SMS marketing has been an effective marketing channel over the years and presents a huge opportunity for your business. It is easy, quick, brief, common and a preferred means of communicating among most people.
Statistics show that 98% of all SMS are opened; 90% of that read within three minutes. It is no wonder that most businesses have resorted to SMS marketing and are finding interesting ways of attracting and retaining customers.
Whichever industry you find yourself in, SMS presents the easiest and perfect opportunity to reach your customers while presenting a huge opportunity for your business to grow its customer base. Here are a few points to note in maximizing SMS for your brand.
Before you begin your SMS Campaign
Understand your goals and define your objectives
In order achieve success with SMS Marketing, you need to know what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase the number of customers, or be the go-to business for industry specific information? What will your SMS campaigns achieve within a given period? Without this, you will run a marketing campaign without a specific aim and cannot measure its success or otherwise.
Know your customers
Knowing your customers is important for any business, without which you will assume your services or products are for anyone, which may not be the case. Successful businesses know who their customers are, their ages, gender, occupation, hobbies, tastes and interests.
Apart from tailoring services or products to suit your customers based on the knowledge you have about them, it also helps you profile them and know how best to engage. For example, you will know when to contact customers who have a busy work schedule; you will also know what kind of lingua appeals to the youth most, which kind of customers like to hang out on Friday nights, etc.
How you can use SMS
If you are a brand that consistently launches new products, SMS offers your existing customers the opportunity to be the first to try or view it. Launching a new product is all about getting attention and getting it fast; and who better than your customers who will spread the word by forwarding the message to others? They will build the initial buzz thus making subsequent marketing efforts easier. Even more, make them feel extremely important by giving them VIP passes for the product launch (if it entails an event), discounts or free samples. Whatever you settle on, it is a win-win for both you and the customer. Remember that your customer is the best brand ambassador you could ever have.
Informing your customers about what is happening is a great way to give your customers a positive experience. If you are extending your closing times or not opening within a particular period, let them know. A new inclusion on the menu or change in product/service price has be communicated to your customers promptly.
Send confirmation SMS to customers if your business requires that you inform customers of an action taken by them or on their behalf. Let the customer know that their order has been received and is being processed. Your help center can send an SMS to any customer who registers a complaint or requests assistance via email, This keeps your company top of mind.
Personalize Your Messages
Once you get to know who your customers are and built detailed profiles, you can personalise messages and communicate directly with them. It could be as simple as including their name in the message or sending them wishes on their birthdays or anniversaries. Make them feel special. Personalizing your messages goes a long way to establish long term relationships, increase engagement and build brand loyalty.
Make it fun and give incentives
Running SMS promos are fun ways to gain new prospects and increase brand loyalty . Run a Text-And-Win promo which will require people to text a keyword to a short code assigned to you, and winning something in return. Promos like this are more effective when incentives are provided. For example, a barbering shop can offer a free haircut.
Send regular well-timed messages to your customers. We all like consistency and when things do not go as expected, we get disappointed. It is the same with SMS messaging. Once your customers receive messages at regular intervals, at specific times, they look forward to hearing from you. This does not mean you should send them messages every time. Develop a schedule and stick to it.
Use concise call to actions
The aim of a call to action is to compel your prospects and customers to do what you want. Your messages must have a clear call to action; one that prompts them to make a purchase, use your services or place a phone call to you.
Promote your keywords and short codes on other media channels; TV, radio, print, email, social media and your website. Also share the same communication sent via SMS on these channels, and reach your audience with one unique message.
Businesses thrive on feedback received from customers, whether positive or not, they inform best practices and SMS is a two-way channel which enables your customers to rate their experience with your brand.
After you put in all the effort to engage customers, you need to know if it is working or not. It’s important to monitor whatever activity goes on with your SMS marketing. If you run a campaign to acquire new customers, you should be able to tell how many you got within that period. Identify the periods that brought in more customers oh how often your existing customers returned. Keeping track of helps make informed marketing decisions.