For companies big and small, the value of SMS marketing is a no-brainer. But doing it right takes plenty of careful planning and consideration.
Studies show that 91% of American consumers are within arm’s reach of their cellphone at all hours of the day. What this means for your company is that there is no way to reach your customers more effectively or efficiently than through their personal mobile devices. Best of all, because of the highly personal nature of cellphones, you can create a more personal connection with customers, which builds critically important brand loyalty.
As you implement a text marketing campaign, there are several guidelines you may want to follow in order to ensure that your campaign is optimally successful.
1. Keep it informational. Don’t send out a text to your customers unless the message is going to be useful to them. Always consider what will benefit the recipient, as these are the kinds of messages customers don’t mind getting from companies. Relevant promotional offers, special deals, and coupons are always welcome.
2. Be aware of “buying periods.” If you are a restaurant, for example, blasting out a text message just before dinner time will often be enough to persuade patrons to return to your establishment. According to the findings of a study conducted by Google, most diners decide where to eat either right before, or less than an hour before they actually eat. Sending out a message during either of these two periods would influence a consumer as he decides where to eat.
3. Use sweepstakes to build your list. If you entice consumers with the promise of a potential free prize, most people will be more than happy to put their cellphone number on your list. This is an easy way to build your database.
4. You don’t have to use the entire text message allowance. If you have less than 160 characters worth of information, send less than 160 characters. Never send more. People prefer short text messages.
5. Avoid text speak. Keep it grammatically correct and conversational. Try to avoid using any of the abbreviations or lingo rampant in text messaging today, as they can make your company look unprofessional.
6. Include links. Especially for connected mobile devices, a text message that encourages the reader to click on a link for more information will be very effective.
7. Keep your keywords to one word. Many companies use a keyword that is actually two words combined. A large percentage of customers will separate the words and render the text message useless.
8. Emphasize the offer. Write the “offer” part of your message in all-caps, making it easy for the eye to find amidst other information included in the message.
9. Make your subscribers feel special. Exclusivity is a fantastic incentive for many consumers, so make sure they know your company appreciates and values them. Instead of a message like “Thanks for opting-in,” when they sign up, send something like “You are now an elite mobile member!”
10. Open the channel to your social media presences. Use your text messages to encourage your customers to engage with you on Facebook and Twitter.