Marketing in any small business can be difficult. Deciding where to spend the budget each month and what type of message to communicate is hard. Most small businesses send email campaigns to their database and the read rates are around 30%. That means for every 100 emails a business sends 70 aren’t even read, they are simply trashed or ignored.
SMS Marketing is a cost effective alternative solution to time-consuming email campaigns that need large amounts of copy written, designs made, coded and tested across all email clients.
Research has shown that over 99% of SMS are read and 90% of those are opened within 3 minutes of delivery, this brings a whole new meaning to direct marketing.
Nervous about sending that first SMS campaign? Don’t be. It’s simple, all you need is a clear message written in 160 characters of less.
Collect mobile numbers & consent: Much like email campaigns, there are strict laws around unsolicited text messages, you can’t buy lists of mobile numbers and send them text messages, its not effective, it’s illegal and it simply bothers the consumer.
Whenever you’re collecting any information from your user or customer, whether it’s at the online checkout area, at the service counter, on some paperwork or other means your should request their mobile number and add it to your database.
160 Characters per message: Twitter has managed to become one of the largest social networks by allowing users to tweet messages composed in 140 characters or less. If the Associated Press can report the news in 140 characters, a business can perform marketing with an extra 20 characters.
Messages have to be short, to the point, contain a call to action and most importantly, be time sensitive.
It’s important to understand what a call to action can do for your business:
Drive Traffic to your website
A message can contain a web link to your website which is a great way to build traffic instantly, as users can click the link and be taken directly to your site. However, it’s important to remember that not every person receiving your message has a smart phone. Messages can be received on any mobile phone, unlike internet which isn’t available on all handsets.
If your target audience is likely to have a smart phone, then it’s acceptable to send messages containing links. If not, then don’t do it. The message will be ineffective and will increase opt-out rates.
Encourage the users to respond by text or telephone
If your goal is to have your (prospective) customers call your business, then ensure you break up your campaign into smaller segments and send messages sporadically, as SMS are delivered instantly and read within three minutes. Call-to-actions are followed very quickly and could instantly cripple your phone networks with incoming calls. An alternative is to encourage your user to text their response back. These responses can be forwarded to your email or stored online.
Getting your customer in store
Want to get more people into your shop or workplace, target your customers geographically and at specific times. Offer discounts or specials, notify your customers of sales or stay top-of-mind at the right time.
Restaurants can send a message to their databases shortly before lunch notifying the customers of the lunch special.
Little Italy has brought back the luscious lasagna for today only. Come in at lunch before it’s gone. Reply Stop to Opt Out
Hairdressers with low bookings can offer specials or remind customers to book their next appointment or request walk-ins.
Finance companies can notify customers of stock prices and inform them of times to buy and sell.
Facebook shares at an all-time low. Recommend you buy. Call GG Finance 03 9550 9432. Reply Stop to 0440 222 555 to Opt Out
As your communicating with existing clients or users that know your brand, you don’t need to fill in all the blanks, you only need to identify your brand and message.
Opt-Outs: Drawing the similarities with email, SMS campaigns must offer users a way to opt-out of campaigns. Common methods of opt-outs include enabling users to respond to a message with ‘STOP’. There are online tools such as SMSCentral Web SMS Platform that offer these tools built in to effectively manage your database and ensure your campaigns are not breaking the rules.
SMS Campaigns are very simple to setup and send. This channel of marketing is effective, cost effective and fast.
Have you tried SMS marketing? If so, what was your experience? Did you get the results you were after, at the desired cost?