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The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing for Small Businesses

sms marketing small businesses

SMS marketing or short messaging service marketing is swiftly gaining popularity all over the world. Using text messages for business purposes is convenient and quick. It’s also extremely cost-effective when compared to other methods of communication. When used correctly, an SMS marketing campaign can do wonders for your business reputation, not to mention your profits.

More than ever before, now is the ideal time to incorporate SMS into your business marketing plan. It’s really a no-brainer. SMS marketing is simple to implement into the daily running of your business, it’s low-impact in terms of your budget, and high-impact in terms of popularity.

SMS marketing is now the fastest growing platform for marketing in Britain. By 2020 the number of users who have happily opted-in to receive business communication via text message will have skyrocketed to 48.65 million. Even better, the strict rules surrounding opting in for SMS marketing ensure it’s a GDPR compliant form of getting your message out there. With the new regulations on ePrivacy coming into play in May 2018, this is going to be more important than ever, and a vital factor for businesses to bear in mind.

SMS can seriously enhance the image of your brand. To help you out and ensure you get the most out of SMS marketing we’ve put together the ultimate guide to using SMS marketing for business…

SMS Marketing Tips

Consent….

A lot of marketers collect random phone numbers and use them to send out their marketing. They blast their messages at the unsuspecting public and expect results. They’re making a huge mistake. Unsolicited messages will not only really annoy their recipients, they will put a serious dent in your business reputation. Before you do anything with SMS marketing you need to get people to opt-in to receiving marketing messages from you. You will do this exactly as you would for an email marketing list. Also similar to email marketing you will need to give your subscribers an easy way to opt out of receiving your messages if they no longer wish to receive them. Whenever you send messages, make sure you start with your business name, so the recipient knows it’s not spam, but a message from a business they willingly gave their number to, and always end with an easy way for them to stop receiving messages from you.

Timing is everything…

Getting the timing right for when you send your messages is vital. Unlike email marketing, text messages are generally read within five minutes of the time you send them. Consequently, you need to be certain your messages are reaching customers at the perfect time – right when they are about to make a purchase decision. For example, a fast food restaurant would send messages out shortly before lunch, offering promotions and offers and encouraging people to choose their restaurant to eat at that day.

Fastsms offers easy tools for scheduling your SMS messages to ensure they always go out at the perfect time. Make sure you take full advantage of them.

Calls to action…

Always include a powerful call to action in your text messages. Your CTA might be a URL, shortcode, or phone number. It should give your audience a clear idea of what to do next, and encourage them to do it immediately – visit your website, purchase a product, call you for a consultation. It doesn’t matter what the CTA is as long as it’s clear and very easily actioned from the message – don’t expect people to go looking for links, numbers, and products or services, make sure there is a very easy option that takes them right where you want them to be.

Basic language…

Your texts will likely be read by people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and age groups, with a variety of interests. Although there will be certain factors that unify your audience and make them your ideal clients, there will still be considerable variety in the people you are talking to. Keep your language simple and to the point. This is the easiest way to ensure it has universal appeal and can be understood by all. Avoid using capital letters except for keywords, such as ‘SALE’, or words that grammatically require a capital.

Exclusivity…

Success hinges on making your SMS marketing campaign as exclusive as possible. Your subscribers should receive information unavailable elsewhere. When people realise the great value of your texts, they’ll fall over themselves to sign up.

Analytics…

Tools such as Google Analytics can be used to monitor your SMS marketing campaigns and check on their progress. Key metrics are the number of clicks your links receive, and open rates. Split test messages for times and style to find what works best.

SMS Marketing Ideas

Rewarding loyalty…

SMS marketing is the perfect means of rewarding loyal clients by offering ultimate services, products, and discounts that are only available via your SMS service. This will encourage people to sign up, and make them feel appreciated all at the same time.

Instant notifications…

Texts are a really easy way to send customers notifications when you need them to do something, and to alert them to an imminent appointment or the arrival of their order.

POS discounts…

Offer mobile-only discounts as an incentive to get people to sign up, and a means to encourage them to go to your website or store.

Pre-sale offers…

Run exclusive pre-sales for your SMS subscribers in order to reward their loyalty and encourage sign ups.

New launches…

When you’re launching something new, makes sure your existing customers are the first to know by getting the word out to them via text. Once they’re in the loop, word of mouth will do a lot of your work for you.

Autoresponse messages…

The use of automated responses is extremely useful for sending clients confirmation you have received a booking, request, or payment. It gives clients peace of mind that you’re on the case, and will be seeing to their needs shortly, without costing you any time at all.

Missed chances…

If you have clients who aren’t getting the most out of the products and services you have to offer, let them know what they’re missing out on!

Reminders…

Ensure your customers never forget important dates, information, or offers by sending out reminders directly to their mobiles.

Time efficiency…

Make sure your customers know you’re always putting them first – sending information via text is quick, easy, and unobtrusive, and saves them the time and effort required to log into their email and get the information from there. It also ensures they have key details right there on their phone, which is very handy if they’re out and about and don’t have internet access.

Customer feedback…

Texts are a two-way street – don’t forget to ask for feedback. Send out short, simple questions to find out how your clients are doing and whether they’re enjoying what you’re selling. Make sure you publicise the fact you are reachable via text messages, for the convenience of your clients.

Looking for more information on SMS marketing? Check out the rest of the blog, or get in touch – we’d love to hear from you…

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