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.
SMS Marketing Best Practices
When it comes to text message marketing, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind in order to provide the best experience for your customers:
- Keep it brief and to-the-point. It can be off-putting to read large amounts of copy on a smaller device. Additionally, SMS messages are limited to 160 characters per message. Get rid of any non-essential words, and make sure that the message is clear and easy to understand by everyone on your list.
- Make offers easy to redeem. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a great deal, but being uncertain about how to redeem it. Make sure your message is clear regarding what needs to be done in order to use what has been offered.
- Don't oversend. 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. When in doubt, it’s best to keep your text marketing frequency down.
SMS Marketing Campaign Ideas
Text message marketing has its own set of expectations and rules that you should take care to learn and follow if you’re hoping to find success in your strategy. Character limitations, as well as text-only capabilities, mean that you’ll have to get even more creative in order to keep messages interesting, engaging, and actionable. Lucky for you, we’ve concocted a few different campaigns to entice customers to take action. Remember that on average, people read SMS marketing messages within three minutes of receiving them, so it’s important to send something compelling their way so that your business can reap the benefits immediately.
- First 5 to Respond: This is a tried and true method that relies on timeliness to urge recipients to take fast action. By promising the first [x] number of people to respond -- whether it’s for early access to a sale, free shipping with a phone or e-commerce order, discount, small gift, etc. -- the competitive spirit comes out and prompts customers to engage immediately. It also helps entice them to pay your business a visit.
- Flash Sale or Pop-Up Event: Take a page out of the book of some larger brands and try this approach for a surefire way to drive traffic to your business. Give your SMS list an exclusive preview of your new collection before anyone else gets to see it. Alternatively, give them first dibs at a special sale! You already know that your recipients are likely to view your message soon after receiving it, so a special event or sale that’s here today and gone tomorrow puts the pressure on them to act and take advantage ASAP.
- Push Recipients to Social Media Pages: If you’re already holding contests on your social pages, you can use your SMS list to drive more customers to enter and engage with these. This is also a great way to get more people to follow or like your business pages across various sites.
SMS Marketing Campaign Results
As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to track the results of all efforts so that you can gain more insight into the process and make better decisions in the future. Text message marketing is no different, and it’s important to analyze your campaigns so that you can keep your finger to the pulse of your business’s lifeblood -- generating new and repeat customers. By measuring the following metrics from your SMS marketing, you can move towards a better strategy for your marketing communications.
- Opt-in Rate: When you’re growing your SMS list, it’s important to have patience. It’s a very different beast than your email list, and people tend to opt-in at smaller, slower rates. Ensure that these continue to trickle in by positioning text message subscriptions as the only way to gain access to exclusive news and discounts.
- Offer Redemption: A common application for text message marketing lists is the distribution of special discounts, access to events, and offers. This metric is a strong indicator of the overall goal: to drive customers to make a purchase. It’s also a great litmus test for the type of offers you’re providing and also the engagement of your list in general. You should shoot for between 12%-15% redemption rates. If your rates are below this benchmark, make sure that they’re not generic offers that are being extended through other mediums (email or social), and are unique so they feel exclusive to those VIPs on your SMS list.
- Opt-outs: When it comes to subscriber lists, churn, though unfortunate, is often unavoidable. People lose interest for a variety of reasons, so it’s normal to have a few here and there. However, monitor these numbers, because it’s important to know what’s normal for your business and your lists so that you can diagnose when there’s a problem. If your unsubscribe number spikes following a particular blast, be sure to audit the message to determine what could have prompted the mass action. This number should never be more than 2-3%, so if you’re seeing a lot of people opting-out, be sure to review these common mistakes.