There’s no doubt that SMS Marketing can lead to incredible success. Look at the case of Seattle Sun Tan, a tanning salon business with 35 locations — after the first month, their text marketing campaign had generated $196,000 in new sales.
That's amazing — and it's not just for big business. Smart small businesses can reap the benefits of an SMS marketing campaign. Whether you already have an SMS strategy that’s lagging or you haven’t started with SMS, we have some top tips on how to craft your best SMS marketing program.
1. Ask Permission
The very first thing you need to do is to get permission from your clients to text them. This is called opt-in. SMS is a very effective marketing tactic, but sending messages to someone's personal phone number without their permission can be seen as invasive. Rather than earning a client's loyalty, you'll earn their distrust. Focus your attention on clients who want to hear from you and your efforts will be better spent.
2. Craft Quality Messages
It's not difficult to write a quality SMS marketing message, but there are some common best practices you should follow to create the most effective messages:
Put the name of your business first. This makes it easy for clients to separate you from spam.
Use a Call to Action. An effective call to action is huge when it comes to marketing. If you can get a client to click, you're more likely to get them to convert. If you're hosting an event, a simple RSVP “Yes” button will allow them to confirm their intent to attend. If you're offering a sale or promotion, you can offer a link to a map showing where it is and how to get there.
Be specific. Don't just announce a sale. Tell them what's on sale and what kind of discount is being offered. If you're promoting an event, include a link to a video or a website so they can find out more information. Don't expect clients to spend time and money to participate in a sale or event when you haven't given them enough information to know if it's worth their time.
Use simple language. Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations that not everyone will understand. Use caps sparingly for key words such as OFFER, DISCOUNT, SALE or EVENT. Don't use excessive exclamation points or emoticons. Don't try to be clever, funny, cute, or cool. Remember, your main goal is to offer information to your clients that's easy for them to understand. So be friendly, professional, and to-the-point in your messages.
3. Capitalize on Exclusivity
One of the greatest advantages for your SMS subscribers is exclusivity. You want to make sure that what you offer clients through your SMS program is unique and not available through other promotional mediums — like your website, newsletter, or Facebook page.
If clients are aware that an offer is only available through SMS, they'll be more likely to sign-up, pay attention to your messages, and take action.
4. Use Timeliness to Your Advantage
Unlike email, 90% of SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes of being sent. If you're planning an event or sale, send the message out to SMS clients either the night before or the day of the event. SMS lives in the here and now. Don't waste time promoting something a week early. You'll lose out on the last-minute nature of SMS.
5. Find the Right Frequency
You need to find the area between spamming your clients and neglecting them. A message everyday is way too much for most brands and retailers. Eventually, clients stop opening your messages or opt-out altogether.
The same is true if you start out with consistent messages, but then hit a slump where you stop communicating and then start again. A general rule of thumb is 4-6 messages per month, or 1-2 messages per week. A marketing expert can help determine the appropriate number of messages for your particular industry.
In the case of Happy Dog Training, they adopted a follow-up program via text where they check-in with clients three months after the initial training, and then every six months afterward. The campaign led to repeat business, referrals, and increased clientele.
Before you start your SMS campaign, decide how often you'll send messages, and plan out a couple of months in advance to get you started. Don't let your message campaign trail off. Make it a priority to offer consistent, valuable texts to maintain your clients’ loyalty and increase business.
6. Analyze Your Results
It’s important to have a system in place to track the success of your SMS marketing campaign. Experiment with timing and message styles. Keep an eye on open rates and track clicks on any links included. Compare outcomes and adopt the strategies that bring the most results to your business.
With the right focus, an SMS marketing campaign can bring your business great success. Apply these tips to craft or tweak your current strategy, and you’ll be bringing in the sales.
Did you know Grasshopper offers texting for business now? Get the details >>