Guest post by Corey Tyner
Did you know that SMS messages have a 98% open rate? Beyond that, they have a 209% higher response rate than Facebook, email, and phone calls. It’s no secret that SMS marketing can be an incredibly valuable component of your marketing strategy.
However, not all SMS marketing is created equally. What makes some SMS campaigns effective while others struggle to get off the starting line? How can you ensure that your SMS marketing gets results?
These six SMS marketing tips involve some tried-and-true tactics to get more leads and conversions with your SMS marketing.
Tip #1: Know Your Customers (and Segment Your Lists)
The fundamental component of any successful marketing campaign lies in knowing who your customers are and what makes them pay attention. This is especially important for your SMS messaging strategy. For instance, you don’t want to send slick, power-word laden text messages to a group of millennials, because we all know millennials value authenticity in marketing messaging. You also want to get the right groups the right message — what your prospect needs and is looking for is different than what your long term customer wants.
Know who your customers are and segment your lists so that you can send different messages to each segment. Segmentation allows you to identify which message will have the most impact with a particular audience and text them differently to amplify conversion rates.
Tip #2: Create Your SMS List Organically
If you’re just starting with SMS, don’t be tempted to buy a cold list of mobile phone numbers. This might seem like a simple way to get started, but it’s highly ineffective. In addition, according to the FCC, a company can’t send texts to a customer’s mobile, unless that customer has previously given consent to receive the text or the text has been sent in case of an emergency.
Instead, add opt-in opportunities on all of your current assets. Talk about your text messages in your emails, on social media platforms, and throughout your website. Consider using paid advertising to bring attention to your text messages.
You must build your list organically, because your chance of converting leads and keeping subscribers on requires that they’re interested in what you have to offer in the first place.
Tip #3: Spend Time on The Copy
Text messages should be 160 characters or less. When it comes to copy, the fewer words you have, the better the copy needs to be. Stay focused on your objectives and keep the text messages short and concise.
Use everyday verbiage and always include a call to action. Remember, you’re speaking directly to the customer here. This isn’t an advertisement, it’s a personal text message, and 98% of the people will open and read that message.
Focus on making it one-to-one and always keep the recipient in mind.
Tip #4: Provide Real Perks
You have to offer real value with your text messages. Unless you’re a major celebrity, your subscribers aren’t interested in hearing from you unless you’re offering something of value.
Use your SMS marketing as a way to offer exclusive deals, early access to promotions, or access to free products. You should treat your text messaging lists like VIP lists. These people have allowed you access to their phone number, which means that you better provide something substantial in return.
Moreover, if you offer substantial perks, it will be that much easier to build your list organically.
Tip #5: Use CTAs in Your Text Message
CTAs or call-to-actions are a critical component of any marketing campaign, so it’s no surprise that they’re also crucial to SMS marketing. You have to tell the recipients what you want them to do.
Include CTAs in every single text message. This doesn’t mean that every text message should include a “buy now” link, but rather, every text should include some desired action. You can use your texts to drive traffic to your website or social media, or you can use it to gain customer insight.
Calls to action can include things like “click here” or “text-to-win” or “text-to-vote” or “present this text for a discount” or more. Be thoughtful about what you want the desired outcome to be for each message, and then include a CTA that encourages that action.
Tip #6: Focus on Timing
Timing is critical for SMS messages. You need to identify the optimum times to deploy messages to your segments. It may take time and testing to find those peak times for your industry—for example, a restaurant may find more success launching a text campaign right before the weekend hits and people are dining out more versus during the week. Be sure to find what times work for your segments and deploy during those times.
Timing is also a critical component in conversions. Urgency and time-sensitive deals are notoriously effective, so if you are including an offer in your messaging, add in a deadline or window to take advantage of it in order to increase overall conversion rates.
It’s also critical, especially in these uncertain times, to be “world aware.” Make sure that your text messages aren’t tone-deaf or insensitive. Even if you have the perfect text message ready to go, if the current events are all-consuming for your customers, don’t send the text message. Your conversions will suffer, and you will have wasted a fantastic text by choosing to deploy it at the wrong time.
Start Getting More Leads and Sales
If you implement these six tips, your SMS marketing campaigns will begin to generate more sales and conversions. Remember that follow-through, optimization, and tracking are pivotal components, too. You must track the results of each message and campaign and optimize your future messages based on your findings. Marketing involves a bit of trial and error, so be sure to track results. As long as you follow these tips, track your results, and stay persistent, you’ll have a successful and profitable SMS campaign in no time.
Corey Tyner is the owner of Phoenix Fast Home Buyers and Arizona Cash Land Buyers. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.