10 Steps to Launch a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign – Infographic
SMS Marketing is extremely effective, simple to use and offers exceptional ROI. Like any other marketing channel, the key to success lies in starting out right and having the right strategy in place for your business. To help you understand how to launch a successful SMS Marketing campaign in just ten simple steps, we’ve put together this handy infographic.
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So with all the evidence indicating that SMS Marketing is an essential channel that companies simply can’t afford not to use, how can you launch a successful SMS campaign for your business? Here are ten tips from the FastSMS experts.
1. Know Your Audience
The first thing to do before you put any campaign in place is to do your market research. In order to comply with UK regulations, the customers that you intend to contact will need to have signed up and explicitly agreed to be contacted. At the point of getting this information from them, it is a good idea if possible to harvest as much further information as possible, including their name, age, gender and location.
This will allow you to make your messages more focused on their exact demographic and will also mean you can segment the lists of numbers to create tailored messages for each sector. It is then important to find out as much as you can about your target audience – some of it will be about making assumptions from what you can find. What are the current trends? What are they likely to be hearing about in the news? What other technology or brands will they be using? If you can make messages feel relevant to them, they’ll get the sense that you understand them.
2. Build a Marketing List
Now you know your audience and their interests, put together the list of numbers you want to target. Have you picked out a core segment – such as those under 30 years of age? Or perhaps you’ve only targeted women as the product you’re marketing will appeal to them most? Create a clear and easy-to-understand list that shows what messages each number has received. It’s important to not send conflicting or duplicate messages to people so organisation is key.
With Fastsms, you have access to off the shelf API integration with all the leading CRM platforms and access to full developer support, which can help to manage all of this and more, especially useful for organisations running larger scale campaigns.
3. Set Your Goal
In order to be effective, it’s important to have a goal in place for the campaign. Decide what it is that you want to achieve and make a note of it. Do you want to improve customer engagement? Drive more sales? Raise awareness of price changes or a new offer?
It’s also helpful to set a measurable time frame in which you want to do this. If you can, put together data from a ‘normal’ section of working time for the same length so you can create comparable data. This will help you analyse how successful your campaign was.
For best results, it is recommended to structure your campaign around SMART objectives.
4. Decide Your Frequency
When putting together your campaign, you need to decide how frequently you want to communicate with your audience. It is important to ensure your message gets heard but you don’t want to come across too pushy and insistent. Text messages have a high open rate as it is, so bear in mind that SMS Marketing is not like e-mail or social media where you need to keep pushing out the same message in order to get heard above the masses.
One way to think about it is how often would that person naturally think about your product. If your product or service is something they might use every few months, such as having a haircut, then messaging them every other day would become frustrating. If you consider car servicing, this might be relevant just once a year, although seasonal value-added services can help to boost your offer. The fundamental thing to remember is that your customers get the message; they hear you loud and clear. But they may not be ready to act on it regularly anytime soon.
In contrast, if you were marketing a car wash facility, something customers may use fortnightly or monthly, then more regular reminders may encourage them to use your service. If it’s something like having their carpets professionally cleaned, which they may do once a year at most, sending a bi-annual message may be all it takes. It’s about staying on their radar without becoming too annoying. In the case of more frequent use of services, it is also worth offering things like loyalty bonuses to keep customers keen on hearing from you and add value to your SMS messages.
5. Craft Your Message
Next is to decide what your message is going to be and personalise it. You only have people’s attention for a limited amount of time and they’re going to read your message very quickly. Keep it short and sweet! Establish what the incentives are early on and add any URLs if needed – with smartphones being so popular, this is a great way to drive people directly to your website. From here, they can immediately make their orders. Also, be sure to structure your Calls to Action (CTAs) around tried and tested power words and phrases.
Think about whether you’ll be using a keyword in your message to allow customers to respond easily and automate your system. If you intend to allow real-time, two-way messaging, you’ll need to set this up within your fastsms account before launching your campaign. Click here for more information on receiving SMS Messages.
Getting the timing right is key. During the working day, chances are higher that people are busy. Unless your SMS relates directly to their job, you’re most likely better off waiting until the evening when they’re sat down with more available time. If you can, look at your website analytics to establish what time people are usually researching your business or your products. Are there key trends in terms of buying times? Saturdays perform badly for e-mail marketing, but for SMS they can be productive. If you’re sending across different countries, keep in mind that time zones will change.
Interestingly, the research by the DMA discovered that the optimal period for brands and businesses to distribute text messages to their opt-in database is between 12:00-15:00.
Whatever timings you choose, try not to become a spammer (in most cases send no more than one message to each recipient per week – though there are exceptions!).
What is the incentive driving the text? Think back to the goal of your campaign and make sure you’ve added a call-to-action and, if needed, a URL to your product (use a shortlink from a service like bitly.com). Try not to keep your message open-ended but give it an end time that will spur action, i.e. offer on until the end of today/the week, etc. Given that most messages are read within three minutes, there is clearly a natural sense of urgency, so make use of this by making your CTA’s timebound.
9. Consistency is Key
Be consistent in your messages and the tone you take. This includes keeping the frequency at a consistent level so it doesn’t fluctuate too heavily between receiving lots of messages and then none. Of course, when you are pushing a certain product or offer you may want to increase the contact to a degree, but just keep it appropriate to the usual amount you’d be in touch with customers – e.g. if you usually send a bi-annual message, suddenly sending a text every other day for a week might seem too pushy.
Make sure that the tone and style of your messages also reflects your brand personality to ensure that the message is consistent with that of your other marketing channels.
10. Analyse Your Campaign
At the end of your SMS campaign, it is important that you analyse it. Look to measure the response to your campaign based on the market research and information you put together at the very beginning. This will help you to ascertain how effectively you spent your marketing budget, how useful the process was for driving sales or raising awareness, and where you can improve next time for even better results. As mentioned previously, using SMART objectives to design your campaign will help greatly with this.
To find out how FastSMS can help you launch a successful SMS campaign with low cost business bulk SMS messaging, get in touch now on 0800 954 5305.
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.
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