SMS marketing is a great and easy way to intimately communicate with your customers and urgently send messages. On average, text message marketing offers a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of delivery. Therefore, SMS marketing is one of the best and most effective marketing methods with minimal cost. Just like any marketing strategy, there is always a method to the madness; here are some recommended best practices to leverage SMS in your marketing strategy.
1. Get to know your customer
Using a CRM (customer relationship management) app is a great way to measure the success of your messages and get easy access to customer information. The goal is to make your messages as personalized as possible to hone in on your audiences and get the highest engagement. Use profile properties such as location demographics and preferences, engagement data, and shopping behavior to create highly targeted segments. These segments will allow you to further connect with your targeted audiences and personalize your messages.
2. Use Call-To-Action Buttons
Always include one call-to-action in every message you send to your customers. It’s important to keep this simple and straightforward so that your customers know exactly what you’re trying to say. Calls-to-action increase customer engagement with your SMS marketing texts. Here are some call-to-action recommendations:
“Click here”. With so few characters, it can be hard to include all the information your customer needs in an SMS message. Including a “click here” button is a great way to provide a link to all the necessary details.
Text-to-win. Giveaways and contests are a great way to incentivize customers into interacting with your messages. Asking them to text to enter helps increase customer engagement.
Text-to-vote. Engage customers in mobile polling to find out how your company is doing in terms of service, product quality, prices, and more. You can do this by either proving an external link or asking them to respond with custom keywords.
“Buy now”. This is the perfect and most common CTA button for targeted messages. Including a “buy now” button makes it easier for customers to make a purchase, but be careful not to use this too much since it’s very sales-aggressive.
3. Write clear and specific messages
SMS is a much more personal way to connect with your customers than email. SMS messages have a standard 160 character limit, so it’s important that you keep your messages clear and specific to ensure your message gets across to your customers. Adding in emojis can be a great way to show some personality, but it will decrease the character limit to 70. If you are looking to try adding in emojis, make sure they aren’t distracting from the message.
4. Utilize personalization
Personalization is one of the most effective ways to connect with your customers and maintain a high retention rate. Here are some of the best practices:
Include specifics in your messages. Include things such as first name, purchase history, SMS preferences, and more.
Serve content to the right audience. Use customer segments wisely to craft highly customized content and send to those more apt to engage.
Take a cross-channel approach to important messages. Target those who haven’t engaged with an urgent email campaign with another SMS campaign (if consented).
Use customer keywords to get feedback from customers. Keywords can tell you what your customers want from your business. For example, if you’re a baking company and a lot of customers have been asking questions about your mixes, use custom keywords such as GLUTEN FREE, VANILLA, or CHOCOLATE to trigger an automated response to give them more information.
5. Promote opt-in across all media
Maximize your chances to get customers to opt-in by promoting at every point of contact. Some of the best ways include but are not limited to:
Social media. Add a “Mobile Number” field to your Facebook page sign up and an “Opt-in” button for them to sign on to your SMS campaign. Instagram is also a great way to collect SMS subscribers but is only effective if you have at least 10K followers. When you obtain 10K followers on Instagram the “swipe up” option is enabled which allows users to visit external web pages in the app.
Website. It’s highly recommended that your SMS opt-in is a prominent feature on your website. We suggest using an embedded form at the footer and either a popup or flyout form on the website’s landing page.
Newsletter. Make sure SMS opt-in is visible on your newsletter and email campaigns.
At checkout. Promote SMS opt-in at checkout with shipping updates and exclusive offers.
6. Play around with multimedia
Adding multimedia such as gifs, images, video, and audio can be a great way to add personalization to your messages. When you add multimedia to your messages, the messages are sent as an MMS instead of an SMS. MMS messages have a higher character limit of 1600, but they are more expensive than SMS. Abandoned cart SMS is a great way to utilize MMS, as you can include the image of the items left along with a link back to the website.
7. Focus on your best customers
Your best customers are the ones most loyal to your brand, buy consistently from you, give feedback and reviews, and promote your brand to friends and family. It’s important that you reward your loyal customers by dedicating extra time and resources to them. These are your company VIPs and can be a great resource to get feedback for what your customers want to see from your brand. Some great VIP rewards can include early access to sales, exclusive offers, and extra benefits.