Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives and most of us use them every day to stay connected to the world around us and to access the digital services we’ve come to heavily rely on. The ubiquitous nature of mobile phones is highlighted by the Pew Research Centre’s Technology Device Ownership Survey, which shows that 92% of US adults now own a mobile phone.
An obvious, but often overlooked, fact is that every single mobile phone in use is SMS enabled (even if it’s not a smartphone), making it the mobile channel with the broadest reach. SMS messaging is also very simple to use – you don’t need to be particularly tech-savvy to receive and read an SMS message. Almost anyone knows how to respond to an SMS message alert. In addition to its reach and immediacy, SMS is also extremely affordable and offers great ROI for your business.
Although SMS has built its reputation on sending short and sharp confirmations and announcements, smart businesses are increasingly using SMS marketing to boost rates, build customer loyalty and develop long-term customer relationships.
Business owners, marketers, and salespeople are continually on the lookout for more effective and efficient ways to market their business to gain exposure, signups, or sales. They are always looking for ways to improve response and get a higher return on your marketing investments.
In recent years, that has meant trying SMS marketing; after all, consumers are never far from their mobile device, on average a person checks their smartphone 150 times a day – the smartphone has changed the way we live our lives.
In a recent article published by the Digital Marketing Magazine, they stated that 75% of people would like to receive offers via SMS.
Despite all the potential that SMS marketing holds, you must be careful not to misuse it or make mistakes that annoy your customers. There is a right way, which will build loyalty and generate sales; and there is also a wrong way, which will undermine customer’s relationships – and your bottom line.
Consider these four tips when implementing your SMS campaign:
1. Make it Relevant
Sending customer irrelevant content/messages is a great way to annoy them and show them that you don’t care much about them. Blanket emails rarely see much of a return, if any, sending SMS messages catering to all rather than being tailored to your customer will rarely work.
2. Be Consistent
Consistency is key. Even the best business plan will fail without dedication to consistency. Consistency establishes your reputation, a once of well-executed marketing campaign may show immediate results but business growth requires a track record of success. Consistency maintains your message.
3. Make it personal
Make customers feel special. Make them feel that you care about them and that your marketing message has been sent directly to them and only them, your most important customers.
Doing so will build good relationships that can turn consumers into loyal customers who keep coming back for more. So use their first names in your messages, send special offers, and personal birthday offers.
Also consider including some other personal touches, such as referencing their last purchases and recommending products that complement their purchases.
4. Make it on time
The timing of your marketing message can be imperative to its success and response. You should take extra care with the timing of your messages. Making sure your timing is right is crucial to your SMS marketing campaign success, not only do customer not want to receive a message late at night or early in the morning but, the chances of them reading or paying attention to your offer are significantly reduced. You also want to make sure that you are giving your customers sufficient time to act on a message. Consider writing a message in advance and sending it later.
You don’t want to overwhelm your customers with texts, you also don’t want to neglect them. Create a specific schedule and stick to it.
In-depth research into popular times to send SMS marketing messages for retailers suggests:
- Weekdays – The two most popular ties are between 8 am and 12 pm and between 5 pm and 9 pm, with 77% of SMS campaigns being sent out between these two timeframes.
- Weekends – Saturdays prove to be the most popular, between 8 am and 12 pm, with 71% of SMS campaigns being sent in the morning. Sunday is slightly different, with 99% of all SMS messages going out during 4 pm and 7pm.
Friday is the most popular day for retailers to send a message, with a 44% increase in SMS campaigns on a Friday.
Keep an eye out for part two, during the week, which will include a detailed infographic.