9 Tips for SMS Marketing Success in the New Year
In terms of technology, SMS is one of the simplest forms of communication available – and this may indeed be why it has survived the test of time. SMS messaging continues to be one of the most popular ever methods of communication, even against fierce competition from instant messaging apps such as Messenger and WhatsApp. It is this continued popularity, along with the incredible ease of use, that has also seen it maintain its position as one of the most effective marketing channels for B2C and B2B companies alike. With no signs of decline in 2018, if you are not already using SMS Marketing then you really should be. In this article, our experts offer ten top tips for SMS Marketing success in the coming year.
1. Have a strategy
Just because something is simple does not mean that it does not require a strategy – and SMS Marketing is no exception. For best results, prepare a strategy in exactly the same way you would for other marketing campaigns, or indeed any other area of business. A good approach is to use SMART targets – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.
2. Know your customers
How well do you think you know your customers? Whether you typically acquire customers online, in-store or in any other way, information is king and the more you can learn about your customers, the better you can target them with your SMS Marketing. Remember, by its very nature SMS is much more personal than any mass marketing channel and therefore the message should be highly tailored to the individual.
3. Master your timing
When did you last ignore an SMS message? The chances are that unless you had your phone on Do Not Disturb or were genuinely unable to check your handset, you opened your last message within seconds. The fact is that people feel an inherent need to check messages straight away – an important aspect which has two sides to it. On the one hand, choosing your timing correctly means that you will get the right message to the right people at the perfect time – as an example, the lunch break is a great time to get people thinking about their next holiday, whilst early evening might be preferable to other products or services. Businesses, on the other hand, will tend to only respond to phones during office hours, and B2B clients certainly won’t want to be held up in the office by an SMS message sent at 5:25.
Most of all, SMS messages should not be sent in the late evening or during the night. These may cause annoyance or even panic for their recipients and have a negative effect.
4. Be creative
Most people are not aware that with an SMS Marketing platform such as that provided by us here at Fastsms, there are a generous 459 characters available to play with – meaning that there is more than enough space to get creative and show your flair for language. Be original and descriptive, and be sure to have a clear and easy to action call to action (CTA). Use power words to get an even better response.
5. Build your list
As with any form of marketing, the greater your reach the higher your potential ROI. The more people you can reach through your SMS Marketing campaign, the better your chances of seeing good conversion levels. The best way to increase the size of your audience is organically, so rather than purchasing outside data, look through what customer records you do have and think of a way to encourage those who haven’t yet registered for your SMS Marketing list to get signed up. A ‘Do we have all your details?’ campaign is one approach that lends itself well to the new year. Just make sure that if customers are asked for a mobile number, you make it clear what they are opting in for.
You may also want to introduce a strategy for improving data from new customers to include mobile numbers wherever possible.
6. Give more than you take
In the world of social media marketing, there is an adage that in order to succeed, you should give more than you take. In other words, the purpose of your content should be – first and foremost – to give value to the customer in the form of information, inspiration or even entertainment, with selling coming as a secondary factor. By providing value to the customer, you earn your right to request their custom.
The same is equally true of SMS Marketing – just because you can go straight for the shot doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Nurturing a customer relationship through a process of sharing value can ultimately benefit your brand far more in the long run.
7. Get integrated
As we mentioned earlier, knowledge is power. And when you integrate your SMS Marketing channel with your CRM platform, the potential for success is huge. The Fastsms system offers seamless API integration with all the leading CRM platforms, meaning you can take your SMS Marketing to a whole new level based on the data that you already have on hand, and monitor the campaign to a much greater depth. This, in turn, allows you to constantly refine your campaign until it gets the desired results.
8. Be service oriented
It is often said that the customer is always right. And if your customers have an opinion – good or bad – about the service they have received, then you should be ready to listen. The trouble is, not everybody feels confident giving their opinion face to face, and evidence shows that few people will hang around to manually complete a feedback card.
So how do you go about getting the feedback that you need to provide an exceptional customer experience? SMS Marketing is the obvious solution. Because people feel compelled to respond to SMS messages, and because it is so simple to do, customer feedback surveys conducted by SMS tend to have extremely high response rates. For best results, keep the survey to a very limited number of questions, and use a rating system from 1 -5. The easier it is for the customer to respond, the better your participation rate will be.
9. Know what’s on
There are plenty of events throughout the year that lend themselves really well to tie-ins with your SMS Marketing, be it themes related to Christmas or New Year’s resolutions, through to some of the nation’s favourite sporting events such as Wimbledon or the London Marathon. Not only do such occasions allow you to show some originality and creativity, they also help to show your company’s human side which is hugely important in SMS messaging.
Do, however, try to choose events and themes that are relevant to your customer profile and that are a good fit for your brand to avoid looking like you are simply jumping on the bandwagon.
Whatever the nature of your business, discover the power of SMS Marketing now. To get set up and ready to hit the ground running in the new year, give our friendly and experienced customer service team a call now on 0800 954 5305.
Yet another company (Quigley and Carter Limited) have been fined by the ICO for not having permission to send SMS messages. In this case, they had outsourced their marketing to a third party who then sent messages on their behalf. So is staying compliant with the regulations regarding SMS messaging so difficult? It doesn’t have to be.
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