By now you’ve probably heard that SMS marketing has an engagement rate eight times greater than email marketing. But did you know that 43% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when mobile offers are part of a multi-channel campaign? With an opportunity to increase your bottom line, SMS marketing cannot be ignored.
Don’t miss Part Two: Creative SMS Marketing Campaigns.
As a business, it’s vital to be on potential customers’ radar when they’re considering making a purchase. And as a marketer, it’s important to know and be where this audience is. For this reason many marketing experts have been touting the importance of developing a mobile strategy for the past few years. While this can seem intimidating for local businesses to implement, it doesn’t always require a massive commitment, such as developing an app. SMS marketing is a great entry point for businesses looking to diversify their messaging and conveniently access their customerbase through their preferred method.
Find a Provider
There are countless SMS service providers that can help you get the ball rolling. Many provide a frictionless signup process that puts the power completely in the hand of customers, by prompting them to text a code or “Start” to a custom phone number. They are then prompted to confirm their desire to enroll, which will reinforce your commitment to their privacy and preferences. Signpost’s technology automates this entire process, so that you can seamlessly create, send and track SMS campaigns, without lifting a finger.
Grow your lists
Once your business supports SMS messaging, it’s never too soon to start building your subscription list. Approach promoting signups as you might have for your email marketing list.
SMS Opt-In Signage
If you have a brick-and-mortar location or an office, be sure to include clear signage urging customers to sign up. Include the number and START code, so that while customers are perusing the store or waiting in line, they can take the opportunity to join your SMS list! You can also have your sales staff point out the signage, and tell them about the perks they’ll receive for joining. Whether exclusive discounts, VIP events, or first pick at new products and services, a little bit of context tends to go a long way.
Website and Social
You can also include instructions on your website, and in social posts to ensure even those who haven’t been in the store or office recently will have this list on their radar. Include on your homepage, and anywhere else you collect email subscriptions online. Post about it regularly, and even consider adding an incentive for those who follow-through, such as a discount or free gift.
IVR, which stands for Interactive Voice Response, is another great tool for encouraging SMS opt-ins. When prospects and customers call your business, they are played a brief, recorded greeting before being connected that thanks them for calling, and informs them that they can receive special offers by subscribing, and relays the same instructions. Find out how you can activate this for your Signpost account, today!
For more tips on ways to grow your list, we dedicated an entire post to the subject.
Keep the Experience in Mind
Before you start sending text messages to your subscriber list, think about the type of experience you want to provide for this audience. It can be off-putting to read to read large amounts of copy on a smaller device, and SMS messages are limited to 160 characters per message, so don’t be afraid to keep it brief and to the point. Get rid of any non-essential words, and make sure the message is clear and easy to understand by everyone on your list. If you’re sending exclusive offers, make it easy to redeem them. As with email marketing, stay true to the cadence you stated during the opt-in process. While people have grown accustomed to tuning out the noise in their email inbox, they don’t have quite the same tolerance when it comes to text messages, so take extra care not to over-send. When in doubt, it’s best to keep it simple.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Regardless of any marketing tactics and strategies, your business’s website should be optimized for mobile. Images and formatting should render accordingly and navigation should be easy to follow. This is especially important if you’re driving users to your site with any links. The purpose of engaging with customers on mobile is to make things easier for them; make sure you don’t derail these efforts by herding them to a site that they’ll find confusing or frustrating. Double check that load times are fast, so they don’t have a chance to give up and leave, or get distracted.