How You Can Succeed With SMS Marketing
Sean McGowanOctober 16th, 20173 minute read
Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.
Every successful marketing team recognizes the importance of targeting to the most engaged sect of their company’s customer base. These are the consumers that align themselves with your brand, that resonate with your message, and that reliably convert.
Identifying this valuable subpopulation can be difficult. You can try digging through your KPI data, or use a CRM program with a robust, highly granular tracking feature.
But what if I told you there’s a simpler, almost hassle free way to pinpoint these dedicated customers? And what if, by this same method of location, you could reach out to them through a channel that has a staggering 98% open rate and 32% conversion rate?
This is the power of SMS marketing. By offering the ability to send relevant, value-oriented texts to your customers, you create a sort of filter. Receiving texts is a personal, intimate interaction—the customers who opt for this service are almost certainly your most engaged clients.
So now that you’ve identified your best customers the most hassle-free way possible (having them do it for you), now you can tap into this valuable faction by employing the best practices for SMS marketing, which Codal has laid out in this article.
Though this has already been taken care of in this theoretical situation we’ve laid out here (by opting in to receive text messages, customers are giving their consent), I’m reiterating it here because it is the foundation of any SMS marketing campaign.
Failing to get clear permission from the recipients of your text campaign not only annoys the customer and reflects poorly on your business, but also can lead to legal trouble as well.
If you already track your customer’s phone number, your first text to them should be a request for consent, usually by prompting them to simply reply with a keyword or shortcode. This ensures your customers are explicitly allowing you to contact them with promotional texts.
Clearly Demonstrating Value
As I’ve mentioned, it’s unlikely a large swath of your customers will opt-in for text messages. Text messages are a highly personal medium, where we conduct some of our most private communications. SMS campaigns cater to your most loyal customers, but even they won’t opt-in if you don’t explicitly demonstrate the value of doing it.
This marketing text clearly demonstrates value: a 2-for-1 deal (Source)
The question “Why would I want to receive messages from you?” needs to be immediately, and succinctly, answered. Remember, this is a text. Nobody wants to read a novel on iMessage, so keep in mind the limited amount of characters you have to work with.
Now that the formalities have been addressed, we can dive into the true promotional content of your SMS messages. The first rule is to refrain from using ‘textspeak’ and popular abbreviations or substitutions as much as possible.
The first example is obviously more professional, and it evokes legitimacy. The second is less readable, less formal, and may even be mistaken as spam by the customer. Again, do not user text shorthand unless absolutely necessary—the characters you free up because of it aren’t worth it.
Notice how the positive example almost immediately demonstrates value—if you continue to opt-in to these texts, you’ll receive an exclusive deal.
Which brings us to another important technique in SMS marketing: injecting the texts with an air of exclusivity. If your customers feel as if they’re a part of a select few, or that they’re members of an exclusive club, they’re likely to continue opting-in to receive SMS messages.
Too Many Texts!
Both the timing & frequency that customers receive your texts are essential in the creation of a successful SMS campaign. The frequency pitfall should be obvious—no customer, no matter how much they love your brand, will to want to receive multiple text messages a day from you.
Text Overload! (Source)
But how regularly should you be sending text messages? The general rule of thumb is 2-4 texts a month; any more, and your customers could get annoyed. Any less, and it may not sufficiently deliver the value that the customer was expecting when they signed up.
If you have enough characters left in your SMS messages, you can be upfront about the amount of messages a customer should expect to receive—it’s likely they’ll appreciate the transparency.
These are just some of the basics to construct an effective, customer-friendly SMS marketing campaign. In fact, SMS messaging is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile marketing.
As the smartphone continues to ingrain itself into our everyday lives and processes, the more value it has as a marketing conduit. Whether it’s an SMS campaign, a native app, or a mobile-optimized website, Codal can help you build digital solutions that convert customers and grow your business.