In a highly urbanized world, start-ups can thrive in their respective markets with the right use and application of technology. Many entrepreneurs succeed by treating marketing as the heart of their venture, then supplementing marketing efforts with technology. By prioritizing the best of both worlds, you can drive your business towards growth and success.
An important question that arises often is when and where to start implementing technology in your marketing plan? Of course, you’ll have to look for your customers and chase their attention. With 5.2 billion unique mobile users existing presently, it’s worth bringing your products and services into these small, compact screens using SMS marketing.
What Is SMS Marketing?
Short message service (SMS) marketing is the practice of sending marketing campaigns of your brand, products, and services through text messages. In these text messages, businesses can send not only content in text format, but they can also embed images, links, keywords, and voice messages to make their campaigns more engaging.
SMS marketing is an easy and effective way of reaching out to your audience and potentially inviting as many leads and customers into your marketing funnel. Since the emergence of SMS in the tech landscape in the 1990s, people can now use SMS for more than just personal communication, but also for organizational and entrepreneurial purposes.
Why SMS Marketing?
Because of the endless tech options available, many business leaders think that SMS is inconvenient and irrelevant to use today. SMS marketing remains one of the underutilized marketing strategies; however, it holds great potentials. Before implementing SMS marketing into marketing campaigns, businesses should be able to answer the question: why include SMS marketing as a marketing strategy?
According to a report by Mobile Squared entitled Conversational Advertising, 90% of all text messages are read and acknowledged by their recipients within 3 minutes of delivery. This staggering percentage alone makes SMS marketing a compelling promotional channel.
Also, mobile phones accompany their users for 16 hours a day, increasing your chances of getting noticed by a potential customer upon unlocking their device. Annually, users have mobile phones in their hands for 5,840 hours, compared to 2,920 hours of spending time with desktop computers and 1,865 hours watching their televisions.
To kickstart your SMS marketing and promotional campaigns, consider integrating these 10 SMS marketing tips into your business:
Invest In Auto-Dialing Solutions
First and foremost, if you want to get hands-on with your SMS marketing campaigns, your initial step should be to set up a marketing system designated for SMS messages and calling solutions. There’s no better ecosystem to start with than an auto-dialing application by Call Cowboy.
An auto-dialer, or automatic telephone dialing system, is a software system that automatically dials phone numbers of leads and potential customers. Instead of assigning agents to dial cell phone numbers manually, auto-dialer significantly speeds up your calling operations.
This type of software will highly benefit small businesses as it allows entrepreneurs to separate their personal and business communications. Moreover, auto-dialers possess these helpful features which can easily be aligned with your marketing goals:
- Send unlimited SMS or text messages to hundreds of people with one click
- Generate outbound calls for cold calling
- Receive inbound calls for warm calling
- Reach customers across other countries
- Evaluate marketing performance through analytics and reports
- Use interactive voice recognition
Reach Your Audience In A Non-Intrusive Manner
Intrusiveness is the most notable reason why some entrepreneurs don’t prefer using SMS marketing and customers dislike receiving promotional text messages. Because of the disruptive practices of other companies, SMS marketing has gained a negative reputation in the business industry. However, did you know that you can still introduce your business and keep in touch with customers without being intrusive and spammy?
You can stay discreet but effective in reaching out to your audience through sending ringless voicemail campaigns. Essentially, a ringless voicemail or voicemail drop technology is a method of sending a pre-recorded voice message to the recipient without its usual telephone ring associated with voicemails.
Ringless voicemails, in conjunction with your outbound sales, is an excellent combination for boosting your telemarketing campaigns. This is because outbound calling encourages a long-term relationship with customers through initiating communication and engagement. However, traditional voicemails tend to be left unopened by its recipients, which will result in no lead conversion.
In contrast, using ringless voicemails allows your company to:
- Allow leads to open your voicemails at their own convenience
- Cut down operational and labor costs
- Follow-up and align efforts to convert old leads
- Send deals and offers to a targeted audience
- Discover a wider audience containing the right consumers
Keep Your Messages Clear and Concise
Regardless of the elegant functionality of your SMS and dialing solutions, they’ll remain ineffective if potential customers aren’t interested in what you’re trying to tell them, let alone bother to read and understand your messages. Since people are occupied with their daily routines, your text messages must be simple and straightforward enough to avoid being a mental burden for leads.
While this tip is extremely simple, you’ll be surprised that many businesses overlook the aspect of simplicity and straightforwardness, which becomes the reason why their SMS marketing efforts fail.
With this in mind, here are some tips to craft a concise yet impactful text message:
- Try keeping your count less than 160 characters.
- Make it personal and relatable to increase authenticity.
- Find your brand’s permanent voice and style of writing.
- Always include your brand name into the message.
Utilize An Engaging Call-To-Action (CTA)
Gone are the days of plain promotional texts. After a potential customer reads your text message, what do they do next? You can add call-to-action (CTA) to drive your audience to respond and accomplish an action.
Serving their options right into the text message increases their likelihood of engaging with your brand. For instance, if you’ve encouraged clients to visit your online store for new product releases, they’ll more likely forget doing this if they’ve received your message in the middle of doing an important activity.
Therefore, you can make it easier for customers to visit your shop by adding a CTA that links directly to your website, instead of asking them to browse manually on the web. Doing so creates a sense of urgency and makes your customers feel that they’re taking part in something important.
Here are some tips for integrating CTAs into your text messages effectively:
- Use powerful keywords like verbs to encourage recipients to take action, such as “register,” “subscribe,” “join,” “donate,” “download,” and more.
- Add a few surprises by giving incentives and rewards.
- Be aware of and practice the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) guidelines.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm in your writing.
- Take advantage of the fear of missing out (FOMO)’ in your promotions to increase immediacy.
Integrate Your SMS And Social Media Marketing
Want to boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts without spending resources on new solutions? Creative entrepreneurs can make the most out of their marketing solutions by merging them to create more fruitful results. An excellent example is to integrate your social media campaigns to your SMS marketing efforts.
As both marketing channels are receiving exposure, it increases your advantage in reaching a bigger audience simultaneously without taking money from your pocket. This strategy is immensely beneficial to your brand—boosting your social media follower count through SMS and gaining more text subscribers through social media platforms.
Check out these examples in stitching your SMS and social media marketing campaigns together:
- Host text-to-win giveaways and let your social media followers know
- Notify your customers about product and service updates through text, then link the full statement posted on your social media pages
- Implement referral incentives to followers who can invite new subscribers using their personal referral codes
Also Read: 10 Social Media Secrets to Get More Clients
Give Out Exclusive Offers Via Text
As mentioned briefly earlier, customers love receiving rewards and incentives for doing a simple task for your brand. Since SMS facilitates quick delivery and receipt of message campaigns, this is the best channel for sending exclusive deals to your customers anytime and anywhere without internet access.
However, when adding rewards and incentives to your text messages, you have to ensure that they’re compelling enough to encourage your recipients to join your offers. You’ll have to make it a win-win situation for both you and your customers. You can take advantage of SMS campaigns’ most common types of incentives, such as discounts, coupons, freebies, and contests.
Additionally, you can come up with your own creative incentive ideas that are most suitable to your respective industry and target market. You can also put up big seasonal offers and indicate urgency of incentive redemption, which is an excellent opportunity to transform seasonal shoppers into loyal year-round shoppers.
Pair SMS Campaigns With Live Agent Support
Admittedly, one disadvantage of using SMS marketing alone is the lack of features and functionality in the platform itself. When using SMS, users can only exchange messages with one another through text and multimedia content, which is less helpful in establishing a stronger communication, unlike calls.
To supplement this concern, you can use digital tools to back up your SMS campaigns. In case customers desire to continue the conversation, setting up live agent notifications and alerts is more conducive in delivering customer satisfaction. However, do note that this will be more efficient if your customer support inbox supports multiple channels.
Through enabling a live chat feature in your marketing campaigns, particularly 24/7 support, you can provide real-time convenience to your clients. If you have plenty of competitors in the industry, having live agent support gives you an ultimate edge against them.
Take Advantage of CRM Integration
While ‘purchase’ is the bottommost layer of the digital marketing funnel, a customer’s first purchase shouldn’t be their last. To become a profitable and sustainable business, you should prioritize gaining loyal, repeat customers that are satisfied with your products and services. You can accomplish this through customer relationship management (CRM).
Along with your SMS solutions and tools, you can connect CRM software via their application programming interfaces (APIs). Simply put, an SMS CRM integration lets these two systems speak to one another and access, share, and sync data together.
Through integrating a CRM system into your text messaging efforts, you can monitor relationships with every customer, and then the algorithm chooses the best actions to keep customers engaged. For example, if a certain customer didn’t follow up on their concerns recently, the software sends them a message to invite the customer back.
Master The Art of Timing
A successful marketing campaign doesn’t only contain the right choice of marketing tools, resources, and techniques. A business should also find the optimal delivery to initiate and accomplish their campaigns. When enticing potential customers to engage with your brand, timing is everything.
Since SMS is delivered and received almost immediately, you should know how to choose the right time in sending them. Unlike emails and social media marketing, your campaigns will only notify the recipients once they connect to the internet. Dispatching SMS campaigns at the wrong timing can put your business on thin ice.
Mastering the art of timing in sending promotional text messages may be difficult because it largely depends on a customer’s current activity and mood, but here are some general tips to help you:
- Never send messages too early in the morning and too late at night
- Use last-minute impulses to your advantage and send promotional messages a few hours or days before the end of the offers
- If you’re sending to customers in another country, make sure that you’re aware of time differences
- Evaluate which days of the week your customers tend to engage the most
Never Spam and Pressure Your Customers
Last but most importantly, you should understand that not every campaign to individual customers will yield a successful conversion. Some people may become interested in your brand, while some will not. If your SMS recipients showed no response and interaction in the slightest way possible, don’t flood them with messages just to get them on your boat.
While SMS is considered an ancient technology compared to what society has today, it remains extremely relevant for personal and business purposes. Using these tips and tricks discussed, you can tailor them according to your business’s needs and preferences, and hopefully, use these as instruments to drive a better future for your brand.
As new technological advancements emerge over the next decade, will SMS marketing still be as relevant and effective? As there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this, it’s for you to find out.