CTM Blog


SMS Marketing 101: How to Use Texting for More Leads

by Barb Cronin

SMS marketing or text message marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience.  Today, 97% of American adults own a cellphone. And, as everyone knows, most Americans are on their cell phones often. You’re likely on your phone right now. What better way to reach your potential customers than where they already are–on their phones! Test message marketing might feel complicated, but with these SMS marketing 101 tips, you can kick-off your first text campaign with ease. 

According to research, more than half of Americans reach for their 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 shareable, buyable, edible, wearable—just something.

For marketers, this is a huge opportunity. This is where knowing some SMS marketing 101 facts can help you make the most of business text messaging. SMS or short message service is more commonly known as text messaging. This can be a very lucrative marketing channel–if done right. 

What’s more, research shows that three out of every four dollars spent online is done so through a mobile phone. It really pays to have a solid SMS marketing 101 foundation and implement what you learn into an SMS business marketing strategy. 

To help you accelerate your digital marketing strategy with text messages, here are five tips for SMS marketing success:

  1. Triggering (and timing) is everything. 

The first lesson of SMS marketing 101, and one of the most important things to consider, is timing. Yes, when you send your SMS business message matters. Results from SMS campaigns don’t trickle in slowly over time as with other marketing strategies like SEO. With SMS messaging, there’s an initial 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. When it comes to prospects, setting triggers to send them messages based on specific website activity is key. As the old adage goes, you want to ‘strike when the iron’s hot’. 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.

Some marketing automation and call tracking software platforms offer the ability to help you with this. You can create SMS marketing automation campaigns based on varied triggers. With comprehensive SMS marketing automation, you can select exactly what text messages are sent based on which activities your website visitor takes. This helps tremendously with personalizing the customer’s journey–key in today’s competitive landscape. 

  1. Remember, there’s no spam folder for text messages. 

Another vital SMS marketing 101 tip is to know about spamming with SMS business messages. Spam texts are not only annoying but can do the opposite of driving leads–they can give prospects a bad impression and make them not want to do business with you. 

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 and qualified recipient list. When you use software platforms for SMS marketing automation, you can choose who to send text messages to, what they say, and when they are sent. 

  1. Have relevant value. 

Just as with other parts of your marketing campaign, one of the primary goals of SMS business messages is to provide value for your audience. Another SMS marketing 101 basic, is to be sure you are targeting the right audience with the right message. One way to do this is to segment your audience into those most likely to find value in an offering. Take a look at some data surrounding prospect and customer demographics, location, previous purchases, etc. Use that data to your advantage by fine-tuning the list for every text campaign you plan–and plan messaging accordingly. Otherwise, permission or not, you’re likely to find yourself blocked.

If you don’t have this information, it’s crucial to get it. You can do this with several marketing attribution and call tracking platforms including CallTrackingMetrics. With this type of software, you can get details about your caller including geographical location, phone number, name, and number of family members all the way down to the keyword they searched to find your organization. This type of information can provide invaluable insight into who your customer is and how your team can better meet their needs. 

  1. Include the details, briefly. 

When it comes to SMS business messages, less is more. While concise messages are a must, they should also be as personalized as possible. Short messages like  “We’ve got great deals,” is not a strong SMS message. However, “All music downloads are 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 and personalization are musts.

Automating SMS business messages is a great way to provide individualized messages to specific, targeted groups of people in a timely fashion. This is one more SMS marketing 101 tip that can help take your marketing efforts to the next level. 

  1. Measure! 

As with other types of marketing campaigns, tracking results is critical. Another SMS marketing 101 tip is to measure all of your results, good and bad. Be sure you track:

  • Total Responses 
  • Number of unsubscribes
  • All recipient data possible  

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 and you can continue to grow your SMS marketing 101 knowledge too. 

Image of text messages in CallTrackingMetrics dashboard.

SMS business marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or hard to execute. Follow these SMS marketing 101 basics and you’re well on your way to a successful SMS campaign. If you want to automate some of your SMS business marketing efforts or learn more details about your site visitors and callers, CallTrackingMetrics can help. We’re one of the only marketing attribution and call tracking platforms that tracks all SMS communication in conjunction with your advertising data—and you can automate customized SMS business messages and follow-up actions. Schedule a demo and see how CTM can transform your marketing efforts.