By Andrew Thompson
SMS marketing is a sure-shot way for business to ensure quick communication and instant engagement with their most loyal customers. However, not all SMS campaigns are created the same. Many top-line companies have effectively integrated SMS marketing to their business strategy where are some others still see it as a secondary requirement.
As per a survey regarding the effectiveness of SMS marketing, it is found that 95% of the customers take their mobile phones while at shopping and about 70% of the Americans now own a smartphone. Given these figures, it is evident that more people have access to SMS, which is a basic function of any given mobile phone when compared to social media or email communications.
If you are already into SMS marketing, then here are a few tips which will help you to maximize your ROI on this channel.
1. Try to create a strategic SMS marketing team
For corporate firms, their big-scale SMS marketing campaigns are not DIY. If you are serious about SMS marketing, then one may need a group of skilled professionals who will work together to derive the best marketing strategy, frequency, and content. More than one is required to fill these specialized roles as:
- An SMS marketing expert
- A retail marketing expert
- On-location signage coordinators
- Content developers
- Social media experts
- Promotional strategies
- ROI analyst
- Discount budget analyst etc.
All these need to be coordinated well, and as the SMS timeline is demanding more immediacy, SMS marketing team need to work in close coordinate and open communication with their plans and execution strategies. More complete your SMS team is, greater benefits you will get out of it in terms of returns.
2. Knowing the customer
You may try to use a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application to measure the success of the SMS marketing campaigns. You may analyze the user behavior, purchase history of the customers, and also the location-based use demographics to send the right messages to the right people at the right time. Say, for example, if you are in cosmetic product industry, then it may not be right to send the promo code of anti-wrinkle cream to someone of 20 years of age for your store located in New York to someone living in Texas.
By knowing the customers, you can easily segment your audience and plan targeted promotions as offered by Simple Texting. Sending bulk messages is old-fashioned, and now with the help of proper tools, it is possible to hit the right person at the right time with the right offer. You may think of bulk messaging in terms of any general sales or promotions which anyone can take advantage of.
3. Make your messages clear
SMS is short messaging, and you have to make everything clear in 160 characters. Expressing yourself and conveying your message rightly is the key. However, it is not mandatory to use all the 160 characters, but as short as you are able to convince the user to take action, as advantageous it may be for you. Ensure that the message you share is concise and clear, by using plain language. Avoid any abbreviations, all cps, or any emoticons if possible.
A key point is not to write an open-ended message. Say, for example, there is no point in inviting a customer to a special offer if you don’t mention when the special offer ends. The client may not have any ideas as to when he or she can avail it. So, by giving a cutoff, you will be able to pursue their attention easily and prompt them to take immediate action in your favor. Whether it be a discount coupon or a seasonal offer, clients would act according to the information you have given them and the incentives they get when they act.
4. Don’t forget Call-to-Action buttons
It is known that proper call to actions can increase customer engagement and further the results. This is true in the case of SMS marketing also. You want them to engage and prompt the customers to avail the real value out of the text you send by acting on them. Here is some example of the right call to action to add:
- “Show this text to win % offer” – You are asking the customer to show the text to avail the discount, which is an effective way to get more engagement.
- “Click here to avail this” – Sometimes you may not have enough space with character restriction in SMS to include all information they may need. In case if you are hosting an event or want to add a link to the Google map or a promotional video you want the customers to see, then you can use the “Click here” pointer button which will enable a link to the corresponding page.
- “Text-to-Win contests” – There are many customers who would be interested in winning price by participating in some contests. By simply asking them to text you back with a contest question answer or code, you can increase real-time customer engagement with your brand. It is found that the text-to-win marketing campaigns are so effective in reminding the customers about your existence in the marketing and to drive in sales.
5. Do it at the right time
In the case of SMS marketing, it is all about immediacy, so you need to get your timing right. It is found that people may take an average of three minutes to open a message and read it. The client responses to promotions or events and sales are largely effective when you make it a last minute impulse. If a special offer or event planned for Friday night, then you may send the SMS message by Friday afternoon. Like a dinner promotion coupon for your restaurant, then it best to send at the end of a workday instead of sending the previous day or on the same day morning.
Similarly, if you follow some best practices in terms of SMS marketing, it is for sure that you may get better returns on the investments made. It is important to track the performance of your SMS marketing campaigns in order to analyze the success rate and fine tune the strategies based on its success.
Andrew Thompson has worked as an editor and writer for more than 10 years. He enjoys mentoring young and upcoming writers. To find out more about web design, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, Business, UI/UX. To follow on Twitter.