If your business isn’t using SMS marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach potential customers. With the popularity of mobile phones all around the world, SMS is a guaranteed way to reach your customers. Here’s our top tips on how to effectively incorporate SMS marketing into your business’s marketing strategy.
Why you should be using SMS marketing
The benefit of SMS marketing is that it’s a direct and real time communication service. Other forms of marketing like email, print and television take time to develop and might not even be seen by customers. This means that urgent messages like flash sales can be missed. But SMS messaging is so direct that 90% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes of being received.
Tips for success
Opening and reading a text message does not automatically convert to sales, so it’s important to have a good strategy in place the most of your SMS marketing campaign. Here’s how:
1. Keep it short and sweet
As a rule of thumb, you should keep your messages to a maximum of 160 characters. This is because messages over 160 characters in length will generally be broken up by phone companies into multiple texts, meaning you risk jumbling up the message, making the entire message undeliverable, and incurring extra fees. Text messages were meant to be short; customers expect short messages and will be turned off by long scripts of text that are unengaging.
In your short amount of words you should be making your motive clear by including a call to action. The customer needs to know what to do next, so including a URL or phone number is a good way to get people to act. Because URLs are so long, you can use shorteners like Bitly to keep under the character count.
While keeping it short, also keep in mind that using shorthand and slang terms can tarnish the professional image of your brand, so be careful with the language you use while keeping it brief, informative, and persuasive.
2. Time it to perfection
With the nature of SMS being that users generally open them immediately, your text messages need to be sent at a time when your consumer can act. For example, if you’re a local pizza shop, you would want to send out discounts and special offers via text just before dinner time. No one wants to receive an offer for a discount after they’ve already ordered something.You want to also avoid sending text messages too early or too late. Disrupting people’s sleep won’t give your brand a very favourable image.
You also need to think about how often you send messages. Overloading consumers can become annoying and lead to them deleting them upon receipt or choosing to opt out. It will ultimately depend upon the nature of your business, but as a general rule you shouldn’t be avoiding sending more than one message per week.
3. Messaging the right people
You should only be sending SMS messages to people who have opted to receive them. This is because unsolicited messaging can become annoying for some people and this way, you’re only contacting people who are genuinely interested.
You can do this by asking customers during purchasing or subscription processes whether they would like to receive messages from your business. Make sure you also inform them of what they can expect from your messaging. Another good way to organically grow the size of your SMS marketing list is by promoting your shortcodes over other channels such as your email, direct mail and in store.
4. Make it personal
People have a tendency to ignore messages from numbers they don’t recognise, so if your subscribers can’t identify you by the content of the message alone, you’ve already lost their attention. You can overcome this by announcing your business in the message. This could be name dropping your brand name in every outgoing message, for example. You should also be addressing your customer by their first name, to create the feeling that your business is a close friend messaging them.
5. Provide an opt out option
You should always make it obvious to subscribers that they have an option to opt out of receiving messages from you at any time. This should be clearly visible and is usually in caps at the end of the message, for example: ‘Reply STOP to opt out’. Customers don’t want to feel as though they’re trapped into receiving unwanted messages – it is a bad look for your business so remember to always include this option.
You might want to also include a disclaimer that standard rates may apply. Each mobile phone plan is different – some charge a flat rate, others charge per SMS, so to ensure transparency and keep the customer happy, tack on a short disclaimer reminding customers that standard rates may apply.
Start using SMS marketing in your business
Smartphones aren’t going anywhere, so if you want to be able to reach your customers anywhere, at any time, you should think about including SMS marketing as part of your business’s marketing strategy. Contact Blue Star DIRECT today to discover we our solutions can assist with improving your mobile marketing strategy.