3 Tips on Making SMS Messaging an Integrated Part of Your Marketing
One of the key takeaways from the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Report was that when mobile is integrated into your marketing strategy, everything performs better. That makes sense when you think about it. Mobile is a unique channel that provides you a direct link to your customers. When you’re able to use that channel to help your overall marketing goals across all channels you should see improvement.
But while mobile marketing is viewed as successful on its own too, it’s clear you’ll see more benefits after it’s integrated. But integrating a new marketing channel into your existing strategy isn’t always easy. Here are three tips on how you can start your integration using SMS messaging.
Plan for it. You’re probably pretty practised at looking at your marketing channels and deciding how one can be used to support another. Mobile is just the same way. You may be unfamiliar with it and how SMS messaging works, but if you view it as “just another channel” it makes the process easier. And if you need some ideas and guidelines on how it can work for you and fit in with your other channels, check out our guides or business sector pages for inspiration. Then when your next campaign comes, you’ll be able to integrate SMS into the overall plan and see your improved results.
Start quickly and easily. If you use a CRM system that uses email for communicating with customers, you can get started sending SMS messages using the same system. Our Email to SMS solutions enable you to send text messages to customers without the need to learn new software or the time it takes to integrate directly into an application.
Work towards a complete solution. Chances are whatever software you’re using to manage your marketing enables you to see all your channels (or most of them). The best way to make sure SMS is part of the overall strategy is to ensure it is also part of your processes – and accessible within your existing software. A full integration into your marketing platform also opens up many other possibilities for what you can do with the information you have on your customers. You can use our Application Programming Interface (API) for this type of integration.
What might an integrated campaign look like? Here are just a couple of very simple examples:
- Drive website traffic to a specific promotion with text messages containing links to the mobile versions of the web page. Given nearly 100% of text messages are read you’re likely to see a much improved response over email – meaning more traffic to the promotion page.
- Use emails or print materials displayed in store to promote the SMS opt in campaign by including all the information they need to join via text message (such as a keyword and shortcode). The more channels you use to advertise the opt in campaign, the higher number of subscribers you’re likely to get. You can also offer incentives for sign-ups: special deals, competitions, product reviews, whatever works in your industry sector.
Adding something new to an established marketing routing might seem like a lot of trouble, but in the end the Salesforce survey results prove it’s worth it for mobile marketing.
Businesses with limited staff or budgets might ask themselves whether they should use email or SMS marketing. Both are relatively low cost. Both offer the ability to reach many people at the same time, yet provide personal interaction. Both have a long history of being used for marketing.
Mobile marketing includes many different advertising channels. Most of them include placing an ad in front of a mobile user. Many of us are used to ads online, but they do tend to get annoying. At least that’s according to an eMarketer report on a study done by Instantly.
Just for fun, I asked people in a marketing focused Facebook group to share the worst SMS marketing messages they’ve ever received. I was expecting a deluge of responses, but actually only a few trickled in. But those horrible SMS marketing messages are out there…the comments on my post proved it even if no one wanted to share (I guess they’re all shy).
I think for much of the last decade, people used the Internet and then mobile devices, without giving too much thought about what they were doing. Or more accurately, what other people were doing with their information. But then came Edward Snowden in 2013 who revealed governments were collecting and using our personal data in ways we hadn’t imagined.
Earlier this year there was big news. WhatsApp users were sending more messages each day than SMS users were sending. According to the Telegraph, WhatsApp was 50% more popular than SMS messaging. And the truth is the number of SMS messages sent each day has declined over the last few years. In the UK it was down almost 25% from 2012 to 2013. But is that the whole picture?
Is SMS marketing the worst idea ever? That’s the opinion of one author in Entrepreneur Magazine. He gives five reasons why companies should never bother sending SMS messages to customers. I take him on, point by point to show why he’s wrong and SMS marketing is the best idea ever.
For many businesses it's often a knee-jerk reaction to create an app, or to run mobile ads, or to start an SMS list. But without really understanding what it’s all about, you can waste a lot of time and money before realising what you actually need to do.