If you haven’t started looking for ways to add SMS marketing to your marketing mix, now is the time. Apps are the craze these days but we’re still at about 65% smartphone penetration in the United States.
That means there may still be a lot of your customers that don’t have smartphones. Also, just because they have a smartphone doesn’t mean they use it for all that it’s capable of.
One of the great things about SMS is thatnearly 100% of all devices on the market are SMS enabled, making it the mobile channel that offers the widest reach possible.
Some of the top brands invest heavily in SMS today to communicate with customers because over 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt.
Yes, that immediate.
In addition to its reach and immediacy, SMS is very affordable and offers an amazing ROI for marketers when used properly. Follow these guidelines to set your SMS campaigns up for success.
Understand Your Goals
When diving into mobile marketing, it’s common to approach it as its own initiative. That’s typically the worst direction to take.
Businesses that approach mobile as a silo will almost never get the results they were hoping for or even expected.
Before jumping right into your execution, it’s best to review your business and marketing goals so that you’re creating your SMS campaign that takes your current business goals into account.
Having S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Specific) will assure your SMS campaign is executed in a way that meets your objectives.
No one person can manage the entire SMS strategy. Your SMS mobile campaign will impact many departments of your company. Having a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the SMS programs will be one of the most important parts to winning with SMS.Ensure all parts of your team are on the same page when it comes time for execution
Make Your Call-To-Action Clear
One of the most common reasons SMS campaigns fail is that the call-to-action isn’t presented in a way that the consumer recognizes or understands what to do. SMS campaigns are driven by 2 factors – the keyword and a short code. It’s common and best practice to capitalize the keyword and short code to make them stand out within the call-to-action.
Our mobile device is one of, if not the most personal device we have. The consumers that welcome you into their phone, especially through SMS, should be considered some of your most loyal customers. With that said, you want to treat your most loyal customers with some extra love, and a great way to do that is incentivize customers to opt-in by giving something of value.
Typically, you’ll see brands doing a percent off or dollar off coupons to save a few bucks.
In the early stages of your SMS campaign, as you’re building your list, starting with a low value offer (say up to $20 off) can really help drive opt-ins and spark your initial list growth. Depending on your business, this could be an even lower value. But it must be valuable enough for your customer to want to join your SMS channel.
Once you’ve got people opted-in, you can leverage “spend and get” campaigns or “Buy One Get One” campaigns (also known as BOGO’s).
SMS is a permission-based opt-in channel. Your customer needs to clearly opt-in to receiving what you’re offering. This can happen one of two ways:
- By texting a keyword to a short code, or
- By submitting their number via a web-form.
Either way, it needs to be obvious the customer has consented to receiving your messages. You can’t just look through old customer records and add mobile numbers to your database and then message those customers.
90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes. That makes SMS one of, if not the most immediate channel available to connect with your audience.
With your messages guaranteed to reach your customer and interrupt whatever they’re doing, it’s important that you deliver a high value, very clear and concise call-to-action.Since SMS messages only allow for 160 characters it’s important to be short, sweet, and to the point.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when using SMS is not sending messages consistently enough. When it comes to messaging your customers, you obviously want to have something of value to say within each message, but going months without connecting via SMS is likely going to cause a high unsubscribe rate with every send.
Some of the most successful businesses leveraging SMS today, are sending at least one message a week to stay at the top of the minds of their customers.
Mobile is one of the most dependent marketing channels that exist. When it comes time to promote your SMS program and drive adoption, it’s important to leverage all of your existing media outlets, whether that’s TV, radio, print, in-store signage, online, social, email, etc. You need to be integrating your SMS Call To Action everywhere possible.
Remember, you’ll want to make sure the SMS CTA is clear and easy to read—not buried somewhere in the signage.
The only way to determine if your SMS campaign is successful or not is by measuring.
When it comes to SMS there are a handful of things you can do from a measurement perspective. The great thing is that they are all fairly easy to manage. Here are a few metrics to follow when executing an SMS campaign:
- Subscriber Growth: Monitor your growth rate each and week and identify which activities make the list grow.
- Subscriber Churn Rate: This is the frequency at which people are opting out of your SMS program over time. Ideally your program never goes over 2-3% churn rate.
- Cross Channel Engagement (by keyword):By using different SMS keywords within different media outlets, you can quickly measure which types of media and media locations are performing best and optimize based on engagement.
- Redemption Rate: This is something you’ll monitor on a campaign-by-campaign basis (or by message) to determine the percentage of customers that redeem your offers and what rates.
- Cost Per Redeeming Subscriber: From the redemption rate, you can determine the cost of communicating with each customer that receives your SMS messages.
When it comes time to plan and launch your next SMS marketing campaign, be sure to account for these 10 components and you’ll be well on your way to a successful SMS marketing campaign.