SMS is still one of the most loved features of a smartphone. For this reason, it’s also one of the most engaging when it comes to interacting with customers. Despite flashier app development and advanced features, SMS technology has endured.
These 16 essential SMS marketing examples and tips (plus a bonus tip) will show you how to get the most out of text messaging and create a high-quality, high-return mobile marketing strategy. Combined with SMS, Rich Media Messaging can take marketing campaigns to the next level.
1. Get permission
This is more of a requirement than an ‘SMS marketing tip’. As the first and last thing many people look at during their waking hours, customers rightly view smartphones as personal space. Because of this, companies must take care to get explicit permission before marketing to their customers via SMS marketing efforts.
Companies get this permission in two main ways:
- Create campaign collateral asking customers to text an opt-in keyword to their short code (i.e., “Text YES to 12345 to receive exclusive promotions!”).
- Ask customers to check an opt-in box – similar to opting in to receive an e-newsletter – when they check out, request information or sign up for another service on their website.
It’s also important that businesses tell their customers up front what to expect after they opt-in, including how frequently they plan to send messages and what kind of content recipients will receive.
Finally, make sure that it’s clear from the beginning – and on every message afterwards – how your customers can opt out of receiving SMS marketing messages from you.
How to Solve Catastrophic Friction Points in the Digital Customer Journey [PDF]
2. Make it personal
SMS marketing gives your company a unique opportunity to truly personalize messaging and connect with customers one-on-one via text. Take advantage of this by ensuring your recipients feel like a unique contact, not just another line on a mailing list, by:
- including their name in the text message
- mentioning recent activity with your company (i.e., a recent purchase, a shipping update, appointment reminder, etc.)
- customizing the text message to their area (i.e., including a reference to local weather, sports teams, etc.)
3. Make it valuable
Just sending a message isn’t enough.
Recipients must see value in the messaging you send out, either in the information that you’re presenting them or in the offer that they’re receiving, in order to click through and act on the promotion.
To create campaigns that your customers will interact with beyond the open, try:
- creating coupons and offers unique to your SMS marketing list
- targeting offers based on customer segments and behaviors (in turn, making the campaign more personal)
- switching up your offers to add variety and avoid stagnation or boredom with your campaign
4. Include your location
Including your location connects you with your customer base while also giving you a sense of legitimacy and giving them something to identify with. If you don’t operate a brick-and-mortar space, include a short URL to your website instead.
5. Integrate Rich Media into your campaigns
Thought it was just plain text? Nope – it is now possible to get the engagement rates of text messaging AND provide the Customer Experience of an app or email campaign. Using the right platform you can set up mobile landing pages with all the features of an email or web page, and integrate them into your SMS campaigns (without the need for in-house development). Brands considering Rich Communication Services should get started with Rich Media Messaging first to prove the concept.
The example below shows a ‘Utility Switching Campaign’ featuring dynamic rich media, appointment scheduling, and call-now buttons. It can also include form filling and payment capability.
6. Put your offer first
With only 160 characters to get your customers’ attention, make sure the most interesting part of the message sits up front: your stellar offer.
By pushing your offer to the front of the message, recipients will see the selling point when previewing the first few words of the message on their phones’ message overview.
Among recipients of SMS marketing campaigns:
7. Include your company name
With 16 million text messages sent per minute across the globe, your customers receive a large number of messages per day. Because of this, it’s vital to give them all the information they need in one message, including your company name.
Reiterating your company’s name in each message also helps build brand recognition, especially since the short URLs used to save characters often won’t clue them into the identity of the message sender.
8. Make it feel exclusive (even if it’s not)
Consumers respond best when they feel they’re given an inside tip or deal on something they’ve been on the fence about buying.
Take advantage of this by creating a sense of exclusivity around the offers you send to your SMS marketing list, even if these deals aren’t as exclusive as they seem.
Make your customers feel like a member of a “lucky few” by:
- branding your SMS marketing campaign as a VIP Member Campaign
- mentioning customers by name and giving them an offer as a thank you for their loyalty to your brand
- sending new customers coupons and offers that are “for new members only”
9. Make it urgent
Creating a sense of urgency will motivate your customers to take advantage of the deal before it expires. Capitalize on your customers’ fear of missing out by creating a sense of scarcity in your campaigns and include phrases such as:
- for a limited time
- while supplies last
- today only
- one-time only
10. Include a strong call to action
Don’t send out messages just for the sake of it; make sure that each and every message that you send to your customers includes a strong Call to Action that excites your audience by motivating them to take action (whether by taking advantage of a promotion or confirming an appointment) and move along your conversion funnel.
Some of the most successful examples of this include:
- Take advantage of this deal today!
- Confirm your appointment today!
- Leave us a review for a chance to win an exclusive prize!
11. Start small and ramp up
After letting recipients know how many messages to expect from you when they sign up, don’t immediately hit them with everything at once.
Instead, start small with four to five messages per month for the first month or two (and focus on making these the most enticing, exciting messages you can) before ramping up to 10 messages a month. This also gives you an opportunity to test different messaging types for future campaign improvements.
By starting out with your strongest content, this strategy will make your recipients more excited to see your messages over time.
12. Consider timing
Since your customers have their phones next to them nearly 24/7, they don’t want to receive disruptive messages during meals, holidays or in the middle of the night.
Test your campaign success using metrics such as open rates and click-through rates to identify your top customers and regions, then use this data to create better-targeted campaigns in the future.
Additionally, use your market, location and user data to tailor message delivery to the specific area your customers live in so your offers get to them when they’re most receptive (typically between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.).
13. Use user data
SMS marketing gives you access to information and data about your customers that’s almost unparalleled by any other marketing medium.
You’re able to collect information about their demographics, site preferences, mobile use responsiveness and given a near-immediate group to A/B test different promotion and marketing techniques. An SMS analytics platform is essential for this.
Use this data to better inform your campaigns as they grow:
- If you know that your customers open messages for time-sensitive promotions more quickly than others, focus on those kinds of promotions for SMS campaigns in the future to better your conversation rate.
- If you see that most of your customers respond to messages during the morning rather than the afternoon, adjust your delivery times accordingly.
14. Keep it conversational
Smartphone users are used to more casual, abbreviated writing in texts compared to other, longer-form mediums.
Avoid coming off too dry and generic by using appropriate abbreviations (i.e., text vs. txt, save money vs. save $$$) and embrace a more playful, conversational tone with:
- the occasional emoticon or GIF
- common messaging abbreviations
- quick, easy-to-remember jokes
- trivia for coupons or prizes
15. Open it up
As the preferred correspondence method for a growing number of customers, SMS presents endless possibilities for how it can work for your company.
Beyond the various types of messages you can send to your customers (appointment reminders, surveys, promotions, etc.), open up communications and let your customers interact with you with their questions, comments, orders and availability.
By allowing customers to ask questions and get support via text, companies can solve the issue of 32 percent of people hanging up as soon as they’re put on hold. Texting allows for a more pleasant customer service experience.
16. Keep it consistent
Once you establish a strategy, stick to it unless metrics say otherwise. A consistent tone, message type and schedule will seem less intrusive to your recipients and increase the favorability of your brand.
Bonus SMS Marketing tip: integrate your new, successful SMS strategy with omnichannel efforts
Using VoiceSage’s suite of valuable SMS marketing and outbound customer communication services, you can weave your SMS marketing strategy into your broader marketing and customer communications plan. With our cloud-based messaging products and services – delivering more than 2 million messages per day – we provide transformational interactive customer communications solutions for high-volume contact activities.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about the VoiceSage platform.Published on: 16th August 2018