Ever since the first mobile ad was sent out in 2000 this channel of marketing has remained in the arsenal of every successful marketing campaign. The best marketing strategies in the commercial world has been developed with the target customer in mind. Needless to say, what can be a better way to connect with the customers on a personal level than text messages?! Texting has consistently kept up its relevance with the phone being a basic device owned by 70% of the target market for any brand adopting any kind of digital marketing campaign. The kind of reach that SMS ads give to the marketers is different from any other mobile-based campaigns owing to its simplicity. Smartphones and the internet may not be available or accessible to everyone, but almost 90% of any given section of potential customers will have a basic mobile phone that can receive SMS. However, it is not just the reach or the immediacy of response that makes it worthy of investment, to put it simply SMS marketing is affordable and yields a satisfactory ROI for marketers when employed appropriately.
As easy and unsophisticated as it sounds, achieving the desired conversion through SMS marketing demands creativity, understanding, and technical knowledge. To capture the attention of the audience and maintain the engagement it is necessary to develop a compelling and customer-centric campaign. Here are 10 tips that can help you create a perfect customer-centric SMS marketing campaign that will make your business pop out in a positive way.
1. Value Your Customers’ Privacy
Protecting the privacy of your customers is the foundation of an ethical marketing campaign. The primary step taken by any SMS marketing company to develop a sustainable relationship with the audience is to establish explicitly that their privacy won’t be compromised under any circumstance unless they have given the permission to share any particular information. The best practices in protecting the confidential information include strengthening your server making it impenetrable to hackers.
2. Use CRM To Measure The Success Of Your Messages
CRM systems can give marketers access to individual transaction-level data, allowing marketers to create engaging, responsive and compelling campaigns. When SMS campaigns are linked to customer reactions in relation to CTA through CRM, marketers can see how customers are responding and engaging with each SMS as it is delivered. CRM helps to measure and track each campaign to see its cost relative to sales generated. Using CRM strategically, marketers can more accurately evaluate the performance of each marketing campaign and see how it’s driving or hindering the sales-conversion process. This information is crucial to creating a customer-centric campaign.
Many of the CRM systems are equipped with Enterprise SMS Solutions that will help you in scheduling your campaigns and getting the reports. Different vendors can be connected from the same platform and your messages can be routed based on the requirement. As one of the leading SMS service provider, Precise’s SMS solution are already connected to major CRM and ERP systems.
3. Get Your Timing Right
In order to realize the full potential of your SMS marketing campaign, along with the right strategy and right content, it is important to dispatch the messages on the right time. To know what are the most appropriate hours and days to send out SMS for a particular campaign will depend on customer behavior and the nature of the product. As a general rule, it is best to send out messages during business hours to maintain professionalism and relevance of your campaign. Receiving messages during the early rush hour or late evening hours post work may leave the receivers annoyed or dismissive of the message. SMS campaigns for lifestyle products and restaurants may do well on weekends since that is the time when people head out to shop or eat. Analyze your past campaign data to know more about the trend and arrive at suitable timings to send out the SMS.
4. Set Triggers To Avoid Overloading Of SMS
All of us have been victims of spamming and know how it shifts our opinion about brands who engage in relentless messaging. Customers give their valuable contact information to brands in good faith and it is of priority that this trust remains intact. Excessive messaging will not only give you zero results but will also result in opt-outs and negative brand image. This can be prevented by setting triggers that will prompt you when you hit the set frequency of messages. On average, about one to two message per week will do the job if the messages are of excellent quality. However, depending on the type of product and expectation of subscribers the frequency of messaging may go up or down.
5. Use Short But Clear Sentences
Typically, an SMS ad contains about 160 characters in each text message. How the marketer uses these characters can determine the fate of the campaign. It is easy to stuff a lot of information by shortening the words, using abbreviations or writing a vague message filled with keywords and grammatical errors. This will impact the brand image negatively and leave the readers uninterested. Make the messages short, clear and professional. Leave no room for doubt in the minds of readers, rather, the message should be able to generate curiosity to know more about the information in the SMS in particular and brand in general. Always provide the customer to opt out from your marketing SMS either using a Short Code service or a web portal.
6. Make Your Content Lucid
Draft crisp and to-the-point messages. There should not be any ambiguity in the messages. Who would like to read a lengthy, monotonous or aimless message that is undecipherable? Such a dreary SMS is only going to be brushed aside. As important as it is to avoid stuffing the message with keyword without any regard to grammar and syntax, it also imperative to use the keywords optimally to drive the message across. This will convey the intention behind the message clearly in minimum words and make the campaign a success.
7. Authorization To SMS
Get permission to text from the customers before you begin your campaign. An SMS is like a visitor in the personal space of the customer and nobody cares for uninvited visitors. Keep the relationship with customer honest and real by letting them know about the type, frequency, and purpose of the messages, thereby setting their expectations. Spell out in clear terms ways in which they can opt-out of the campaign if the messages are not relevant to them. Do not send messages to which the customers have not consented to receive even if it is in the same category of messages that they have opted in for.
8. Use Call-To-Action Buttons
The basic aim of an SMS campaign is to drive up sales in the long term through regular and consistent customer engagement. Engagement happens when the customer reads the message, perform the action called for in the message and interacts with the message and this can be guided by efficient Call-to-Action buttons. A vague, misplaced, unrecognizable or erroneous CTA can go unnoticed or fail to garner interest resulting in a nonperforming SMS campaign. CTAs should be precise, clear-cut and visible with Keywords preferably capitalized. Placing the website URL or contact numbers as CTA in the message and drafting compelling content persuading the customers to act on the CTA is the core of SMS marketing. A few of the most efficient CTA buttons are Show this Text, Click Here, Texting a Keyword to a Shortcode, Buy Now and Text to Vote. Using the right CTA button along with crisp content boosts engagement and enables tracking the success of the campaign.
9. Promote Opt-In Across All Media
The success of an SMS campaign depends on the size of the subscription list. The best way to increase the number of subscribers is to promote opt-ins across all the media channels like website, Social Media, newsletters, point of sale, snail mail and even SMS. Add a field to input mobile number on Facebook profile of the brand, invite opt-ins through the bio of Instagram and generally prompt the viewers to opt-in through content posted on the social media profiles of the brand. A structurally sound website will have a lead generation form right on the landing page. It will be a good practice to maintain the format throughout the website whereby the viewer can easily give the number to subscribe to SMS. Email newsletters are obvious choice to promote SMS but it will be beneficial to make use of traditional snail mail as well. Make sure the instruction to subscribe to SMS is included in the coupons and other promotional materials mailed to the customers. SMS in itself is a good method to invite subscriptions in which the customers can be asked to text to a particular number to activate the campaign.
10. Focus On Your Best Customers
The famous 80/20 rule can also be applied to your SMS marketing campaign to make it more effective. It is highly probable there will be 20% of customers who will contribute 80% of results in terms of sales and engagement. It will pay to identify these group of customers and fine-tune your marketing strategy to include some special messages targeted exclusively at this group. These subscribers are already aware of your brand, have previously invested in your brand and even brought in new customers through their personal circle. A wise marketing decision would be to solidify their relationship with your brand by sending special offers and benefits. Use this group to gather more insight and use this information to polish the campaign.
Need Help Creating The Perfect SMS Campaign?
An effective SMS marketing campaign generates sales, increase engagement and helps to understand the pulse of the market. The process of a successful digital marketing strategy begins with identifying the target customer in creating a balanced strategy including diverse channels and acting upon the strategy seamlessly. Contact Essentially Precise, a leading SMS Marketing Services company, for all your SMS requirements.