Online SMS is one of the most over-powered communication and marketing mediums available for business owners today, why?
Imagine if you could get anywhere from 82-98% of people to read your marketing messages?
On top of that imagine if you could get up 45% of people to click on a link inside that text message?
Even the most “guru” of marketing veterans simply cannot produce these kinds of results, period.
Online SMS is actually an offline medium. These online SMS companies use mobile phone towers just like your mobile phone which is one of the reasons it is so successful – since it is not an online medium it is not affected by ad blockers, SPAM algorithms, reputation scores, algorithm updates, etc.
Being able to send and receive text messages online is the game-changer businesses owners have been looking for but even with all of that said there are still rules that must be followed in order to get the most from each SMS campaign.
1. Timing Is Critical to Success
While there are some industries that may benefit from unusual sending times, for the most part, the best times to launch a campaign is during work hours specifically right before a person might be thinking about your solution.
An easy example would be for a restaurant to send out an SMS at 11:00 am for lunch specials, generally, people will begin thinking about lunch at around 11:30 pm so by getting to them early you get to them before they begin looking online for options.
Have a weekend special offer promotion? Send an SMS message on Thursday and then again the morning of the event.
2. Tell Em’ What They’re Going To Get
Before a person opts for your SMS list let them know exactly what they going to receive and how the relationship is going to work so there are no surprises that they trigger negative feelings towards your brand.
By telling them what to expect beforehand you’ll be getting the highest quality leads opting in.
3. Have An Opt-Out Option
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to people is the feeling of being trapped receiving endless SMS messages that you can’t get out of.
Having an opt-out inside your text messages dramatically increases the trust factor you have between your business and your subscribers.
This also reduces any legal issues that will eventually come up when you don’t display an opt-out.
4. Keep Your SMS Messages Structured
A standard text message is only 160 characters which means you need to get to the point quickly while at the same time persuading them to take action.
Here are some tips on how to structure your message:
- Include your business name –You can do this by using a Sender ID (keep in mind that people cannot reply if you use a sender ID) or by mentioning it at the start of the message.
- Use the recipient’s name – This isn’t a hard rule, but it’s a good idea to use this at the beginning of the relationship. In fact, most messages should skip the first name since it can be a little too formal. SMS is a social channel so your messages should be relaxed for most industries that is.
- Offer – This is a hard rule. Always include something of interest for the recipient. Since you’re a business subscriber will have a lower tolerance to low-value SMS messages. An offer can be a special deal or to make them aware of a solution that they would be highly interested in.
- Conditions – Include a link to any special conditions for an offer.
- FOMO – If you’re making an offer give them a deadline which can be time-based or quantity based – we humans love the status quo so you need to make them aware that they could miss out if they do not act.
- Tell them what to do – We’ve done all of this work so it would be a shame if the person had no idea what they needed to do now. Mention your URL (use a link shortener), tell them the location, etc.
- Opt-out – Include an opt-out at the end of the message.
One of the most common problems I see with SMS campaigns is business owners cramming everyone into the same address book.
This is a massive mistake. People buy products and services for different reasons and because of this, it means they are trying to solve specific problems which means there is no way you can send out an offer and have it be appealing to everyone on that list.
The key is to segment people into groups so you can send highly targeted offers, the result?
- Higher conversions, and;
- Less unsubscribes
6. Frequency: Less Is More
With email marketing, it’s normal to send out email blasts every week or even every day depending on your type of business. SMS is different, a person’s mobile phone is incredibly personal which means sending an SMS any more than once per week is going to agitate your subscribers – in fact even sending out an SMS once per week is pushing it.
Typically, businesses will send out SMS messages every two weeks or even once per month to a specific group of subscribers.
7. Use SMS To Boost Other Marketing Channels
This top doesn’t necessarily improve your SMS campaign per se but it’s one of those strategies that few ever think to do to boost the overall performance of their marketing strategy.
The strength of SMS comes from its incredibly high engagement rates (open, read and click through) in fact, SMS is arguably the strongest direct marketing channels since virtually everyone opens their SMS messages.
Why not send out an SMS leading up to a product launch, trade show event, important company newsletter, email marketing offers, etc. by leveraging SMS to get more eyeballs on these channels you’ll notice an immediate bump in performance.
Emails go unopened, phones go unanswered, banner blindness is getting worse, ad costs are skyrocketing but SMS is one of the very few communication channels that is actually come down in price and has arguably the highest open and read rates of any other marketing channel.
This makes online SMS an incredibly powerful promotional tool to help businesses generate leads and sales for pennies per text.