3 Ingredients for Successful SMS Marketing
SMS Marketing campaigns, like any other marketing campaigns, must be carefully constructed to ensure that certain essential ingredients are there. The challenge when it comes to SMS is that there is an incredibly limited amount of space in which to ensure that everything that needs to be there is included, which means that it can be harder to draft the perfect message. On the plus side, response times, open rates and click-through rates are significantly higher than any comparable channel, meaning that it is well worth the extra effort. So just what should always be included in your SMS Marketing messages? Here are three key ingredients.
With email or social media marketing, whilst it is possible to contextualise a message in order to increase its engagement with a given audience at a given time (think Christmas, Mother’s Day, for example), it is not a necessity. In these crowded and noisy spaces, the main goal is to simply get your message seen among millions of others. This often means constantly pushing out new or repeated content or messages in the hope that you’ll simply come up on more people’s radar.
SMS Marketing is very different. Because people tend to read every message they receive, often immediately, it is important not to spam them with frequent or repeat messages. It also does not make sense to send them a message that simply doesn’t have context.
Far better is a carefully planned campaign that picks up on a theme that is relevant to both the customer and your brand, and offers something that is appropriate in the context. This will make your marketing meaningful and even helpful to the customer, significantly increasing your chances of conversion.
Some good examples might be hotels offering special rates for returning guests, timed to coincide with the start of the summer holidays, or a restaurant offering romantic dining for couples on Valentine’s day. In the latter case, be sure you know your audience. If your main customer base is single males or an older demographic, for example, there may be little relevance and your efforts will not get the desired results.
2. Personal touch
Unlike other channels, SMS is deeply personal. It takes far more trust for a customer to give you access to their mobile phone number than to hand over their email address. Customers who agree to join your SMS Marketing list are making a very personal concession and can expect this to be respected. Whilst a totally generic email (although not best practice) is unlikely to offend, imagine for a moment if you were to receive an SMS message that read “Hi, random person, we thought we’d send this exact same message to everybody whose mobile number we have…” This may seem somewhat of an exaggeration, however, a text that does not have a natural, personal feel to it can easily be translated into something that is much the same.
At best, an impersonal message may leave the recipient unsure if the message was actually intended for them. Using the customer’s name – in an appropriate style for the nature of your relationship and profile of your brand – is a good way to ensure that the recipient knows the message is intended for them and them only. Where appropriate, this can be further enhanced by including details that are familiar to the customer, for example:
“Dear Mr Jones, as one of our valued and loyal customers…”
“Dear Mrs Evans, to reward you for your recent stay…”
In both cases, the use of careful phrasing shows that the sender knows who they are dealing with, which implies that there is a very personal bond with the customer. Not only does this help to ensure the message comes across as both personal and genuine, it can also – when used well – make the customer feel special and even help to build loyalty.
3. Clear Calls to Action
As with any form of marketing, the Call to Action (CTA) is the all-important component that ultimately dictates the level of conversion. However, with the limited space available on an SMS message and the once only nature of the medium, getting the right CTA into the message is crucial to success.
So what does a good CTA look like? It should be direct, clear and concise – it must be totally obvious to the recipient what action they should take. As with any form of marketing, an ambiguous CTA is a recipe for poor conversion, whilst one that has only one course of action is likely to score far better results. Be polite, but be direct. A great example, using a Virtual Mobile Number (VMN) to facilitate two way messaging, is something along the lines of:
“… simply reply YES now to secure your space…”
Note the use of the word ‘Now’ in this example, to add a sense of urgency. A good CTA should create a real sense of urgency to prompt the recipient to engage before the message is lost from their mind.
A tried and tested way to achieve this is to write the CTA in a way that is time-bound, using phrases such as ‘Limited time only’, ‘Must end today’ or ‘Book now to avoid disappointment’. Phrases that suggest an immediate response is necessary tend to result in higher conversions as customers naturally feel motivated to respond if the offer is attractive to them. Of course, let’s not forget that such CTA’s rely on us fulfilling the previous two criteria – context and personal touch.
Combining a contextually relevant message with a suitable form of personalisation and a well-crafted Call to Action will ensure that your SMS Marketing not only resonates with your audience but also gets the right level of response – and as a result maximise your return on investment. For more tips on how to make the most of SMS Marketing, keep up to date with our constantly updated blog where we share all the best tips and tricks to help you succeed.
To get started with SMS Marketing now, give our award-winning team of experts a call on 0800 954 5305 and we’ll have you up and running within minutes.
Getting to grips with the underlying psychology of how audiences react both consciously and subconsciously to your message is key to achieving the maximum effect in any type of marketing. All kinds of things come into play with different media, from colours and shapes to images and videos. Even the way things move can have a powerful effect on a viewer. Unlike many other forms of marketing, however, SMS marketing is unique in that the only tool you have is words - and not many of them. But armed with a basic knowledge of consumer psychology, 456 characters is more than enough to get the desired effect. In this article, we present our six top tips to take advantage of the psychology of SMS messaging.
While there are many ways you can probably think of to promote your SMS opt in campaign, there may be some “free” channels you’re neglecting. Thanks to Google, I can point out seven of them. At the mCommerce Summit Google gave a presentation about app promotion and optimising. I can’t even convey how exasperated the presenter was when he talked about how many opportunities companies just let slip by.
If you aren’t seeing a positive response from your SMS marketing then your list may be thinking of it as spam and just ignoring it like they do much of their email. So take your latest marketing messages and examine them again with these four questions in mind.
One of the best things about instant messaging is the ability to send emoticons and emoji to convey a feeling with just one image. Many companies are trying to use them in their SMS marketing. There are technical issues with using them though, as well as questions on whether it’s good marketing practice.
You worked hard to get those customers on your SMS marketing list. But now they are unsubscribing like crazy, or maybe just no longer responding to your messages. What happened? Maybe you’ve committed one of the following common, but easy to fix, errors that can completely drive your customers away.
Is SMS marketing a viable strategy for SMEs to grow their businesses? A recent article by a US SMS provider suggests not but we debunk that view. Read how and why Fastsms can help small businesses can succeed with SMS marketing without breaking the bank.
Good copywriting is something marketers understand. But it's easy to forget the basic principles when running SMS marketing campaigns. You only have 160 characters after all (or 453 characters if you're using fastsms). While there are many elements to successful copywriting, there's one element that is often either overlooked or over-used. What is it? Urgency.
SMS messaging can be one of your more effective marketing techniques, but only if you do it right. A poorly executed SMS marketing campaign could have disastrous results for your future budget, and for your organisation.