Most people own a mobile phone, and we all spend a lot of time looking at those phones. Embracing those phones can be a great tool for customer service or marketing. Here’s how you can make the most of SMS marketing.
- Create an SMS marketing team. Large SMS marketing campaigns are a lot of work. To pull the campaign off, you’ll need a team of professionals with the right skills to create the right strategy for using text message marketing. You’ll need a few people to fill these roles. You need an SMS marketing program expert, a retail expert, coordinators of on-location signage, digital designers, social media experts, a promotions expert, and an ROI analyst. These areas need to work together. SMS has a tight timeline so your team needs to work closely together and communicate effectively about their plans.
- Know your customer. Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) app to track the success of the messages that you’re sending. Do some analysis on purchase history and location-based demographics so you can make sure the right customers are getting the right messages. For example, if you’re a cosmetics line, don’t send a coupon for anti-wrinkle cream to be spent in your Manhattan store to a 23-year-old in Ohio. Split your clients into segments so you can successfully target your promotions. Bulk messages can be sent for general sales and promotions, but other messages should be targeted.
- Write clear messages. You have 160 characters to get your point across, but if you can do it in less, that’s even better. Make sure your messages are concise and clear. Avoid abbreviations, emoticons, and all caps. Don’t use open-ended messages. An example of an open-ended message would be one to advertise a sale without telling the customer when the sale is ending. Give a specific date of when the offer you’re promoting ends to make clients more likely to act, as they have enough information and incentive.
- Use call-to-action buttons. Calls-to-action increase customer engagement with your message. You want your customer to be engaged, to value your texts, to interact with them, and then act on them. Examples of good calls-to-action could be messages like ‘show this text’, ‘click here’, ‘text to win’, ‘text to vote’, or ‘buy now’.
- Get the timing right. SMS is about immediacy. Most people open messages within a few minutes, so they are likely to best respond to sales, promotions and other promotions on text that are last-minute. If you have an event on a Friday night, send the message on a Friday afternoon. Promote dinner promotions with a message at the end of the workday. Be careful not to be send messages too early in the morning or too late at night as this can feel intrusive. Send your messages between 8am and 9pm. You can also find out the best time to send messages to each customer by analyzing their past interactions to your messages, using ultra-targeting to really time things carefully.