24 Dec Be Direct with SMS Marketing
The world of digital marketing is ever-expanding. This is great news for your business! Many methods of digital marketing mean there are always innovative ways to reach your customers and target audience. Social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising and more are just a few examples. However, one more channel you should strongly consider including in your digital marketing strategy is SMS marketing!
Also known as text message marketing, SMS marketing is a great way to connect with your customers in a direct way that drives incredible results.
So, how much does SMS marketing really matter, and how do you even do it? Keep reading to find out!
What Does SMS Mean, and Why Should You Care?
Let’s start with the most basic question: What is SMS marketing? SMS stands for short message service, which is a type of text message. Therefore, as previously stated, SMS marketing is another term for text message marketing. Similar to email marketing, SMS messages are sent to users who opt-in to receiving promotional content from a business or organization.
SMS marketing generally works with an automated system that individuals can opt in to by sending a short code to the designated number. The system then catalogs the number and sends both a confirmation message and a code for opting out at any time.
When it comes to your business, SMS marketing is one of the easiest ways to grow a database of loyal followers who are interested in receiving information about your business — such as sales — and who are likely to act on any calls-to-action (CTAs) you include. You can also share reminders about upcoming events and the latest news about your business. Include shortened URLs to drive traffic to your website or for quick customer surveys. Other benefits of SMS marketing include easy customer segmentation and cost-effectiveness.
Customers feel positively about SMS marketing, too! According to Forbes, more than 60% of consumers report thinking that businesses should use SMS marketing more often. On top of that, 70% of those surveyed believe that text messages are effective at getting their attention, and an incredible 76% said they would be more likely to read a marketing text message sooner than a marketing email.
The bottom line is that your business could benefit greatly from an SMS marketing strategy.
How to Do SMS Marketing Right
It might be easy to get started with SMS marketing, but your business will only see those benefits if you’re doing it right. So, let’s unpack how to effectively leverage the power of SMS marketing:
- Designate a marketing team — It’s important to have a team and designated roles for making sure your SMS marketing is smooth and successful. This includes roles for using the program itself, a retail professional, people to create and implement physical and digital content announcing the SMS program, social media and marketing professionals to get the word out, and roles to analyze ROI and budget.
- Know your customers — Using a CRM platform in conjunction with your SMS marketing campaigns will ensure you’re sending the correct messages and campaigns to the correct segmented customers.
- Be clear — The first “S” in SMS stands for short, and that’s absolutely right! Your messages need to be clear and engaging, all within a 160 character limit.
- Include CTAs — Similar to being clear, your CTAs must also be concise and to the point. Some examples include “show this text” for in-person offers or CTAs for text with hyperlinks such as “buy now” or “click here.” Keep it simple!
- Send messages at the right time — You’ll need to effectively plan your campaigns to send out at key moments. This is often right before a sale or promotion, not days in advance. Of course, do also use common sense and avoid sending automated messages to customers at odd hours of the night or evening. Try to keep everything between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. as much as possible.
- Encourage new sign-ups — Your SMS marketing is only effective if it keeps growing. To do that, you’ll need to make sure customers are always signing up and opting in. Market your SMS marketing by including CTAs to sign up on in-store signage, on social media, on your website, in email newsletters and elsewhere. Just be sure not to overdo it and come across as annoying!
- Prioritize your loyal customers — Your loyal customers are the ones who will be the first to make any purchase or take advantage of any deal. Be sure to devote additional time and resources in your SMS strategy to make sure they feel valued. This can include special offers and extra benefits!
Avoid These Mistakes
Not only are there things you need to make sure you’re doing right when it comes to SMS marketing, but there are also four important mistakes to avoid:
- Sending too many messages — Customers are already overwhelmed with marketing messages from other SMS campaigns, marketing emails, social media posts and more. Annoying your customers by sending messages too frequently or too many in a row is a sure-fire way to lose subscribers fast — and your ROI with them!
- Not including opt-out directions — Legally, you have to include a clear way for customers to opt-out from receiving your messages at any time. Besides that, it’s just common courtesy if you value your customers. Make sure that aside from the confirmation message they receive when they sign up, the first message they should also receive includes directions on what to do to unsubscribe at any time.
- Leaving out CTAs — Finally, leaving out your CTAs makes your marketing messages nearly pointless. If you want to see an increase in sales and conversions, be sure to always include one of those quick but clear CTAs we mentioned earlier.
- Forgetting introductions — Forgetting to introduce your business or organization in your first SMS marketing message is a fast track to getting blocked and put on a spam list. Make sure your customers know that it’s you who’s messaging them!
Reach Customers Better with Automated SMS Marketing Services
Now that you’ve heard what a difference SMS marketing can make for your business, we’re sure you want to get started with it right away! The best way to ensure that your SMS marketing is managed properly is with the help of digital marketing specialists. Virtual Stacks Systems UK offers SMS text marketing services for UK businesses looking to connect better with their customers. Contact us today to take your marketing to the next level!