The attention of your customers is valuable. In a technology-driven world, you need to position your brand in the eyes of the customer. This task is challenging because of the numerous competing interests in smartphones. One of the most effective ways to stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds is through personalized text messages.
How can your business utilize this to generate more revenue? Below we detail several best practices and steps you can take to rejuvenate your marketing strategy.
What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing involves sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages via text. Texting these messages allows customers to take advantage of time-bound offers, product releases, alerts, and other updates. However, people must provide consent to receive these SMS campaigns from your business.
When your business integrates SMS marketing, it gives you 24/7 access to customers. Having this ongoing connection enables you to build and maintain a meaningful relationship with your most loyal clients. If your marketing team utilizes text message marketing tastefully, you can boost leads, advertise your products and services, increase revenue, and raise engagement.
Why Is SMS Marketing a Valuable Tool?
There are several reasons why SMS marketing is an effective strategy for your business. Below are some of the top reasons why it’s a worthwhile investment.
- Attention: As of 2021, there are over 14.91 billion cell phones in the entire world, making it easy to gain the attention of your customers.
- Outperforms email: Email marketing can be challenging and may end up in junk folders, while a text lands directly in the customer’s mailbox with a notification.
- More likely to be read: A short, concise text is much more likely to get read through than an email.
- Personal: People love to feel important, which is why personalized text messages are more likely to grab their attention.
- ROI: Text message marketing has a higher ROI and a much larger open rate.
Best Practices: Personalized Text Messaging
There is no doubt that SMS marketing is a cost-effective tool for your business. So, where do you and your team begin? Below are some actionable steps you can take to start connecting with your customers more effectively through personalized text messaging.
Because text messaging is a more private method of communication, it is essential to get the customer’s approval before doing so. Much like how we knock on someone’s door, you should always ask for permission before sending your customers a text. Try to avoid flooding or spamming their inbox – this will do more harm than good.
When you begin texting the customer, you should send a code or contextual keyword. That way, the customer can reply with the specific keyword as a confirmation of their approval.
Keep the Messages Fun, Short, and Simple
People’s attention spans are short. A brief, direct text message with engaging content and a call to action is the perfect delivery. The customer should be able to digest the information quickly and make a quick decision.
Send a button or link where customers can learn more after you’ve piqued their interest. Messages in this format are more intriguing than extensive, boring text messages with no value-added information.
Those who receive the text message will most likely skim the material. The text message only needs one sentence or a buzzword to captivate the customer. You don’t need to exaggerate, put in fluff, or use elaborate words. Try to stay away from abbreviations as much as possible.
Grammar is also critical in text message marketing. Although this is a small detail, text message marketing is not the place to slack. Every external communication you send out reflects your brand. For some, grammatical errors suggest that a business is scammy or unprofessional.
So, where does the fun come into play? There are many ways to incorporate fun into your communication. You can choose fun games, pools, trivia, interactive texts, rewards, or funny memes.
People love competition, so here are some further contests ideas you can try to spur engagement:
- Provide a free meal or product to the first 25 responders to your text
- Discount for the best caption for a photo contest
- User-generated content – award people who send a picture of them using your product
Select a Quality SMS Marketing Software
Depending on the size of your business, you should evaluate if you want to do it yourself or outsource your text marketing to a third party.
Doing it on your own is not the best option because it takes time and energy away from running your business. Drafting thousands of messages is neither cost-effective nor convenient. It also opens the possibility of making typos or missing out on customers.
As you browse through the different tools, look for options that enable you to organize all your subscribers, auto-schedule campaigns, and analyze metrics like open-rate or click-rate. A few of the best SMS marketing software and tools are Twilio, EZ Texting, and SlickText.
Send personalized text messages to collect reviews from customers with TrustSpot.
Understand Your Customer Before You Launch Text Messaging Campaigns
This principle applies to all types of businesses, but you should always have a clear picture of your target customer. How will you know what to promote if you do not understand what your customers value?
You can utilize a CRM (customer relationship management) application to assess your customer base. You can analyze demographics, purchase history, and interests so you know what type of message to send.
SalesForce is a premium tool that delivers efficient tracking of customer engagement and other details. It also has an excellent dashboard of insights about how your customers behave. Although there is a slight learning curve, Salesforce prides itself on its reliable customer support team.
CRMs enable your business to group customers by their top preferences. You can then outline targeted campaigns to send to each group. No matter what you decide, personalization must play a key role in your marketing strategy.
Always Remember to Promote the “Opt-In” Option
Social media is a helpful tool that will help your business grow your text messaging list. Since you already have a strong following on your platforms, use this as a promotional tool to guide people to SMS. The bottom line: you need to be strategic about leveraging social media platforms for your opt-in.
If you have a Facebook or Instagram profile, it would be smart to list out your business phone number with an “opt-in” link or button. This option will send people to sign in for your SMS marketing campaigns. You can apply these same tactics to your emails, website, newsletters, and in-store marketing collateral.
Leverage Urgency as an Influential Tool
People are more likely to make a purchasing decision when they think that the product or service will soon be gone. You can utilize this tactic to your advantage in text message marketing. Send out a text campaign about a time-sensitive sale or flash deal, which could incentivize your loyal followers to make a repeat purchase.
To execute this tactic flawlessly, try to use one of these key buzzwords:
- Hurry now, before it expires
- The product will soon be sold out
- Valid until
- Only today
- Limited product left
- The sale ends in 3 hours
Phrases like these build up a sense of urgency for your customers. The scarcity principle goes into full effect when people read these messages because they are afraid of missing out.
Tug on your customer’s heartstrings with a small “FOMO” push. Doing so will boost your traffic, increase sales, and build more trust with your customer base.
Pair this influencing tactic with the accessibility of text message marketing to benefit both you and the customers. They will be happy to receive exclusive product deals directly in their inbox.
Get Your Timing Right
A common misunderstanding is that an SMS marketing text can be sent at any time of the day. However, text message marketing is actually all about optimal timing and relevance.
A popular time for SMS text messaging marketing is between 10 am and 7 pm. It depends on your customers, but you should focus your campaigns during this time window.
Yes, it will be challenging to know the exact right time to text someone. All your customers run on different schedules, work varying occupations, and have different lifestyles.
There are a couple of things you can control, however. Avoid sending late night or early morning texts when people are either relaxing or preparing for their day. You can also ask customers for the best time to reach them when they sign up.
Don’t Forget to Add the Disclaimer
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) lays down strict rules about text message marketing. Under its current rules, all marketers, or businesses with text message marketing programs in place, must add the following statement:
“msg and data rates may apply.”
This statement is critical to add when customers give consent and opt-in. All text services will integrate this sentence automatically. However, it’s your responsibility as a business or marketing team to make sure that it gets included.
Your subscribers will see this information only one time, which is when they first sign up. Therefore, you must ensure the message is there. The last thing you want is for your customers and subscribers to get enraged every time they get charged.
Always Provide Value
When you send out texts to your loyal customers, you never want to waste their time. Personalized text messages are private communication, which is why you want to make it worth their read. Otherwise, if they do not see it as a worthwhile texting relationship, they can immediately opt out and cost you sales.
You can grab a customer’s attention by sending a text about a premium discount, exclusive deal, coupon code, or prize winner from a past contest. Doing so will enable you to build rapport and trust while also keeping your lead warm.
Even if the customer does not act on the sale, you will stay relevant to them. Your business will be on their mind when it is time for them to make a meaningful purchase decision in the future.
In addition, referral discount deals, buy one get one free, and a product sneak peek will also make your customers feel engaged. Many people love feeling important, and your business can do that through text message marketing.
Segmentation is Your Friend
There is a good chance that you will have subgroups among your entire customer base. While all customers share a love for their business, that doesn’t mean they should all be marketed to in the same way. You can send out engaging SMS campaigns to these different segments by establishing different categories in your SMS software.
For example, you might send a different message to someone who just signed up than you would to someone who just made another repeat purchase.
The biggest mistake marketers make is approaching a new customer the same way that would a loyal fan. To the newcomer, you need to prove your brand’s worthiness of their time. To a long-term customer, you are already valuable, but they are probably camping out for a discount.
Final Wrap Up
Your success or failure in text message marketing lies in your ability to gain your customer’s attention. How can you position your brand so that it is valuable and worth their time?
It all starts with a value-driven approach. Every communication should educate your customer on new information, save them money on a purchase, or strengthen your relationship with them.
To recap, here is how you can maximize your relationships with customers through text message marketing:
- Get consent
- Keep the messages engaging, short, and sweet
- Utilize a reliable SMS marketing software
- Know your customer’s values, motivations, and personalities before sending out a campaign
- Promote your opt-in
- Utilize urgency in your campaigns
- Optimize your timing
- Add the disclaimer
- Provide value in every message
- Use segmentation for better outcomes