Planning Your SMS Marketing Campaign: Back to Basics
SMS messaging is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing available. Like any marketing, though, it is vital to plan your campaign effectively to ensure maximum success. So let’s look at a few basic principles that will help you make the most of your online SMS marketing.
When we talk about SMS marketing, we are talking about sending a ‘one-to-many’ message with the aim of prompting recipients to perform a particular action. You might be hoping to send potential customers the current sale offers on your web shop; obtain donations to a charity, perhaps by return SMS; or prompt clients to call or visit your office, to name just three options.
Today, SMS marketing remains one of the most cost-effective marketing investments. Using no more than 160 characters will save time and effort when crafting your message, and the plain black and white format ensures there is no requirement for costly graphic designers or web developers.
By applying a little marketing common sense, it is perfectly possible to execute a successful campaign with even the most limited of budgets.
Who are your customers?
Hopefully, your business will already have a sound idea of who your current customers are as well as the demographics of potential future clients towards whom you would like to focus your marketing efforts.
In planning your SMS marketing campaign, it is wise to consider how you can best utilise your resources to target these particular groups, and sub-groups, of users.
Consider the age of your target groups, their location, disposable income, and family situation. Doing this enables you to fine tune your campaign messaging list and aim your marketing where it is likely to have the strongest impact.
What does your text have to offer?
No matter how careful your targeting, your campaign will fall at the first hurdle if you are not selling something that the recipients of your messages genuinely want to buy.
Sometimes, an uncomplicated and timely reminder that your product or shop exists is enough to have customers beating a track to your doors. Often, though, in a climate of confused and often overwhelming marketing messages, you need to employ other methods to ensure that your proposition cuts through the noise.
One often useful trick of the SMS marketing trade is to offer customers a special offer or discount as part of your text message. You could give a small percentage off your usual price to shoppers who show the text message during the checkout process. Alternatively, online businesses might include personalised offer codes in each customer’s message.
Of course, offering exclusive discounts comes at a cost to your business. However, you can comfortably set your special offers at a level which ensures that you recover the expense through increasing customer numbers as a result of your marketing campaign.
Strike while the iron's hot!
Timing is everything in marketing, and a key advantage of online SMS providers is the ability to pre-schedule messaging to be delivered at the perfect moment.
It takes little imagination to realise that sending a text advertising a nightclub at nine o’clock on a Monday morning will not be effective. Similarly, delivering a message advertising your corner shop to customers is unlikely to be effective if it arrives five minutes after you close.
The key to getting the timing of your message right is to understand how your audience uses the service you offer, and when they are likely to be making purchase decisions.
If you are a supermarket and you do the majority of your trade on Saturday mornings, then perhaps early that day is the right time to deliver your message; since you are likely to catch customers who are making a decision at that moment between you and your competitors.
Equally, a cinema may decide that Thursday afternoon at five o’clock is the right time for their marketing, to get through to potential visitors when they are leaving work and deciding how to spend their evening.
Getting to know your customers’ habits and lifestyles, through research and targeting, is vital to perfecting the timing of your marketing message.
The message itself.
Like it or not, SMS messaging is an abbreviated form of communication; a language of its own, composed of no more than 160 characters (or 456 when using fastsms).
More often than not, your marketing content will not be able to utilise the full size of the message, since space is needed to accommodate sender and unsubscribe information. You may have as few as 130 letters, numbers and spaces in which to craft your proposal and get the message across to your audience.
This limited space does not require you to turn your message into a mix of symbols and abbreviations which only Kevin the teenager will appreciate. Entertaining this style of writing would severely limit the number of people able to understand your message, decreasing its effectiveness and costing you hard earned money.
A superior strategy is to take a few extra minutes developing your text to ensure that only the key points of your marketing message – the things the customer cannot do without – are included.
Remember, as well, that SMS messaging is a remarkably intimate and personal method of communication. For many, their mobile phone is an extension of their body, and SMS marketing gives you the ability to deliver a marketing message directly to their device.
Always strive to ensure that your messages are personalised – use the recipient’s name where possible – and carry genuine value and interest for your audience. Doing this makes it more likely that customers will appreciate the texts they receive from your business, and much less likely that they will regard them as ‘spam’ or even notice them as marketing at all.
So there you have it. By following these simple hints and tips you will be well on the road to delivering a successful SMS marketing campaign. Best of luck, and don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team if you need any additional pointers.
SMS marketing has come to be a crucial element of most businesses’ marketing strategies, and there is plenty of received wisdom within the marketing world as to how to get the most out of your SMS messages. So it might seem like there is not a lot that the world of politics can teach the world of business about SMS. But then again, there probably is.
SMS marketing has come a long way since its introduction to mainstream marketing back in the early 2000’s. As well as dramatic changes in technology, there have also been sweeping changes to the laws governing this powerful and popular form of marketing. With its low cost, high ROI and tremendous versatility, it can now benefit almost every sector. But all this aside, the fundamental rules for successful campaigns remain largely unchanged. So just what are the big do’s and dont’s of SMS marketing? Read this article for six top tips from our team that will help you unlock the key to SMS success
Since the first ever mobile ad was sent out via text back in 2000, SMS marketing has become hugely popular. What's more, it's a successful technique that an increasing number of marketeers are taking advantage of. So why is it the future? Here are a few reasons...
Because they are so short, word choice is important in SMS messages. You need to convey instructions and the benefits of following those instructions in few words. If you’ve ever struggled to find just the right one, check out our list of action inspiring words for SMS messaging.
Whilst some businesses still offer physical sales, many companies have an online presence as well. Whether they trade solely on the internet or maintain physical stores, it’s vital for businesses to cater for online customers. In order to increase sales and turnover, companies rely on a range of marketing methods, such as offline advertising or digital promotions. Whilst these can be effective, many businesses are overlooking the potential of SMS marketing.
In order to appeal to new customers and interact with existing ones, businesses are always looking for new marketing methods. Whilst many companies are using traditional and online marketing techniques, these aren’t always effective. Email filtering, for example, means that many recipients may not even be aware that they’ve received contact from your company. As many email hosts provide in-built spam filters, it’s easy for email marketing content to be overlooked or ignored completely. SMS marketing, however, overcomes many of the obstacles associated with online and email marketing. Whilst potential customers may not see your company emails, SMS messages aren’t filtered in the same way. The delivery rate is, therefore, far higher for SMS messages in comparison to marketing emails.
Tone of voice is important in all business communications, from letters to direct mail campaigns. The way you speak to clients is all of a part of the image you create in their minds of your brand. As short as they are, this also applies to business text messaging. It may even be more important to get the language and tone right in your messages, particularly your SMS marketing, than in an emailed leaflet.
While there are many ways you can probably think of to promote your SMS opt in campaign, there may be some “free” channels you’re neglecting. Thanks to Google, I can point out seven of them. At the mCommerce Summit Google gave a presentation about app promotion and optimising. I can’t even convey how exasperated the presenter was when he talked about how many opportunities companies just let slip by.
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).