3 Important SMS Marketing Concepts You Need to Know
Are you really ready to get cracking on your SMS marketing campaign?
You’re probably thinking, “Of course I am!”. But slow down a minute and take a look at three concepts that you might not have heard about, or at least not thought about using yet. All of them can help make or break a marketing campaign – and your business if not done properly.
You may be familiar with email autoresponders. Well, SMS autoresponders are similar in function, but just a little different conceptually. There are two basic ways to use an SMS autoresponder: a single reply or specific replies based on keywords received. Here are the differences:
Every time your virtual mobile number (VMN) receives a message, a previously created autoresponse will be sent to the sender. This would work great if you wanted to send a standard message to everyone – like an out-of-office notification or a receipt confirmation (i.e. “Thank you for your message, someone will be in touch shortly.”.
But the true power of autoresponders comes in the ability to customise replies using keywords.
When using a VMN you can specify any keyword you want to use in your campaign (if you’re using a shortcode you’ll have to restrict yourself to the keywords you’ve purchased – unless you own the shortcode too!). For this, you could run an opt-in campaign using the keyword JOIN.
Anyone who sent the word JOIN would get your welcome message. If someone misspelled JOIN by accident – say they sent JOINT (autocorrect possibly?) – they would get no response – so it’s a good idea to think about the common misspellings and set them up as keywords also.
Using keywords, you could have customers opt in to other lists so you can segment your marketing to make it even more effective. You could also use a series of autoresponders to create a short survey that varies the questions based on the reply received. To do this sort of survey you simply need to ask participants to pre-pend their answers with A1 (for question 1) and then have the keyword ‘A1’ trigger question 2, and so on.
By creating autoresponders based on keyword processing you’ll be able to keep the people on your list informed, make them feel like they are interacting with you (even if they know it’s an autoresponder), and also help you make the most of every message.
Blacklisting means to put someone on your black list. In common usage, blacklisting someone means to exclude them from your group, job, project, or whatever. No matter what, you won’t let them in. But in SMS messaging, the concept actually goes in reverse.
When someone sends you a reply to stop sending them messages, they are putting you on their blacklist – they don’t ever want to hear from you again. But because of the laws regarding electronic communications in the UK, it’s your job to make sure you never contact them again.
Maintaining your blacklist needs to be a high priority if you’re doing any kind of SMS marketing. If you continue to send messages to people who have asked you to stop, they are likely to file a complaint. If the Information Commissioner’s Office gets enough complaints, they can investigate your business and potentially levy hefty fines.
Besides, if these customers don’t want your messages, then you’re wasting money by sending them anyway. Save your money for sending messages to the customers that do want to be on your list and actually make purchases or take action on your offers.
You can even use keywords (e.g. ‘STOP’) to automatically add numbers to your blacklist, then all you need to do is clean your lists against your blacklist before sending.
You likely already know that a standard SMS message is 160 characters. You may also have also received some really long messages where you’ve had to keep scrolling to read it. That’s got you thinking perhaps you could go beyond that limit – and you’d be right.
Linked, or multi-part messages let you send messages up to 456 characters long, which would then use additional credits. The reason this total character limit is less than 160 x 3 is because some characters from each message need to be used for header information that then tells the receiving handset what order to display the linked messages.
The digital marketing age has really given us so many options when it comes to running campaigns. If you Google “digital marketing channels”, you’ll get article after article about which ones work the best. Of course, most of them won’t completely agree. Here we take another look at how email and SMS measure up against each other.
What do 5,000 marketers from ten different countries say about SMS? It’s great, and we’re going to do more of it. Well, that’s the gist of the results in the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Report. Mobile marketing has taken a central place in most company’s strategies, and SMS is a growing part of it. Here are some key statistics from the report.
81% of mobile phone users use SMS or text messaging and 90% read text messages within three minutes of receipt. But it's not just a convenient way to chat with friends, fix a rendez-vous or remind people to do things; it has also become a powerful marketing tool for businesses large and small, national or global.
Starting an SMS marketing campaign can be a daunting task. Gathering explicit opt ins can take time, as you need to make an investment in advertising. So why not just get a jumpstart and buy a list of mobile numbers from an organisation that already has the opt ins? You could do that, but it’s probably harder than just getting people to opt in on their own. Here’s why.
SMS marketing, like any well-planned advertising strategy, should be developed as a targeted campaign, rather than left (as it all too often is) with a scattergun approach. Simply put, send the message to the people it is pertinent to, and avoid being seen as another 'spammer' sending junk messages to those who do not want to know.
50% of people between 55 and 64 own a smartphone and 18% of people over 65 do too. If you’re trying to reach out to these older demographics, it might be time to consider mobile marketing. But what kind should you choose?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But could text messaging really be considered beautiful? You might argue that it depends on the messages you get! That’s a valid approach, but I recently found a description of mobile messaging that made me believe it is indeed beautiful, so I thought I’d share it with you.
SMS messaging offers some of the highest click through rates in mobile marketing. But did you know it could be even better? See how one retailer improved their click rates by offering their customers different options in their messages. Then see how you can do the same.
Mobile messaging is the most effective means of direct marketing for a lot of industries. If you really want to capitalise on your SMS marketing campaigns and achieve the best possible results, there are a few things you can do. Here are our top five tips for running super powerful SMS marketing campaigns.