Are you frustrated by the constant algorithm changes social media platforms and search engines like Facebook and Google are always making?
Tired of sending out emails to customers with less-than-ideal open and click through rates?
It used to be easy to get your message across following these marketing avenues. But now it’s virtually impossible.
So what if there was a better way to communicate with your customers?
One that allowed your messages to finally stand out from the clutter and get the attention they deserve.
What you’re really looking for is SMS marketing.
While it’s not a new form of marketing, it is one that’s piquing interest and growing fast. Many brands see open rates as high as 99%, which far surpasses both typical email and social engagement rates.
The problem is most brands aren’t familiar with SMS marketing.
If that sounds like you, don’t sweat it. Today’s article will cover the ins and outs of SMS marketing to help you determine if it’s right for your brand.
Plus, we’ll also talk about how to get started and even go over some of the best practices to keep in mind with SMS marketing as a beginner.
Now that you’re excited, let’s jump right in!
What is SMS marketing anyway?
Don’t let the fancy jargon scare you off. At its core, an SMS messaging service is all about connecting with your customers. This time, it’s done through text messages; SMS stands for short message service.
And that’s exactly how SMS marketing works.
You simply send text messages to your list of customers anytime you want to communicate important yet quick updates.
These short messages can be anything from event reminders, cancellations, and location changes to alerts that drive customers to your soon-to-be-over flash sales.
SMS marketing can also be used to pick your customer’s brain. Send your list of customers a short survey to see how things are going from their perspective. You can then ask where they think you can improve to better their customer experience (aka: earn repeat business!).
So now that you know what this marketing approach is, you’re probably wondering if it’s right for your business. Let’s tackle that next.
Is SMS marketing right for your business?
First and foremost, text messages are a great way to communicate with customers. They’re fast, short, and most importantly, they bypass overflowing email inboxes and busy social feeds.
Since “over 81% of Americans are texters”, most customers are starting to prefer texts over emails. According to research from Forbes, 76% of people are “more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS/text message” instead of an email.
Which leads to one of the biggest advantages of using a text service:
Text messages have the highest open rates — at around 99%.
And if that wasn’t enough, SMS marketing can also improve your customer service.
If your business relies on appointments, there’s no better way to send a friendly reminder to your customers than via text.
You can also send texts to your new customers asking if they need assistance. If they type “Y” for yes, you can help them right away instead of waiting for them to reach out, which they may never do.
Wondering if marketing sms is right for your business?
Answer the following questions and you’ll know ASAP:
- Are you tired of sending out emails to customers and never seeing a response via your sales or conversions?
- Are you frustrated by the constant algorithm changes that social media platforms and search engines like Facebook and Google are always doing? (i.e., Are you frustrated that your social posts go unnoticed?)
- Would you like a better way to send appointment reminders to your customers so your no-show rates move closer to 0%?
- Would you like to improve your relationships with both new and existing customers?
- Are you looking for a better way to drive customers to your flash sales and short-term promotions?
If you answered “yes” to more than a few of these questions, an SMS service like Mobile Text Alerts may be perfect for your business.
We’ll show you how to get started with one next.
How to Get Started with SMS Marketing
Since most of us are so used to text messaging, it’s super easy to get started with SMS marketing.
First, you’ll need to choose a trustworthy provider just like you would with your own personal cell phone service. Keep in mind, you can’t just show up to the same provider of your normal text messages and ask about SMS marketing.
Instead, you’ll need to choose a provider that specifically focuses on business SMS.
It’s also essential that your provider offers the following features (at a minimum):
- Easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to send an unlimited amount of messages to your subscribers each month
- Automated reminders and follow up texts
- Deliverability reports
- Text-to-speech functionality so your customers can listen to your texts while they’re doing other activities (like driving) instead of reading them
- The ability to send mass texts that appear as if the message was sent to each customer personally
- List segmentation for more targeted campaigns
Once you find the right SMS sending service, you’re ready to import your customer list.
A solid SMS service makes this step easy so all you need to do is add your subscribers, or customers, right to your dashboard with the click of a button.
The best providers will give your new subscribers ways to join your list automatically so you don’t have to lift a finger to grow a contact list worth smiling about.
When your subscriber list is all set, you’ll be ready to send your first message. Yep, it’s that easy!
But before you dive in head first, there are a few best practices you’ll want to keep in mind so you don’t annoy your customers.
A Few Tips to Keep in Mind with SMS Marketing
At this point, you’re more than ready to get started with SMS marketing.
Your next step is determining which types of messages you want to send your customers.
Some good messages to start with include:
- Upcoming sale or event announcements
- Appointment reminders
- Welcome texts to new customers
Once you have your first type of message all figured out, you’re ready to nail down the message itself.
With text messages, the theme is short and sweet. You want to craft the shortest possible message that still makes sense. While it may be okay to send your friend or family member a “C U @ 8” text, this isn’t going to cut it with your customers.
You should still sound professional while keeping your messages short. Since texts are read on small screens and devices, long messages can be too overwhelming for customers to read.
Mention your most important details first and then give instructions for how your customers can take the next step. For example, type “Y” to confirm your appointment or “I’m in” to pre-register for the next sale or upcoming event.
As for how many texts to send, that depends. You don’t want to start bombarding your customers so you’ll need to strike a balance here. Ideally, your customers should hear from you no more than once per week.
It’s also a good idea to use segmentation so you only send certain messages to certain customers.
So, for example, you’d only send event reminders to customers who opened or replied to your initial event text message. That means you’ll exclude anyone that didn’t open your first text so they don’t get annoyed.
Get Started with SMS Marketing Today
With all of today’s information under your belt, your business is finally ready to get started with SMS marketing.
Your first step is to find a trustworthy provider.
From there, import your list of customers, choose the type of message you want to send, and then craft the perfect short-but-to-the-point text. Hit the send button and watch your engagement, click through, and conversion numbers skyrocket.
Article by NeilPatelDigital.com