If you aren’t using SMS marketing yet, you’re missing out. This relatively new marketing approach may feel unfamiliar, but it draws upon classic marketing concepts and ideas to captivate your audience. We’ve created this handy guide below of SMS/Text Message marketing strategies we’ve used to generate over $250 million in revenue for clients, along with other marketing strategies. Read on to learn about SMS marketing, why you need it, and how to use it.
What Is SMS Marketing All About?
Text message marketing, or SMS marketing, involves contact customers with curated content through SMS text messages.
This approach allows your brand to interact with your customers in a medium they typically share only with friends and family. According to Campaign Monitor, SMS messages are more likely to be opened and responded to when compared with other forms of marketing, especially email.
This strategy gives you inside access through a more intimate and direct form of communication.
Why Should You Use SMS Marketing?
There are some eye-opening numbers when it comes to text message marketing and how effective it can be:
- 81% of American adults use SMS messaging every single day. This number is even higher in younger demographics — while adults between the ages of 35 and 44 send and receive 52 texts a day, adults aged 25 to 34 send and receive over 75, and adults 16-24 send and receive 128 texts every day. That trend continues with both older and younger demographics. By utilizing this information, you ensure your marketing is effective within different age ranges.
- According to Business Wire, 75% of people say they would prefer to receive marketing offers through SMS messages, likely because SMS messaging is faster and easier to quickly access — especially if you’re shopping in-person at a store.
- Ninety-eight percent of people end up opening SMS messages at some point — making it likely that customers will at least see your content. This is a big contrast to the 20% open rate of marketing messages sent through email.
- People don’t just open SMS marketing messages — they also click through and respond. The average response rate for SMS marketing messages is 45%, according to SMS Global. The average click-through rate for SMS marketing messages is 20%.
Ways You Can Use SMS Marketing
There are a wide array of creative strategies you can apply to SMS marketing to see significant results for your brand. Here are some of the different approaches we typically use for our clients when providing SMS marketing for your business:
- Order updates and notifications: After a customer places an order, you can easily send them a text message confirming their order, letting them know when it has shipped, and when it has arrived — letting them stay up-to-date throughout the entire process.
- Sales and events: Let your customers know about a big sale or event via text. This is especially useful for events like flash sales — just make sure it’s a great deal.
- Special offers: Sending out special offers is a great way to entice people to buy. Maybe send out an offer for 10% off, free shipping, or a free product with a purchase.
- Contests and sweepstakes: If you’re looking to boost your customer engagement or make a positive impression, contests and sweepstakes are a great way to go about it. The customer has to text a simple keyword to opt-in.
- Customer feedback: Customer feedback is vital for any business and is easier than ever to collect, thanks to SMS messaging. Send out a simple customer satisfaction survey. Some can even be completed through SMS messaging alone by responding with numbers or multiple choice.
Integrating SMS Marketing Into Your Overall Strategy
This all sounds great, but how do you integrate SMS into your overall marketing strategy?
You can go about it in several ways depending on which existing marketing channels you’re already using to communicate with customers, such as email or social media. You can integrate SMS into these existing channels with relatively little hassle. Here’s how:
- Build an Audience Database: The first step to integrating SMS is determining exactly which segment of your customer base you want to include in SMS campaigns. Luckily, you already have this information through your collection of customer emails and phone numbers (right?). If you don’t, this is absolutely the first step — and you can accomplish it in several ways, including opt-in mobile notifications and alerts or leveraging an existing newsletter.SMS campaigns are primarily executed through email and text messaging, so having this customer information is crucial. Just as important is obtaining customer permission to store and use this information for marketing purposes and giving them an option to opt-out or unsubscribe in the future.
- Determine Your Campaign Goals: What exactly is your team’s goal for utilizing SMS marketing? Do you want to drive traffic to a specific page? Promote a new product or feature? Encourage customer feedback after an event or sale? Establishing concrete goals is more likely to garner the results you expect, so spend time considering how SMS will help you reach a better outcome than other marketing channels.
- Choose a Strategy and Promote, Promote, Promote: It’s true — with SMS marketing, you can cross-promote and offer opt-ins at every corner of social media. But you’ll first need to decide on an SMS strategy that will make your campaign highly effective in reaching the correct audience and converting them into customers. There are so many options, but here are a few we’re fond of:
- Promotional SMS
- Loyalty Programs
- Alerts and Notifications for sales, store events, and online events
- Coupon codes
Once you’ve decided on your winning SMS strategy, promote it. Here are a few of the places to push your SMS campaign and give people a chance to opt-in:
- Social media
- Your brand’s website
- Your brand’s email newsletter
- In-store and online POS
- And, of course, SMS/text message
- Use SMS Marketing in Conjunction with Other Strategies: SMS marketing can accomplish so much for your brand and marketing strategy — it can amplify messaging, convert users, and more. That doesn’t mean you should abandon other methods, like email or social media platforms. We create an integrated strategy for our brands and take advantage of all the tools at our disposal, from Instagram to content development, to be as effective as possible.
Inviting Your Audience to Opt-In To Text Messages
We recommend inviting your audience to opt-in to your SMS and email marketing content so you stay on the right side of the law and stay on your customers’ good side. But how can you gain their consent in the first place? Here are some tips and tricks to help build your customer list:
- If you have a website, always encourage customers to opt into receiving your marketing content when they make a purchase online. In most cases, this will give you access to both the email addresses and the phone numbers of your customers so that you can employ email marketing and SMS marketing simultaneously.
- If you already have a great email marketing program, use it to promote your SMS program. You can send out a simple, clear email blast with the information needed to sign up to receive text messages from your business.
- If you employ other advertising methods in print, television, or social media, include a special keyword that allows customers to opt into your marketing content via text.
- Everyone likes to feel special, so a great way to encourage customers to opt into receiving text messages is to make it seem exclusive. Whether it’s creating a separate “VIP” club for your subscribers or sending out special offers, make it clear that they are obtaining access to the best deals.
- Invite customers to opt-in to receive your text messages in person. You can tell a customer about the program by highlighting the information on the receipt after making a purchase. Even better, when they walk into the store, you can invite them to receive a discount on today’s purchase by opting in.
- Speaking of discounts, perhaps the best way to convince people to opt-in is to offer them an incentive. Whether it’s something small like free shipping or running a giveaway, this is a great way to entice your customers so you both gain something.
- Your invitation to opt-in needs to be clear and easy to understand to be effective. Not everyone is tech-savvy, so make the process as foolproof as possible. It may help to include a picture of a phone sending out the keyword to the correct number without using confusing symbols like quotation marks or brackets.
What to Look for in an SMS Marketing Agency
Building out a complete marketing strategy that effectively uses SMS/Text Message marketing can be a significant advantage for a brand. We service nearly 100 clients and incorporate text message marketing into many of their strategies along with other marketing methodologies, including email, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
The right marketing agency doesn’t just create and send out the messages for you. Instead, they act as a partner that listens and guides you through the entire process. They listen to your goals and help you come up with a way to meet them. The right agency will keep you updated with weekly reports to give you peace of mind that everything is going smoothly. If something comes up along the way, they troubleshoot the issue and provide solutions that keep your business moving in the right direction.
The right marketing agency has responsive customer service. They need to be as dedicated to growing your business as you are and in a timely fashion.
We tailor our SMS/Text Message Marketing process for your brand’s needs, and we offer a comprehensive approach to cover SMS marketing from start to finish. We start with an audit to gain more insight into your brand and industry. From there, we move to copywriting and designing, and then we create engaging, compelling content subscribers will respond to. We calendar the messages two to three times a week so you can remain relevant but not annoying — all while keeping you updated on metrics and results along the way.
SMS marketing is a vital part of our approach to helping brands scale, and it’s an incredible opportunity, but only if your agency is dedicated to understanding your goals.
Final Thoughts on SMS Marketing
It’s important to remember that being successful in SMS marketing isn’t a given, and it often takes time, dedication, and expertise to be effective. Contact us to learn more of our secrets that help brands drive eye-opening revenue with text messages.