Although SMS is one of the oldest mobile technologies still in existence, old faithful is still also one of the most powerful marketing tools of the digital era. Making use of the 160 characters you get in text message might not sound like much, but marketers that ignore the reach of text message marketing could be missing out.
If you’re thinking of going back to basics and using SMS to connect with potential customers, think again. Mobile technology has matured into a versatile and powerful formula that can be integrated into your overall marketing strategy.
Here are some essentials to think about when launching your SMS marketing campaign:
Be clear exactly why you are sending an SMS. Texting has an unmatched 98% open rate, so people are reading nearly every text message they receive. Make it count. If a customer opens your text and does not know what it is about immediately, you miss the mark. Even worse, they might unsubscribe from your SMS list.
If you include an offer, make it exclusive and irresistible. You might want to use a quiz question; if so, make the questions worth answering. Do not make the mistake many campaigns do, and use quiz questions which are so obvious they seem patronising.
When sending an SMS message, it is vital you address the recipient by their name. As text messages are stored together on mobile devices, your campaign SMS will appear along with messages from people’s family, friends and colleagues. This takes a lot more work but, the results can be astounding.
It should read as if it belongs in the reader’s inbox, rather than having been sent wrongly or intrusively. Depending on your campaign and the demographic you are aiming for, tailor your language to suit your target market.
Texting is a great way to stimulate a response. Most people read their SMS messages within three minutes of receiving them. Make sure you include easy ways to follow up your text messages. You could use the built-in reply feature with a short code, as well as a URL link to your offer or other online presence.
Make sure any link you include in your SMS is valid, and that your customers will be taken to a page which is active and up-to-date. This includes any social media outlets. Social media can feel stale very quickly, so it is essential you keep yours current.
As using SMS is a catalyst for action, you should give your customers quite a short time period in which to respond. Any offer you include should come with an expiry date as this creates a sense of urgency and prompt action.
By offering exclusive, personalised discounts with a brief shelf life, you build in reasons for consumers to respond. Because is a marketing tool that is personal, prompt and only available to loyal customers that have chosen to opt-in to your SMS program, marketing strategies that mirror the capabilities of the medium is guaranteed to deliver more success.