An online survey conducted in the U.K. in May 2017 revealed that a high percentage of Brits owned smartphones, while 11% of the respondents owned basic phones. (business.com)
How does SMS marketing work?
SMS marketing messages are sent from short codes, as opposed to full telephone numbers. These short codes are typically 5-6 digits, and can be associated with one sender, or shared across multiple senders.
Many countries (including the US) do not allow sender information to be altered. This means your message will appear as a text message from whatever short code your provider used (not from your business). That is why it’s important to include your company’s name in the message.
There are two message types you can send with SMS marketing:
Campaign messages are the classic one-to-many bulk text messages. They are typically used to communicate promotions (coupons, sales, etc.), or general information (event details, updates, weather alerts, etc.).
Transactional messages are one-to-one messages that are triggered by a certain event or behavior. An example of this would be an order confirmation or shipping notification for an e-commerce purchase. These messages communicate relevant and timely information to an individual.
4 Tips to Leverage the Power of SMS Marketing
Not all SMS marketing campaigns are created equal. There are some companies who fully integrate SMS marketing into their business strategy and others who see it as a side project According to a survey by ScanLife , 89% of customers use their mobile phones while shopping, and 64% of Americans own a smartphone as of 2015. Given this, which company do you think will have a more successful marketing campaign?
If you’re already on board with SMS marketing, here are some tips and suggestions on how to maximize your success.
1. Create an SMS Marketing Team
Large SMS marketing campaigns aren’t DIY. You’ll need a variety of skilled professionals in order to get the most out of your marketing strategy. One or a few people may fill several of these roles, but you’ll need: an SMS marketing program expert, a retail expert, coordinators for on-location signage, digital creative designers, social media experts, a promotions specialist, an ROI and discount budget analyst, and more.
These areas need to be coordinated, and since the timeline for SMS is getting more and more immediate, the marketing team needs to work very closely and communicate frequently about plans, strategies and execution.
The more complete your SMS team, the greater the benefits you’ll reap from effective marketing strategies.
2. Know Thy Customer
Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) app to measure the success of your messages. For more info on the best CRMs available, check out this ultimate guide Analyze purchase history and location-based demographics, so you can send the right messages to the right customers . If you’re a cosmetics line, don’t send an anti-wrinkle cream coupon to a twenty year old for your store in Houston when she lives in Boston.
Segment your clients for targeted promotions. Send bulk messages for general sales and promotions that anyone anywhere could take advantage of.
3. Write Clear Messages
Get to the point: You have 160 characters to express yourself. Do it in less if you can. Make sure the message is clear and concise, written in plain English. Avoid abbreviations, emoticons, and all caps.
Don’t use open-ended messages. An example of an open-ended message is one that invites clients to a sale but doesn’t say when the sale ends. The client has no idea if it is for a day or a month. By giving a specific date when a sale ends or putting an expiration date on a coupon, clients are more likely to act because you’ve given them enough information and incentive.
4. Use Call-to-Action Buttons
Calls-to-action increase customer engagement with your SMS marketing texts. That’s exactly what you want from them: to be engaged, to value the texts you send, to read them, interact with them, and act on them.
Here are some call-to-action winners:
Asking customers to show the text in order to earn a discount is a clear and effective way to get them to engage in your promotion. Example: Show this text for 50% off your dinner tonight.
Sometimes you don’t have enough space in your SMS message to include all the information your customer will need. Maybe you’re hosting an event, and you want to add a link to a map or a video about the event or a link to your website where there are more details. In that case, a Click here button will provide a link to the necessary details.
Text-to-Win . Lots of customers would be interested in having a shot at winning a prize or gift from your company. Asking them to text in order to enter the contest helps increase customers’ engagement. If you’re not offering a sale or hosting an event, Text-to-Win campaigns are an effective way to remind customers of your existence and continue increasing traffic and sales.
Text-to-Vote. Engage customers in mobile polling to find out how your company is doing in terms of service, product quality, prices, and more.
This is the perfect CTA button for targeted messages. If you know a customer routinely buys a certain product, you can send a text promoting that product with a Buy now button to make it easier for them to make a purchase.
As long as you follow best practices, and use SMS when it’s going to make the biggest impact, you can drastically improve your ROI. With these takeaways, you’ll be able to make SMS marketing work for you and your ecommerce store.