How to use SMS for Highly Targeted Marketing
SMS marketing can be one of the most effective tools for spreading your business’ message. You can easily reach a large number of potential customers, and the nature of SMS campaigns mean that the message is brief, simple, and far more likely to be read than emails or other methods of communication, which can easily be filtered out or left to be read at a later date by their recipients. In contrast, SMS is a much more direct system – it goes straight to the customer to be read immediately, giving them a short, to the point offer and call to action to do business with your company.
While brevity might be one of the keys to good advertising, perhaps the most important is to make sure your message reaches the right people. The goal of targeted marketing is not to bombard so many people that some will inevitably listen, but rather to target and nail down your core demographic – and most likely customers – so that what you’re saying is useful and informative to its recipients.
When starting this type of SMS campaign, it’s important to remember that users are not as used to, or as tolerant of, spam as they are in email. SMS messages are more visible, and more likely to be read – this makes this method of marketing a potentially powerful way of getting information about your business across, but it also means that customers don’t want to be seeing repeated, frivolous messages that are of no interest to them. With the low cost of SMS marketing, it might be tempting to use a blanket approach – but you’ll see a much higher ROI by prioritising your targeted marketing. That might sound difficult, but it’s simple if you keep to a few best practices, and make good use of all of the information you have on your customers and how they might match with your business.
Here are three very simple ways you can make sure your message reaches the right people, keep your ROI high, and increase your response rate drastically. By following these, you’ll be on the right track to a successful and profitable SMS marketing campaign:
1. Keep Your Lists in Good Order
If you’re planning targeted marketing not every message you send out should be going to every single person on your contact list. That’s basic stuff, because customers receiving messages they aren’t interested in are customers who could unsubscribe before future campaigns better suited to them can reach them. Your contact list, customer details and subscribers are some of the most valuable assets you have – make sure you look after them accordingly and don’t give people a reason to unsubscribe.
It’s vital to increase the response rate to your campaign to be successful, and to do this you’ll first need to maintain a useful, detailed database of contacts. Purchase history, demographics, availability and previous response rate are all good records to keep to allow you to decide who will be most appreciative of your message or offer in the future. This is the basis of all targeting marketing – once you have this information clearly laid out, you can really target the people you need and watch the response rate to your campaign jump through the roof, increasing your ROI.
2. Entice People in with Relevant Offers
If you have someone’s contact details and purchase history, they’ll be aware of your company and will have made use of its services in the past. Don’t constantly send reminders for the same deals – customers sign up to receive news because that’s what they want: news. They want to be made aware of something they didn’t previously know, so make sure your campaign is offering this.
The best thing of all, however, is to consider giving special, exclusive offers to complement your SMS campaign and make sure that customers feel they are gaining something useful from the service that they can’t get elsewhere. Indicating this in your advertising or sign-up process is also likely to increase subscribers. New offers can be designed specifically to match the largest demographics or shared interests or purchase history across your contact list. Rather than trying to go out and find new customers, you can adapt your business plan to the most valuable asset list you have – that contacts database. Not only will this make sure that your message and audience are perfectly matched for one another, it’ll keep your ROI high by increasing your response rate further.
3. The Right Offer at the Right Time
This is of particular importance if the audience for your campaign are spread across different time zones, but different demographics are often active at different times of the day in any case. SMS messages, unlike emails, are usually viewed immediately, and so it’s important to make sure you’re not bombarding customers with messages when they’re busy at work or asleep in bed. Take note of the time zones of your customers and their demographics to try and catch them in their free time. Be wary to match this with any specific offers or deals you may be messaging about if they are time-sensitive, too. This will not only increase your response rate, but will also reduce the risk of your customers unsubscribing and diminishing the success of your future marketing campaigns.
There are many secrets to a successful SMS marketing campaign, but these three are perhaps key to targeting your audience properly, keeping your response rate high, and making sure you’re providing a genuinely informative and useful service to your customers with your campaign. As long as you remember that SMS recipients are very intolerant to spam, and make sure you nurture and grow your contact list as a hugely valuable asset, you should be able to find the practices that suit your business and customer base the best and run an effective, well-targeted and profitable campaign.