Written by: Shadz Loresco on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)
“Dear Diner, you have an upcoming reservation at La Pergola today. Save up to 30% when you purchase a voucher with us via Pergola. Terms and Conditions apply.”
I’m sure you must have seen similar promotional text messages on your mobile phones. The messages are short and thoughtful, and it has the potential to grab the attention of the recipient.
The message also serves as a reminder, which is a very important factor when it comes to marketing.
If you want your customers to remember something about your business, it has to be memorable and meaningful.
And what better way than through SMS Marketing?
Let’s take a look at why SMS Marketing is the best thing in business.
What is SMS Marketing
SMS marketing means sending marketing messages by text to communicate with customers. Businesses can use SMS to send promotional messages, notifications, and alerts to their customers’ mobile phones.
This can include things like special offers, discounts, and event invitations.
SMS marketing is often used as a means to reach customers quickly and effectively, as most people have their mobile phones with them at all times.
According to Statista, the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has become so widespread that these handheld electronics have become almost indispensable tools for reaching customers.
As more than half of the global population uses them to access the internet, businesses from around the world are seizing this opportunity to promote their products and services online.
SMS marketing is extremely effective, with high engagement and conversion rates, as well as lower costs than many other forms of marketing.
It’s also more personal, fostering stronger customer relationships between businesses and their consumers.
For successful SMS marketing, businesses that rely on text message as a primary means of reaching existing customers must comply with the local laws and structure their campaigns correctly. They also need to provide leads that are easily traceable and useful.
Best practices for SMS Marketing
Text marketing requires sales representatives to maximize the benefits customers receive from interaction with their company while minimizing the amount of time and effort customers have to invest in that interaction.
To get your SMS marketing services off to a good start, let’s consider these 6 best practices.
- Make sure you have a clear opt-in
It is important to ask for written permission from your subscribers before you send them any kind of message via SMS. Your message should include words like ‘Subscribe’, ‘Yes’, or ‘Deals’.
Similarly, make sure your recipients have a clear way to opt out of receiving your messages. You can configure these keywords to specific lists for easy campaign management.
- Be SMS compliant
Businesses that send text messages to customers should consider partnering with global SMS providers to ensure they are compliant with regulations.
Such providers offer the added protection of a secure authorization process, allowing companies to avoid penalties for noncompliance and keep their brands above reproach.
- Don’t bombard your customers
Sending too many text messages will mark you as a spammer, but sending too few leave your customers wondering about your business.
By localizing the content, managing dissemination times across multiple time zones, and segmenting customers to create individual experiences, you can keep them engaged with consistently interesting experiences.
A steady messaging schedule is key to a successful text message campaign and keeping your customers in the loop.
- Keep texts short and thoughtful
To ensure that people read your messages, keep them brief and to the point. Long messages can cause users to stop reading or even opt out of receiving future messages from you.
Also, text messages are limited to 160 characters, so it’s smart to grab your customer’s attention with an exciting greeting and then relay details about the coupon or special offer.
For example, “Come to our restaurant and receive a 15% discount on your meal by texting YES to 123456789.”
- Identify yourself
Don’t assume that your customers have your number in their mobile phone contacts. If you want them to open the message and read further, start by identifying yourself immediately.
You can do this by putting your brand name at the start of the message, followed by a colon. For example, “Smith Restaurant: Come in today and receive a 15% discount on your meal.” Businesses should also use local numbers for their customers, as this lowers their OPEX (operational costs).
- Offer 2-way communication services
When offering two-way communication, be quick and responsive. If your text messages include live chat or call links, you can personalize your service by pairing customers with the same agent they may have communicated with earlier. Keep the channel open to receive feedback from customers and respond to their inquiries.
You can also use the channel to send out surveys, which is a great way to collect feedback and improve your business.
Schedule these series of messages so that they are automatically sent out at a certain time of day or week. If you want to make sure people have received their message, include an “SMS Read Receipt” link so customers can confirm whether they did in fact receive them.
SMS Marketing campaigns
You’ll find many SMS marketing platforms that can help you send bulk text messages, personalize them, and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Most platforms have an API that allows developers to integrate SMS into existing systems.
You can also use these tools to track when people open the message and click on links within it—as well as which ones they choose not to open.
If you’re planning to send SMS messages in bulk, it’s important to choose a platform that has strong scalability and reliability. Many platforms also offer mobile apps that will allow you to view reports and manage campaigns on the go.
Create and send scalable campaigns that are customized to your target audience and your message content. SMS and WhatsApp campaigns can be used to send promotional or transaction-related messages for marketing purposes.
SMS sounds primitive but it’s still powerful
The power of SMS is undeniable; it’s the most effective way to reach your target audience and drive action. With the right messaging, you can build trust and rapport with your customers, increase brand loyalty, improve customer retention rates, and boost sales.
For businesses with limited resources, it can be overwhelming to identify which channels to use for marketing.
Fortunately, SMS is an inexpensive and effective channel that can be used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies.
SMS marketing is on the rise because it works—when done correctly, it reaches 95% of mobile users. To ensure your campaign is a success, you’ll need a sophisticated SMS service provider that can support your mobile marketing programs.
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