SMS marketing. The best improvement ideas that we know!

Looking for a fast, convenient and easy to use way to tell your customers about your newest promotions and offers?

And one with a very high open rate and CTR rate?

Look no further, it’s right in front you. It’s SMS marketing!  

Does SMS marketing still work?

SMS marketing is promoting your product and business using text messages. If you got an appointment reminder, information about a sale going on or a discount coupon recently – that’s SMS marketing!

Various companies use text messages to great effect because, in many situations, a text message is faster, cheaper and more convenient than email or a phone call – for example when they need to confirm a reservation or appointment quickly, or when they are making a flash sale.

Sms marketing is also very popular with consumers – just take a look at those stats!

  • 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.
  • 50% of consumers said they opted into a brand’s text messages to receive personal alerts
  • 83% of marketers promoting email subscription via SMS said it was “very effective/effective.
  • 77% of consumers said they opted into a brand’s text messages to receive coupons or deals
  • 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive!
  • SMS has a higher response rate than mobile advertising. For example, 8% of mobile users who received an SMS message has gone in-store to make a purchase compared to only 4% of mobile users who saw a mobile ad.

The best part is, SMS marketing allows you to reach your customers wherever they are, at any time of the day or night – as long as they have a mobile phone near them. Not sure how could you use SMS marketing in your business? 

List of SMS marketing ideas:

Send news about your flash sales and special deals to your customers

Making a flash sale and want to make as many customers know about it as possible?

Email marketing won’t work here – many customers might learn about the sale after it ended, just because they didn’t check their email in time so you need to send the emails in advance.

But with SMS marketing, you can inform your customers about the latest discounts and promotions the moment you started it and make sure they won’t miss it.

Show appreciation to your loyal customers

If you have loyal customers that use your services or buy from you often,  give them especially good treatment.

You surely heard that existing customers are 5–7 times more likely to purchase your product than new clients and that majority of the companies revenue comes from existing customers.

That is, as long as you show them how valuable they are to you.  

Show them they are valuable to you and how much you appreciate them before they leave your company. How about texting them birthday wishes and a special discount to celebrate the occasion?

Ask for feedback

Sms marketing is a fantastic way to ask people using your service for their opinion! If customers used in your hotel or your restaurant or your health centre recently, send them a text message asking them to rate their experience –  just remember to make sure the questions are short, preferably “Yes/No” or “1–5” scale.

If your customers gave you a high note, ask them to leave a review (they are much more likely to give you a positive review after they had a positive experience with your company) while if they comments are negative, this gives you an opportunity to reach to the customer and solve the issue before your customer decides to vent their anger and frustration on social media.

Remind them about appointments

Because text messages are delivered immediately, and they have such a high open rate, text messages are a fantastic way of reminding customers about appointments they made.

It’s also one of the fastest means of confirming will your customers show up – it works especially well for service centres.

Ask customers to reply to your text message with “Yes/No”, and you know immediately if they will come or not.

Not only you won’t waste time waiting for customers that won’t appear, but you will also know in advance you can book an appointment with other customer or how many tables will be reserved.

How can I start with SMS marketing?

Before you get into preparing an SMS campaign, have in mind you can’t just write a “Hey, buy our product” text to all phone numbers you have in your database – that won’t give you the results you hope for.

To help you with getting the most out of your SMS marketing, here are ten tips to get you started (and ten things to avoid!)

Get customer’s consent before sending

The most important thing to do before starting your SMS marketing campaigns is to build your list. So who will you send your text messages if you don’t have any numbers?

There are two ways to do it: either develop your SMS list in the same way as you built your email list or by buying an already prepared list.

However, while the first method will give you a customer’s consent to send them messages (and if they signed up for your messages, it means they are interested in your service) the second way will only get you in trouble – data protection policies, anti-spam law and GDPR law require that you send marketing information only to people who gave you their number first or consented to get messages from you by replying to the message you sent them earlier.

Sending messages to people who have no idea about your service not only won’t get you more customers, it might land in you severe financial and legal issues.

Keep messages short and up to the point

SMS messages can’t be longer than 153 characters (you don’t want SMS services to cut your messages in half right?), so you don’t have too many words to convince your customers.

You have to make your offer short, concise and straightforward.

As with emails, the possible benefits and what you expect your customers to do should be said clearly. If you are adding a (most likely long) link to your messages, it’s a good idea to use URL shortener and save on the characters.

Don’t send too many messages

No one likes spam messages, whether it is emails, text messages or a salesperson that calls eight times during a day.

If you bother your customers too much, too often or send messages they aren’t interested in, they will opt out as quickly as they opted in.

It’s best to limit the number of messages you are sending to your customers to three or four per month, not more!

Make it as easy to opt out as to opt in.

Most marketers give far more attention to making the opt-in process fast and easy (because it gives them more customers) and neglect the unsubscribes (because they lose customers).

They spent time and money to attract those customers, why would they give them an easy way to leave?

If someone doesn’t want to receive your texts anymore, what’s the point in sending to them? You are spending money and effort on texting customers that won’t respond to your offers instead of using the money on customers who would be interested in your proposal.

It’s a good idea to include a way to opt-out of your Sms newsletter in every text you send (for example “Reply Opt-out to the message to unsubscribe”). And if a customer does decide to leave your newsletter, honour their decision – sending them text messages after they told you to delete their number can end in them blocking your number and reporting you.  

Don’t forget about CTA button!

The main reason you are preparing SMS marketing messages is to encourage your customers to take a specific action – buy discounted products, book an appointment in your beauty salon or use a coupon.

You know it but are you sure your customers know that too?

If they don’t, your campaigns probably aren’t going to be very useful. That’s why it’s so important to include a call-to-action (CTA) in every text you send.

Since nowadays the majority of people use a modern smartphone and have access to the mobile internet, they easily click your CTA link and be directed to a landing page where they can take advantage of your offer.

Personalize your text messages

If you have a marketing automation system onboard, personalising your text messages before sending them to the customers is a great idea. Personalized messages have higher CTR rate and make a much better impression on customers than bland “one size fits all” messages.

There is plenty of ways in which you can personalise your text messages: by adding customers name, product interests, location and more.

Keep growing your SMS marketing list

If you think your SMS marketing list doesn’t change, you are in for a surprise.

While customers don’t change their phone number as often as they change their email address, after some time part of your database will have invalid, inactive or deactivated mobile numbers.

Not only you should be regularly cleaning your phone list (what’s the point in wasting money on sending messages to unreachable numbers?) but also keep on growing your contact list!

It’s a great idea to use your social media accounts to grow your mobile contact list – people who follow you are already interested in your business, so they are more likely to give you their phone number. Don’t forget to send them an auto-reply asking them to confirm the subscription!

Use an SMS shortcode

One of the best ways to grow your SMS list is to remove as many obstacles preventing your customers from signing to your list as you can.

The length of phone number might be one of them – there’s a far bigger chance your customers will make a mistake while typing a ten-digit telephone number than if they have to type just four.

For this reason, many companies decide to use a shortcode instead of a full phone number.

What is a shortcode?

It’s from four to six digits number your business can get and use it instead of your full telephone number – you can treat it as a shortcut to your company services.

Having a much shorter number makes it easier for people to subscribe to your services – fewer digits, less time spent and less mistakes made!

Show your shortcode everywhere you can

Got yourself a shorter mobile number?

Great, now make it know to your customers and post it around! P

ut the new shortcode on your website, right with all other contact information. It’s also a good idea to post it on your social media account so that your followers can find it quickly.

It’s a great way to build your SMS contact list, as long as you don’t go overboard.

Spamming your followers with your new shortcode won’t give you more customers but more unsubscribes if you spam other profiles with you can even get blocked!   

Send trigger-based texts

Trigger-based texts (automatically sent text messages when a visitor acts in a certain way) are incredibly useful in business – you don’t need to manually confirm customer’s appointment, send him a welcome text or inform him his order is ready.

If you have set system triggers, your customer will get the message automatically – no matter where he is or what time there is.

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You can use triggers for various things: to send a special discount on your customers birthday, to send them a welcome text message after confirming their subscription or to give them an approximate time when their order will be delivered.

SMS marketing can be incredibly beneficial for your company when it is used correctly – those tips above should help you with it.

But there are also some things you shouldn’t do unless you do want your campaign to fail or to get yourself in trouble. 

Better avoid:

  • Buying phone number lists
  • Sending a message without identifying yourself
  • Writing too long text messages or write nothing except “Buy our product”.
  • Sending SMS messages with spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Writing in all caps
  • Using broken links in your messages (especially when the links are supposed to redirect to promotions!)
  • Using more too many exclamation marks or abbreviations
  • Spamming your customers
  • Texting people after they requested to be removed from your list.
Now you’re ready to start building your SMS campaign! Good luck!

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