Text Message Marketing: Where the World is Going
Just a few decades ago, advertisers had limited options for pitching their products and services, and it was difficult to track the effectiveness of the traditional media they used for this purpose. Today’s consumers now carry messaging devices with them nearly all the time so, logistically speaking, companies should have an easier time reaching them. After all, the average number of times Americans check their phones is 47 times per day!
But easier access to information also brings increased competition by the many advertisers trying to get consumers’ attention. What’s the best way to reach prospective customers who are inundated with information and increasingly tuning out the deluge of ads coming their way? SMS – or short messaging service – may be the answer if your campaigns are executed properly.
SMS messages are those texts that pop up on a cell phone and convey what should be useful information to the recipient. People who receive these texts have opted to receive them, so they’re not regarded as spam.
Benefits of Using SMS to Communicate with Customers
Recent research has shown that SMS boasts some pretty impressive statistics:
- SMS messages have a 98% open rate.
- 90% of the messages are read within three minutes.
- Coupon redemption for SMS offers is 10% higher than other forms of couponing.
- 75% don’t mind receiving SMS texts from brands.
Industry experts predict that 48.7 million people will opt-in to SMS messages throughout 2020. That’s up from 23% in 2016. And 59% say that a promotional SMS text has led them to take action (e.g. visiting a store or a brand’s website).
Build a Database of Customers
There’s certainly a good case to be made for using SMS marketing to reach customers. But first you need to get access to their phone numbers, and people are not too keen to give up that information unless you give them a compelling reason to do so. What are the best ways to motivate people to opt-in?
- Start with a good offer – something they can’t get any other way. If they can get the same offer by visiting your website or responding to an ad on a different medium, there’s no incentive to opt-in.
- But do use your website to promote the keyword you want them to text – and make sure it’s a keyword that’s memorable. Using pop-ups on your site can be an effective way to get the offer in front of them before they bounce to another site.
- Promote your SMS updates across social media: Your social media content can be utilized to promote SMS subscriber updates and a chance for a customer to opt-in.
- Use Email marketing to promote your SMS efforts. Persuade the customers you’ve already captured by using email campaigns to promote the advantages and incentives of SMS.
Find Ways to Stand Out in the Crowd
Even though someone opted in once to get information or learn about a deal doesn’t mean that all of your future texts will be received favorably. You must continue to provide value based on what you know about your customers. Anything you can do that’s perceived to be uniquely beneficial will persuade them to stay rather than unsubscribe. But remember not to blow up their phones with messages. Too many messages can make a good relationship turn sour.
Use some of these tried-and-true techniques to keep customers interested:
- Run Promotions/Notify Customers of Upcoming Sales: A reminder is helpful, but what’s especially compelling is a discount they can receive only by responding to the text. If it’s not a unique offer, it won’t be seen as useful, and that could hurt future SMS efforts.
- Run Competitions: Everybody likes to win things, especially a product that they like. Even short messages such as “Reply WIN to ######” can significantly drive customer engagement.
- Improve Your Customer Service: Proactive customer service always beats the alternative – waiting on hold to talk to a rep. Communicating with your customers in this way shows you value their time. It also allows them to have a record of any transaction or information that was exchanged. There are at least two ways this can work: 1) a customer could reach out to Support on the website and opt-in for SMS text messaging; or 2) an entirely proactive and automated text would appear when the product is either ordered or delivered.
- Provide Personalized Tips and Advice: Here’s another way for companies to add value when a product is delivered. But if your firm has access to detailed demographic and other customer information, you could fine-tune and personalize the text even further. It’s not enough just to use the person’s first name in the text – knowing more about their needs can help build trust in the relationship and lead to increased loyalty.
- Appointment Reminders: No-shows can be a huge drain on a business, especially if you’re in the service industry. By periodically reminding a customer of an upcoming appointment, you connect with him/her on a personal level and you save your business time and expense.
- Get Product Feedback: Customers love to offer their opinions – especially if they feel that what they tell you will be beneficial for them in future transactions.
- Upsell Products: Follow up a specific customer’s purchase with a message that offers a discount on another relevant product. For example, if someone purchases a lawnmower, you could text a special offer for a string trimmer or a leaf blower.
- Direct to Your Website or Other Important Online Real Estate: Your customer may appreciate knowing where to find other relevant or useful information about the product or service they just purchased. Most likely, you’d direct to your website, but you could also send them to your social media pages or let them know about a new podcast.
Hire Experts to Plan and Create Your SMS Campaign
An SMS campaign can be extremely impactful, but its success depends on the messaging you send out in your texts. The experts at Amplihigher specialize in creating results-driven short-form sales copy. Contact us to learn how we can help to boost your brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales.