If you’re looking for ways to grow your brand footprint, leverage your products and services in your respective market or aiming to reach your customer on a more personal and consistent basis, SMS, or text message, marketing is the way to go.
For small businesses, the high return on investment (ROI) and low cost required for SMS marketing are huge incentives to dive headfirst into this rapidly growing marketing realm. With over 80% of all text messages being opened within the first three minutes of receipt, the instant connectivity is unmatched. When comparing the open rate to that of email marketing campaigns, the results are exponential. Successful email marketing campaigns are opened about ¼ of the time. For text message marketing, the open rate is well over 95%.
If you’re all in on the idea, but unsure of what best practices lead to high ROI, enlist our top 7 tips for success SMS marketing.
1. Provide a short and sweet message.
With SMS marketing, short and sweet messages are the key to overall success rate. Current and potential customers do not want to read through, what feels like, pages of text messages just to get to the end goal. Instant satisfaction is a goal of many current and future generations, so the sooner you can get your point across, the better for both you and the consumer. Choose relevant words that excite and inform. Your messaging should be geared towards getting them interested and wanting to learn more. Opt to stay under the max amount of 160 characters and try to include a relevant link with each message. The link should lead directly to the product/service you are speaking about or connect to your social media channels. A high-value message leads to larger engagement and ROI.
2. Have a clear call to action.
Every message you provide your customer base should have a clear call to action or CTA. While crafting up your message, make sure your goal is clear. Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with your message. Whether it’s a follow on social media, closing a sale on your website or a completed post-shopping survey, this should be the centerpiece of your entire message. Use up a majority of your character count on your CTA and keep it fun and light with the remainder.
3. Include a sense of urgency.
It is a good idea to include some level of urgency in your texting campaign without feeling pushy or rushed to the consumer. Consider including an expiration date on an exclusive sale, survey or contest to encourage your recipients to act fast. This will allow you to receive results in a much faster fashion.
4. Keep it personal.
Nothing says, “delete text” or, “opt-out” more than a robotic text message from a company. Avoid that at all costs by being personal with your customer base. Know their names, their interests, the best time to reach them, and the tone of voice they respond to. The more you aim to target your ideal audience the higher your engagement rates will become.
5. Encourage your customers to share the good news.
It has long been said that the best way to grow your business is through current customers sharing their amazing experiences with others. Word of mouth is huge when it comes to building your brand footprint. Encourage your customers to complete an after-purchase survey detailing their experience and celebrating the wins they had with your company. Incentivize surveys to get a higher engagement rate. It is also best to send out surveys within a few days of their purchase or services so their experience is fresh in their minds. When sending out surveys, make the texts personal to each customer; they will be more apt to complete them if they are addressed directly to them.
6. Send out exclusive offers and incentives.
Nothing gets an opt-in faster than an exclusive offer or incentive. Making your customer feel special and included should be at the top of your priority list, no matter how you decide to communicate with them. By providing your customers with exclusive offers via text, you are opening a new channel for them to access deals. Outside of the standard in-store and online purchases, a text request with an offer is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Include the big details of the offer within the text along with the expiration date and a link to purchase and learn more about the deal. They’ll be so excited to check it out that the open rate will be astronomical.
7. Close the sale.
Move past the dreaded full cart, leave the website saga and close the sale with more customers via text message engagement. Connect your text message marketing to your website to reach out to customers who almost made the purchase, but decided to walk away with nothing. Maybe they became busy, distracted or are on the fence about their purchase, so work your magic, via text, to dive into their loyalty with your company a bit more. Showing them that you see them and you care (even from afar) can be the difference between a browser and a brand enthusiast. Consider offering an incentive, like free shipping, if they decide to close their sale within the first 24 hours of receiving your message. This small gesture will be recognized and appreciated more than you realize.
SMS marketing provides your growing small business with the perfect combination of high return on investment and low cost implementation and maintenance. Through the implementation of SMS business best practices and the best interests of your customer base in mind, you’re sure to hit the ground running through a text messaging campaign.