No marketing campaign is an end in itself. Any campaign is a way to reach your goals and earn 10, 50, 100 times more money than you initially invested in your campaign. Vague goals, inability to track your campaign results and similar issues hold you back from calling your campaign successful. To help you avoid a failed marketing initiative and losing your investments, we have compiled a list of 10 must-read points. They will help you get ready for your SMS marketing campaign properly and don’t lose your hard-earned dollars in the competitive game of marketing.
How to make the most out of your SMS marketing campaign
1) Setting goals & KPIs
The acronym “S.M.A.R.T” for goal-setting is so widely discussed among businesses. Even seems that everyone knows how to set and achieve those goals but it turns out reminding marketers about its importance is worth the effort.
Specific: Goals and wishes are so different. But marketers and managers might target goals that are so unspecific they can’t even be called so. Nothing will help us more than comparing two examples.
“Increase sales”, “Get more signups”, “Increase brand awareness” is just a wish. No clarity on what exactly “more” or “increase” means.
“Increase sales by 15%”, “Get 500 more new signups”, “Increase brand awareness by reaching 2,000 more users” is a completely different scenario.
You know what the end result is. It’s time to split your goal into small tasks, understand who to assign those tasks and what action to take for the final result.
Measurable: Outdoor banners and outbound marketing, in general, don’t allow you to measure how successful your campaign is. But digital marketing does allow you!
The question is what tools you should use to track your analytics and get data (well, you simply can’t go without a tool. If you ask your subscribers to use a coupon code that is available only to them, that’s a way to measure how many people used that code.
If you ask to show the message you sent to them at your store/restaurant/salon, that’s another way to measure the impact of your message.
Achievable: “Get 1,000 repeat purchases” is a specific goal but it might be unrealistic if you send your message to 1,000 subscribers. It’s hardly that all of them will come back, right?
Instead, choose a percentage that has a higher potential to be achieved.
Relevant: Your goal should bring benefits, revenue, and reputation to your company. That’s being said, your campaign should support your company’s big vision and don’t run for the sake of running.
Timely: To be productive in accomplishing your goal, you need a deadline. Or we can call it “campaign duration”. How long will your campaign run and is it a reasonable time-frame to set?
Don’t start your campaign without the end date in your mind. Of course, you might want to extend your campaign length if you are not satisfied with the results. But starting with “how much time do we have” is a must.
2) Create an offerWell, your goal is set and you have all the resources to achieve it - time, team, and budget. Now we should focus on the essential elements of any marketing offer - what you offer, why one should get interested and how to get it.
Say your end goal is to invite your customers to browse your new collection. Your answer to what you offer is “new seasonal collection”.
One should be interested because the collection has just arrived and the first 500 customers to buy from it will receive a small gift.
All customers need to do is to visit your store and decide to buy something new for them. At the cash desk, they must show the text message and their small gift is guaranteed.
Note that you shouldn’t make your same offer across all your communication channels. If you post the same promotional message on social media, send via email and a text message, you will simply kill your analytics and don’t understand which platform is bringing you sales.
Besides, people will start unsubscribing from your lists because there’s no exclusivity in being part of them.
3) Make your CTA clear
You have only 160 characters to formulate your offer not just clearly, but ideally. And the last part of your offer should be dedicated to taking action.
“Buy from our new collection, show this message, and the gift is yours”
It took 69 characters to write what the whole process looks like. Offers may sound compelling and even hot. But the absence or miss-formulation of a CTA can ruin the subscriber's wish to obtain your product.
4) Segment your audience
No matter which niche you operate in, it’s hardly that you target customers with exactly the same profile. Instead, it’s likely that your customers belong to different age/gender groups, are unique in their preferences or live in different locations.
Here’s when you should think of analyzing your customer profiles and creating smaller groups where members have things in common.
Let’s not forget about the importance of targeting. If you send the same message to 2000 people, you might have less engagement than if you sent only 600. The reason is who you send and what you send is incredibly much more significant than how many recipients you include.
This approach is more professional and helps you reduce your unsubscribe rate. If you keep sending wrong messages to your audience, not only will you hurt your ROI but also push your valuable users away from you.
The consequence: you didn’t hit your revenue goal and your subscriber base got smaller. Now you should start working hard to expand your user list.
5) Test, monitor and take action
Launching your campaign takes nothing more but to select your audience, come up with a short message and schedule it.
Here’s where the interesting part begins. Once your message is delivered, you can start tracking analytics and see how your message performs.
Open rates, click-through-rates (if your message includes a link), unsubscribes are top metrics you should analyze. Having unsubscribed users isn’t a tragedy but you’d better keep that rate below 0,5%.
The engagement rate of your subscribers will show you whether your offer was truly interesting and worth investing money.
No matter how many blogs you read on campaign best practices, your brand and your customers are unique. Get out most of industry best practices, they will hold you back from mistakes.
But never underestimate the role of analytics and customer feedback that comes directly from your target audiences.
6) Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Making your website mobile-friendly is part of any online business’s SEO strategy.
If you use the SMS marketing platform as one of the primary communication channels, the impact of a mobile-friendly website doubles.
You might have inserted a short URL that invites people to see your offer details. What works on the desktop probably won’t work on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.
Your visitors may come up with issues such as text size disorder, non-clickable buttons, slow loading pages.
Your website navigation might arise issues too. Because the organization of website menus and sub-menus on a desktop and on a mobile device is almost completely different.
Before launching your campaign, make sure the mobile version works perfectly and won’t affect the user experience negatively.
Your visitor won’t wait more than 3 seconds so your site opens. And won’t give a second chance if your buttons aren’t working properly.
Start with optimizing the loading speed - that’s the foundation of mobile SEO. Then continue with improving design and solving technical issues.
7) Manage subscriber replies
Your campaign may require sending short replies from your subscribers. That’s a great way to engage them and ask for a small action that will lead to the bigger and final action.
By the way, SMS marketing platforms allow you to receive replies for free, i.e. your subscribers won’t pay even a small fee to share the reply with you.
Now about the main point.
Asking your subscribers for a reply is not a random task you should complete. You should have a team of at least 1-2 employees who will be responsible for grouping and analyzing the answers.
Businesses usually ask for a reply when they want to receive confirmation or feedback. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product (or tell your friend about it)?
Your team’s job is to move negative, neutral and positive answers to appropriate boxes to understand how to deal with unhappy customers.
To make everything go smoothly, make sure your messages are reply-ready. It’s as simple as a day but sometimes subscribers write an answer, press Send and read “Failed to send”.
Choose which number your subscribers are going to reply to and never create additional inconveniences for your customers.
8) Be data-driven
Data can appear in your hands in two ways. Whether you take it from analytics platforms and tools you use or you rely on 3rd party statistics.
Let’s understand them clearly. If you have been operating in your niche for years, you already know customers like the back of your hand.
You have hundreds or even thousands of customer profiles, you know their demographics, interests, and behavior.
You also have interviewed your customers and have collected data at first hand. Perfect. You have enough data to launch a campaign with a specific audience and goal in mind.
But what if you are new to your niche and don’t have much customer data?
Here’s when you have to make decisions on facts provided by 3rd parties. They may be independent research and surveys, industry reports or even data about your competitors.
Don’t start any campaign without having unbiased and dependable statistics.
If you have market research specialists on your team, your task gets easier. Otherwise, you will need to do some fact-checking and comparison activities to be sure your campaign will pay off.
9) Partner with the right SMS marketing platform
An SMS marketing platform might sound like just a tool that delivers your message to your subscribers. But believe, that’s only the technical aspect.
For example, Textedly allows you to add pictures and links to your message, get replies for free and track analytics with user dashboard.
Besides, it gives you a chance to divide your subscribers into groups and schedule your messages to be sent whenever you want.
Textedly’s bronze helps you send up to 1,000 messages monthly and set 1 custom keyword. Our trial is, of course, free and you can start with it right now.
10) Align your SMS marketing with your overall online marketing strategy
As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t promote the same offer across all your marketing channels. But your tone of voice, value proposition, the brand image should be the same regardless of platform or offer.
Every campaign you launch and every offer you create has a mission to support your big marketing vision. Campaigns are part of a strategy. That’s why keeping consistency across all digital channels is a strong factor you should pay attention to.
We tried to include the most essential points that will make (and not break) your SMS marketing campaign.
A successful campaign starts with a clear goal and audience in mind and leverages analytics to increase the campaign’s profitability.