“With great power comes great responsibility.” This famous line from Spider-Man is, believe it or not, also applicable to the SMS marketing method. SMS is a powerful aspect of digital marketing that, although used often, is also prone to not being utilized correctly, and can come across as spammy to others.
Just to give you an idea on the potential power of SMS, here’s a breakdown of the figures:
- According to TextMagic, 5 billion people own a mobile phone that can send SMS and 89% of people always have their phones within their reach.
- Out of all the SMS messages sent globally, 98% are opened, and 95% of that are opened within 3 minutes.
- Compared to email marketing, SMS campaigns have higher response rates with one campaign seeing a 45% response rate.
One of the most overlooked aspects of SMS marketing is that the campaign being launched should give value to the targeted audience. This is where research comes in.
- Get your customer’s permission first – SMS marketing is highly customized to your customer’s behavior, so to avoid coming off as intrusive, be sure to get your customer’s opt-in first before initiating the campaign.
- Do your research – If you already have a customer list, profile your customers based on their preferences and past purchasing behavior.
- Segment your SMS list – Whenever you create your lists, be sure to create the relevant segments for your customers and be sure to take time zone differences into consideration.
- Set your goals – Finally, make sure that your objectives are both trackable and measurable. Tracking metrics will help measure your level of success, and in case your campaign isn’t working (especially during your first few tries) you can tweak your campaign until you find something that works.
With everyone using SMS nowadays, how can you make sure your campaign hits the right spots? Here are a few tips:
Remember when the web was new, and the limited bandwidth hampered the content that we could present? Fast forward 20 years later and now we are spoiled for choice on the type of content that we could share, we can now share photos and videos at the press of a button (example: Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu). The audience has now evolved into a content-hungry crowd who now prefer visual content instead of blocks of text. Most blogs and newsletters now have pictures and even videos attached to cater to this new need.
This new trend has presented a major challenge to content makers: how do we keep the content fresh? This presents an even bigger challenge to small-and-micro enterprises who have a limited budget to spend for their marketing campaign.
This is where emojis come in. A product of Japan, these tiny pictographic representations of ideas and emotions have gained popularity these past few years. Emojis are an awesome way of adding fresh visual content to your campaign without added cost.
Pictures convey a thousand words and using the correct emoji can boost your message and avoid misunderstanding A perfect example on how emojis were used successfully is Domino’s SMS campaign where they let customers use emojis to order pizza.
All the customer must do is text a pizza emoji and confirm their order in a subsequent text. So, all it takes are just a few keystrokes and the customer will have their pizza on their doorstep shortly.
Did this campaign influence their business? It sure did! Domino says that their investment in technology helped their U.S. digital business grow by 50% and generate $4.7 billion annually in income from digital channels.
Giving Value to Others
Giving value is something that cannot be done enough in marketing. By default, people don’t like being sold to. However, if you give them enough value, then they’ll be sure to listen to your message and your offers.
How can you give value to others? By giving them advice, and how-tos. Basically, just give your audience the solution to their problems. They don’t really care about the bed, so to speak, they only care about the good night’s sleep that they can get from the bed.
Tide’s campaign to promote their new high-efficient (HE) detergent (at the time) is a good model of giving value to others. They enticed customers to sign up to their SMS list by offering a year’s worth of free detergent and on top of that, they would receive tips and solutions on how to deal with laundry and stain problems via SMS.
The campaign was so successful that it was able to generate 48,000 new warm leads. So, you can see that providing value to others, if done correctly, can be a boon for your business.
Using a Call-to-Action
Another underestimated and underused SMS marketing tool is the call-to-action (CTA). Many ads today, whether online or print, do not have a call-to-action, which is a missed opportunity because some customers are left hanging.
Having the right copy is just half the battle, having a strategically written call-to-action will motivate your audience to take the next step of the process. If he/she is on the fence, the call-to-action will gently nudge the customer to the right direction.
Having a CTA can help create a sense of urgency that will urge your audience to do the desired action.
The print ad above is a classic example of the call-to-action. If you take a look at the encircled text, it tells the audience what they need to do in order to get more information about the Ford Escape. It doesn’t leave them hanging, it encourages interested parties to get in touch with Ford to get more information.
After interested audiences take the next step and decides to text Ford, the sales team on the other end can then work to close the sale, which would be that much easier since the target audience is already interested in what Ford has to say.
So how big of an impact did this campaign have on Ford’s sales? They were able to close 15.4% out of the total number people who texted, which is more than decent enough closing rate.
Even though SMS is old technology by today’s standard compared to the Viber, Facebook Messenger, and all other modern messenger apps of today’s digital world, SMS marketing is still important because not everyone is connected to the internet all the time, plus all mobile phones have SMS service anyway, so why not go the extra mile and utilize that platform?
And if you want to expand your mobile marketing portfolio, why not check out our article on Mobile Marketing Trends for 2018?