How to Add SMS to Your Marketing Funnel

How to Add SMS to Your Marketing Funnel

Build an SMS marketing funnel

Looking to grow your text list but not sure how? Using a classic marketing funnel to address your SMS needs could be the answer. Focusing on the different structural levels of the funnel will offer guidance as you boost your following, increase engagement and encourage your followers to take action. 

Interested in learning how to build a marketing funnel with SMS? Here’s what you’ll need to get started. 

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a strategy to peak the interest of the largest audience possible and lead them to taking action with a purchase or subscription to your service through a series of steps. These “steps” are also known as stages, and refer to the exposure your potential lead has to your company and what you’re offering. It also helps determine how close leads might be to making a purchase—and what final push of information they might need to get there. 

Now that we know how a marketing funnel works, let’s jump into the specific stages. 

Stages of a marketing funnel

You will engage with people at every stage of your marketing funnel, and your focus will be how to get them to the next one. Your job is to figure out the best measures of persuasion to appeal to the buying mentality of people each stage. The targeted content, language you use in messaging, frequency of interaction and overall tone will all be contingent on a consumer’s stage in the marketing funnel. 

1. Discovery

The discovery stage is exactly what it sounds like! You can think of this as the top of the funnel, in which potential customers become aware of the product or service you’re selling. When discussing this stage it’s important to note that 87% of shoppers begin their journey on digital channels of some kind. Because of this, widening the top of your marketing funnel with SMS messages is a good idea. Recipients will be able to click on any links you mention and explore your products and services further from their phone or laptop. 

Make sure any web pages you do link to are updated and fully functioning for the best retention rates. As you get started, remember that this stage is all about raising awareness and getting new text list subscribers.

Here are a few general ways you can update your digital presence before beginning text outreach:

  • Create and consistently post on social media pages
  • Have a current and updated website (check out these best practices for 2020 if you need tips)
  • Engage with your audience online 
  • Hire a professional to help you design and schedule your content

As soon as you feel comfortable with your company or brand’s professional online presence, you’re ready to dive into the first step of your funnel—it’s time to gather subscribers. 

Remember, it takes a lot for someone to give you their phone number. So, when you’re growing your list you should treat your subscribers with the utmost respect (and respect a higher ROI as a result). Not sure what to say? That’s why we have these text templates to get you started.

Helpful tips to help you get started with adding SMS at this stage:

  • Be helpful: You’re building a relationship with your customers, so find out how you can help them and provide. This could be announcing free shipping for a limited time, giving them a VIP discount for joining your list or another high-value promotion that will make them feel excited to be getting to know you.  
  • Use proven content: If you have content you know has worked elsewhere — such as a high performing blog post, email or social media post, think about how you can use part of it — maybe the headline— for SMS. 

2. Consideration

Now we’re in the middle section of your marketing funnel, referred to here as the consideration stage. A lead falls into this category after they’ve been established as a subscriber to SMS updates. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to give them information about your products, enticing offers and unique loyalty programs. Any chance to gather information about your subscribers is valuable, as it gives you the ability to segment and define your audience. As you’re able to group subscribers, you can narrow down what kind of messaging would be most appealing to them. 

Helpful tips to help you get started with adding SMS at this phase;

  • Get specific: When it comes to segmenting, think about both your subscribers and what products or services your company offers. What would be a good way to group the people on your list? Perhaps location-based targeted messaging makes the most sense. Maybe you sell two very distinct services and prefer to group your audience based on which service they’re interested in. Segmenting is meant to guide your messaging channels to be as specific to the recipient as possible.
  • Automate: Consider an automatic, or drip, campaign. This type of messaging can be simple, but makes sure that your subscribers are given attention over time. This kind of automatic messaging campaign is great for welcoming new subscribers and general updates. Why do the work when you can let an automated service do it for you? 

3. Purchase

The purchase stage is the bottom of the funnel, and the closest leads you have to an action. Some members of this group could even be former customers, in which case you’ll want to check in to make sure they were happy with their service and plan to make more purchases in the future. Establish a strong level of communication, emphasizing that their feedback is important and taken into consideration. Take any chance to offer members of this stage discounts or special offers. This is a way to show them that their business is valued. 

Helpful tips to add SMS at this stage:

  • Innovate: If possible, offer a customer service SMS line for people to text if they’re experiencing issues of any kind. Even with scheduled or mass replies, texting for customer service assistance can feel more personal than being put on hold for long periods of time. 
  • Make interacting as easy as possible: Looking for a boost on Yelp or any other review site? Reviews can make or break a business, and can be a hard sell. Asking customers to rate their service via SMS shows you care about their experience. Plus, reaching out directly raises your chances of getting more positive reviews. Tip: Include a link directly to the review site in your text message.

Matching marketing funnel sales to content creation

You might find examples of a marketing funnel with different stage descriptors. Generally speaking, many follow the idea of the acronym AIDA. These stages stand for attention, interest, desire and action. While people will use different stage names for their funnels, they should all lead a consumer through a path which is ordered similarly to these four stages. 

Regardless of the point at which someone enters the funnel, the movement through the stages should always be leading toward an action. 

Tracking metrics in your marketing funnel

The only way you’ll know how your marketing funnel with SMS is working is to measure your success. Some tracking metrics you can use to gauge success include the following:

  • The conversion rate of your sales funnel
  • Points of entry
  • Time in a specific stage
  • Engagement rate

Using a system to help identify, track, measure and analyze these indicators has never been easier. There are plenty of software programs and tools intended to help businesses of every size with this task. Try starting with Google Analytics because it’s free and offers funnel-tracking guides to help you get the most out of your marketing funnel.

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