SMS marketing is more than 25 years old and it’s growing rapidly. The number of global smartphone users will reach 3.5 billion by the end of 2020. Not all mobile phone users have internet available to them and even smartphone users don’t have access to the internet 24/7. This makes SMS one of the few marketing techniques that work without the internet.
You don’t have to use SMS marketing just because people have mobile phones. That’s not a logical reason. What if I tell you that SMS marketing has the highest engagement rate across all marketing channels?
SMS are opened and read before any other form of mobile communication. Research shows that 83% of millennials open and read a text message within 90 seconds and SMS is the preferred marketing channel for dealing with companies for the majority of the millennials. With 98% of all SMS messages being read and 90% are read within three minutes, you can’t ignore it.
Where to begin?
This SMS marketing guide will show you what exactly you have to do and how to do it to reach your target audience via SMS. But first, let’s see why SMS is growing again.
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Why is SMS Growing Again?
SMS is growing again and it is growing fast. The number one reason that makes SMS the top priority of millennials is that they are unobtrusive. As much as 55% of millennials believe that SMS is the most convenient way to remind them of something important.
Over 75% of consumers think text is a helpful way to receive appointments, payment reminders, and surveys. A consumer survey of 3500 internet users and 250 brands revealed that SMS is the preferred choice of users for receiving communications from companies.
There are several reasons that make SMS such a popular and growing marketing channel:
- It is non intrusive.
- Consumers can read it at their own convenience.
- Texts are extremely personalized.
- It’s short and easy to read, forward, and share.
- No reply needed.
Create an SMS Campaign
An SMS marketing campaign lets you communicate with your customers via SMS. You can send different types of messages such as payment reminders, purchase confirmation, surveys, etc. Just like you use email marketing software to create email campaigns, you use SMS marketing software to create, run, and manage SMS campaigns.
How to do it exactly? Follow the steps below to create an effective SMS campaign for your business.
Step #1: Set a Goal
An SMS campaign without a goal will not work. Ask yourself what you want to achieve from the campaign? Do you want to collect data via a survey? Do you want to reduce cart abandonment? Do you want to send reminders to your customers?
Setting a clear goal for the campaign will help you with analysis and measuring the performance of the campaign. A purposeless campaign won’t lead you anywhere.
Step #2: Create Your Message
Create an effective text message based on your campaign’s goal. For instance, if your goal is to send SMS to subscribers who didn’t open your email, you will have to create a text message that will persuade subscribers to take action.
Creating a text message isn’t straightforward. You have to convey your message in 159 characters. You have to be persuasive and concise. The message has to be personal as well.
Here is a sample SMS template that you can send to subscribers to remind them of the sale end:
“24 HOURS to go for 40% off your entire order at [brand name]! Use code: [code] at checkout! Sale ends TONIGHT Jan 3rd, 11:59 pm EST! [the link]”
Here are a few best practices for SMS copywriting that you should follow:
- Keep the message short and personalized
- Important words and phrases should have capital letters
- Add urgency
- Add a powerful CTA
- Use power words
- Use proper language and full words
- Avoid text speak
- Avoid jargons
Step #3: Choose Recipients
After you have created your text message, choose the recipients. This is an important step that you shouldn’t ignore. Sending a message to all the recipients is a big mistake.
You need to filter recipients and send messages to the appropriate ones only. For instance, if you are sending a discount code to customers, make sure that customers who have already used the code don’t get the follow-up message.
This ruins the customer experience. Choose recipients wisely and carefully.
Step #4: Schedule Your Campaign
Finally, schedule your SMS campaign and make sure your message reaches the right people at the right time. This is crucial for time-sensitive campaigns such as discount codes or special offers.
SMS Campaign Examples
What type of SMS campaigns can you create for your business? Here is a list of leading SMS campaign examples to help you get started:
Promotional SMS Campaigns
These are the most used campaigns that are geared towards generating sales. You can promote a product, send a discount code, or promote cross-sells.
SMS Reminder Campaigns
These campaigns send reminders to customers for what they have missed or are about to miss. For instance, you can send payment reminders to customers who haven’t paid for their recent order.
Transactional SMS Campaigns
A transactional SMS provides customers information about their account, product, or anything. It includes messages like the package delivered, the payment received, order update, etc.
Survey SMS Campaigns
These campaigns are focused on sending surveys to customers via SMS. You can send a survey URL or SMS survey.
Why You Need SMS Campaign Automation
Imagine you have to send SMS to customers who haven’t opened your email? How will you do it? You can’t do it manually. This is where automation helps you. Here is an example of how SMS campaign automation works:
The SMS is sent automatically to customers who haven’t opened their email.
When you are using SMS software, campaign automation gets easier. Your tool will handle all the campaigns, send messages, personalize them, send follow-ups, and keep track of opened, clicked, and conversions.
SMS campaign automation helps you when you are using it with your email marketing and CRM tools. Integrating your SMS software with your CRM tool will supercharge your campaigns and will provide you with the true power of campaign automation.
SMS marketing works far better than other marketing channels. The problem is that marketers and businesses hesitate to collect phone numbers. Adding an additional field in the forms won’t ruin conversions rather it will scrutinize subscribers. If you don’t want to ask for the phone number upfront, collect it from your existing subscribers.
It’s time to take SMS marketing seriously once again.