6 Ways to Get Results, and Not Annoy People, with SMS Marketing
People have an intimate connection with their smartphones and view them almost as an extension of themselves. Our must-have devices are practically with us at all times, even right by our side when we sleep. We simply cannot live without them!
With 42.4 million smartphone users in the UK, there are nearly as many handsets as people, according to estimates from Statista , and it’s a figure that’s set to approach 50 million in the next few years. Plus, Ofcom says 93% of adults in the country currently use a smartphone and 39.5 million of them have zippy 4G mobile subscriptions.
Along with the growth of wearable devices that have much the same functions as the ubiquitous smartphone, this presents almost unrivalled opportunities for firms to reach out to current and potential new customers and gain even more business. All you have to do is look around you in a train or bus to see all those eyes glued to small screens to realise that this is one prime advertising space.
But when guidelines aren’t followed such promotional efforts can also backfire, dramatically.
Using SMS marketing is one highly effective way to maintain relationships with mobile users, but there’s an incredibly fine line between engaging with someone and annoying them to such an extent that they swiftly delete your marketing messages and never want to hear from you again. That’s business suicide, and here are some valuable ways you can help your online SMS campaigns to flourish and reap real rewards.
1. Your Customer is Your Friend
Before you go sending out all sorts of promotions, special offers, discounts and so on via your text message provider, there is one thing above all that you need to keep in mind. For the vast majority of people, their phone – smart or otherwise – has very little to do with business and commerce. It’s almost entirely social: their connection to friends and family everywhere.
That means that what comes into their SMS inbox can’t be a stream of sales messages or be too pushy. If a mobile user allows commercially-orientated SMS messages to their number, it means only one thing: they’re interested in the company and its products. So keep it friendly in tone, and casual.
2. Don't Have a Blast
While it’s tempting to let everyone on your SMS database know straight away about your latest great deal, and keep churning out the messages in the hope of generating new business, it’s a sure-fire way of infuriating recipients and causing them to hang up on you – maybe for good. Again, picture the scenario and think how you would feel and react if your phone was flooded with commercial texts.
Good practice for any SMS marketing campaign is therefore to send between two and four texts per month. Any more and you risk alienating your invaluable customer base and driving people away. So with business SMS, less is definitely more.
3. All in the Timing
Few people want to get a text message early in the morning, just as they’re clearing their mind of foggy sleep and easing into the day. Neither do most people want them – from anyone, commercial enterprises or not – late at night, when they’re winding down and preparing for sleep.
Yes, mobile is 24/7, but just as business is transacted during 9-5 business hours, it’s advisable to keep your SMS marketing to these times too. Just imagine how extremely annoying it would for someone to receive a text message in the middle of the night – waking them up about a discount or promotion!
4. Added Value
Not everyone is going to be open to SMS marketing messages from your company, and for those who are, provide them with something of value in return so they’ll be pleased they signed up. They’ll then want to keep on receiving your messages.
This can be something like points for past purchases related to an SMS or special discounts only for SMS subscribers. Target your campaigns in such a way that recipients of your marketing messages feel they’re getting something extra by receiving them – otherwise, what’s the point?
5. More Than Just a Number
SMS marketing is versatile, and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s not all about sales and special offers and getting people through your doors, cyber or the real thing. It’s hugely beneficial for the customer, for example, if text messages are used to track an order or keep in touch with them while an order is being processed.
Then sending a “Your item is on its way” message lets them know delivery is imminent, for instance. You can also follow-up with a customer-friendly thank you note a short while afterwards. People love these extra touches; they help to endear them to companies and their brands, by showing they’re not just after their money.
6. Exit Strategy
People who receive SMS (and email) messages from companies like to know they can stop them at any time. It’s reassuring for mobile users to know that while they’ve no problem with text messages from the business now, at some point they might not want to receive certain SMS marketing promotions. So provide them with an easy way of stopping your texts.
It can be something as simple as including a brief mention at the end of a text, along the lines of “To stop receiving these messages, just text ‘STOP’.” This kind of easy opt-out is essential to keeping your customers satisfied and retaining their all-important trust in your company. There’s no need to fret about losing lots of people on your business text messaging list either, as this forward-looking strategy helps to ensure it will remain stable or even grow.
Itching to know more about how brands big and small are getting the message with SMS marketing and dialling up lots more business? The experts at fastsms are ready to advise – so get in touch now and soon you could be texting your way to ever higher levels of profitability.