What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is a method of marketing that is administered through the means of text messaging. Whether it is a current special you are running or new arrivals, sending a text to your customers to alert them is a quick and easy way to get your message to the right people at the right time.
Why should I use SMS marketing?
Let’s start with a few questions. How many times a day do you get an email? How many times a day do you actually check your email?
Now, how many times a day do you check your phone and respond to messages? In this day and age, one can only assume that answering your phone in comparison to answering your email is a landslide of a difference!
According to ManyChat, an SMS messaging marketing platform, “The average open rate for an SMS campaign is as high as 98% while email rings in at just 20%”. On average, 98% of your audience is going to open your text message and see the sale you are having, or the new product line launch this upcoming weekend. 98% is a huge percentage!
If you aren’t sold yet, let’s dive a little deeper.
In the marketing field, time is of the essence. Time is the most valuable resource and there is NOT enough of it, especially if you are a business owner. Although informative, monthly emails are valuable, it takes time to construct a nice branded piece packed with information. Having to do that weekly, or even a few times a week, can be less time-effective than SMS marketing. SMS marketing is just as simple as sending any text.
No need to worry about font size and color, no background images, and no branding needed! It is as easy as typing out a message and sending it out. It will then reach tens, hundreds, or thousands of your recipients. *wipes hands clean*
What are the best practices of SMS marketing?
1. Get Permission / Opt-In
One of the top best practices of SMS marketing is to make sure that your recipients are opted-in or have permitted you to text them. The best way to do so is to have them check a box when providing you with their phone number that gives you consent or to make it known that if you provide us with your phone number, you are consenting to receive text messages.
Another great way is to have them opt in directly for your text messages. One of the best ways to do this is through a QR code. Displaying a QR code at checkout, on tables, or even on handouts where your customers can scan the code and it will pull up a text message with your phone number and text word, then all they will have to do is press send to opt-in.
2. Offer Value / Exclusivity
When building your audience for SMS marketing, remember that these customers have given you their phone numbers, and agreed to let you text them. This is probably the most personal way a business can connect with its customers.
The least you can do in return is offer them exclusivity! Make signing up for texts worthwhile. Rather than just a means of communication, offer your contacts discount codes, sneak previews, or private events. Let them know that you appreciate their loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
3. Personalization / Identification
Personalization and identification are two little details that can go a long way. First and foremost, it is so important that when sending a text you identify yourself. Starting a message with your business name followed by a colon is a simple way to clarify who you are if your contacts don’t have your number saved.
Along with identification, personalization is another simple way to catch your readers’ attention. When you initially collect their contact information, try to save as many fields as possible. When constructing your text, add a merge tag of your contact’s first name to add a touch of personalization. Saving additional fields can also help you segment your audience allowing you to send specific messages to specific groups.
4. Be Consistent & Know Your Boundaries
Consistency is great, but there is always a line that should not be crossed. Allow variety in your messages and keep a consistent theme throughout the month. It is good to have a promotional message, an informational message, and a personal message.
The promotional messages can be discount codes or highlighting sale items, the informational message can be about upcoming sales events or product launches, and the personal message can thank customers for shopping or ask for feedback about their experience.
Asking customers for feedback is also a good way to establish those boundaries early on, however, a good rule of thumb is to send at least one text a week but not exceeding 10-12 messages a month. (https://blog.recart.com/)
5. Provide An Unsubscribe Option
As much as we hate to see it, providing our contacts with an option to unsubscribe is imperative. Including “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” is a simple way to let customers know they have the choice.
Now where we must include unsubscribing options, that’s certainly not the goal. Following the best practices listed above is a great way to gain and retain your SMS customers.
To wrap things up with a nice little bow on top, if you aren’t utilizing SMS marketing, what are you waiting for? There really isn’t a more efficient way to reach your customer base with personalized offers and promotions. Having a diverse marketing mix is important but with a 98% open rate, the numbers speak for themselves.
Text message marketing is here and is taking over. If you’re already texting customers, kudos to you, but be sure to follow the best practices to maximize your efforts! If not, reach out to us and we are happy to help you get started!