SMS marketing is one of the most effective and inexpensive forms of mobile marketing. It provides promising results to ecommerce marketers and helps them to connect with their customers.
If you haven't implemented this marketing strategy for your business, here are some stats that should convince you.
So, what do you think? Ready to start SMS marketing for your business?
Great…let's take a walk through things you need to consider before kick-starting your SMS marketing in 2021.
The first thing to consider before starting text message marketing for your business is to define your goals and objectives clearly. Ask yourself why you want to adopt this marketing channel, and what results you want to achieve.
You might think you want to integrate SMS marketing in your marketing campaign just because your competitors are doing the same. It's not the right approach. Don't start planning and implementing a marketing strategy simply because it's trending in the market.
Your first step is to decide what you want to achieve from SMS marketing and communicate it to your team so that every member is well aware of the objectives and goals behind SMS marketing.
For instance, a Shopify merchant can implement SMS marketing to inform its customers about the latest arrivals, ongoing sales, deals, etc.
Once you are clear about your objectives, it's time to create your subscriber list.
After determining the goal, you must receive permission from your potential and existing clients before you send promotional messages.
Email addresses, contact numbers, addresses, etc., are personal information. Therefore, a business must seek permission before using that information. If you message customers without their permission, your business will appear unprofessional, and you might lose customers. Moreover, sending unsolicited messages to your customers is against American regulations and can have legal implications.
If you have the contact numbers of your friends and family members or a friend's customer contact list, don't message them until they've opted-in.
Don't worry! There are a few ways to make your customers opt-in to receive promotional messages. One important thing to mention here! You must provide subscribers the option to opt-out any time they want. For instance, the subscriber can follow the instructions provided by the company to opt-out of the service.
The SMS you send to customers must be valuable and align with the business's marketing goal. It means that you have to be mindful of your messaging. Your messages should be helpful and provide value. Failure to provide value in your text messages will make customers opt out of your subscription list.
By the term value, we do not just imply monetary value such as discounts or deals, etc. Providing value to your customers means offering them something beneficial. For instance, you can inform your customers about restocks, contests, or giveaways hosted by you on your social media profiles, etc.
Here comes the tricky part…getting customers to opt-in for receiving SMS. But, don't worry, folks! Here are strategies to encourage customers to share their numbers.
Adding a signup option to your online checkout
When the customer shares their contact number during checkout, ask if they would like to opt-in to receive updates, offers, sales announcements, etc. If they check the box and give consent, add them to your SMS marketing list. However, this method only works if your visitors reach the checkout stage.
Advertise your SMS subscription on your site
This tactic will work for both visitors and customers. All you have to do is display the subscription form on your homepage to let visitors know that they can opt-in for text messages.
Understanding your audience is the most important part of any marketing strategy. A marketer who fails to understand their audience will never reap fruitful results out of their marketing campaigns.
Once you have received the contact numbers of your customers, divide your customers into segments and curate different strategies for each group. For example, you can divide your list according to location; when you hold a sale on winter items, you can send the message to your cold weather regions.
Sending a message to one or two customers is easy. If you have hundreds and thousands of subscribers on your list, marketing is more challenging. Hence, you must consider which SMS marketing software you will use to send SMS to your customers.
SMS marketing software is designed to help marketers pull off successful SMS campaigns. SMS marketing software enables businesses to build their subscriber list, select designated numbers, schedule text messages, and send out messages, promo codes, and discount vouchers via text.
In addition, many SMS softwares provide insightful information about your customers, such as demographics, opt-in and opt-out rate over a period, etc. This information can help to improve your brand's campaigns' effectiveness.
Plan your SMS marketing strategy and decide what messages will provide value and keep customers interested in your business.
Text for info
Customers interested in learning more about an event, sale, contest, etc., can text a code to get more information. For instance, the customer can text the code INFO to get details on a webinar or courses.
Many eCommerce businesses send order confirmation messages to their customers. They also update the customers when their parcels have been dispatched to keep them in the loop about their orders and shipment details.
SMS marketing can also be deployed to inform the customer about an update in his loyalty points. For example, if you award your customers with loyalty points each time they place an order in your store, a text message can update customers that loyalty points have been credited to their account.
Or, if the person has redeemed those points to purchase something from the store, he can be sent a message to show him the remaining balance of his points.
Send order confirmation messages via SMS to your customers. Thank them for trusting your brand and ordering from your store. Provide the complete details of their orders, such as the product code, price, size, color, etc.
In addition, share shipment details and the expected number of days it can take to receive the parcel.
Call-to-actions direct the customers as to their next course of action. SMS that fail to include a proper (call-to-action CTA) lose effectiveness.
Examples of effective text message CTAs:
Show the message
Companies often run marketing campaigns to instruct their customers to show the message in person or at an event to receive a discount or exciting gift.
Restaurants and cafes often use this strategy. They send the message to customers and direct them to show the message at the counter to receive discounts or freebies. If you have a physical store and a Shopify store, you can deploy the same tactic to get people to visit your retail store.
When brands want to generate traffic to their store, they link to their website followed by the CTA' click here '. If the company announces a product launch, the customer can get more details by tapping ‚Äòclick here'.
The most common CTA is to bring the customer to the product page to encourage an order. Always link the buy now CTA to make it easier for your customers to complete their purchase..
Timing is crucial for executing any marketing strategy—and timing matters most when it comes to sending text messages.
How would you feel if your phone beeps at 2 am, or just at dawn? Not good, right? Your customers will feel the same.
Hence, work out a schedule for sending messages. We suggest sending text messages during the daytime so customers can read and understand their context. If you are holding a sale or launching new articles at your stores, send a reminder text to your customers 24 hours before the scheduled time of the sale.
Apart from timing, don't forget about consistency. People will forget your brand if you don't send periodic text messages about product updates, sales, or special deals and bundles in your store.
Note: A reliable SMS automation software can schedule deployments based on time zone and send texts at a regular, automated cadence. Your customers will receive your messages at the right time, consistently.
Planning and implementing a marketing strategy is not enough to determine its success. Tracking and measuring the performance of your SMS marketing strategy will give analytics such as open rates, (CTR) click-through rates, number of subscribers, etc.
Brands can use two types of numbers for SMS marketing: Long code and Shortcode. There are advantages to both!
Long code numbers are often referred to as 10DLC, i.e., 10 digit long code and have less probability of being marked as spam. Marketers can also include images to make their SMS messages more attractive and engaging.
Shortcode numbers have fewer digits and are great for sending higher volumes of text messages (up to 100 people per second!). However, shortcodes do not allow the sender to ask questions or conduct surveys.
The decision of selecting the shortcodes or long codes depends entirely upon the company's SMS marketing goals and strategies. For instance, brands that want to engage with customers will select a long code number. Companies only sending updates should opt for shortcode numbers.
Offering exclusive deals and discounts to your SMS subscribers is an amazing way to attract more people to sign up for receiving your text messages.
Examples of how brands offer exclusive deals and discounts through text messages:
On average, 92% of buyers use discount codes and coupons at some point in a year. Sending codes and coupons via SMS entices more people to become subscribers and provides a good reason to your existing subscribers to remain on the list and not opt out. However, deals and discounts should be exclusively for SMS subscribers! These offers shouldn't be provided on other channels, or else it will render the SMS marketing futile.
There you have it, folks! 12 things to consider before you start SMS marketing for your business.
SMS marketing has a great potential to connect with your customers and keep them updated about your business, products, and important announcements. In the era where digital marketing allows businesses to target customers on specific channels, use the power of SMS marketing to land directly into customers' hands.