Great marketing is an essential piece of the puzzle for your small business to be successful and one form of marketing that you should be using is SMS marketing. Here’s what you need to know.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS is an abbreviation for short message service, which is just a technical way of saying text messages. SMS marketing is the process of reaching out to people instantly on their cell phones with text messages that are either promotional or transactional.
Why should you invest in SMS Marketing?
The reason you should be using SMS marketing is that it works. 70% of customers say that SMS grabs their attention and when done right, it will give you a competitive edge. As an underused channel, SMS marketing offers a unique opportunity to build customer relationships. SMS marketing is fast, has a high open rate, and gets more engagement. This makes it great for increasing brand awareness, boosting engagement, and generating more sales. According to Pew Research, 96% of Americans own a cellphone and SMS is a great way to reach them directly. SMS messages can complement longer form email messages but with 90% of SMS messages getting read within 3 minutes of receiving them they far outpace emails in terms of engagement rates. Not only is the SMS message typically read even before it’s opened with the notification that appears on the screen, but the notification also stays in place until the message is read. This means that a customer is more likely to at least open your SMS message which makes it effective for delivering information with a high rate of success. SMS messages aren’t just opened more frequently, they also earn more clicks on average over email. Including a link in your text messages can even drive engagement with your business online.
SMS Marketing for generating repeat business
Now that you know why you should be using SMS marketing the next thing is to learn how to do SMS marketing. Here’s what to do.
- Generate a list of the people you want to send marketing messages to.
- Divide your list into segments based on what you want to upsell or cross-sell to them. For example, if you have a landscaping company you might have a list of all the customers who get monthly lawn maintenance, and another list for all the customers who get yearly spring cleaning.
- Next, you’ll want to generate offers and deals that make sense for each segment. Going back to our landscaping company example, for the monthly landscaping list you could offer a free month of service if they sign up for a whole year, and for the spring cleaning list, you could offer coupons with a percentage or set dollar amount off the service. You know your customers best so get creative with these.
- Your SMS message will include a link (tiny URL) to your website. You’ll need to create a landing page where people can read more about your offer, book an appointment with you, make a purchase, or whatever else you want them to do. Having a landing page significantly improves your chances of generating repeat business.
- Create a schedule for sending messages to each of your segments.
- Write your messages. They should be catchy, witty, funny, clever, or whatever you think will get people’s attention.
- Never use your personal cell phone to send out text messages.
- Always give people an option to easily “opt-out” of receiving messages from you.
Things you need to watch out for in SMS Marketing
If you’re going to engage in SMS marketing you’re going to need to be careful so that you don’t get into legal trouble. Mobile phone spam is unsolicited (and usually unwanted) messages and advertising. Unlike email, text message recipients may be charged a fee for every message they receive, including spam. Due to this aspect of text messaging many governments, including Australia, the EU, and the United States, have made SMS spam illegal with violators facing steep fines. You can read more about what the Federal Communications Commission has to say about spam here.
If you’re ready to put text message marketing to work for you, you can save time and money by using our Readymade SMS Marketing Program.