Author: Mairead Walsh, Account Manager -Channel Partners at MessageMedia
Congratulations, your customers have trusted you with the key to their most personal place – their phone, I have no doubt it has taken a lot of hard work to earn their trust. Because of the intimacy of this channel, SMS marketing can drive great results, but only if used appropriately.
I started working at MessageMedia around 4 years ago, and believe me when I say I have seen all kinds of different results when it comes to SMS marketing. Some campaigns have succeeded and delivered outstanding results to our customers, whilst some campaigns have failed miserably. Why? All those successful campaigns have had a few things in common so based on my experience, I have compiled this list of 7 invaluable SMS marketing tips.
1. Introduce yourself
Imagine this, you write up a perfect marketing message with this fantastic offer that customers just won’t be able to resist, but there is one thing missing; your brand name. Hundreds of purchase ready customers will be roaming the streets looking for the shop that offered them a special deal, but will never find it. Probably not ideal, so don’t forget to make it obvious the offer is coming from you. You might even want to change the sender ID to your brand name to make it super obvious (remember you still need to offer your customers a way to opt out though, to be spam compliant, more info below).
2. Make the offer clear
Everyone is pressured for time nowadays, so getting a SMS that doesn’t add any value whatsoever can annoy anyone, even your customers. Make it clear what they will benefit from redeeming the offer they just received, and you will enjoy higher return and lower opt out rates.
3. Make it relevant
Sending a promotion for adult drapers to a teenager probably won’t get great results. As SMS is such a personal marketing channel, the more personal you can get, the better. For example, you might want to offer a discount on chocolate bars to someone who buys them regularly but hasn’t been in the store for a while.
One of the great benefits of SMS is that it is an immediate communication channel. Usually, your message gets delivered seconds after you hit send, and people usually read it within 5 minutes. This means you can be super specific when it comes to what time you want your customers to see your offer. If you have a lunch special you want to promote, schedule the message to be sent at 11am, as this is when customers start to think about what to have for lunch. Or if you have a limited time offer, send one message at the start of the offer period, and one just hours before it expires to add a bit of urgency.
5. Personalise it
You have probably gathered so far that SMS is a personal communication channel, so why not use it to build a more personal connection with your customers? Starting the message with a “Hi John”, rather than just “Hi” makes your customers feel just a little bit more special. Depending on your brand’s personality you might even say “Whazzap John” or “Dear John”, the possibilities are endless.
6. Call to Action
What would any marketing efforts be without the good old CTA? Probably not as effective.. Make it clear what the customer should do next, be it clicking on a link to a landing page, using the included promotion code, or come by the store and show the SMS to redeem your offer.
A last little tips that can make your SMS marketing even more effective; make your customer feel like part of an exclusive club. As mentioned previously, you have worked hard to earn your ticket into your customer’s phone, make them feel special for trusting you, for example by including a promotion code in the SMS that is just used for this channel, send them VIP updates on sales or notifications when their favorite brand is back in stock. Soon, they will wait eagerly for your next SMS and opt out rates will be minimal.
When you send a promotional message to your contacts, you do need to include a way for them to Opt Out to be SPAM compliant. The most commonly used Opt Out is “Reply stop to OptOut”. As mentioned in tips number 1 above, you can change your sender ID to have the message appear from a name rather than a phone number, however, this takes away the ability for recipients to reply to your message. A workaround here is to also have a dedicated number active, and in this case, your Opt Out could look like this: “Send STOP to 0401234567 to OptOut”. If you would like more information regarding these features, feel free to contact us.