Marketing for mobile devices encompasses a large range of things. One of those is SMS (or text message) marketing. 87% of millennials say that they keep their smartphone close at hand, and 80% say it’s the first thing they check in the morning.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Is SMS marketing really worth my time, though? Won’t my audience just ignore the message?” Well, according to this study, 64% of consumers think businesses should be using SMS messages more than they are.
You don't want to let them down, do you? Of course not! As with any marketing tactic, however, there are good and bad ways to go about it. We’ve rounded up a list of 7 of the best tips for implementing SMS marketing into your campaign.
Consent is key
This is advice that you hear a lot about email marketing. The same applies to SMS marketing. You need the customer’s fully informed consent. Otherwise, they’ll feel like you’re intruding into their personal space.
Note that we said fully informed consent. That means letting them know the following:
- Additional messaging rates may apply.
- How often you’ll be sending them messages. Let them know how many a day, and also let them know if they can change how often they receive a message from you.
- What time you’ll be sending messages.
- Let them know what kind of content you’ll be sending, and if they can choose the kind of content they receive.
- Be sure they know how they can opt out of these messages.
Giving people as much information as you can, from the beginning, ensures better leads. And SMS creates good leads.
Of those that opted into receiving text messages from a business, 91% said they found those messages somewhat or very useful. The people receiving your messages will actually, genuinely care about the content you’re giving them. This makes your SMS marketing much more valuable.
Mobile-friendly landing pages are a must
By this point, your business should be up to speed on making sure your website is mobile responsive. And this means that any landing page you direct your audience to in your SMS should be mobile-friendly.
Let's also mention that mobile shopping has been on the rise. During the 2015 holiday season, one-third of all e-commerce purchases were made on a smartphone. And that number is expected to grow this year.
So get those conversion rates up, and make sure your landing pages are mobile responsive.
Keep it short and sweet
Any SMS message you write will have a limit of 160 characters. When you include your unsubscribe instructions, it comes down to about 140-150 characters. So, think of it like a tweet. You want to keep it short but clever and eye-catching.
If you feel like you can’t fit everything into one message, don’t fret. That’s what your landing page is for. Give them the information that will make them want to learn more, and then direct them to that page. There they can learn all about the amazing product or service you have to offer.
Make your messages timely
It can be hard to know when and how often you should be sending out text messages. But we don’t want to give an “it depends” answer.
According to CityGro, on average, businesses that contacted their customers 2-4 times a month via text message saw the highest return rate. When you exceed 4 times a month, your viewer starts to feel overwhelmed. When you go less than two times a month, they’re not receiving your message frequently enough for you to see any results.
However, how often you send a message does rely on the message itself. Your content should be relevant, otherwise, the viewer just sees it as spam.
Bring value with your message
Your customer signed up to receive text messages from you because they believed it would benefit them in some way. Make sure you’re following through!
These are the top five reasons consumers choose to opt-in to a brand’s texts:
- Coupons or deals (77%)
- Personal alerts (50%)
- Being in the loop (48%)
- More meaningful content (33%)
- Not having to visit a physical location, website, or app to receive more information (31%)
Keep their attention by consistently providing what your consumer finds valuable. The list above is a great way to get started.
Give them an easy out
I know. We never want to see our subscribers go. Unfortunately, sometimes the consumer just doesn’t want to receive your message anymore. When that’s the case, make sure it’s easy for them to say goodbye.
As we stated before, place unsubscribe information somewhere in every text you send. Make the process easy and comfortable. If they see how easy it is to leave, they might be more inclined to come back at some point.
And, hey, think of it like this: One less uninterested subscriber just means you’re refining the list and targeting the people who want the content you’re providing.
Measure your success
This is the key to success with any marketing campaign. In order to get the best results, you need to be constantly measuring your success. Then, make changes where you see necessary.
This process has similar best-practices to email and online marketing. So, keep those guidelines in mind when you’re measuring and refining your campaign.
Practice makes perfect
Following the information we’ve provided will give a good head start to your SMS marketing campaign. Pay attention to how your consumers interact with your content. And be prepared to define and redefine your strategy. SMS marketing, like email and online marketing, is all about practicing until you get it perfect.
Have you done an SMS campaign before? What worked or didn’t work for you?