Using Perfectly Timed SMS Marketing to Engage Customers
One of the greatest advantages of SMS marketing is the ability to be personal. Yes email can be personal too, or personalised, but these days most people are so familiar with email that it doesn’t have the same impact it used to have. But SMS messages delivered directly to a person’s mobile still are seen as personal. People have not yet become jaded to hearing the notification sounds and usually read the message immediately.
For marketers this is a great opportunity to engage customers based on actions. For example, here are some actions that could trigger perfectly timed SMS messages:
Retail purchase. After a customer makes a purchase is a great time to follow up with them to offer additional information on the product, discounts on accessories, ask for feedback, or just to say thank you for their business.
Major purchase. Insurance companies, banks and estate agents can reach out to their customers after a major purchase like a home with updates, first payment reminders, referral requests, and customer surveys.
Registrations. After registering for an event, class, or trip, organisations can offer up travel deals, meal discounts, add-on purchases, upgrade packages, or social media requests (to like or share their registration to get the word out).
There are any number of actions that might work for your particular business or organisation. And beyond actions, think about how you can use the information you already have on your customers. Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and major holidays are also possible reasons to send an SMS with a related offer or marketing message.
Some people call this kind of marketing “just-in-time”. And that term does describe the concept really well. It also isn’t new at all. In the “old” days, organisations would send a post card or make a phone call with the offer. More recently email was the main method to follow up with customers. But the immediacy and intimacy of SMS messaging give more power to this kind of SMS marketing.
Just remember you always need permission to send a message regardless of what the trigger is, as well as providing a way to opt out.
I think for much of the last decade, people used the Internet and then mobile devices, without giving too much thought about what they were doing. Or more accurately, what other people were doing with their information. But then came Edward Snowden in 2013 who revealed governments were collecting and using our personal data in ways we hadn’t imagined.
One key to successful marketing is to know when you’re doing it right. And when you’re doing it wrong. The great thing about SMS marketing is you can get that information pretty quickly. But to understand how your messages are performing, you need to do a little maths. Thankfully, it’s all rather simple once you see it.
Every year Salesforce releases its State of Marketing report. It offers insight into how marketers use and see the various tools and channels available today. In the 2016 report, much of the content focused on social and email, but also included a good deal of information on mobile marketing too.
So many of us are used to having our mobiles around nearly 24 hours a day that it’s easy to forget it’s still a growing industry. And though SMS has been around for over two decades, the ways we use it and people’s willingness to use it continues to grow. So for this blog I picked out five facts about mobile and SMS that really make the case that SMS for business has come of age. Let’s see if you agree.
SMS messaging took off in 2016. And that’s saying something for a technology that’s been around twenty-five years. Come take a look at the past year and see what we think 2017 will bring to the industry and how you can use it in your business.
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