The power of SMS is on the rise, which is confirmed by the estimations that by 2020, 48.7 million consumers will opt-in to receive business SMS. So it’s very important for almost any business to take advantage of this opportunity now, because the outcome can affect the company’s bottom line. Even if there is only a 5% increase in customer retention it can cause the profits to increase by anywhere between 25% and 95%.
However, the real question is how to successfully engage customers via SMS? After all, we live in the digital age where people can block, delete, and go online to check out other products and services for comparison. Fortunately, the answer is simple – make the most of your SMS marketing by utilizing their key features and effective strategies.
With that in mind, let’s take look at the vital steps of building a successful SMS marketing campaign.
Fundamental Text Message Marketing Features
What is the core of a one-to-one communication channel? A quick and simple exchange of information within 160 characters. Basically, it’s a tweet dedicated to only one person in particular. But when it comes to business promotion, SMS marketing requires planning and analysis for better results, just like any other type of advertisement. If the goal of using SMS marketing services is inspiring loyalty in your subscribers, then be sure to do the following.
Have Their Permission
No one likes to receive messages from organizations they haven’t signed up with or approved. Authorization is the first thing to think about when preparing to launch an SMS offer or a reminder. Otherwise, the chances are high that subscribers will ignore the text or get annoyed by it, which is probably worse. Keep your regulations in check and text users who have opted-in and shown interest in receiving those messages.
Pick the Favorable Time for Texting Online
If you thought that there was no good or bad time to send a text message, you were wrong. Imagine coming home from work late in the day and when all you want to do is disconnect and relax, you constantly hear the beeping SMS sound on your phone, only to see that it’s another business promotion. You wouldn’t rea
lly be in the mood to shop, would you?
This is why you need to select the right time by avoiding the rush and inconvenient hours, such as 6 a.m. or 7 p.m. If you have difficulties finding the perfect timing, test your messages by sending them at different times and then compare the resulting ROI. Moreover, use SMS reporting to determine how customers react to the message content and use the results to optimize your SMS strategy.
Send Clear and Interesting Content
Speaking of content, your messages will be short, so you best make the most of them. That is if you don’t plan on using long texts and going into details, which isn’t recommended. Instead, consider personalized messages with clear and crucial information, as well as the contact details for further inquiries.
The content has to be easy to read and understand, but at the same time, it has to be relevant to inspire customers to purchase or visit your website for other products or services the business has to offer. Once you’ve got the valuable content and know when the ideal time to share is, you are ready to put your SMS marketing into practice.
Drive Customer Loyalty with the Best SMS Practices
Since you can’t do much without the user authorization, the first message you send should announce your loyalty program with an invitation for people to join. From there on, be consistent and leverage SMS marketing initiatives such as:
Birthday offersIf you ask subscribers to give you their date of birth, you can let them know that they have a claim for a free birthday gift on their special day. Not only will this tactic tighten the relationship between your business and your current consumers, but it will also show you who your target audience actually is. Plus, this will open the door to positive recommendations and much broader business awareness.
Drip campaignsAlthough drip campaigns are mostly used in email marketing, they work in SMS programs as well. The objective is to turn prospects into loyal consumers by sending the company’s engaging content to the same leads multiple times, until you capture their attention.
You can use SMS automation to schedule campaigns for specific days of delivery or appoint the system to send out this info throughout the month or even years.
Thank you messagesExpressing your gratitude to loyal clientele can get you far. You can use the “thank you” message to acquire feedback, make special offers, or provide links for upcoming events, services, and products. Either way, it’s a win-win situation, whether you use feedback to improve quality and engagement or to increase profits with deals subscribers can’t refuse.
Special offersSpecials offers are the key to increasing your base of SMS subscribers and inspiring loyalty. Look at this as a mobile loyalty reward program for those who decide to opt-in. Without a dose of trust, it will be difficult to gather phone numbers and the authorization you need. But with weekly or monthly special offers limited to exclusive members, you can increase the program sign ups and business performance at the same time.
PersonalizationPersonalization or personalized messages are a must as text messages are private and with every new message you are invading the personal space of subscribers. Also, if you want to increase the opportunities for making a sale, you need to send offers customers will be interested in.
For example, if you collect shopping information about the consumer, it will be easier to identify their preferences. And based on their purchasing patterns, you can point them in the direction of the product they are most likely to buy.
CouponsSending coupon codes via SMS has been proven to be an effective strategy and a big part of loyalty programs. And by adding the mobile geo-targeting capabilities into the mix, the possibilities are endless.
To put it simply, you can automatically send a code for a discount to customers who are near the retail store location. Apart from getting their attention, you can also increase the purchase flow in a particular site.
Text message marketing should definitely be included in your business marketing plans. Just like other campaigns, this one also requires a careful approach and a lot of analysis before you can design the best strategy for reaching consumers and inspiring loyalty.
However, the trick is to first acquire willing subscribers. So, don’t forget to send text messages online and invite people to sign up for the SMS loyalty program, and only then apply the popular marketing tactics that are engaging and really work.