SMS marketing is one of the most efficient way to reach users, with a 90 percent read rate in minutes. It is by far the best engagement tool of any digital marketing platform to engage your customers, promote sales, and cultivate leads. In fact, 64% of consumers would prefer to communicate with businesses more often using SMS (Source: Forbes).
Having this strategy in place bolsters your inbound marketing efforts and gives you another outlet to connect with your clients. If your business is not leveraging SMS marketing, it is time to jump on board and enjoy the benefits.
What is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is simply a way of reaching customers via text messaging using a web-based service provider. The beauty about this tool is the ability to send a mass text message to all subscribers, or segmenting the list into specific, targeted groups for personalisation.
Here’s how it works: Customers opt-in by texting an initial 5 digit shortcode. When the code is texted, that user’s phone number is then stored by the SMS marketing software is issuing the texts. A confirmation response is usually sent as receipt for opting in, also giving them instructions on how to opt-out at any time. The new opt-in appears on your online dashboard.
The goal to getting optimal results with SMS marketing is the sending of short, concise messages with a clear call to action. Getting right to the point and telling your customers what to do next makes this strategy work.
Key Reasons to Use SMS
Here are a few advantages to using SMS marketing in your digital strategy:
- 89% of customers use their mobile phones while shopping (Source: ScanLife)
- People are more apt to reply to a text message, increasing engagement and conversion percentages
- 76% report that they are more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS/text message than if it’s an email (Source: Forbes)
- Nearly 100% of all devices on the market are SMS enabled, making it the mobile channel that offers the widest reach possible
- Flexible platform where you can send a message to your entire list or a more targeted group
- 57% of people are willing to receive promotional text messages from a business if they receive a discount (Source: Marketing Land)
- Short messages so it takes minimal time creating content
- Highly cost effective
- Enhances your inbound marketing and sales process
- Shows you keep up with technology, making you the go-to brand
- It is reliable…if you send the text, the recipient will get it
By leveraging SMS, you are creating deeper connections with your clients while boosting customer retention. Hopefully we’ve convinced you of the importance to implementing this tool into your inbound strategy.
If you’re ready, here are several ways to using SMS marketing to generate leads and sales for your business.
10 Ways to Use SMS Marketing for your Inbound Marketing Strategy
#1 Use call to action (CTA) buttons
Giving a call to action in your text will be the difference of your customer taking action versus dismissing your message. Good CTA buttons are “Click here”, “Text to Vote”, and “Buy Now”. It gives clear yet crisp instructions that leads to your website or content offer.
#2 Send coupons and special offers
The consumers that welcome you into their phone, especially through SMS, should be considered some of your most loyal customers. Show some extra love through exclusive discount offers and coupons. Be strategic and send this text right before your business peak times to boost revenue…which leads to…
#3 Timing is everything
SMS is all about immediacy. It takes people an average of three minutes to open a text. Clients’ responses to promotions and events communicated through text are most effective when they’re last-minute impulses…so send the message a few hours early than the sale time. If you send it too early, your customers may forget and your tactic will not be as successful.
#4 Share new blog post links
Drive traffic to your blog and website by including a short link in the text. Sharing valuable content that relates to your audience and solves a problem will always be deemed worthy of views so do this each time you post new content. Be sure you’re able to track your link to measure your results (more on this in #9)…and don’t forget to tell your customers to share it!
#5 Segment your list to create more personalized messages
Forming groups within your list allows you to be more specific and relatable in your messages. You can divide customers via their area code, survey response, age range, or even your best clients into a separate group. Segmentation is extremely effective because you are speaking directly to a specific audience, which highly increases responsiveness.
#6 Integrate it with your other marketing strategies
If you’re running an online campaign, you can link to it in your message. You can also share the opportunity to opt in to these exclusive deals on your small business’s social media pages.
#7 Promote the opt-in on all your social media and websites
Speaking of social media pages, use these platforms to continue to promote and push for the opt-in. Mention the value and special offers they’ll receive in return. The more your followers see the link to opt-in, the more responses you’ll receive as it takes people seeing it a few times before taking action. Also include the opt-in link on your website, email signature, and newsletters.
#8 Stand out with videos and images
If you choose a SMS marketing provider that allows for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), you can send photos and videos to your customers. With video and images taking social media marketing by storm, incorporating it in your texts gives you the slight edge. This is useful for sending menus, a hot product item, or showing a quick demonstration. The ideas are endless!
#9 Measure your progress
Measuring and analyzing your results is a critical piece to your inbound marketing strategy. Keep track of the number of subscribers as well as those who choose to opt out. This will help you determine what you’re doing right and potential mistakes that can cost you subscribers.
#10 Be consistent
Don’t overwhelm your audience with texts, but also don’t neglect them. Create a promo schedule and stick to it.
Text messaging is definitely a lucrative way to gain attention with your audience through mobile marketing. By consistently implementing a few of these steps into your campaign, you will experience a growth in engagement and customer retention…both adding to your bottom line!