Creating a successful SMS marketing campaign can be a difficult task when you consider mobile marketing is still relatively new in the ever-shifting digital landscape. And while SMS has been around for a long, long, time, SMS marketing has never looked more appealing.
It’s one of those nifty little platforms that is often under utilised and overlooked for the exact reason that makes it such a powerhouse. It's simplicity. Just because SMS is in relative terms an old technology, and just because SMS is in relative terms a very simple technology, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pack a punch. In fact, the opposite is true.
Take SMS open rates for example. Because SMS is such a trusted and widely used feature of the mobile device (smartphone or otherwise), it boasts an incredible open rate of 97%, the large majority of which are opened within three minutes of being received. Beyond the open-rates, and unlike other marketing platforms, SMS requires basically no ad copy, design issues will never delay its implementation, it’s easy to track and measure, it’s cheap and is trusted by most mobile users. It has the ability to carve a direct pathway to your target market’s pockets.
Nevertheless, just like any other marketing avenue, in order for SMS to get you the best results it needs to be done right. It is not some magical panacea that’s going to do away with all your marketing woes all by itself. You, its implementer, have to make it work for you. SMS has the potential; you have to use it.
So with all that being said, let’s take a look at five tips to help you create a successful SMS marketing campaign.
The Value Proposition
This is number one on the list, and it is by far the most important.
If you’re thinking, ‘Well isn’t that obvious?’ you’d be right. But it needs to be said. When sending an SMS to your customers / clients, remember this: you are inviting yourself into people’s personal space. So remember to make your customers’ choice to opt in worth their time. Do—hold a contest with a prize for the winner. Do—a giveaway. Do—offer an exclusive (and awesome!) deal. Don’t, however, make an offer that can be found in other places. Don’t—waste people’s time with unremarkable discounts. Remember, the SMS is a safe space. Don’t—abuse that privilege. Be a good guest.
Keep it Personal
A question: Would you open a generic letter in your mailbox bearing the riveting title, Addressed to the Home Owner? The answer is (probably… I should hope) a resounding No!
If you’re going to invite yourself into someone’s private space then, make sure that the way in which you communicate with that person is conversational and personal. You want your customers to look upon your business as they might a trusted friend, not as some faceless entity that treats them like another number. Keep your messages short and sweet. Here’s an example of what we mean: ‘Hi, Sam. Thank you for visiting. We can’t wait to see you again soon. Next time you’re in, show this MSG to receive 20% off your next purchase.’
Consistency Saved the Cat
If curiosity killed the cat, consistency is what brought it back from the dead.
As a general rule of thumb, people don’t like surprises. People like consistency. And in the case of SMS marketing, this rule holds truer than ever.
First of all, at the time someone chooses to opt in, you want her to know what she’s opting in to. Having a little explaining sentence like 'Enter your mobile number to receive exclusive updates about new products, clearance sales, and giveaways' is a great way to make clear what people can expect to receive from you at the time they gives you their personal information.
Similarly, it’s important that you stick to it. Don’t be that friend who always promises he’s going to call but never does. Be reliable. Be consistent. And you’ll be rewarded.
An Integrated Mobile Experience
It’s important to understand that an SMS campaign doesn’t exist in isolation from the rest of your mobile marketing efforts (or indeed your general marketing efforts).
Clickable WAP links embedded into an SMS make directing your customers to the right place easy. That being said, if you’re going to direct people to your site, make sure your site is responsive, i.e. mobile friendly. Also keep in mind that the easier you make it for your customers to do a certain thing, the more likely they will do it.
Creating a Sense of Urgency
Even if you’ve sent out an SMS that is friendly, well phrased, personal, and of great value, there’s no guarantee your customer will actually follow through. Maximize your chances of getting people to do what you want them to do by creating a sense of urgency. If you’re offering a discount coupon, for example, make sure to clearly state that the offer’s only good for a week.