What is SMS marketing?
SMS Marketing, or text message marketing, is the act of sending transactional messages, promotional campaigns, news or updates to existing customers.
Developing relationships with customers requires a lot of work, we know. So if you want to start building relationships with new customers, you simply can’t wait for them to come to you – you have to be proactive and lead the way. So how do we reach them? Well, send a text message!
SMS marketing is often more personal than other forms of marketing. Furthermore, due to the fact that a majority of consumers today are constantly bombarded with social alerts, it is common to turn off notifications. Therefore, if you want to market in real time, a text message is the way to go.
The following article is an attempt to guide you through the Sms Marketing steps and equip you with all the knowledge necessary to understand them – so let’s dive right in!
Step #1: Plan for success
Set the vision for your SMS strategy. Firstly, it might be helpful to start off by defining the value proposition and goal. On that note, it is great to answer questions like “what are the advantages for customers receiving our messages?” and “what do we wish to achieve through our SMS marketing strategy?”.
As you get started with creating your SMS strategy, you’ll want to set a plan for how to encourage customers to join your list. Create a solid list of contacts, and all your SMS marketing efforts won’t go in vain.
Step #2: Define the audience
We recommend you to start by sending out a thousand messages to random people. Or no. We do not recommend that. In fact, that will make you end up on the blacklist. It is quite common today that businesses do not find that “sweet spot”, i.e. to find the ideal amount of texts to send in order to engage with the customers. So, if you do not want to end up on the blacklist, make sure you have gotten permission. It’s crucial to get confirmation from the customer that they want to subscribe. One simple way to do that is to thank the customers for subscribing and ask them to confirm their subscription with a simple Yes or No.
Start to gather data about your existing customers, social media followers, subscribers and website users. It’s beneficial to use an SEO tool to identify your key competitors to get an idea of who and what they are targeting. Furthermore, it is a good idea to develop user personas in order to understand the customer better. One easy way to start mapping out customer personas is to use a CRM. A CRM also enables you to create advanced segments and build automated workflows.
Step #3: Define the goals
Once you have identified the audience, it is time to set up your SMS marketing goals. Here, we recommend defining goals that are relevant, but also measurable. It is important to identify the specific KPIs to work towards, in order to be able to measure the performance of your content. Factors to consider to evaluate the success of a text campaign could for example be the opt-out rate, CTR or the percentage of discount codes used generated from the text.
Step #4: Analyze the existing content
Does your content include a clear call-to-action? And is it up to date? If not, it is necessary to adjust accordingly to be up to date. Moreover, we suggest revising the content if it doesn’t meet the requirements for the intended stage of the customer lifecycle. By the way, if you are interested in the customer lifecycle and the email funnel strategy – we recommend you to read this article as well. It is a great article, explaining how to create an email marketing funnel for conversion!
Step #5: Offer an option to unsubscribe
It might not be the first thing you think about when creating an SMS marketing strategy. However, it is crucial to offer an unsubscribe option.
We recommend making it as easy as possible for the customers to opt-out of your SMS marketing at any time they wish. There are several ways to show the customer that this is an alternative, such as including an unsubscribe link or giving them the option to reply to the message with “STOP”. And once again, if you want to make the most out of your text message marketing, it is beneficial to use a CRM. It enables your business to schedule send outs, set up predefined templates and create workflows to target different segments, and in turn, achieve higher engagement rate. Furthermore, through a CRM it is possible to keep track of subscriber statuses to ensure compliance.
It is important to respect and honor opt-outs, and if the customer wishes to opt out it needs to be adjusted immediately. Otherwise, there is a great risk that these customers will be annoyed. And, in turn, it will probably result in negative feedback from frustrated customers. Therefore, provide the best customer experience to all your customers, including the ones that have chosen to opt out.
Would you like to learn more about SMS marketing possibilities for your business?
Feel free to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to guide you!