SMS marketing is proving to be extremely successful as a marketing channel. Even the biggest skeptics are now regularly using it to talk to their customers and prospects. That’s not surprising given just how much time we spend on our phones.
A recent study shows that the average person spends 3 hours and 54 minutes per day staring at that little screen.
Knowing this, adding SMS marketing to your mix is a no-brainer. However, it’s important to do it right. The last thing you want is to annoy your customers and lose their respect and trust… and dollars.
If you’re thinking about getting started with SMS marketing, here are the five tips that, when applied, generate immediate success.
First things first. Subscribing to your email list is not consent for SMS marketing.
U.S. laws are very clear: You need to get explicit consent before you can start texting someone on your list. Just because you have their phone number doesn’t mean that you can actually use it here, unless specifically told so.
It might sound daunting, but the process is actually pretty simple. Many email tools are making this easy for you by adding a specific “SMS consent” field that you can add to your forms. Or you can add a few lines of content asking for specific permission from your subscribers.
Don’t skip this step. Not only is it illegal, it can cost you greatly both in fines and lost relationships with your customers.
Ok, now that you have legally sorted everything out, you’re ready to start growing your SMS subscriber list!
To do that, you want to promote it across all media channels: on your website, email, social media, even on direct mail if you use that within your marketing mix.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to promote this to your existing customers and subscribers.
You can do it by creating custom sign-up forms only visible to existing contacts (most of the email marketing tools will let you quickly set this up) or by adding a call-to-action to your emails, to invite people to join your SMS list.
Here’s an example from Mobile Monkey:
Don’t forget to give them a good reason to do that!
Maybe you can offer an exclusive discount to everyone who joins your SMS list, free trial, or even a gift card. Think about what makes the most sense for you subscribers and your business, and test it out. You can always edit your offer and CTA until you find what works best.
When you decide to use SMS marketing, you need to define clear goals for your efforts. What are you going to use SMS for? Who will you communicate with through this channel?
Ideally, you want to use SMS to send exclusive deals, promos, discounts and coupon codes. This is a very short-form piece of content, so leave nurturing and education to your blogs and emails.
Needless to say, nobody likes to be annoyed. We bet you rolled your eyes once or twice to the boring, non-stop messages some brands spam you with! Don’t be that guy. Not cool.
“Content is king” is a forbidden phrase here at Flight Media. This has to be the most used marketing cliche EVER. (We’re not saying it isn’t true, but it’s time for a refresh, peeps!)
We’re nominating a new king.
It’s about time they take over the throne.
Ladies and gentlemen, his majesty...
…..drum roll, please….
We see it over and over again: You want to be cute and smart and you think that your content is just hilarious.
But your audience disagrees. It looks like an awkward party moment: You’re telling a joke but it’s somewhat of a “you had to be there” situation. (It’s funny to you, but the rest of the crowd is looking at you a bit puzzled.)
How do you know that the audience is puzzled? Poor conversion rates.
Confused people don’t buy. We need clarity and confidence that we know enough to make the right decision, and that trusting you IS the way to go.
So swap cuteness and cleverness for clarity: Tell me exactly what you sell, how it will make my life better, and what do I need in order to buy. (Hello to all Don Miller fans reading this!)
When you craft your SMS message, be clear. You have 160 characters so use them wisely. Have a clear benefit and CTA in every message you send so that your list knows exactly what they get out of it.
Each business is different, and you’ll know best what it is that your customer wants.
When you’re clear on their needs and how your products can respond to them, you’ll be able to craft an SMS message that works for them.
Here are a few examples:
Josh loves pizza, so his pizza place texts him coupons every Tuesday. He gets an easy-access deal to his favorite pizza - and he takes them up on it.
A cleaning company uses SMS to send monthly online specials to customers who are not online that much. That’s right: they use online platforms to send SMS promos to those who just prefer their phone to email. Results are amazing because those who would otherwise miss the online promotions are now regularly using them.
An investment company sends first-dibs for exclusive investments to their preferred investors list via SMS. They love being the first to learn about these opportunities and it adds to the company's exclusivity.
An ecommerce company uses SMS to send flash sales and grow their revenue. Pretty simple and effective.
If you follow these 5 tips, don’t be surprised when you start seeing results.
Remember, the first step is always get consent to send offers directly to your audience’s phones. Once that’s established, promote signing up across all of your media channels.
Don’t forget that clarity is more important than being cute and clever. (It’s not as much FUN, but it’ll work and success spells F-U-N.)
Finally, make sure you have a grasp on who your customers are and what they want.
Need help creating an SMS marketing strategy for your business? Or maybe you don’t even know WHAT you need, you just know you need help.
The key to becoming profitable may be adding Flight Media to your team. Let’s talk!