rates. Hence, it is advised to send messages on other days of the week to have a better chance of increasing the open rates.
You should also avoid sending messages during office hours as your audience might not be able to read or respond to the messages.
Also, send text messages according to your consumer’s time zones. No one likes to receive a promotional message at 3 am.
Now the important question is, how many text messages you should send?
According to Upland Software, you should start by sending four to five messages in a month and gradually increase to ten per month. However, your messages should provide value to the audience.
You can also inform your users about the frequency of messages.
Image Source – Pictureboss
Keep your messages short and simple and don’t send lengthy SMS as no one likes to read long and boring text messages. The call to action should be clear and use a URL shortener when required.
Keep it Fun & Segment your Audience
SMS are considered as an informal and personal mode of communication; therefore you should make your campaigns entertaining.
Try to use interactive contents such as promotions, games, quiz, pools, and many more. Your focus should be to deliver a fun and happy user experience.
You can also include shortened text words like “ur” and “bcoz” in your message copy as long as they are easily readable.
The international coffee company Starbucks has been using SMS for a long time now to engage with its consumers with interactive quizzes, games, memes, rewards, and many more.
Image Source – Pinterest
Here is another example of an effective SMS marketing campaign from Starbucks.
Image Source – Tatango
Segmenting your audience is also an important SMS marketing strategy to ensure that each customer gets personalized and relevant content.
The way you would talk with a new customer might be completely different from the loyal and existing ones.
You might want to send a discount code to a new user while the loyal and existing consumers an invite to redeem referral points or access to new products.
Try providing a personalized experience to each consumer by sending birthday promotions, location-based promotions, and others.
Instill Urgency & Make It Exclusive
One of the benefits of a text message is that you can use it to create urgency. Use a combination of a text message and location-based campaign to send SMS to your customer when they arrive in your store.
Also, use phrases such as “offer valid till,” “for today only” and many more in your SMS to create urgency so that the audience responds fast.
Image Source – listrak
The best way to keep your users from opting out is by providing exclusive offers which they won’t get by your competitors.
If you are providing value with your messages, then your audience will stick with your brand for a long time which will ultimately benefit you.
For example, the AMC theatre provides reward points and exclusive membership benefits to their permanent members. They get access to special event invites, discounts, free movies, and many more.
Measure open, click rates of SMS and use it as an omnichannel strategy
Similar to the other marketing mediums, you need to find out how your audience is engaging with your SMS campaigns. How many people open your SMS? How many responded and how many opt-out?
According to a study, more than 70 percent of the users open SMS within an hour and more than 19% of them click on a link.
As with any other channel, you need to monitor the metrics and perform A/B tests regularly for improving your SMS marketing strategy.
Nowadays, most of the users demand consistent and improved customer experience irrespective of the device or medium.
Hence, an omnichannel strategy is a must for engaging your audience and building a long-lasting relationship.
You need to create an SMS campaign in such a way that it compliments with your email, social media, and other marketing campaigns. It helps in reinforcing the relationship with your customer and increases brand loyalty.
How SMS Marketing is working from Industry to Industry
The Final Say
As the competition is increasing significantly in the marketplace; therefore creating a successful SMS marketing strategy is very challenging.
However, you need to give your time and effort for building an effecting SMS campaign.
Your primary focus should be on sending an SMS that provides value to a large group of people as fast as possible.