Build Brand Loyalty with SMS Messaging
In a world where your competition can be found in just a few seconds, instilling brand loyalty in customers is a greater challenge than ever. One bad social media faux pas and you could find yourself losing customers quickly.
One way to proactively reach out to customers is via SMS messaging. The personal nature of SMS messages, combined with high read rates, gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with each customer. And it’s that personal relationship that can make the difference in whether your customers stay with you, or jump to the company with the lowest prices.
You see, we all want to feel important, respected, and valued by those around us. And there’s a point where we perceive a company as “caring” about us. It’s usually due to amazing marketing, but also comes from great customer service. With SMS messaging, you can merge the two.
By sending personalised text messages based on information you have about the customer. This goes way beyond using a first name in the message – that simply isn’t enough. Here are some examples of what you can do if you have the information, and the customer’s permission to use it.
Send coupons for specific events or dates – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays are all times when a quick message with an offer just for the customer will mean a lot. If you can offer them a small something for free just to say “Happy Birthday!” they will be all smiles when it comes to your brand. Remember people are looking for an experience not just a business relationship.
Information on something that interests them – As an example, let’s say you run a sports shop. From your customer’s profile you know they are interested in golf, but not cricket. You can send them a message with a link to your review of a new graphite club just about to hit your store shelves. They’ll be impressed you know they are interested in golf (even if they are the ones who told you so in their profile), and appreciate the heads up on when the new club will arrive. As long as you only send information they want (don’t send messages about cricket if you don’t know if they like cricket!), and not too often, they are more likely to think of you first the next time they want to make a purchase. Of course, you could send them an email with a link to the review, but they may never read it.
Follow up after a purchase – If a customer makes a significant purchase, just send a text asking how it’s working out for them, and let them know you’re there to help if they need it. Obviously you don’t want to use this for inexpensive or frequently purchased items. Resist the urge to just send a text with a link to buy accessories or add-ons. Remember customer loyalty is built on relationships, not sales.
The key to making this approach work is balance. Like anything, if you use it too much the customer may get annoyed. And always make sure you have permission to send them messages first.
A/B testing in SMS messaging is something that sounds vague and possibly complicated. But with a little knowledge it’s something you can do for your organisation. We make it simple to understand and share some tools to make it easy to do.
Yet another company (Quigley and Carter Limited) have been fined by the ICO for not having permission to send SMS messages. In this case, they had outsourced their marketing to a third party who then sent messages on their behalf. So is staying compliant with the regulations regarding SMS messaging so difficult? It doesn’t have to be.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued seven monetary penalties against companies this year. We’ve read through them all – so you don’t have to – and discovered two lessons every company should learn about SMS marketing if they want to be successful.
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