Not all SMS marketing campaigns are created equal. There are some companies that fully integrate SMS marketing into their business strategy and others who see it as something interesting but have no formal marketing strategy for how to successfully deploy this marketing discipline.
Whatever your approach to SMS marketing, the fact remains that it’s a very powerful marketing platform. SMS Comparison did a study and they found that this year (2019), 98% of all text messages are opened, and 95% of text messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes of being delivered. These figures speak for themselves, especially in comparison to emails, which only have an average open rate of 20%.
You can’t ignore these numbers. Everyone knows my repeated belief that attention is the currency of digital marketing and the Internet. So SMS really needs to be part of your plans. With that in mind, today I want to share 3 tips for using SMS Marketing to grow your business.
Segment Your Customer & Lead Lists
Because the messages you are sending need to be targeted specifically to the recipients, you have to use a CRM to segment your lead groups. This will allow you to use things like geography, industry, interest, purchase history, etc. to break apart your entire database and deliver a highly personalized experience to your leads.
For instance, analyze purchase history and location-based demographics, so you can send the right messages to the right customers. If you’re a cosmetics line, don’t send an anti-wrinkle cream coupon to a twenty-year-old for your store in Los Angeles when she lives in Manhattan.
Segment your clients for targeted promotions. Send bulk messages for general sales and promotions that anyone anywhere could take advantage of.
Write Clear And Concise Messages
Don’t forget, SMS marketing means you HAVE TO be concise. You only have 160 characters to get your point across. The trick to successful SMS messaging is to figure out how to get that message across in the fewest number of characters you possibly can.
Don’t use open-ended messaging tactics. An example of an open-ended message is one that invites clients to a sale but doesn’t say when the sale ends. The client has no idea if it is for a day or a month. By giving a specific date when a sale ends or putting an expiration date on a coupon, clients are more likely to act because you’ve given them enough information and incentive.
Timing Is Critical In SMS Marketing
SMS is all about immediacy. It’s just the nature of the device in which the messages are delivered. It takes people an average of three minutes to open messages. Clients’ responses to sales, promotions, and events promoted on SMS are most effective when they’re last-minute impulses. If you have a store opening event on Friday night, send the message Friday afternoon. If you have a dinner promotion at your restaurant, send it at the end of the workday, not in the morning.
Be careful to always remember that you don’t want to send your messages out too early in the morning or too late at night. The last thing you want is an angry person asking to be taken off your subscription list. This again is why we are always so careful to segment people by geography. That way we always know we are operating in their timezones and during times they are happy to receive communications.
As a rule of thumb, when we are setting up clients on our marketing automation platforms, we always suggest to our clients unless absolutely necessary to arrange otherwise, the optimal time windows to contact leads and customers via SMS messages is between 8AM and 8PM.