You may be completely new to the world of SMS marketing, or you may have more than dipped your toes in the water. No matter how experienced you may or may not be, there are secrets, and then there are secrets.
We plan to whisper straight into your brain those most common and arcane. (What can we say? We're SMS marketing wizards and proud of it, dang it!)
But hey, this isn't about us. This is about you and your needs.
Since you're reading this, likely, you've already chosen text messaging as one of your marketing channels. Perhaps that's because you know that research shows 75% of consumers would like to receive text messages with special offers from businesses they trust, and customers read 98% of all texts within just five minutes of receiving them.
In other words, you're smarter than the average bear, and you want to work that entrepreneurial mojo to maximum effect. We groove with that.
In fact, our entire platform at Shout is designed to help everyone, from artists, coaches, consultants, content creators, resellers, social sellers, to side hustlers, and more to disrupt their spaces and create the most significant impact possible using SMS marketing tools.
So! It's in our interests to pull back the curtains, dispense some wisdom, and provide you with friendly advice. It's in your interest to keep reading.
In this article, we will share nine SMS marketing secrets you should know that we believe can help take your overall marketing strategy to the next level.
But be warned: If you learn these secrets, our SMS alchemy may turn you into a marketing dragon and your competitors into those who are crunchy and good with ketchup.
SMS Marketing Benefits
Before we get into the whole secrets thing, it's probably a good thing for you to understand a bit about the benefits of SMS marketing and best practices in this space.
SMS marketing is a potent tool that can help businesses of all sizes and industries (not to mention community builders and the sorts of people we discussed above).
For example, a comprehensive SMS marketing strategy can help you:
- Build Loyal Customers — SMS marketing can help you keep your current customers happy while also enticing new ones to give you a try.
- Generate Repeat Business — Once someone has been exposed to your SMS marketing campaign, there's a good chance they'll come back for more. This applies especially if you're able to create a sense of urgency or excitement around your messages.
- Boost Engagement — By using SMS marketing, you can dramatically improve engagement levels with your customers. In fact, according to one study, click-through rates and response rates were both higher for SMS campaigns when compared to email campaigns.
- Make More Sales — It probably goes without saying that making more sales is always a good thing.
- Generate word of mouth — SMS is a powerful way to reach out to your customers and keep them engaged. Not only will they value the convenience of getting information from you instantly, but they're also likely to inform their family, friends, and colleagues about how great it is to do business with you.
- Improve communication — Communication is key to any long-term relationship. SMS Marketing can be of great benefit when building on these relationships. Not only is SMS an easy way for customers to stay up-to-date with your latest news, it also feels personal since it comes straight from you. That one-on-one connection can make all the difference.
- Manage your time — SMS marketing is a quick, easy and efficient way to get your message out there. With a scheduling component (such as Shout's), you can organize your campaigns for a later date which is excellent news for users who don’t have a lot of extra time.
- Keep straight to the point — Texting has become one of the most popular ways to communicate, and for good reason. It's fast, efficient, and you can get your message across in a way that is crystal clear.
- Be cost effective — Public and private companies of all sizes are cutting costs every day by sending text messages instead of sending letters or brochures. That's great for the bottom line and the environment too.
- Integrate overall marketing campaigns — SMS marketing is a powerful tool that you can use to improve your marketing campaigns. When integrated with other forms of marketing, SMS Marketing can help take your overall marketing efforts to the next level.
SMS Marketing Secrets
When launching a brand new business, one of the most important things you can do is create a solid foundation. Part of that foundation should be an effective marketing plan. SMS marketing can help you introduce your business to potential customers and build relationships with them.
SMS messaging is a superb way to reach out to customers who may not be familiar with your products or services. You can use text messages to provide information about your company, announce special promotions, and keep customers up-to-date on your most recent products and services.
In addition, it's a great way to establish a reputation as an individual, community builder, solopreneur, or brand that cares about the environment. SMS texts consume far less energy than traditional forms of direct marketing and are thus a green way to get your message out.
The One SMS Marketing Secret to Rule Them All: Get Consent
While there are many secrets you could uncover, there is one you absolutely must know if you want to engage in SMS marketing successfully.
Due to international privacy laws such as Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and rules from the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), you must gain the active consent of individuals before adding them to your SMS marketing list.
Send Short And Engaging SMS Messages
When using SMS marketing tools, it's essential to keep your messages short and engaging. Because people are inundated with text messages, you don't want to waste their time by sending them long, drawn-out messages. There's a higher chance they'll read and respond to messages that are quick and easy to digest.
Unlike emails and social media posts, you cannot write long messages to persuade your target audience. You only have 160 characters to either convince your customers or irritate them. The choice is yours.
Are you wasting valuable space with unimportant information? Or are you engaging your customers in interesting conversations? With such a small window of opportunity, making each character count is important.
You should carefully consider how you might use this information in your next text message.
Use SMS To Send Exclusive Deals and Offers
One of the best ways to use SMS marketing is to send exclusive deals and offers to your customers. These offers can be for a limited time only, and you can use them to encourage customers to visit your store or website.
As we mentioned earlier, SMS marketing is a great way to connect with your customers. And bulk text messages are the perfect way to keep them in the loop about your latest announcements, news, and deals.
For instance, you could send out a message that says something like, "Reply with code GIVEMEACCESS to receive 20% off your order!"
Keep your subscribers engaged by sending them regular text messages that will help keep them informed and enthusiastic about what you have to offer.
Use SMS Marketing to Launch an Automated Drip Campaign
One of the best ways to use SMS marketing is to launch automated drip campaigns. Automated drip campaigns are a series of messages that are automatically sent to your subscribers over time.
You can use automated drip campaigns to introduce new products, send out holiday greetings, promote special offers, and more.
To launch an automated drip campaign via text, all you need to do is create a series of text messages and then set up a schedule for when you will send each message.
It's all automated, and Shout allows users to set up drip campaigns for individuals and groups. In fact, you’re invited to view our drip templates!
You can also use SMS marketing to trigger automated email campaigns. Just include a link in your text message that will automatically open an email campaign when clicked. Just ensure that your SMS subscribers understand they're opting into your email list at the same time they're opting into your SMS list.
Include Links in Your Text Messages
But it's also an amazing idea to include links for other reasons:
- People can easily click through to your website or online store from your text message and buy what they see
- Links can help you track the success of your campaigns. By including unique tracking codes in your links, you can see how many people clicked through and what actions they made after doing so
- Links can help you create more exciting and engaging text messages. When you include a link, you're not just providing information; you're giving people something to do. This can make your text messages more interesting and fun, which can encourage people to take action
When including links in your messages, remember to:
- Make sure your links are easy to spot
- Test, test, test!; and
- Keep track of your results and adjust your strategy accordingly
Use SMS Marketing Tools to Run a Sweepstakes Contest
SMS marketing can be a great way to run a sweepstakes contest. By using a tool like Shout, you can easily collect entries from people who want to participate. You can also use SMS marketing to notify winners and keep them up to date on the contest.
This type of contest can help you build excitement around your brand and drive more traffic to your website. It's also an excellent way to collect contact information from potential customers.
When running a sweepstakes contest, make sure to:
- Clearly state the rules of the contest
- Include an entry form or link in your messages
- Notify winners via SMS
- Make sure you're compliant with any laws governing sweepstakes contests in your country or region
You might try specific things like giving away small prizes to everyone who texts you a particular keyword. Alternatively, you can select one individual for one massive award out of those who opted-in.
Either way, using SMS texts to promote a sweepstakes contest is a great way to get people thrilled about your product or service, and it can also help you generate leads. Plus, it's a fun way to reward your customers for engaging with you.
And who knows? You may even see a spike in conversions around the holiday season when everyone is out looking for the best deals.
Just remember if you choose to run a sweepstakes contest or giveaway, do the following to raise your chances of generating more leads:
- Make your prize ultra attractive to your audience
- Create urgency
- Make it easy to participate; and
- Use partners to cross-promote
Use SMS Tools to Send Reminders and Confirmations
One of the outstanding things about SMS marketing is that you can use it to send reminder texts. This is a fantastic way to ensure that your customers won't forget about an upcoming appointment or sale.
For example, say you run a hair salon, and someone made an appointment to have her hair done at such and such a time. You can send out a reminder text an hour before the appointment, etc.
You can also use SMS to send confirmation texts.
This is an excellent way to let your customers know that their order went through, or that their reservation has been confirmed. It can also help to reduce the number of customer service inquiries that you receive.
Sending reminder and confirmation texts is a great way to show your customers that you care about them and want them to have a positive experience with your business.
Use SMS for Events and Alerts
SMS is a super way to communicate with your customers about events and alerts. You can use SMS to send out reminders about upcoming events or to let customers know about special offers or deals happening at the event.
You can also use SMS to provide information about emergencies or other urgent matters. This can help ensure that your audience is informed about important news and events as quickly as possible.
Using SMS texting to send alerts is especially relevant for those involved in healthcare, assisted living, or emergency services.
For example, a hospital could use SMS to send out alerts about weather conditions that might impact travel for patients coming in for surgery.
A senior living community could use SMS to send reminders about medication schedules or to alert residents of an emergency, and so on.
You can ensure that those you aim to serve are kept safe and informed by using SMS.
Use SMS for Customer Surveys
SMS surveys are a brilliant way to get customer feedback in real-time. They're also an excellent way to increase customer engagement and loyalty.
When you send a survey via SMS, you can be sure that it will be read quickly since people check their phones frequently. And because responses are given immediately, you can use the data to make decisions about your business in near-real-time.
A bonus of using SMS for surveys is that you can target specific groups of customers based on factors like location or purchase history. This ensures that you're getting feedback from those who are most likely to have an impact on your business.
Use SMS To Send Information
When you use SMS marketing tools, it's important to include informational and educational messages from time to time. Nobody likes being sold to 24/7.
If every message you send is a sales pitch, your customers will quickly lose interest. Instead, mix your messages with some educational content and a few offers and promotions. This will keep your customers involved and interested in what you have to say.
Use SMS messages to Gather Feedback and Data
SMS messages are a great way to gather feedback and data from your customers. You can use this information to improve your marketing campaigns and make sure you're targeting the right people.
Moreover, after gathering feedback and data, you can use that information to improve your products and services.
Remember that it's essential to make sure your messages are relevant to your customers. If you send them irrelevant information, they will quickly lose interest in what you have to say. Instead, focus on sending content that is interesting and useful to them.
Summing It All Up
When it comes to SMS marketing, there are certain best practices that you should always follow to realize the full benefit from your campaigns.
From using opt-ins to making sure your messages are compliant with government regulations to using incentives and deals to get subscribers excited, following the SMS marketing secrets we revealed above will help ensure that your efforts are more successful.
And maybe even turn you into an all-powerful SMS marketing genie. Don't forget that part!