The most significant advantage of SMS marketing is that texts have a greater open rate than any other advertising medium (text messages have a 98% open rate versus only 21% for email). Plus SMS messages have an astounding response rate of 45%!
So creating SMS based marketing campaigns is certainly something every agency owner should be doing for their clients.
But before getting started, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:
Know your audience: Aim for quality, not quantity
This will help you to segment your list and send out more effective SMS campaigns.
Make sure that the numbers you’ll be collecting fall into your target demographic. Rather than try and market to everyone, focus on those you’re most likely to serve well.
Know and abide by the laws
In many jurisdictions around the world, you need your customers’ consent to send them a SMS message. In other words, you can’t just find their number and use it to blast out promotional messages to them. Instead, it’s important to explicitly ask for permission.
In the US, for example, some strict rules apply when sending text messages for business purposes. You can brush up on the basics of these opt-in and opt-out rules here. Make sure you understand the rules that apply in your area. If you’re unsure, consult a legal professional.
Now that you get all that, how do we get cell numbers for marketing purposes?
Effective ways to obtain customer’s mobile numbers:
Contests are an exciting way to increase text opt-ins. Giving away free things or letting customers win something, whether big or small, can really help to amp up your list of subscribers.
2. Giveaways and Special offers
Offer your text message subscribers unique benefits that they won’t find anywhere else. Your members will unsubscribe or may not signup in the first place if they believe they can get the same offer or discount for your product or service by executing a fast Google search. Hence, be sure that your offer is exciting and worthwhile to them.
3. Keyword campaigns
Similar to text-to-win competitions, keyword SMS campaigns are about giving your customers a great deal in exchange for their phone number. Run an ad asking them to text you, and you send them a special offer or discount in return.
4. Use Social Media:
Posting about your text messaging list on social media is a terrific method to advertise your list, and it’s probably the most straightforward strategy to implement. While using this method, keep in mind that most people are unlikely to leave their phone number to comment on a public social media post (definitely not recommended). Your best bet is to direct them to a form on your website where they can sign up for your texting list confidentially and securely.
5. Provide Something Valuable
When you’re asking for something valuable like a customer’s phone number, you need to make it worth their while. What can you give your customers that no one else can?
A great example of a value exchange is when a B2B business offers an insightful eBook or report that helps prospective customers grow or solve their problems. By putting the asset behind a gated form, customers sign up and share their cell phone number. A win-win.
Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all opt-in message, try personalizing it. Use the information you have about your customers to hone in on their preferences.
The best SMS marketing systems will allow you to add tags to segment your list by preferences. You can even add tokens in the message so it will include their name, their company, or other personalization fields.
Addressing customers by name provides a personal touch. The more they feel you know what they want, the more willing they’ll be to get promotional texts from you. That means more subscribers.
Provide Opt-Out Information
One thing to remember: you must provide customers with opt-out instructions. These instructions must be clearly explained in the text itself.
Unsubscribing is usually done by texting STOP to a specific number. If a customer opts out, you must stop texting them immediately to be in compliance.
Get Started on Creating Your List
So now you have numerous ways to create a list of opted-in contacts for your next text marketing campaign. A campaign that can generate incredible open and reply rates and be extremely effective. The only thing to do is get started now!