SMS marketing is well known for its ability to offer business owners incredible reach (nearly 98% of smartphone owners text), but its role as a key driver of conversions is lesser known. Yet marketing texts have phenomenal response rates, averaging around 45%. This trumps the clickthrough rate for the first position on Google search results (34.36%).
When it comes to traditional pay-per-click ads, even the best results are light years away from matching the impact of SMS. Video ads—the most successful digital ad format—averages a click-through rate of 1.84%.
That means that a well-planned sms marketing campaign is the best use of your marketing dollars. But how do you start?
How to Use Text Message Marketing to Drive Conversions
While “mobile first” has been a buzzword in the business community for years, the idea that mobile marketing campaigns should be focused on digital ads is out of date. Text messaging is now used more frequently than voice calls on smartphones. Most consumers spend more than five hours per day on their mobile devices, and check them 80 times per day. That means your business will have dozens of opportunities to reach out to customers with offers that will inspire them to act.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your text marketing campaign:
Reward Existing Customers in Creative Ways
Send personalized offers to your loyal patrons that reflect their spending patterns and interests. Customers who purchase gifts for family and friends during the holidays might receive a discount code to share with gift recipients along with their present. Keep your customer data up-to-date to make sure your message meets the right audience.
Optimize In-Store Opportunities
In-store promotions—such as allowing a customer to text while at your store to receive an instant mobile coupon—is a great way to spur impulse purchases. Use signage to encourage non-subscribers to join your list to get discounts on the items that you want to promote. Use flash sale alerts at specific times to let shoppers know that discounts are available for a limited time.
Take Advantage of Social Media
If your business has a social media presence, encourage fans to join a special “savings club” that acts as a virtual loyalty program. Members who join your text marketing list can earn discounts for themselves and their friends when they respond to surveys and post content on your social media page.
Use Digital Content to Stoke Interest
Consumers trust the advice and recommendations that they receive from their most important influencers—friends and family. When a brand or a business is able to provide high quality, relevant content that customers want to share, then they’ve established an invaluable direct line to their audience’s social circle. Use a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) to distribute images that encourage sharing. Follow up with a text inviting them to head to your website to subscribe to receive your newsletter and earn points for a loyalty program, or a special offer.
22% of text marketing messages are forwarded to friends and family.
Mobile coupon redemption rates are 20%.
Some SMS Marketing Do’s and Don’ts
Be Compliant with all Regulations: Request Consent
SMS messages should only be sent after consumers opt-in: doing so without their consent is illegal. At SlickText, we provide options for consent management that are fully compliant with all current CAN-SPAM and TCPA regulations.
Be Smart About Scheduling
Make certain that your text messages go out at appropriate times. Don’t leave too little time for your customers to respond, but don’t send out alerts so far ahead of an event or sale that they may be likely to forget the date. Use reminders judiciously to keep your customers engaged.
Use MMS When Possible
Today’s consumer spends hours viewing, sharing, and responding to image-based posts on social media. A visual element can pique your consumers interest and in some ways communicate more than a text-only message. This could be the case for a pizza restaurant attempting to drive foot traffic for a weekend promotion—an image of a tempting slice of pizza is worth a thousand words (or 160 characters).
Make Opt-Out Options Clear
This is another component of regulatory compliance, but it is also just good manners. Don’t risk alienating your customers by making it difficult to unsubscribe to your list. Although opt-outs for sms marketing messages are under 5%, it isn’t smart (or legal) to ignore the rules.
Don’t Flood the Inbox
Even if your shop is having the sale of the century, don’t overwhelm your customers with repeated texts. Just like online ads, inundating your audience with the same message—regardless of its time sensitivity—will make them ignore you, or worse, make them angry.
You also put your business at serious risk of a spam complaint if a subscriber has simply had enough. This is not a risk you can afford to take. When you use SlickText, you’ll have a professional customer support team who can advise you on how to manage scheduling.
Don’t Be Too Cool
Even if you think that you’ve mastered the art of subtle humor, don’t try too hard to sound hip. Too much slang or attempts at humor can be a turn-off for your audience, and also lead to confusion. If “FWIW” “FOMO”, and “ROFL” look like typos to you (but make perfect sense to your millennial colleague), then your message may miss the mark if you’re trying to save a few characters.
Don’t Focus Exclusively on the Sale
If you’ve ever had a friend who only calls when he needs something, you know how irritating that can be. Occasionally offer your customers truly free gifts without them having to purchase anything. This might be a link to a great article that matches their interests, or a funny image to help them through their work day.
If you’re ready for increased conversions, we’re ready to help. At SlickText, we’ve helped thousands of businesses of every size increase their reach and profits. Get started with our SMS marketing service today.