by Juan Robin II
If you’re not leveraging the power mobile devices for your marketing campaigns, you’re missing out.
Internet usage from mobile devices is crushing traditional, desktop internet use.
You’ve got to meet your customers where they’re at. And, obviously, there on mobile devices.
While apps, email, and social channels are all great ways to connect with potential customers on mobile, one of the simplest and most effective ways to reach people is through SMS marketing.
If you’ve been thinking about diving into SMS marketing– or just want to give your campaigns a boost–keep reading for a look at how to take your next SMS campaign to the next level.
What is SMS Marketing?
Short Message Service or SMS marketing is a marketing technique that takes advantage of permission-based text messaging to better connect with customers.
SMS marketing is a great way to quickly connect with customers and support other ongoing campaigns.
By nature, SMS is relational. Most mobile users are used to using text messaging for private conversations. Because of this, SMS recipients are much more likely to at least read, if not engage with, text messages.
SMS marketing is usually most effective when paired with other marketing channels like social media or email. It’s also best done at a highly personal level with customers who’ve opted into SMS communication.
Tip #1: Keep It Simple
One of the most important aspects of putting together a successful SMS campaign is creating a clear, simple message.
With text, you don’t have a whole lot of space–just 160 characters. So, you really have to maximize the space you’ve got.
Most SMS messages are read within several minutes after being received, so you’ve got to grab your reader’s attention quick without being too intrusive. Unlike email or other channels, a text recipient isn’t going to save a text to read later. You’ve got to grab their attention quickly and drive them toward your desired action.
Tip #2: Make Messages Timely
Marketing is all about timing and relevance. SMS marketing is no different.
But timing text messages can be tricky.
Unlike email, you can’t schedule a message for 5:00 AM and know they’ll read it later. Or social, where multiple, similar posts can be made throughout the day.
Pick a time that’s as close to when you’d like the recipient to take action as possible, and make your move.
Are you a restaurant running a lunch special? Reach out to your audience just before the lunch hour with a special offer.
Non-profit with a fundraising drive ending this evening? Text your list a few hours before it closes with an important update.
Tip #3: Create Clear Calls to Action
As we’ve already pointed out, you don’t have a lot of space in an SMS message. You’ve got just 160 characters to get your message across and get the recipient to take action.
Because of the space limitations, you’ve got to make your calls to action super clear. Just like your messages should be simple, calls to action must also be as brief and to the point as possible.
Whether you want recipients to respond, go to a link, or stop by your shop, make sure you make your message as clear as possible and even easier to actually follow through and complete.
Tip #4: Encourage Engagement
If SMS promotions are good for anything, it’s engagement.
Text messaging is personal, so step outside your box a little and try to encourage some engagement and connection with your customers.
You don’t have to strike up a conversation with each recipient, but see what you can do to get customers to respond or follow up with your brand based on the SMS message they receive.
Tip #5: Coordinate With Other Channels
One of the most powerful ways to use SMS marketing is by coordinating with other marketing channels.
You can do this right from the start by using email or social media to encourage subscribers or followers to sign up for mobile communication and receive a coupon or some other sort of promotion.
An SMS blast is also a prime candidate for a retargeting effort that ties into a social, email, or another campaign that recipients are already a part of.
Tip #6: Personalize Messaging
Personalization is key in modern marketing. And there are few channels more ripe for personalization than SMS marketing.
If you’re building an SMS database, make sure you’re tracking subscriber engagement and preferences. This data can then be used to personalize messages to your subscribers.
Using names and other individualized consumer data is also a great way to encourage engagement and increase overall conversion.
If you’re not collecting data on SMS subscribers, it’s time to start. If you’ve got the data, be sure you’re putting into action.
Tip #7: Stay Compliant and Respect Your Customers
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of SMS marketing is making sure you’re adhering to all applicable laws and respecting your customers.
Laws vary depending on where you’re located and the penalties can be steep for violations.
SMS messaging is also easy to abuse. The cost of sending messages is relatively low and it doesn’t require a lot of the extra work and planning that other marketing methods need like copy or design elements.
As you begin to take advantage of SMS’s power, be sure that you’re not abusing the platform’s simplicity. An experienced SMS marketing pro can help you learn more about the dos and don’ts of the platform.
Putting It All Together
An SMS campaign is a powerful marketing tool that’s only going to grow in potency.
Whether you’re already well into your own journey with SMS marketing or are just getting started, be sure to take full advantage of the platform by being personal, timely, and smart with your messaging.
Ready to learn more about digital marketing? Check out some of our other articles on SEO, AdWords, and more.