In order to understand the basics of SMS marketing, small businesses should know that it comprises of two elements-the short code and the keyword. The shortcode is a six-digit number that customers can use to send the keyword. The keyword signifies the campaign and is the body of the message.
A successful SMS marketing plan can help in procuring numbers and sharing value-added messages to the consumer. Here are few ways to start your SMS marketing campaigns:
- Ask for permission: Not all of your consumers would be happy to receive unsolicited messages. Ask your customer for their approval before sending them a message, this will ensure that your marketing efforts reach the customers that are interested. Texting has a 90% customer satisfaction rate for the unique method of contact with service centers.
- Only send what you say you’ll send: Ensure that you only send specific messages to your customer and be straight to the point as you have only 160 characters. Add your value proposition in the beginning and use a URL Shortener. Over 50% of consumers prefer SMS over all other methods of communication with a support center.
- Develop a Schedule: Create an SMS marketing campaign that sends subscribers texts on time and periodically. Your small business should ensure that you send texts of value regularly to reduce the number of people that opt-out. The more valuable the content, the better it is for your subscribers to connect with you. Ensure that your small business does not send messages at odd hours of the day. This will make them want to opt-out of your messages.
- Have a service first, sales later approach: Most subscribers would like to receive service-oriented messages without the usual marketing messages. More consumers prefer to get order status alerts, and appointment and reservation confirmations via text rather than other methods. By following this approach, you are sure to keep the customer engaged and provide information which is beneficial to them. 64% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of a company that offers SMS text as a customer service channel.
- Allow your subscribers an opt-out option: Most SMS marketing platforms will allow you to text “STOP” to unsubscribe their number. In countries like India, U.S.A, Australia, Canada, all businesses that send out mass SMSes must have this feature by law.
Your small business should promote short code and keywords across all channels and print campaigns to grow your subscriber list. Ensure that you add a Call-To-Action (CTA) on your signage, receipts and notepads to continue to build your base. A great way to do this is to print your SMS details on cards, and other print collaterals that you disseminate to your customers.
Use your email list to build your SMS subscriber list and share similar campaigns on both platforms. In the last few years, SMS marketing is predominately used for mobile coupons and discount codes. This is a great incentive for customers and provides them with a need to use a coupon code to get offers.