People are on their phones practically 24/7 these days. More and more, they're using texts as a primary means of communication. In fact, just three years ago, Statista reported that cellphone users sent 2.098 billion text messages in the United States alone! It's only increased year after year since then.
Understanding that, solopreneurs, small business owners, side hustlers, and community builders have an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize upon this trend.
SMS marketing can be a great way to improve your customer relationships and encourage engagement with your business. By sending text-based campaigns that cater to short, personalized messages, you can entice subscribers to browse your website. Once there, they can take advantage of exclusive sales and much more.
Clearly, SMS marketing is a compelling way to reach customers. However, many businesses don't know how to use SMS marketing effectively. What do you do if you don't have a clear strategy for texting or using chat groups, and can't think of what to say to engage your subscribers?
In this article, we'll discuss SMS marketing strategies, ideas for messaging to keep your chat groups going, and tactics that will help you reach more customers and increase sales!
Start Your SMS Marketing Strategy On the Right Foot
First, you need to appreciate your audience and what SMS marketing can do for them. You can use SMS marketing for various purposes: from appointment reminders to loyalty programs and even team onboarding campaigns. However, you need to clearly understand why you're using SMS marketing before you can create an effective strategy.
Before we continue, you should understand that using SMS as a marketing channel just because up to 96% of all adults in the U.S. have a cell phone isn't what we're talking about. You would absolutely be leaving money on the table by not engaging in SMS marketing, but dig a bit deeper here.
To clarify, we're talking specifically about your subscribers.
Once you know why you're engaging your audience with SMS marketing in the first place, you can start to craft SMS messages that will actually appeal to them.
For example, you should determine if you want to increase sales, get more appointments, or improve your team’s internal communication.
8 SMS Tactics for Beginners
This section will go over some best practices that every marketer should engage in. These tactics can be especially useful if you run a group chat for your team or an invite-only chat room for VIP subscribers, as well as for your text marketing campaigns.
Now, let's get started!
Send a Welcome Message
A welcome message is a nice way to start off the relationship with your new contact. It's an opportunity to let them know what they can expect from you (promotions, appointment reminders, etc.) and how often they'll be hearing from you.
Plus, it gives you a chance to set the tone for all future interactions. You want your customers and clients to think of you as friendly, helpful, and trustworthy - so make sure your message reflects that!
Here's an example of a superb welcome message:
"Hey there! Thanks for signing up for updates from XYZ Company. We'll send you exclusive offers, coupons, and info about our latest products every week. Stay tuned!"
Send a Thank You
It's simple: text and group chat messages are personal.
Your customers will appreciate getting a quick, personalized message from you after making a purchase. A thank you in your order confirmation message is also a great way to build customer loyalty and keep your brand top-of-mind.
Plus, it gives you another opportunity to include a call-to-action (like asking your customers to review their purchase on your website). Here's an example of an excellent thank you or order confirmation message:
"Thank you for your purchase! We'll provide you with a shipping confirmation as soon as your order goes out. In the meantime, be sure to check out our website for more great products!"
Give Exclusive Discounts to Subscribers
You should consider giving an exclusive discount or conducting a flash sale just for subscribers.
Because they're opting-in to hearing from you, that's why! SMS subscribers have already shown an interest in your product or service, so give them a reason to buy from you.
Plus, sending a message in your group chat is a great way to reach customers who may not be checking their email as often. So if you've got a time-sensitive offer, sending that group chat message is the way to go.
Here's an example of a simple offer you could easily post in a Shout group:
"Hey there! We're having a flash sale on our website today only. Get 20% off your purchase when you use promo code FLASHSALE20 at checkout!"
Don't forget to include an expiration date and time in your offers, so customers know when the deal is over.
Gently Nudge Customers Into Completing Orders
It's been said over a million times, but it still bears repeating. Text messages have an open rate of 98%, which means there's an excellent chance your customer will see the message you send.
Plus, text messages create a sense of urgency that can encourage customers to act fast and complete their purchase before an offer expires. Don't forget to include a call-to-action (CTA)!
Here's an example of an abandoned cart reminder:
"Hey! You left something in your shopping cart. Don't forget to finish your purchase and get 15% off with promo code FLASHSALE15."
Remember to include a link to the product page or checkout page in your abandoned cart reminder so customers can easily return to their purchase.
Use Texts to Cross Promote Content
By creating valuable content that is relevant to your target audience, you can attract new website visitors, convert leads into customers, and keep current customers informed about the latest news and updates from your company.
A great strategy is to use your SMS marketing channel to cross-promote the content you're posting to your company's press release page, blog, and more.
Here's an example of an SMS cross-promotion:
"Hey! We just put out a brand new article on our blog about XYZ. Click here to read it now."
An example of announcing a newsworthy event might be something like:
"We're pleased to announce that we'll be exhibiting at the ABC trade show. Come by and see us at Booth 123!"
Including a link to your content or event will allow customers to learn more about what interests them.
Create a Holiday Campaign
SMS marketing is an awesome way to stay top of mind with your customers and remind them about your products or services, especially during specific holiday seasons.
Think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. There's a reason many companies begin heavily promoting their goods and services well before the actual holiday arrives.
When creating a holiday campaign, consider what kind of content will resonate most with your target audience. If you're running a promotion, include a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages recipients to take advantage of the offer. You could also have a link to your website or online store.
For example, if you're a florist, you could send messages like:
"Happy Mother's Day! Tell your mom you care for her by picking up flowers from XYZ Florist. Click here to shop now."; or
"Need last-minute Valentine's Day plans? We can help ! XYZ Florist offers same-day delivery on beautiful bouquets. Order now."
Or, say you sell makeup or other women's products. For Christmas, you could send a message that says :
"Merry Christmas! Give the gift of beauty this holiday season with XYZ Cosmetics. Click here to shop our holiday collection."; or
"Happy New Year! Start the year by feeling and looking your best with XYZ Cosmetics. Shop our New Year's sale now!"
Send Alerts When Items are Back in Stock
By alerting your customers when specific items are back in stock, you can show your customers that you're invested in their wants and needs.
A quick SMS alert can allow you to quickly and easily notify customers when their desired product is back in stock. Moreover, you can do this without making phone calls or sending out mass emails (which can often get lost in people's crowded inboxes).
A quick example of a text alerting customers that an item is back in stock might be:
"Hey, it's XYZ store. We know you've been waiting for the new shipment of ABC product to arrive. Well, it's finally here! Shop online today or come by our store!"
Upsell Your Products Or Services
SMS text messages are a perfect way to upsell your products or services to customers because they provide a direct line of personal and immediate communication.
Most people have their phones within arm's reach at all times, which means they are more likely to see and respond to an SMS text message than any other type of communication.
Think about it – when was the last time you ignored a text message? Just about never, right?
If customers buy from you once, they're more likely to purchase from you again. So, if you're looking for a way to increase your product sales, consider using SMS marketing to upsell related products and services to customers who have already purchased from you.
By taking advantage of the consumer's shopping history and providing them with relevant information about other products they might be interested in, you can drive more sales and increase customer loyalty.
A great example of an upselling message is:
"Hey [First Name], we noticed you recently purchased a pair of our shoes. Check out these boots for just X-amount of dollars more. Same chic style, same high quality!"
Just remember to put in a link to the product where customers can read more and make a purchase.