Every business should have an SMS marketing strategy as part of its larger digital marketing efforts.
SMS marketing is the use of text messages to convey your message to potential (and current) customers. It’s also the way many consumers prefer to communicate. About 75 percent want to receive texts with special offers.
Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing, while the following are eight tips to consider to maximize your SMS marketing strategy specifically.
Send drip campaigns via text
Drip campaigns are a type of time-release marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip messages (whether through text message, email or something else) are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting, with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).
Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.
In that sense, a planned, automated drip campaign should have a place in your SMS marketing strategy.
Text drip campaigns can keep subscribers engaged as you regularly send relevant, valuable content. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Welcoming and onboarding new customers
- Educating customers about how to get the most out of your products or services
- Sharing relevant education and tips about related topics
- Including special offers along the way as you build up to them (and/or increasing the offer over time if it hasn’t been claimed yet)
Create exclusive text-only deals and offers
Consumers want to feel special. And why should they opt-in to your marketing texts if they don’t think they’ll get something they wouldn’t get otherwise?
From a special day-of discount to advanced notification of an upcoming sale, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with what you can offer your text subscribers.
The key is that you communicate this value upfront as you’re asking for their opt-in and then deliver it on a regular basis.
Learn more about how to promote a loyalty rewards program (which is often text-based but doesn’t have to be).
Use keywords for SMS opt-ins
A great way to grow your SMS subscriber list is to use SMS keywords for opt-ins.
An example of an SMS keyword opt-in is if a spa asks you to text the word “SPA” to a phone number, which then opts you into that company’s text message subscriber list.
These SMS keywords are an easy way for interested consumers to subscribe to your texts. The easier you can make that opt-in, the better.
Just make sure that when you are growing your SMS subscribers, you’re offering an incentive for joining, providing a link to your Terms and Conditions and setting the expectations for the frequency your audience will receive text messages.
Regardless of the type of campaign you’re running, the ability for text recipients to respond and engage in conversation with you must be a priority in your SMS marketing strategy.
It’s one thing to send out an SMS blast or pull your subscribers along in a drip campaign, but you have to make sure to not only have the ability to chat back and forth with anyone who responds to a text but also to be able to reply back in a timely manner.
DailyStory has the capability to alert you to text responses as they happen so that you can be as responsive as possible.
Focus on education before the ‘sell’
You are an expert in your industry, so leverage that in your SMS marketing strategy before you go in for the sale.
Consider the problems your target audience (i.e. ideal customers) have. Then, develop various pieces of content that can help your audience overcome those problems. You can then take 160-character snippets of this content to engage and serve your text subscribers.
This not only shows the industry expertise that you have. It also engages subscribers, delivers promised value and builds a trusting relationship that can ultimately lead to that sale (and more sales after that) over time.
Be functional with reminders and confirmations
Your SMS marketing strategy does not have to be restricted to the balance of educational and promotional content. In fact, it can fill a very needed function: scheduling confirmations and reminders.
About 67 percent of consumers would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.
This means that appointment reminders, booking confirmations, billing reminders and more can all be incorporated into your SMS marketing strategy.
Your business more efficient, and your potential customers and customers will appreciate the method of communication.
Consider running a contest
Contests are a popular tactic in various digital marketing mediums because they do typically work.
They can be especially helpful in growing your SMS subscriber list. For example, you can set up an SMS keyword that (when texted to a particular phone number, whether it’s a short code or long code) not only enters the consumer into your giveaway but opts them into your subscriber list.
Key reminders when it comes to contests:
- Use them sparingly (so you don’t lose impact by running an ongoing contest that loses interest and steam)
- Create urgency
- Make it easy as possible to enter
- Offer a compelling prize
- Cross-promote across platforms
- Keep it legal
Gather feedback and monitor performance
Data will always make your SMS marketing strategy more effective. You want to optimize the data you gather about your subscribers so that you can better engage with them. You also want to monitor how each text campaign is performing to make informed decisions on that and future campaigns.
To get more data about your subscribers, try ending a welcome text message (or including in a drip sequence) a survey or poll. This can help you learn more about who your audience is and what you can offer them. This information will benefit your strategy and even how you craft the language of your text messages.
Then, in the backend, you want to track what’s working and what’s not in your SMS marketing strategy. Text messages don’t have as many metrics to follow as emails, but understanding your delivery rate, click-through rate and replies will help you make the best decisions about your strategy. If something didn’t work, you can take that and pivot for the next campaign to do better.
With nearly 100 percent of people reading all their text messages, SMS marketing can be powerful if done right. Take the time you need to invest in the planning stage of your SMS marketing strategy so that your texts are engaging with your audience and deliver the results you’re looking for.