SMS marketing, or text marketing, is rapidly emerging as the perfect complement to existing email and other traditional marketing campaigns. With the growing number of smartphone users across the globe, it is estimated that about 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes. This provides a definite advantage over email marketing, where the open rates are considerably less—around 20 percent—and most emails are not opened with the same urgency as SMS text messages.
Though text messages are not new, businesses have overlooked them as a way of marketing. However, with the higher open rates and responses, you can no longer afford to neglect SMS marketing as a very cost-effective and valuable way to reach your customers. With the help of the right delivery platform and a few SMS marketing best practices, you can interact better with your audience.
SMS Marketing Best Practices for Audience Engagement
Though text message marketing can surely improve your ROI on marketing campaigns, there are definitely best practices to follow. While most text messages will be read very quickly, you do not want to annoy your audience with messages they find repetitious and irrelevant. That is why you need to implement the following SMS marketing best practices to offer value to your audience while minimizing the opt-out rate.
Provide Relevant Information
With SMS marketing, your message needs to be concise and engaging to catch the attention of your audience. Provide all the necessary information, including your business’s name, contact number, the details of your product or service, and the call-to-action. Consider using images instead of links whenever possible—a picture really is worth a thousand words!
Since a distinct benefit of using some SMS marketing providers over others is the increased character count in your marketing messages (as much as 240 vs. the industry standard 160), you can afford to put all this relevant information in your text. And perhaps most importantly, incorporate relevant keywords that subscribers can easily connect with your brand or business.
Give Timely Responses
A text message is a way to personally connect with your customers. If they are responding to your marketing message, they are expecting a real-time response as well. Your timely response to their queries or replies can initiate critical actions such as purchases. An auto-responder can help you send instant follow-up text messages.
Track Your Audience’s Engagement
Including trackable features, such as a text-specific discount code or a QR code, helps you to evaluate the ROI and overall success of the text marketing campaign. The number of people scanning your QR code provides meaningful insights about the location of your target audience and their purchase behavior. Plus, discount codes also motivate your audience to join the subscribers’ list.
Let Your Subscribers Opt-Out Anytime
Not everyone in your audience would like to continue receiving your text messages. As a marketer, you need to let your subscribers opt-out anytime they want with a simple “Text STOP to unsubscribe” message. A simple to understand opt-out process will help you gain credibility and build a bigger audience in the long run. Also, it is better to let uninterested subscribers drop out at the very beginning of the text marketing campaign. This helps you optimize the character limit and put more conversion-oriented language into your message, instead of reiterating the option to opt-out in every message.
Archive and Supervise Text Messages to Minimize Legal Liability
While text messages connect you with your audience on a personal level, without using the right service, they can also open you up to legal liability. Business communications through text messages must be monitored and saved, as this audit trail can help to minimize any legal liabilities. A high-quality SMS marketing service will provide this full audit trail feature to help keep your company safe and thriving.
Though SMS marketing campaigns are unique to your business, these best practices ensure your success in delivering the right message to your audience and converting them to customers, regardless of the industry you’re in. To further transform text messaging into a powerful marketing tool, you need a low-cost, integrated platform with features that help you implement these best practices and more.
Delivering the Right Message through an Affordable Text Marketing Platform
SMS marketing is not only about updating your audience with the latest announcements or confirming their purchases or subscriptions. You can send them any relevant information about specials, news, promotions, open appointments, and much more. Most importantly, you have the assurance that your customers will often see this information much sooner than emails.
The catch is to connect with your customer base via the right keywords, receive their aggregated responses in a simple dashboard, and initiate one-on-one dialogues while keeping a clear trail of the information sent. As a business, you can’t do it all on your own!
To streamline a text marketing campaign and evaluate its performance in terms of customer responses, you need:
- An intuitive SMS marketing platform with robust features, such as autoresponders, increased character counts, and the ability to send images
- The ability to create surveys, and manage and retarget responses
- An incoming message dashboard
- Unlimited user groups
- Unlimited keywords
You also need a low-cost plan to deliver a high volume of text messages to your target audience without breaking your marketing budget. And last but not least, you need a company that makes it fast and simple to get set up.
Once you have all this necessary support in place, SMS marketing becomes a highly effective way to reach your audience with information they want to receive.
NorthText’s user-friendly and affordable SMS marketing platform helps you create text messages with unlimited keywords, delivers them to your audience promptly, and makes following these SMS marketing best practices simple. For quick and easy answers to any questions you have, contact us by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.CONTACT US!