After such a turbulent last year, many business owners and managers are feeling the pinch when it comes to profit and cash flow in their ventures. If you’ve noticed that growth has slowed or even contracted, it’s time to up your marketing game.
One technique you could test out is short message service (SMS) marketing, where you keep in touch with current and potential clients via text messages. Follow some tips to make the most of this avenue.
Understand Who You’re Targeting
It’s essential to know who you’re targeting before you create SMS messages. Understand the customers you’re sending communications to and what drives them, interests them, and entertains them. Having a clear idea about client demographics will help you send focused, targeted messages that are more likely to achieve excellent results.
Not only can you research the market in general for this information, but also your business data. For instance, analyze location-based demographics, purchase history, lead inquiries, shopping cart abandonment details, the questions you routinely get asked by potential shoppers, etc. With detailed information from your database, you can also segment lists for more niche, targeted promotions.
Have Clear Calls-to-Action
Ensure all the SMS campaigns you create have clear calls-to-action in them. There’s not much point in sending messages that convey some information or entertainment value but fail to encourage recipients to take a next step after reading. Calls-to-action are helpful because they improve your return on investment, increase customer engagement, and give you more data to keep analyzing over time.
To get people to value the messages you send and interact with or act on them, consider ideas such as getting buyers to use a code found in the text to obtain an online discount or present it in person at your premises. If you’re going to engage in text message marketing platform for restaurants, bars, or clubs, you could tell people to show the text message when they place an order to receive a free drink or entrée.
An alternative is placing a “click here” message in your text to get people to click through to a link to buy a product, check out a video, learn more information about an event or other promotion, fill out a form, view a map, and so on. You might also use calls-to-action such as text-to-win directions to enter contests and text-to-vote instructions to get involved in polls or games. Some businesses also use questions to get people interacting.
Keep Messages Clear and Concise
To leverage SMS marketing effectively, keep the messages you send out short and sweet. People are busy, so concise communications have more likelihood of being read and paid attention to. Keep your messaging to one clear point with as few words as possible. Use plain language and avoid emoticons, too many abbreviations (especially ones not everyone will know), and avoid all caps.
Try to limit messages to around 200 characters. In this space, you can include a brief sentence and a call to action. People are less inclined to get annoyed at receiving multiple text messages over a month than many emails, since the latter tend to be so much longer and demand more attention.
Consider clarity when writing texts, too. Avoid open-ended messages that don’t contain any end date or sense of urgency. For instance, don’t mention a sale or a new product but fail to indicate when these will be available. Use specific dates or expiration windows to create urgency and drive people to take action ASAP. This, in turn, will help you achieve better results from your campaigns.
Convey a Sense of Exclusivity
Another tip is to look for ways to convey exclusivity in your messages so people feel like they’re part of something special and have access to something not everyone else does. It’s human nature to be intrigued by the idea of being part of a secret or limited club or community. When texting customers, offer them things only available to SMS subscribers or even just the top VIP level of that database.
Utilize MMS to Convey More with Each Communication
Keep in mind, too, that you don’t have to send purely text-based messages. Many businesses find great success through MMS (multimedia messaging services) that include images or video clips. Such visuals are often immediately engaging and impactful and allow you to convey more in a short communication.
These are some of the top ways to leverage SMS marketing in your organization. In addition, consider the timing of your messages carefully, so they’re more likely to be opened and read, and personalize texts where possible. Follow all these steps to boost your chances of obtaining excellent results, no matter what type of business you operate.