Business owners, marketers, and salespeople are continually on the lookout for more effective and efficient ways to market their business to gain exposure, signups, or sales. They are always looking for ways to improve response and get a higher return on your marketing investments.
And, in recent years, that has meant trying SMS marketing; after all, consumers are never far from their mobile devices. As Jake Jeffries, head of design and marketing at Text Marketer, put it, "The portable phone has changed the way we communicate. The smartphone has changed the way we live."
Consumers' modern-day love affair with their mobile phones has led businesses to find ways to work with and communicate with their customers via their mobile phones. And, it turns out, 75% of people would like to receive offers via SMS, as reported by Digital Marketing Magazine.
By giving customers what they want—to communicate via their mobile phone—businesses are succeeding with SMS marketing. Some of the response rates, and other stats and figures are staggering: 98% of all text messages are read, with response rates as high as 45%, according to Gartner.
And because of the personal nature of a mobile phone, and because it is never far from consumers' hands, those huge responses are almost instant. Unlike emails, direct marketing, social media, or other marketing channels, SMS marketing tends to be instant: 90% of text messages get read within three minutes of delivery (ImpigeMobileStrategy.com, 2011).
However, despite all the potential that SMS marketing holds, you must be careful not misuse it or make mistakes that annoy your customers. There is a right way, which will build loyalty and generate sales; and there is a wrong way, which will undermine customer relationships—and your bottom line.
Here are three top considerations when implementing SMS campaigns.
1. Make it personal
Make customers feel special. Make them feel that you care about them—and that your marketing message has been sent directly to them and only them, your most important customers.
Doing so will help build good relationships that can turn consumers into loyal customers who keep coming back for more. So use their first name in your messages, send them special VIP offers, and personal birthday offers...
You can also include some other personal touches, such as referencing their last purchase and recommending products that complement their purchase.
For example: "Hi Peter, we like your style. That funky T-shirt will look great on you. Have you thought about buying some matching trousers? We think these would go great with it: www.link.com"
2. Make it relevant
Sending customers irrelevant content/messages is a good way to annoy them and show them that you don't care much about them. Just as sending out blanket emails rarely works, sending SMS messages catering to all rather than being tailored to your customer will rarely work.
And don't send a message to John about skirts or dresses; he will more than likely just ignore your message, wasting your time and money. So segment your customer database into various groups: male, female, age, interests, previous purchases, and so on.
Doing so will help you build a good idea of your customer identities so you can send relevant content and suggest relevant things that they might like.
For example: "Good morning Sarah, we have just had our new summer line delivered, with new dresses, swimwear, and everything else you need to look fabulous this summer – www.link.com"
3. Make it on time
The timing of your marketing message can be imperative to its success and response. No one wants to receive a message at 3:00 AM; that would infuriate customers, who would quickly become ex-customers.
We at Text Marketer have done an in-depth research project into the most popular times to send SMS marketing messages for UK retailers:
- Weekdays. The two most popular times are between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM and between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM, with 77% of SMS campaigns being sent out between these two timeframes.
- Weekends. On Saturdays, the most popular time to send is in the morning, between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM, with 71% of SMS campaigns being sent in the morning. Sunday is slightly different; there are two popular times—between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, and between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, with a staggering 99% of all SMS messages going out during those two timeframes.
Friday seems to be the most popular day for retailers to send messages, with a massive 44% increase in SMS campaigns being sent out on Friday.
For a breakdown of the report, have a read and see the infographic: