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SMS Marketing – 4 of the UK’s Best Ever Campaigns

SMS marketing is known to reach customers and generate results, but what are the secrets to a successful campaign that will deliver ROI? In this article, we look at some of the UK’s most successful ever SMS marketing campaigns of recent years and have a look under the surface to see just why they were such a success.

1. Orange Wednesdays

Orange Wednesdays was possibly the UK’s single best-known SMS Marketing campaign of all time. Even people who had never had anything to do with the network were familiar with the famous two-for-one Orange Wednesdays cinema promotion. The beauty of the campaign lay in its remarkable simplicity from a customer perspective – “text film to 241” to receive a voucher for two cinema tickets for the price of one at a cinema of your choice.

Over a period of ten years, it is believed that an incredible 23.5 million free tickets had been issued, responsible for an additional three million cinema trips a year. Not only did the campaign offer serious value to the customer, it also supported an industry that was facing greater challenges than ever before as a result of new technologies and their effect on audience behaviours. The simple use of a keyword and shortcode made it possible for customers to participate in just seconds.

So what was the ROI for Orange as a company? Quite simply, it was a great selling factor to attract and retain customers to the network.

After coming to an end in 2015, the Orange Wednesdays campaign was replaced by Meerkat Movies, sponsored by Compare the Market.

2. Aer Lingus

A few years ago, the flag carrier airline of Ireland and the second-largest airline in Ireland, found itself facing a challenge – how to promptly inform customers of last minute delays, cancellations and other issues affecting their journeys.

For many years, the company had relied solely on email. The problem was, a majority of passengers did not check their email once they had begun their journey to reach a flight. The result was a customer services nightmare as passengers often only became aware of problems when they arrived to check in, at which point the relationship was immediately damaged. The company chose to make the switch to SMS – and saw immediate improvements.

After the initial success of the switch to SMS communications, the company began texting travellers with more general information such as when they should arrive at the airport.

The end result benefited the company in many ways – firstly, customer satisfaction was significantly increased. The number of late check-ins was also greatly reduced, and ‘real-time’ communications meant that the company could reduce their outgoings from providing accommodation and other services to passengers in the event of delays or disruption.

The Aer Lingus campaign is a great example of the benefits of using SMS messaging as a customer relations tool and achieving considerable ROI as a result.

3. Paddy Power

In 2010, the Irish betting giant Paddy Power felt it could do more to increase its growth. It was decided that increasing engagement and revenues was essential to the company’s long-term growth strategy. One channel that was identified as offering great ROI opportunities was SMS marketing.

The company launched a campaign offering customers free bets via SMS. Almost immediately, the company saw response rates in the region of 15%.

As a result of the free bets by SMS campaign, the company has seen a steady increase in year-on-year growth of around 30% and a 300% growth in customers placing mobile bets. In fact, 31% of the company’s online customers now place their bets by mobile.

The amazing ROI achieved by the Paddy Power campaign is all down to how easy it made the experience for customers and is a great example of a company observing the market and responding to changing customer behaviours.

4. Pizza Hut

It would be impossible to conclude this article without looking at the example of Pizza Hut UK. In 2013, the popular pizza outlet ran an advanced SMS marketing campaign using a technique known as geofencing.

If you’ve never heard of geofencing, it is a location specific method of communication that uses GPS technology to create a virtual geographical boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

For Pizza Hut, this meant that when customers were within a half-mile of any Pizza Hut location, they would receive an SMS promotion on their mobile phone. Marketing doesn’t get much better than that!

The Pizza Hut campaign ran for 15 months and proved to be 4.4 times more effective than TV advertisements, 2.6 times more effective than online adverts and, overall, 142% more efficient in increasing incremental sales than other channels.

The final word

Whether it’s increased sales, increased engagement, improved customer relations or any other measurable that is at the heart of your current or future marketing strategy, SMS marketing continues to offer incredible opportunities at low prices. If you haven’t already started using SMS Marketing, there is no better time than now to start.

Fastsms is the UK’s leading business SMS platform, offering bulk messaging packages at some of the most competitive prices available. We offer our customers maximum flexibility, with message sending via email clients, our cloud-based app or even via our API integration that is supported by most popular CMS systems.

To speak to a member of our team now and learn how we can help you to succeed in SMS Marketing, call us on 0800 954 5305.

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