SMS Marketing is a strategy that consists of sending promotional campaigns through messages, namely SMS, designed to communicate promotions, offers and updates to people who have given their consent to receive messages directly on their smartphones.
SMS has a high open rate, as it is an immediate mean of communication frequently used by potential customers. This strategy can prove critical to one’s goals, including developing the company-customer relationship.
What are some tips for making the most of this strategy?
First steps of SMS Marketing
Before starting an SMS Marketing strategy, it is important to make some considerations.
First, it is necessary to have the consent of the contacts you are going to reach to avoid both people who are not interested in our communication and a low open rate, both two risks of this strategy.
Consent can be requested explicitly by posting a notice within the physical store and/or website or through a loyalty card that customers receive once they fill out a document requesting consent to receive SMS.
Regarding this issue, we often talk about opt-in, also known as permission marketing, which is an option in which the user expresses their willingness to be placed on a mailing list, possible in both SMS marketing and email marketing.
Once consent has been requested, it is important to segment the contact database into specific clusters according to certain categories, such as geographic area, behavioral or demographic data. Using dedicated CRM platforms, it is then possible to split the collected contacts and create specific lists, useful for sending specific messages. This partition allows for more effective communication aimed at a target audience in line with the business needs.
Other aspects that should not be underestimated are the temporal cadence and the time you’re sending the communications. This can be analyzed by studying the behavior of our own clientele and observing previous campaigns. Messages are often opened immediately as opposed to emails, and the timing with which communications are sent must adhere to some basic rules, including a time that is line with what we need to convey to potential customers. As a matter of fact, it is advisable to send SMS at times when they can be read within a short time and it’s better to avoid holidays, Sundays, or late evening times.
The structure of an SMS
Once the first steps have been taken, you can proceed with setting up an appropriate structure for your communication and, above all, with inserting the basic information needed by customers.
When sending a message, it is important to include the company name in the foreground, as it will be one of the first elements that will allow the SMS to be opened, as well as generate curiosity and interest in viewing the content. Companies often send messages through short codes, and this does not allow people to recognize the sender, an element that often leads to low open rates.
Another element to consider is to highlight the most important data that you want to communicate, that are the ones that need to be remembered. Locations, hours, places, offers and prices must be clearly visible to customers as they will allow conversions and greater interest.
If there are links in the message, it will be necessary to make them accessible and properly linked to the relevant site to make navigation faster and more effective.
Another important aspect is the length of the message: SMS, as the name Short Message Service suggests, are short and effective communications. In a few lines you can express what you need without running into long texts that would risk being ignored or even cut off from the preview on your smartphone. For these reasons, it is necessary to choose words that are appropriate to the context and a tone of voice that is consistent with the company image and can catch the customer’s attention.
Another interesting tip regarding message writing is to include a customized field adding the recipient’s name. This will bring the customer even closer to the company, making them feel part of it.
Different types of SMS
SMS Marketing involves two types of messages, to be sent according to communication objectives:
- SMS involving campaigns with one-to-many texts used to communicate promotions and coupons or general information such as event details and/or alerts.
- Transactional SMS with one-to-one texts that are sent when there’s a specific event, such as a shipping notification. These messages communicate important information that affects only one person.
Why should you use an SMS marketing strategy?
SMS marketing strategies can help when integrated with a digital marketing one. Having an additional channel for communications can be beneficial and it encourages more interaction with customers, as the engagement rate of SMS turns out to be much higher than that of email. From different analysis, it emerged that 90% of SMS sent are read within 3 minutes of receipt.
So, with the spread of smartphones, almost all potential customers can be reached by one of our messages much more quickly than by an email, although SMS marketing can be considered complementary to email marketing. Emails can include more detailed information, while messages are more suitable for urgent, schematic, and quick communication.
What can I use this strategy for?
Sending offers and promotions via SMS allows you to attract more customers to your store and/or site. This tool turns out to be the most suitable when you want to offer limited-time discounts and need to notify as many people as possible in real time.
Messages are undoubtedly very useful for updates and communications regarding events but also as reminders for appointments and shipments. There are several businesses that use this tool for day-to-day activities. One example is travel agencies that often inform customers about reservations, cancellations, and flights in real time. This is also the case, as mentioned earlier, for e-commerce that can send confirmation of an order or shipment.
But SMS prove to be very useful also for smaller businesses such as gyms and stores that send promotional messages to communicate discounts and offers.
To sum up, SMS marketing is a strategy that can be applied in different contexts and complementary to an email marketing plan. An SMS is often preferred to an email because of its direct line to the customer, reliability, and high open rate. It is a tool that should be included in a company’s strategy, as it brings a variety of benefits and, above all, it can be customized according to your own needs.
Inform and Engage Your Audience, Promote and Grow Your Business!
SMS and Email: essential communication tools for businesses, and leveraging them is an important aspect of engaging with your community