Work 24/7 Without Being in The Office! The Benefits of SMS Scheduling
In our demanding, 24/7 world it is difficult to stay on top of your SMS marketing campaign but with scheduling you can ensure you are getting your message to your audience whatever the time.
Before we start, no one is advocating sending texts to your potential customers at midnight. That would be a sure-fire way to make sure your company never did business with them!
But SMS marketing can be a really useful way to get in front of the right people. By ensuring you gather customer data and phone numbers every time they visit your premises, phone your company or interact with you at all, you can build a valuable collection of information on your client base.
What Is SMS Marketing?
In short, SMS marketing is using text messages to disseminate your message and links to your website to a bank of potential customers.
But it isn’t just used to broadcast out information or links like it used to be, SMS marketing can also increase engagement, strengthen your brand and build long-term relationships with your customers.
As well as offering freebies or discount codes to your loyal customers, SMS messaging can be used to check who out of your customer base is still engaging with you as a brand. Once you have sent out messages, you can work out who is clicking through or responding and then you have an idea of the number of people who are actively reacting to your marketing.
You can also use SMS messaging to ask for feedback through customer surveys – two or three messages asking to rate the quality of a phone call will often get a better response than emailing out a link to a lengthy online survey.
Always allow your customer to give you feedback on messages. Adding a link will enable them to click through and give you valuable insights. It works both ways, however; adding a mobile phone number option onto an online form will also make sure you are capturing numbers of potential customers regularly.
So How Should You Schedule?
Firstly, think about time. As mentioned above, no one wants a 6am wake-up call from a marketing message! But a well-timed text can make all the difference. Catch your consumer as they are in the right frame of mind to buy your product and you’re already more likely to make that sale.
This is where analytics come into play. Is there a specific time your website is more popular? Do you get more enquiries around a certain time of the day or week? Use this insider knowledge to tailor your marketing campaign and send your SMS at the right time.
Knowledge Is Power
As mentioned above, knowing about your customer will help you schedule. SMS data doesn’t have to be consigned just to that medium, however; it can be used as part of the wider marketing mix.
If you know your customers respond well to SMS messages at 8pm on a Saturday night, for example, could this influence your social media policy? Think outside of one medium and use SMS messages to inform your overall marketing strategy.
Think About Your Product
What are you trying to market to your customer? This could (and should) influence the time you send your SMS marketing greatly. If you are a takeaway offering a deal via text message then Friday and Saturday nights could be your best times to reach your target audience. For job vacancies, a Sunday night message might just reach the right person who is dreading Monday morning.
While scheduling is a very useful tool, it will never replace the knowledge and experience you have of your own customer base. This is why the best SMS marketing campaigns run alongside a comprehensive CRM system.
Volume: How Much Is Too Much?
The temptation with SMS marketing is to hit send too frequently. The power of knowing you are getting straight to a customer at a specific time is intoxicating. Stop right there. Research shows the more you contact someone with the same message, the more likely they are to opt out and you lose their data forever.
You should not be sending messages of the same type any more than once a week. Any more than that and you risk upsetting your customers and that carefully collected data will go to waste.
The best way to make sure you are getting the frequency right is by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. How and when do you receive marketing texts? And what reaction do you have?
Think About What You Need To Say
SMS messages only have 160 characters available (or up to 456 with our linked messages) – just 20 over a tweet. This means you have to be clear and concise while making sure you get the point across. Think about your language and tone; what is it you want the customer to do?
Remember, if you have to include a link to your website, this will take up extra space so use link shorteners like bit.ly to make sure you don’t take up too many of your characters with links.
The best messages sum up your campaign. Read your company’s strategy for the campaign and then distil it into bullet points. Pick a bullet point and craft your copy around that. It really is that simple!
So How Easy Is It?
Scheduling SMS is really easy. Our system allows you just to pick a date from a calendar then input a time. You can even set a recurring schedule to send that same message at the same time on a specific day of the week or month (there’s more complex schedules too).
With our SMS API, you can even embed the fastsms features into your own systems. API documentation is available for free and it means you can get started easily. Our staff will always be on hand to offer support and guidance with using our API.
The API uses a wide variety of languages so just select your choice and get going.
So now you know how simple it is to set up SMS scheduling for your business, you can put these tips into practice. Remember to think about content, frequency, times and getting your message across quickly and concisely.
Used properly, business text messaging is a valuable asset to your company and can help drive customers to your website. What are you waiting for?
One of the great advantages of SMS: it's completely trackable so you know exactly how your campaigns are engaging your opted in customers and clients. And if you’re a small business, operating in a specific geographical location, then that local knowledge can be invaluable in targeting your campaigns to a local audience.
If you are the owner-manager of a UK retail business, then you will know that it’s vital to use every weapon you have available to battle with the big guns on the high street and online. That must include embracing all the advantages modern technology provides, including a communications campaign based on the Short Message Service (SMS) – better known as text messages. Not sure what SMS is about and how it will work for your shop? Then read on, because you are missing a golden opportunity to give your small shop a much bigger presence and outreach.
You've run a successful SMS opt-in campaign for your retail store. Now that you have your list, do you have a plan to keep them from opting out? Wait, you mean there's more to this than just sending out coupon codes? There is if you want to keep your customers from opting out.
At the end of February, Amazon’s S3 servers went down. And so did much of the Internet. What can we learn from the experience about communicating with customers during an online disaster? According to experts, having a plan that includes SMS messaging is key.
One mistake some marketers make is assuming people will know what to do when they read an SMS message. After all, they’re short and to the point right? How confusing could they be? On the other hand, when writing every other form of marketing they know that calls to action need to be clear. So, just because you don't have much room, it doesn’t mean you get to leave out your call to action! Saving space and being brief is important though, so take a look at three of the best SMS marketing CTAs you can use.
In many ways, SMS messaging is so commonplace people don’t think about it. They just do it. For example, using SMS for mobile marketing in retail is a fairly standard use case whether you’re a company or the consumer. But there are always exceptions – those who innovate when it seems there’s nothing new to be had. Here are two examples of companies from the US using SMS in ways no one else is – yet.
In my last blog I looked at five reasons you want to use SMS messaging in your business. In this blog we're looking at the same topic, just from the consumer's point of view. For example, how do you really know your customers want you to send them messages via SMS? Isn't email or a phone call good enough? Is it worth your time to learn how to use SMS messaging in your business?
Global brands are increasingly taking advantage of a Short Message Service (SMS) to connect to customers and improve customer communication and engagement. This trend is taking root amongst small companies too, as they grasp the potential to not only communicate effectively in real-time but use SMS to save time and money in their customer relations procedures.
The focus for advertising campaigns today is often mobile, web, or digital. It’s certainly true that more and more people are using technology for just about everything. But with all that technology, it’s easy to overlook another, more traditional form: Print!
If you’re tuned into the self-help industry at all, you know who Wayne Dyer was. He spent decades writing transformational books to help people improve their lives and find happiness. He died summer 2015 at his home in Maui at the age of 75. It’s probably an understatement to say he inspired millions of people. So when I came across an article about a publisher using SMS messaging to let people know about a new book discussing his legacy I wasn’t too surprised. Not at first anyway.