If you’ve ever sent an email to a new friend without asking them to add you to their contacts, you know that a subject line of “Hiya!” will most likely land your message in spam. That’s because personalization—making sure that your message is specifically addressed and tailored to the recipient—is an important part of digital communication—and any successful marketing effort. SMS makes mobile marketing personalization simple. This post will show you how to use personalization to make your messages impactful and engaging.
How SMS Marketing Solves Mobile Personalization Challenges
Receiving an SMS message is effortless and convenient for your customers. When using the right platform, SMS marketing is a way to easily maintain a connection with loyal customers while stoking the interest of new patrons—without having to spend time and resources developing an expensive mobile ads campaign.
According to leading researchers, nearly 70% of consumers dislike traditional mobile ads, finding them “overwhelming,” “irrelevant,” and “disruptive” to their mobile experience. About 70% of consumers, on the other hand, appreciate businesses presenting them with discount offers, relevant news, and loyalty program rewards via SMS.
SMS messages boast a 98% overall open rate. That means that the vast majority of your messages will be seen. SMS marketing is affordable and offers unparalleled reach. In fact, texts have edged out the phone call as consumers’ preferred method of communication. Many mobile carriers are now handling more text messages than mobile phone call minutes.
SMS Marketing Ground Rules
SMS marketing is permission-based, meaning your consumers have to opt-in (or agree) for you to communicate with them. Otherwise, it isn’t legal and violates the CAN-SPAM act (something that SlickText doesn’t permit). When your consumers subscribe to your SMS messaging list, they’re inviting you to interact with them on their most intimate communication device—it’s a privilege that can’t be taken for granted. Here are a few ground rules for creating a powerful SMS marketing campaign.
Messages should be:
Valuable: Make sure that your messages provide a specific value (news, a discount, an invitation) to your consumers, not just promotional copy.
Relevant: Always consider the demographics and interests of your targeted audience and take them into account as you craft your messages.
Timely: Focus on sending messages that make sense according to your consumer’s individual timeline: don’t send messages too far ahead of the time when they can act on or respond to your offer.
Appropriate: Always look at the context of your SMS messaging. Your pizza restaurant should probably wait to send out that Meat Extravaganza coupon if you originally planned it for dinner time during Meatless Monday.
How to Take Advantage of SMS Marketing Personalization
For your business to create a targeted SMS marketing program, you’ll need a good understanding of the preferences your consumers have so your messages match the above criteria.
There are several ways to learn more about your customers. Here are a few methods to get new (and use existing) customer data—such as demographic information or purchasing patterns — to build a more-accurate portrait of your audience.
Offer opt-in by using different keywords
This is one of the easiest ways to enhance your customer data. If you’re a retailer, a consumer opting-in using a keyword that relates to your new clothing line for teens is obviously either a parent or teen aged 12-18. Use that info to develop offers and messages—as well as online content—that will maintain their interest.
Send out surveys or questionnaires
Send links to customers to garner their insight on an existing or planned service or product line. Your most engaged consumers will respond, and new customers—even if they don’t respond—will know that their input is important to your business.
Exchange goodies for data
Every consumer loves a good discount. Offer in-store deals in exchange for opting in to SMS messages or filling out a short questionnaire. Your customers will be more willing to share information if they see an immediate value.
Master Personalized SMS Marketing
Using SlickText, creating a targeted SMS marketing plan can be simple. If you have even a basic amount of data on your customers, you can target by gender, zip code, and even purchasing frequency. If you’re not a retailer or a restaurant, you can also use any existing member data to create an audience “segment” (or pool of individuals grouped according to characteristics) to target.
Here are some pointers for building your audience segment:
Use fresh data. Be certain that the data you use to develop your SMS marketing plan is accurate and up-to-date. If you’ve had a college student as a member of your pizza restaurant’s loyalty club for three years, it’s likely that he or she will graduate soon. Be sure to send an email asking for an update with a non-college email or a new cell number.
Avoid using sensitive information. Stay aware from sensitive information, and craft any surveys or questionnaires designed to gather data with this in mind. If, for example, your vitamin shop has a sale on homeopathic remedies, feel free to ask for information on other supplements and vitamins that your clients are interested in, but don’t ask them for specifics on any medical issues that they are experiencing.
How Businesses Can Use SMS Marketing
Here are a few examples of how different businesses and organizations can use SMS marketing:
Churches can take advantage of the versatility of SMS messaging to distribute content (such as links to online publications and audio files) to new members right after they join the congregation. Sending members news and content keeps them engaged and makes it easy for them to stay updated on church events and involved with their church family.
Retailers can use SMS marketing as a tool to keep new customers coming back after an initial purchase. Instant deals at the register upon signing up for SMS messaging means that your customer walks away with an unexpected benefit and a positive view of the shopping experience.
Restaurant SMS messaging is also simple and effective. In addition to showing images of new menu items, diners can use SMS to manage reservations, order for delivery, and receive mobile coupons to use in-store. Mobile couponing is just one of SlickText’s user-friendly features.
When developing your messages, consider using some of these content types that consumers love:
Send product or service recommendations to consumers based on past purchases or stated interests.
Update customers about upcoming sales that they’ll be able to access.
Invite users to “check-in” on social media when they’re at your location to receive special discounts.
Some Guidelines for Effective Messaging
Now that you’ve seen a few SMS marketing tactics, let’s look at five tips to make sure your messages are at their best.
Keep your message short and sweet
You only have 160 characters to use—employ language that doesn’t distract from your essential message.
Have a clear call-to-action
Make the path to offer redemption easy. Include a clear call to action in your SMS campaign, like “Click this link to reserve your seat” or “Shop now.”
Use MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)
You can use MMS to send images to your subscribers—visuals are the most shared content online and will leave a lasting impression with your audience.
Encourage sharing on social media
Offer deals to customers willing to share a link or an image on social media. Consumers are important influencers in their social circles and you’ll want them on your side online.
Create a sense of urgency
Make exclusive offers expire at a certain date. You’ll inspire your customers to act more quickly, and make it more likely that they’ll share your offer with their friends right away.
SMS marketing can be an ideal solution for businesses of every size. SlickText can make it easy to reach your audience via SMS, without you having to bother with code and a complicated set-up. Connect with us to find out how SMS can help your business.