A leading objective of most businesses, regardless of industry or size, is to expand their customer base. Every business owner truly dedicated to increasing leads and customers is familiar with numerous marketing methods that can be beneficial in achieving their business goals.
However, if you’re new to digital marketing and considering which strategy to use, you may wonder: Does text message marketing work? In a word, yes! But only if you know how to run a successful SMS marketing campaign.
Before you dive headlong into text marketing, we have compiled a 10-point checklist to help you create successful SMS (Short Message Service) marketing campaigns:
- Set goals and KPIs
- Create an offer
- Make CTAs clear
- Segment your audience
- Test, monitor and take action
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
- Manage subscriber replies
- Be data-driven
- Align your SMS marketing with your overall online marketing strategy
- Partner with the right SMS marketing platform
Bonus: DOs and DON’Ts
Make sure customers sign up for your texts! Read The Complete SMS Compliance Guide before you begin.
1. Set Goals & KPIs
SMART goal setting is widely used for successful campaigns, and for good reason. While it seems everyone knows how to set and achieve SMART goals, it’s helpful to be reminded of these metrics’ value.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
- Specific: “Increase sales,” “get more signups,” and “improve brand awareness” are just wishes. There’s no clarity on what exactly “increase,” “more,” or “improve” actually mean. However, “increase sales by 15%”, “get 500 more new signups,” or “improve brand awareness by reaching 2,000 more users” add a clear goal framework.
- Measurable: How do you know your campaigns are successful if you don’t track your results? Using tools like coupon codes and website analytics help assess your marketing reach.
- Achievable: “Get 1,000 repeat purchases” is a specific goal, but it might be unrealistic if you only send your message to 1,000 subscribers. Determining your average conversion rate helps you understand how many impressions or offers you need to generate to reach your desired number.
- Relevant: Your goal should align with your overall business goals. There’s no point in increasing email signups if you’re not investing resources to generate and distribute quality email content.
- Timely: Don’t start a campaign without an end date in your mind. You can always extend or re-run your campaign length if you are unsatisfied with the results, but setting an initial duration helps designate resources and set reasonable expectations.
2. Create an Offer
Once your goal is set and you have the resources to achieve it, creating an attractive marketing offer is the next step in enticing customers to convert.
You shouldn’t make the same offer across all your communication channels. For example, suppose you post the same promotional message on social media, email and SMS. In that case you’re not taking advantage of each channel's unique attributes and you risk alienating potential customers.
3. Make Your CTAs Clear
What do you want your customers to do? Creating a concise, easy-to-understand call-to-action helps customers know how to proceed. Examples of clear CTAs include:
- Buy Now
- Sign Up
- Order Here
- Try for Free
Pro tip: Ensure that CTA buttons are strategically placed and easy to click on desktop and mobile screens.
4. Segment Your Audience
No matter your niche, it’s unlikely that all your customers match the same profile. For example, your customers probably belong to different age/gender groups, are unique in their preferences or live in different locations.
Segmenting your audience allows you to create personalized offers that customers can relate to in their journey. For example, if you send the same mass text to 2000 people, you might have less engagement than if you sent a targeted message to only 500.
Sending irrelevant or generic SMS messages to your audience can hurt your ROI and push customers away.
5. Test, Monitor and Take Action
Once your campaign has launched, you can start tracking analytics to see how your message performs. You should analyze the metrics of open rates, click-through rates (if your message includes a link), and unsubscribes. Subscriber engagement will show whether your offer “landed” with your target audience.
6. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
If you plan on linking to your website via text message, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Remember, what works on desktops doesn’t always work on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.
Issues like unreadable text size, non-clickable buttons, and slow-loading pages can kill a campaign within seconds. So before launching your campaign, make sure the mobile version works perfectly and won’t affect the user experience negatively.
7. Manage Subscriber Replies
Your campaign may include asking for short replies or feedback from your subscribers. It’s a great way to engage them and ask for a small action that could lead to a more significant final step.
For example, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product (or tell your friend about it)?”
8. Be Data-Driven
Don’t start any campaign without having unbiased and dependable statistics. Just like using SMART goals, use data to interpret results rather than guesses or hunches. Analyzing campaign results and running A/B tests help improve future campaigns and user engagement.
9. Align your Messaging With Your Overall Marketing Strategy
While you shouldn’t promote the same offer across all your marketing channels, your tone of voice, value proposition and brand image should be the same.
Every campaign you launch should create continuity while supporting your marketing vision.
10. Partner With the Right SMS Messaging Platform
An SMS marketing platform might sound like just a tool that delivers your message to your subscribers. But that’s only the technical aspect.
For example, Textedly allows you to add pictures and links to your SMS campaigns, employ two-way conversations and track analytics with a user dashboard. It also allows you to segment your subscribers and schedule your marketing messages whenever you want.
DO’s and DON’Ts of Successful SMS Marketing Campaigns
Here are some helpful DO’s and DON’Ts to remember before you start your SMS campaigns.
DO Make Your Messages Personal
The content of your messages is crucial. However, more is needed to engage your audience. For example, addressing people by name and offering them something they need or will want makes your audience feel that you genuinely care about them.
DON’T Spam Your Audience
Are you engaging your audience or enraging your audience? A common mistake made by many businesses new to SMS campaigns is spamming their customers, thinking that the more messages they send, the larger their open rate will be.
If you want to get the most out of your SMS marketing campaign, refrain from overwhelming your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would feel if you constantly received messages from the same sender. Pretty annoyed, right?
The fact is that people will ignore your messages if there are too many of them. That is why the first step in achieving great SMS open rates is to carefully decide the proper amount of texts you will send and make sure they are truly relevant.
DO Create Engaging Messages
If your message is boring or irrelevant, most people won’t even bother to read it – or worse yet, unsubscribe from your texts.
Ensure your content is brief and to the point, and include information that’s engaging and relevant to their current situation.
Many businesses use text messaging to provide customer service and delivery status notifications. But what about weekly news and tips written in a way that highlights the unique selling point of your products and services? Or contests and loyalty programs?
DON’T Text at the Wrong Time
In SMS marketing, timing is everything. Among all communication channels that deliver messages in real-time, SMS is the most immediate. The number of mobile phone users exceeds the number of internet users, enabling business text messaging to beat both social media and email marketing.
However, the fact that you can engage a prospect at any given moment doesn’t mean you should. Some texting times are more effective than others.
Read more on the Best Time to Send Business Text Messages to learn which days and times customers are most receptive!
DO Be Consistent
Consistency is key. If a customer has entrusted you with their phone number, they expect something valuable in return. Therefore, establish a predictable text cadence with your customers, so they know what to expect and don’t feel annoyed or underwhelmed with your communications.
Read 7 Business Texting Etiquette Rules.
DON’T Skimp on Tools
Text message marketing is one of the easiest strategies to employ, especially with the help of automation tools.
A reliable texting service for business includes more than a phonebook and a mass group texting feature. We’ve seen how time-sensitive SMS marketing is, which also requires scheduling and automation. Features like automatic replies, two-way messaging, free incoming texts, multimedia messaging services (MMS), and analytics make digital marketing campaigns almost foolproof.
Run Successful SMS Marketing Campaigns With Textedly
As we’ve discussed, SMS marketing has increased effective communications and engagement between organizations and their customers.
Now that you’ve got some tips and marketing best practices under your belt, you may be excited to start your first SMS marketing campaigns. But what text messaging platform should you choose to get the most bang for your buck?
Textedly is the trusted choice of world-class businesses and organizations, powering millions of text messages daily. Built with powerful features, Textedly enables you to send text messages at scale with just a few clicks.
SMS marketing has never been easier with Textedly. Sign up for a free Textedly trial today!