SMS Marketing Best Practices
When you need to give your marketing campaign an extra dimension, SMS marketing is the most powerful solution, the statistics speak for themselves, here are some of the best practices for it:
- 98% of SMS marketing messages are opened
- More than 90% of SMS marketing messages are read within 15 minutes
- Coca Cola’s SMS advertising spend is 75% of the mobile marketing budget
- Text message marketing influenced $1 trillion of retail sales in the US in 2015
- 86% of consumers benefit from brands that offer mobile coupons
- 39% of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase if they receive a mobile coupon
- US consumers prefer to receive customer support via a text messaging service
And these stats only scratch the surface of potential benefits to online brands. With the growth of mobile marketing and the improved performances of smartphones, the future of marketing is in mobile.
It should come as no surprise then that SMS marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing strategies among small businesses. But to make the most of mobile marketing, you should follow these best practices for effective SMS marketing.
Know The Legal Rules of SMS Marketing
Spamming is heavily regulated in the US. The CAN-SPAM ACT 2003 protects consumers from receiving unsolicited marketing ads. Brands require permission from their customers via an opt-in solution.
The best practice to ensure you avoid sending illegal mobile ads is to invite customers to take advantage of a special offer. Once they sign up, your obligation is to send a follow up email requesting permission to add them to your SMS list.
Offer Tempting Incentives to Sign Up
Consumers can be persuaded to opt-in for a promotion if the incentive is enticing enough. With kick-off campaigns, the offer should be generous but believable. If the offer is too good to be true, people will not believe it is an honest deal.
Best SMS Practices to Increase ROI
Small businesses that already have an established customer base can reserve SMS texting campaigns for their most loyal customers. The best strategies for effective SMS marketing is to offer special offers for your most special customers.
SMS is a very personalized mean of interacting with customers and its usage can be of great effect. Personalized marketing messages, but also conducting customers service and aftercare helps to strengthen bonds with customers.
Be Selective When Sending SMS Messages
SMS marketing can dissuade customers if you send too many text messages that do not relate to them. It is therefore best practice to understand the needs of your customers.
You should also be careful with the number of SMS marketing messages you send. Do not invade the privacy of your customers. Two or three casual messages a month is sufficient.
If you are organizing an event or have a time sensitive offer, you can use SMS to update subscribers with relevant information. But again, don?t overdo it.
Make Shopping Easy for Customers
Consumers want shopping experiences that provide convenience. Discount coupons sent directly to smartphones can be used to swipe at your in-store check-out. This is the future of shopping.
The technology also exists that provides customers with more information about a product by scanning the barcode with a tool inside an app.
Mobile apps are a great way to build a loyal following of customers and upmarket to customers. Using SMS marketing strategies enhance this forward-thinking mobile function and makes shopping more enjoyable.
Keep SMS Messages Short and Concise
Text messaging only gives you 160 characters of space to work with. In this space you need to state your offer and tell customers what they need to do to take advantage of the offer.
SMS marketing involves customers texting short codes. This also provides a solution for marketers to deliver a marketing message and call-to-action.
The best practice for short codes is to keep the numerical sequence memorable typically with a set of recurring numbers such as 55565 and the product you are promoting.
An SMS marketing message will therefore look something like this: 15% off men’s shirts. TXT SHIRTS to 55565. Yes, SMS marketing is that simple.
With the rise of mobile marketing and personalization, it makes sense for marketers to adopt an SMS messaging service as part of their strategy for 2020.
Furthermore, mobile ad spend is set to increase over the next few years to an estimation of $200 bn. In which case, the best practice for SMS marketing is to include it as part of your marketing strategy sooner rather than later.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.