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.
The first thing to remember is that legally, you must give the customer the chance to both opt-in and opt-out of your SMS campaign - but the good news is people are happy to opt-in - 49% of them according to a 2014 survey. So all you need to do is stay compliant and follow some basic guidelines to grow your list.
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