SMS marketing is a highly effective strategy for creating integrated campaigns that instantly engage customers and immediately drive sales. This marketing tactic allows you to surprise potential customers and established customers with personalized offers that assist in building loyalty to your brand. According to research, SMS marketing has the highest number of open rates than any other single marketing channel. Your business can instantly create highly interactive experiences with exceptionally strong calls to move to action. Continue reading to learn more!
What is SMS Marketing?
“SMS” stands for the phrase “short message service”. “SMS marketing” is a term used to identify the communication of text messages by a brand to customers. The text messages may include information about promotions, marketing campaigns currently in process or upcoming campaigns, updates, specials, and more.
Is SMS Marketing Effective?
SMS marketing is considered to be an effective form of brand advertising. On average, most people check their phones anywhere from 150-200 times a day.
Nearly half of all smartphone users state that they check their phone prior to even getting out of bed in the morning.
These devices typically remain with their owners; which means you are more likely to capture the attention of your target audience through texts than through any other marketing channel. In fact, the open rates for text messages ranks in at 98%, which far exceeds that of email messages, which comes in at only 20%!
Remember, though, for your SMS marketing campaign to be truly effective, your messages must make it directly to the inbox of those you send it to. Additionally, all of the advertisements that you send must be optimized for mobile devices.
If your brand is successful in these two requirements, you will find that you experience an instantaneous overall return on that which you have invested in SMS messaging. Adding to its overall effectiveness is the fact that SMS marketing is not nearly as regulated as that of email marketing. If you are looking for a way to capitalize on technology, SMS marketing is the way to go!
Is SMS Marketing Legal?
Yes, SMS marketing is a legal form of marketing; however, it is imperative to understand that it is highly regulated under the laws of the United States. The requirements specified under these laws are directly governed by the organization known as the Federal Communications Commission or “FCC”, for short. This organization enforces the following laws:
- CAN-SPAM Act
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act or “TCPA”
In addition to these, regulations are imposed by the following entities:
- Mobile Marketing Association or “MMA”
- Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association or “CTIA”
In order to ensure that your business maintains legality when engaging in SMS marketing campaigns, simply follow that which is outlined below:
- Ensure that you receive written consent – in one form or another – from those that you send your texts to by a return text message, an electronic form, or through email.
- There should be included a method of opt-out.
- Any content that you forward in SMS marketing should be relevant to that which they originally consented to receiving.
- Ensure that information regarding the terms and conditions of your SMS marketing campaign are provided to those that elect to sign up.
- Consistently review rules and regulations pertaining to SMS marketing so that your company does not find itself in violation.
How Do I Start SMS Marketing?
Getting started in SMS marketing is actually quite easy. First, create your campaign. It should be created – from start to finish. That way, once you get sign ups, you can start immediately on shooting out those text messages. In short, you will need a keyword and a short code to start. For example, here is a text a flower business could use:
“Text FLOWERS to 555555 for our weekly lists of plants in bloom!”
In this example, “FLOWERS” is the actual keyword and the number listed is the short code. If the individual sends that keyword in to the short code number, it is actually their opt-in. Immediately after, have an auto response go back to them and inform them of what will happen next. This is the best way to do it. Or, you could just add them to your list and send other texts throughout time.
By using keywords and what is called “sub-keywords”, it allows potential customers to interact with your business very easily. By allowing them to use the word “STOP”, it gives them the ability to completely opt-out of your SMS messaging campaign. This is just a basic means of initiating your SMS campaign. Once you get this part of your campaign worked out, you may move on to creative marketing tactics.
Now, it is time to consider the types of messages that you want to send to your subscribers. The following outlines your two main options:
- Text Campaigns – These include at least one message that is sent to your subscribers. It typically informs of any specials, promotions, and/or sales. You may also share announcements in this way. This is similar to that of an email marketing campaign. You will not want to send the messages too often.
- Text Automations – These types of SMS messages are sent based on certain criteria – such as behaviors engaged in by your target audience, an activation of a filter, or other triggers. It takes an action by a customer for a reaction of your SMS marketing campaign. Examples include a cart that a customer abandons and a follow-up on a purchase made.
When you start an SMS marketing campaign, there are a few things that you should do in order to make the most of the campaign. These include the following:
- You will build a list of subscribers; however, not every single message should be sent to all of your subscribers. You must remember to personalize the experience for each subscriber. In doing so, you will discover that you have a higher level of positive engagement.
- If certain subscribers have made a purchase from your business in the past, you should focus on sending them information about new merchandise and/or services that your company is offering.
- If there are subscribers that have not ordered from you in the past, do not send information about new products and/or services. Instead, forward information about sales and first-time buyer discounts or deals – such as free shipping on orders over $50.00. In doing this, you are more likely to attract new business.
- When sending text messages, utilize the opt-in forms that allow you to collect information regarding the preferences of your newly-subscribed list. In taking this step, you will be able to better personalize the content that you send.
- Sending too many texts in too short of a time may prove to be especially intrusive or annoying to many mobile users. You should limit your interactions. This may seem counterproductive, but the truth of the matter is, if you send too many texts, the individual is likely to opt-out. Then, ALL opportunity for SMS marketing engagement is completely stopped. Start slow. You will experience eventual rewards.
- You should develop a marketing strategy that will allow subscribers to receive both email marketing messages and SMS marketing messages from you. This will allow customers to get instant access to some information and even more comprehensive information from another means. If they opt out of one, you are still likely to have a subscriber on the other.
- When marketing through SMS AND email, always make sure the messages are completely different. Do not duplicate your content. If you do, you will lose a few of them – that is for sure.
- Text messages should always be short and to the point. Images may be included. Reserve long copy and large image files for your email marketing campaign.
- When doing SMS marketing, give subscribers “secret access”, “one time only” and similar specials. This will make them feel valued and they will come to love all that super special or secret “inside information” that they are receiving.
- Despite being short and sweet, you are capable of establishing relationships with your subscribers through text messages. Tell them a little about yourself. Send messages that turn on the emotions. Advertise how you can help solve their problems. Become their biggest supporter. If you do this, they will develop a personal connection with your brand. In turn, you will achieve high levels of success!
Contact Us Today
Are you ready to take your online business to the next level? We here at Brick Road Media can assist you! We handle it all – website programming and design, content creation, SMS marketing, and MORE! Simply contact us today. We will evaluate your business and pinpoint the areas where we feel you could benefit from our assistance. We offer full and complete monitoring. You may even sign up for a monthly service plan with us! Give us a call.