9 SMS Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
According to recent statistics, SMS messages have a staggering open rate of 98%. In addition, they have a 209% higher response rate compared to email, Facebook, and even phone. With such stats, it does not come as a surprise that over 48 million people opt to receive business information in the form of SMS.
From a business perspective, these numbers clearly show that SMS marketing has a lot to offer, even in this seemingly internet-run world. For starters, it is a direct and instant channel. Second, it supports and integrates with other channels, allowing you to learn more about your customers. Also, you can easily track SMS marketing response data, allowing you to monitor, track and tweak your campaign.
However, in order to enjoy all the perks that come with SMS marketing, you need to have an effective strategy. Many small business owners don’t know how to go about it but with the following tips, the process will become less daunting.
Tips for Effective SMS Marketing
1. Know the Possible Benefits & Determine Your Goals
Before embarking on the campaign, you need to ask yourself the reason for engaging in SMS marketing. Your goals, whether it’s conversion, sending product updates/offers, or community building, will define your SMS marketing campaign from the onset.
Also, it is important to know that SMS marketing can substantially drive higher numbers for metrics such as open rate, response, and conversion rate compared to conventional email marketing techniques. So, make sure you comprehend the pay-offs before you begin.
2. Educate Your Customers
Since not many businesses have SMS marketing strategies in place, chances are your audience will not have interacted with a brand in this manner before. They may not comprehend what is in it for them and may become hesitant towards sharing their number with you.
As such, it is your responsibility to educate them on the perks of using SMS to communicate with your company and to reassure subscribers that might be reticent. For instance, if you sell shoes and want to keep in touch with prospects via SMS, ensure you explain how SMS can make communication easier.
3. Pick a Reliable SMS Marketing Platform
Every SMS marketing campaign requires investing in some software package. Common platforms that specialize in SMS marketing will usually have a portal to segment and manage your contacts, send messages and collect data about your customers.
However, not all platforms are made the same. They will have varying functionality at varying prices and so, you need to do your homework and determine the right one based on your budget and needs.
4. Send Precise & Relevant Messages
Your text messages need to be precise and relevant or your audience won’t hesitate to opt-out. If your texts don’t have the information they need, they will ultimately unsubscribe. You can begin with your company name, use a CTA, avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, or complicated words that make the message hard to understand.
In cases where you need to point out some works, use CAPS but don’t overdo it. When it comes to sales announcements, make sure you call attention to the categories of the products you’re selling and the discount amount. Similarly, when announcing an event, include all the details, and don’t forget a link to a video explainer.
5. Use an Engaging CTA (Call-to-Action)
We are no longer in the era of plain promotional texts. Once a prospect reads your text, what is their next course of action? You can add a CTA in order to prompt them into responding and doing something.
To increase the chances of engaging with your business, serve their options right into the text. For example, if you have encouraged customers to visit your online store for new products or offers, chances are they will forget about it if they got the text in the middle of an important task.
As such, you need to make it easier for them to visit your online shop by adding a Call-to-Action that links directly to your site, rather than asking them to browse manually. Adding a CTA evokes a sense of urgency and makes them feel that they are participating in something important.
6. Master the Art of Timing
Make sure you send your texts a bit earlier than the scheduled time. For example, if you are planning for a big sale, have the information sent to your contacts the evening before. In addition, do not text late in the evening. The last thing you want is to interrupt your customers. If the event occurs in the evening, make the announcement in the morning on the day of that occasion.
7. Images Prompt People to Take Action
Images can prompt your subscribers to take action and make your campaign effective and so, it is best to use them whenever possible. Nowadays, almost everyone uses a smartphone, capable of receiving images even via SMS.
So, if you’re running a product promotion, add a photo of it to the message. You can also create an appealing image to announce the upcoming sale. Images prove to be especially effective when you want to make an extra copy without consuming valuable character space.
8. Do Not Spam
When clients opt-in for your announcements, they want regular valuable information. However, this can easily turn into spamming and so, it’s imperative to only contact them into the most appropriate timeframe. The frequency of sending promotional messages differs from industry to industry, and so, do not be afraid to ask for advice from marketing experts.
9. Focus on Your Best Customers
The best customers are the loyal kind, those that purchase consistently, promote your products and services to their friends and family, and provide feedback. A smart marketing strategy is to identify this bunch and spend more time and resources on them. They know and like your business and so, it would be a waste to not leverage their knowledge. So, send them more in-depth polling questions than you do to the rest. Also, reward their dedication with special offers and discounts.
With these tips, any small business owner should be in a position to launch an effective SMS marketing strategy.