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SMS Marketing Campaign Basics

Creating your first SMS marketing campaign can be a daunting task. This week I’ll take it back to basics and discuss the different types of SMS marketing campaigns.

The two basic types of SMS marketing campaigns are inbound and outbound. Inbound campaigns are when you request people text you. Outbound campaigns are when you send messages to an existing list. Or of course you can create two way SMS campaigns that use both, instigating a dialogue between you and your customer or prospect.

In order to run an inbound campaign you need a reply number. This can be either a virtual mobile number or a shortcode. Once you’re set up with your reply number,  you can use an inbound campaign for a variety of different reasons. The primary one is for gathering opt ins. You can publish your number on your website, in adverts, or in store. People will text you using their mobile and you can add them to your opt in list. But remember you must always include an option to opt out of the messaging which means you must ensure the messages are both useful and not too frequent.

Other inbound campaigns can include contests (for new and existing list members), or increase engagement and interest by giving your list the opportunity to vote via text on products, taglines, or just about anything. Try to make whatever option you choose relevant to your business. If you are a travel company it’s a fair assumption anyone opting in to your list is interested in travel. So offer travel vouchers as a prize in your competition rather than book tokens. Give them a quiz about favourite destinations not questions about rare alpine plants!

Outbound campaigns are what most people think of when talking about SMS marketing campaigns. It’s when you send out discount codes, special offers, or other deals to the people on your list. The communication is only one way and the recipients have no way to reply.  Outbound can also be service oriented messages like account updates, appointment reminders, or shipping notifications. Again make your offers relevant by segmenting your list by their interest or other demographic. If you are a travel company offering ocean cruises and adventure holidays don’t offer bungee jumping experiences to your Mediterranean cruise customers.

Both types of campaigns are equally important. You need inbound to gather opt ins and interact with your list, and outbound to send them calls to action to increase sales, attendance, website traffic or whatever your goal is. See SMS marketing as an ongoing process; build your opt in list, gather detail about the people on your list and send them relevant information.

If you’re still debating whether using SMS messaging is too hard, time consuming, or effective enough to use for your organisation, why not give it a try for free? Fastsms accounts are always free. You’ll never find monthly fees or other hidden charges. You just pay for the messages you need. We’ll even give you some free credits to get started. Just click the “Free Account” button at the top of the page, or you can contact us via chat, email, or phone.

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