Article

Milveen Eke-Allen
Milveen Eke-Allen 18 March 2019

How to Successfully Use SMS Marketing in Your Promotional Campaigns

Find out how to use mobile messaging to improve customer relationships and grow your business.

One of the most direct ways to connect with your customers is with SMS marketing. Even with the growth of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, lots of brands still use SMS marketing to get their messages across to customers.

But successful SMS marketing takes more than blasting customers with the same types of messages over and over again. You need a strategy and insights into what types of information customers need to have.

To help you get the most out of your SMS marketing strategies, here's a closer look at how to use mobile messaging to share helpful information while building a lasting customer relationship.

1. Ask for permission to maximize your reach

Like with any other type of communication you send to customers — like emails and phone calls — ask new customers for permission before you include them in your SMS campaigns. For example, if you offer a service, include an optional mobile messaging opt-in when new customers sign up. This way you can include them in SMS marketing campaigns that focus on areas like service updates, special offers, and payment reminders.

With people spending upwards of four hours a day on their mobile devices, SMS marketing offers a tremendous amount of opportunity to engage your audience. Plus the fact that 78% of customers want to talk to the brands they do business with, it's in your best interest to take the time to get customer permission.

Marketing Tip: Once you have permission to include customers in your SMS marketing campaigns, send them a welcome message. Explain how many messages they'll receive each week or month, the types of content you'll share, and the toll-free number to your customer support team. Try not to overwhelm new customers with tons of content all at once. Instead, use an onboarding series that includes five or six texts that are spaced out over a week or two.

2. Use personalization to connect with customers

Similar to your email marketing campaigns, SMS marketing is a prime opportunity to personalize your messaging. As you learn more about your customers — like their location, preferences, and pain points — test what types of messages they're most responsive to.

For example, if you're an e-commerce retailer, your customer data will tell how many customers respond to special offers. You can use different SMS marketing campaigns to test what kinds of special offers customers respond to. Like discounts, free shipping, referrals, or access to special programs:

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Marketing tip: A simple way to personalize messages is to incorporate your customer's name, include mentions of their recent activity, or highlight specific details about their account—like an account number or outstanding balance for service customers.

3. Build in rich media messaging to remove friction

There are lots of different types of mobile messaging; SMS marketing is just one option. Another, more interactive option is rich media messaging (RMM). Instead of relying on 100% text in your messages, RMM lets you send multimedia content like video, voice, and interactive messages. RMM marketing makes it easier for customers to interact because their responses aren't limited to Yes or No.

Use a tool like VoiceSage to help you build RMM campaigns that let you send messages that get customers to complete surveys, make payments, schedule appointments, and more.

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What's also great about RMM is customers don't have to change or download anything on their end — your messages automatically come through as rich media.

RMM adds to the customer experience because your messages aren't cut off by the 160-word limit like with SMS, and customers can follow through with actions much quicker. For example, if you send a short RMM survey, customers can complete it right away without having to leave the message to log onto a separate external site.

Marketing tip: RMM makes it easy for you to brand your messages. Incorporate your logo, brand colors, and more so that it's immediately clear to customers who these messages are coming from.

4. Share relevant information to keep customers engaged

Text messages have an astonishingly high open rate. Studies show that text messages have an open rate of 98%! This is considerably higher than emails which have an open rate of 20-40%. While you've got your customers' attention, use your SMS marketing to share relevant information they care about. The more relevant the information is, the better the chances are of them following through and taking action.

One way to make sure your messages are relevant is to segment your customers based on their needs. For example, if customers are nearing a payment deadline, send them a reminder with the payment amount and a link to pay via mobile. Or for lapsed customers who haven't bought something in a while, send them a coupon with a limited time offer.

Sending consistent, relevant messages also helps build a positive expectation from customers that you're always providing them with value.

Marketing tip: Make sure each message has a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages customers to take action. If you're offering a special offer, use “Receive Your Reward Today” instead of a “Submit.”

5. Offer clear and exclusive incentives to build loyalty

To build a long-lasting customer relationship, treat your customers like VIPs. Use SMS marketing to share information that's not available on your website or social media platforms. The benefit of doing this is the exclusive offers build customer loyalty and encourage them to keep coming back to do business with you instead of going to the competition.

For example, send e-commerce customers special offers that:

  • Celebrate the anniversary of their first purchase
  • Waive the admin fee for access to a new feature
  • Grant automatic access to a new membership program

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Marketing tip: Think about how you position these special offers. They might be similar to other programs you offer, like say a 10% discount for new customers, but make a big deal about the milestone customers have reached and use a different promo code than the public-facing offers.

Get started with SMS marketing today

What's great about SMS marketing is these messages are adaptable and can be customized based on your needs and what you expect from customers. Plus your SMS marketing campaigns can also fit into an optichannel marketing strategy. In addition to your email marketing and social media campaigns, you can add mobile messaging to reach more customers on a channel they spend a lot of time in.

This wider reach improves your customer contact rate and reminds them — using more than one channel — of what you offer. Find a mobile messaging platform that will help you manage your customer SMS marketing strategies and get started today.

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