How To Integrate SMS Into The Buying Cycle
SMS marketing has huge potential for small businesses. But to make this powerful marketing channel work, you need to integrate a text messaging service into your buying cycle intelligently.
The key benefit of SMS is that you have a direct channel to your customers. Reach the right audience with the right message at the right moment and you increase your chances of improving ROI.
However, SMS is also an intimate marketing channel. It comes with privileges. People don’t hand out their mobile numbers for brands to bombard them with marketing messages that do not interest them. Businesses using bulk SMS services will do well to remember that.
Limit text marketing messages to 2 or 4 times a month. Less if you sell luxury items. Set a reasonable time between messages to target customers that have not purchased in a while; 60-90 days is reasonable in most cases.
Timing SMS messages
A bulk SMS service can drive sales, improve customer loyalty, raise brand awareness and satisfy customers. Nine out of 10 customers prefer to communicate with brands via text messaging.
But the rewards of SMS marketing will only be felt if you get the timing and relevancy right. Consumers do not want to be sent offers they have no interest in. This is viewed as impersonal and considered spam. In such circumstance, consumers are more likely to unsubscribe.
Offers sent via text message marketing are often time sensitive. During lunch breaks and around close of business hours work best for retailers and food outlets.
Brand marketing strategies are different for every company of course, but regardless of whether you are a B2B or a B2C company, timing is an important factor to consider in the buying cycle of an SMS marketing campaign.
Some important points to note: SMS should focus on special offers to encourage repeat customers, discount deals to acquire new customers and service related communication for existing customers. The best times to use SMS therefore are:
- Post purchase
- Day of appointment
- After care
Personalised SMS marketing
SMS is an intimate marketing channel primed for personalised marketing. Wherever possible, you should take advantage of the opportunities you have to personalise SMS marketing messages.
Customers want to be made to feel as though brands care about them. So use consumer data intelligently and make your customers feel as though you are providing them a personal service.
Therefore, don’t exploit SMS as an opportunity to sell products and services. To increase sales, you should also use SMS as a stepping stone to inform customers of “new offers” and drive traffic to your website or as an invitation to visit your local store.
Mobile devices are already a central part of our lives. As brands integrate SMS into their buying cycles, communication via texting will become an additional part of the customer experience. Integrate SMS marketing wisely and you can expect to increase profits.