Of the 95 percent of American adults who own cell phones, more than half of us reach for our phones first thing in the morning. We check our social feeds, our email, and see what texts we might’ve missed the night before. We’re waiting for something to pop up. We’re expecting it. Something funny, something compelling, something sharable, buyable, edible, wearable—just something.
For marketers, this is a huge opportunity. Of course, we’re talking about all the usual online channels—social media, email, etc.—but there’s another digital channel that doesn’t get quite as much buzz, one that you should be using. That channel is Short Message Service (SMS), aka text messaging, and it can be a very lucrative marketing channel—if you do it right.
To help you make the most of mobile messaging, here are our top five tips for SMS marketing success:
- Triggering (and timing) is everything. Results from SMS campaigns don’t trickle in over time. There’s a sharp rise in responses followed by a sharp fall. If you want a solid return from your marketing, you need to make sure the timing is right. Setting triggers to prompt messaging after a customer makes a purchase, renews (or fails to renew) a service subscription, or engages in a specific online activity can help you catch customers and prospects at just the right time.
- Remember, there’s no spam folder for text messages. Don’t buy lists of numbers and don’t text every number you have, willy-nilly. We’re all used to getting spam in our email—we expect it—but no one wants their phone blowing up with unsolicited texts. Make sure you get prospects and consumers to sign off on receiving texts from your business. This might give you a smaller recipient list—but it will also give you a more targeted recipient list.
- Have relevant value. Segment your audience into those most likely to find value in an offering. You likely have data surrounding prospect and customer demographics, location, previous purchases, etc.—or at least you should. Use that data to your advantage by fine-tuning the list for every text campaign you plan. Otherwise, permission or not, you’re likely to find yourself blocked.
- Include the details, briefly. Short messages are a must, but “We’ve got great deals,” is not a strong SMS message. “All music downloads twenty percent off. Click here. Offer ends tomorrow,” is better. It gives specifics, includes a call to action, and a deadline (see above re: timing). Without those details, your recipients are much less likely to act—you’re asking them to do too much leg work to figure out what’s happening. Short is good, but clarity is a must
- Measure! Make sure you track the responses you get, the unsubscribes, as well as all the recipient data you can. If a campaign or message triggers a lot of opt-outs, revisit it and determine what you’re doing wrong. If you’re getting positive results, do your best to repeat those efforts. While it’s not always easy to tell exactly why a campaign is working, the more data you capture and measure, the better you’ll do.
Follow these basics and you’re well on your way to a successful SMS campaign. If you’re unsure about the details—tracking data, generating messages, etc., CallTrackingMetrics can help. We’re one of the only call tracking platforms that tracks all SMS communication in conjunction with your advertising data—and we can also help you schedule and send recurring text messages. Find out more about our SMS campaigns by scheduling a demo today.