10 Killer SMS Strategies
By now, you should know that SMS marketing is a hit trend for 2017, just as it was in 2016. With so many people using smartphones, this is the ultimate platform for reaching an audience. Not just for the usual effects such as confirmation and reminding, but for everything from gathering data, boosting conversion rates and building lasting relationships, to engendering loyalty and understanding and responding to customer needs – ultimately, delivering optimum UX.
Nowadays, there are an increasing amount of companies using SMS marketing, but you can stay ahead of the trend by using it more wisely with our killer strategies list.
Best used as part of your marketing mix, alongside other strategies, this should complement other points of contact and deliver an intuitive and responsive customer service that is unrivalled by competitors.
Ready to connect with customers in a new way? Read on!
1. Reach a wider audience - try new markets
All smartphones, and indeed their predecessors, can receive an SMS, so you can access a wide and varied demographic using this medium. If you are starting to try and target new markets, SMS messaging can be a fabulous way to test out the new market from a safe space.
Cost-effective and with high to full open rates, even if your target audience doesn’t take up your offer at once, you will still increase awareness through reaching them in this way.
2. Is there anybody out there?
Since it’s how we communicate with our loved ones, text messaging still feels much more personal than email. Using the customer’s name in the message can really encourage a positive response. This way, you can monitor who is still out there and active, without the associated admin costs.
3. Communicate offers while testing loyalty
Sending out an SMS message gives you the opportunity to pick your timing to send offers to consumers. If you take the lead of M&S, you can target commuters when they are likely to be thinking about eating and market the offers to them at just the right time. Offering 50% off a takeaway when someone is feeling tired and hungry is offering them a solution to justify their craving, which means getting inside their head space. Knowing your audience and their movements helps you to gain a high response rate.
4. Use as part of the marketing mix
SMS marketing should be just one of the strings to your bow. But it needn’t be the entire thing! Use SMS to enhance and remind customers of messages that you’re sending via other marketing activity such as social media and email marketing. This way, you raise your chances of engagement. Ensure there is a clickable link, which can increase conversion – this will be amazing for your analytics. Tracking customer behaviour is key to streamlining future marketing efforts.
5. DM and SMS: A match made in (marketing) heaven
Using a Direct Mailshot works – it generates conversion. This probably hovers around the 4.5 mark, but if you want to see this skyrocket, add an extra incentive by texting shortly after the DM is done!
6. Customer feedback in their own time
Gone are the days of long customer surveys taking up time. With the focus on UX, you’ll need to streamline your feedback process, which is thoroughly encouraged through SMS. Offer consumers a free text back option as feedback and you can gather a host of data while giving your customers an easy option. Firing off a quick response beats sitting at a computer for 20 minutes to answer a survey.
7. Who are your influencers?
Those who engage with your marketing and those who are clearly advocates of your brand should be rewarded. Using SMS marketing and data collection, you can speak to influencers directly to offer them further incentives to continue their loyalty to you. Getting consumers to rate you using a scale of 1-10, or whichever scale you feel is relevant, allows you to build on data, as well as identify anyone who would recommend your service. They are golden, so do not let them escape. They’re unpaid brand ambassadors and will lead to greater conversions!
8. Inform marketing with SMS data
Using feedback via SMS allows you to segment your audience. You will find some who are active and respond well – these are your main ambassadors. You will also find that there are some who are less forthcoming. Build a clear picture of who these people are and tailor your marketing across platforms to suit them. We have mentioned rewarding your advocates, but you should figure out how to appeal to those who are wavering too.
This needn’t be limited to those you communicate with via SMS. You can inform other marketing efforts using data gathered through SMS to build a more informed customer avatar.
9. Drive sign-ups through on-the-day competitions
Using an SMS competition can encourage on-the-day engagement if you are hosting a live event. From a performance to a business trade show, a sports game to a discount sale, you can gather data quickly by asking participants to text in on the day. An SMS-based competition (text us your answer to this question, text us a photo of how you eat yours, etc.) will give you access to a valuable gold mine of data. By opting in to receive a text, you will have their mobile numbers on file ready for implementing into other strategies.
10. Use SMS liberally throughout various campaigns
Do not forget the power of SMS as a two-way interaction. Allow them to communicate back to you and build loyalty through conversation. Each and every SMS exchange strengthens your communications so foster and strengthen brand buy-in. Make this a goal throughout all campaigns and you will reap the rewards in terms of conversions.
In A Nutshell:
- Determine consumer engagement using SMS
- Identify and reward influencers
- Use SMS in tandem with email campaigns and all points of contact
- Gain data and insights into UX and customer feedback
- Discover and market at optimum times for your customers
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).
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're an estate agent who isn't using SMS to increase their database of buyers and sellers, then you're an estate agent who isn't maximising their clients' phone numbers. A mobile number is something your purchasers and sellers are quite happy to share with you, and this voluntary opt-in can be invaluable when it comes to getting an edge in a competitive market. Using this information, you can create effective and affordable marketing campaigns, whether you’re alerting your clients to a change of price or promoting a particular property.
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