When it comes to text message marketing, not all strategies are created equal. From full integration to an add-on for select customers, businesses take different approaches when it comes to texting their customer base As the percentage of Americans who own smartphones keeps trending upward, the need to incorporate text marketing as part of your overall business strategy seems like a no-brainer. As of 2019, 81% of adults in the United States owned a smartphone. That number alone gives you valuable insight into the best way to target your current and potential customers.
Now, if you understand the need for text message marketing, but are unsure of the best ways to utilize your time and money in that sector, we want to share our best practices with you. Follow these helpful tips to get the most return on investment from text message marketing today.
Know your customer
Above everything else, you must know your customer. Understanding what makes them happy, upset, fulfilled, and responsive is key to targeting them with text message marketing the correct way. Knowing, also, what messages work and what don’t is crucial to building value in text messaging for your business.
Prior to sending messages know your area and demographics to create messages made for your specific audience. Take a peek at purchase trends and buying history so that you can send the right messages to the right people. Once you begin texting customers, use a CRM service that tracks the success of your messages, from reads to click-throughs, ensuring that all KPIs are covered.
When getting to know your customers focus specifically on questions like:
- What is the age group of my target audience?
- Where do my customers reside?
- What are the hottest products or services to our customers right now?
- What products or services missed the mark?
- What language and tone does our target audience use and/or prefer?
- What past marketing campaigns have been the most successful for us? How can we transition that to text message marketing?
Get to the point
Lengthy text messages are such a drag. Text message marketing should have a short and sweet approach, including a key phrase or two that engages the customer and invites them to do something after reading. Technically speaking, you have 160 characters to express your opinion or sales goal via a text message, any longer and it will split into more than one message. Aim to stay concise and stick to the main point. Avoid using all caps, bold, italic, or underlined text, and keep your emoji use to a minimum, especially if that would normally be considered off-brand for you. Avoid being too vague with dates, costs, or terms. Instead, include the date of the sale or event and the cost to purchase or signup. Customers are way more likely to jump into something in the moment if they have all the details in front of them.
Include a call to action
Every message should have a purpose. A call to action increases overall customer engagement which is the goal in any viable marketing plan. Increased engagement shows that your customer values what you say, believes in your products or services, and wants to learn more about your message and what you have to offer them. Providing value is the biggest step in building lifelong brand loyalists and strong customer relationships.
Some of the best, to the point call to action statements for text message marketing, are:
- “Click Here”
- “Purchase now”
- “Reply to win”
- “Reply to learn more”
- “Follow us here to learn more”
Timing is everything
Timing is another important factor in text message marketing. Understanding when your customer is most active on their phones and most apt to follow your call to action is crucial for overall positive engagement. When learning more about your customer take note of their most active online times and plan your texts to be delivered within that time frame. In general, avoid sending messages too early or too late in the day. Acceptable hours are normally between 9AM and 8PM. Customers are big on immediate action too, so don’t send messages too far out from a product launch or event, instead send details within the same week to keep them interested and excited.
Once you have sent out a steady stream of text messages begin analyzing timing to understand when customers are most engaged with your texts. You may have to tweak delivery times a little bit to meet more active hours or you may find out you’re hitting the mark with the current times you have planned out.
When it comes to growing your small business, it’s important to try different marketing strategies to find the best approach for your specific industry and customer base. Text message marketing is the most direct and effective way to reach your clients almost immediately. When beginning your text marketing plan ensure that you know your customer, get to point in a concise manner, time your message perfectly, and include a call to action. The more you stick to these tried and true methods, the better your engagement will be.