It seems that, ever since we got our hands on cell phones (not even smartphones), we quickly got the concept of sending texts, also known as SMS. When you can’t speak or listen, you type – it’s as simple as that. We’re used to receiving messages from our friends and family, but we also willingly subscribe to important time-sensitive notifications from brands (i.e. SMS marketing). Think of flight notifications, order shipment updates, and back-in-stock messages. Compared to email, we’re not as reluctant to open texts, are we?
Let’s switch gears here and put our marketing hats on. What do these trends tell you? It’s pretty obvious that your marketing strategy needs to include SMS now, especially while SMS is getting 98% open rates. Keep reading to get some juicy SMS marketing best practices.
Word of caution: SMS messages get delivered at the same place where personal texts from families and friends do. A growing amount of marketers are leveraging SMS now, so it’s vital to be careful and not resort to overly familiar and intrusive SMS marketing.
- What is SMS Marketing?
- Why is SMS Marketing important?
- What’s the value of SMS Marketing?
- How to do bulk SMS Marketing?
- What SMS campaigns can I send out?
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is simple – it involves using SMS messaging to send offers, promotions, or any other marketing-related content. It’s not just mass texting. It’s usually automated through SMS marketing software that uses triggers to send out these text marketing campaigns.
For example, when customers create profiles on your site and share their phone numbers, they get a welcome SMS. Then, as the software learns more about each buyer, it can send more relevant notifications such as related products, sales, back in stock, and shipment notifications.
Why is SMS Marketing Important?
Here are a few reasons why you should consider SMS campaigns among your other marketing initiatives:
1. How many times per day do you check your phone? Probably hard to count, but the average is 80. That’s 80 opportunities for you to send your message to your target audience!
2. SMS requires little to no design
3. It’s usually perceived as highly personal
4. Immediate delivery – texts get sent to your users right away, so you get data quickly.
5. The best engagement rate (better than email marketing, social media, and other marketing channels).
What’s the value of SMS Marketing?
All marketing really comes down to trust. Whatever we sell, we aren’t just trying to get the sale, we’re working on building trust. Because trust is that link that turns a window shopper to a raving fan – someone who buys multiple times, shouts about your brand from the rooftops, and brings friends.
SMS is great at building that trust because your customers are already expecting instant notifications about their orders. Compared to emails that often land in the promotions tab or social posts that simply don’t get ranked high enough by the algorithm, SMS gets delivered & read. It matches exactly what a customer expects – simple, short, important and relevant notifications.
Moreover, many customers have a separate email just for promotional emails that they never even check. Some people even turn off their email notifications altogether. But their behavior isn’t the same when it comes to SMS – they always get them, see them, and almost always read them.
How to do bulk SMS Marketing?
Keep in mind – all of the benefits we described above go out the window the minute you start treating SMS as just another sales tool. The last thing anyone wants is getting bombarded with irrelevant promotions daily or weekly. So take some time to really plan out your marketing campaign.
Make sure that SMS isn’t the only thing you’re doing – other forms of communication can still be highly effective when done right. And when everything works seamlessly together – ah, that’s the true omnichannel experience that everyone craves.
When it comes to bulk SMS, typically a platform sends text messages to your database of customers. Some platforms don’t offer anything else, but that’s probably not very useful. If you could see your campaign performance, how it relates to other digital marketing initiatives, and manage replies in the same place – that would be much more useful.
The best way to make sure that your campaign is successful is to map out your customer journey and understand when the customers would like to hear from your brand. Simply sending texts just because it’s one of your marketing services isn’t the right strategy.
What SMS campaigns can I send out?
Here are just a few examples of some highly successful SMS campaigns that can benefit any business.
To manage these campaigns, a business can either utilize an SMS messaging feature or facilitate it through an SMS marketing provider. For example, an SMS marketing provider can create a mobile keyword such as “BUSSMS” to manage business-related interactions.
These kinds of campaigns perform best when they are sales and revenue-driven. To get the most out of it, sending highly personalized messages, boldly stating the offer, and using a call to action are all important. Urgency, exclusivity, and scarcity usually work best to drive fast conversions.
Pre-programming and automation help to schedule these campaigns in advance and notify users about new products right away. It’s really a win-win: a customer gets real-time notifications about the products they’ve been waiting for, and the business doesn’t have to lift a finger – the campaign gets sent out automatically!
Exclusive promo code campaigns
Speaking of exclusivity – another viable and successful SMS mobile keyword campaign usually focuses on gifts, discounts, or coupons. When people are enticed by the gift and opt-in, a business can build a large SMS list.
These campaigns usually work best with current customers. The goal is to build brand trust and loyalty, and that’s achieved through polls, surveys, and contests.
With the help of AI and machine learning, marketers can analyze consumers’ behavior and purchase habits and target subscribers based on exactly that. Let’s say a customer usually buys a coffee between 8-9 am on Mondays and Thursdays but doesn’t typically buy on Fridays. A marketer can use location data and this knowledge of purchasing habits and add an incentive for them to stop by their coffee shop on the way to work at 8:30 AM on a Friday.
Instead of directing users to FAQ and Q&A pages on a website, simple chatbots can answer those common questions. This feels more personalized and, once again, requires a setup only once.
If you’re not utilizing SMS in your marketing strategy, you really should. With so much potential that SMS offers, it’s easy to get intimidated and put it off though. But starting is always the hardest part. However, the sooner you start, the faster you’ll get those new engagement opportunities and will stick out in your industry.
Overall, SMS holds a tremendous amount of opportunity, and you can start using it to your advantage today! While it could be complex, sophisticated automation tools can do all the work for you and start bringing you revenue right away.
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