In the last few years, we’ve had more and more conversations with marketers about using SMS as part of their Lifecycle toolkit. There’s a lot to love about this channel: it’s quick to develop and easy to consume. For many marketers, it drives huge ROI (according to Attentive, their customers see $71 for every dollar spent on SMS). As almost everyone uses SMS on their phones, it’s universal.
But dipping your toes into SMS marketing doesn’t come without apprehension. Many marketers we’ve spoken to worry most about invading users’ privacy – they see text messages as personal communication and don’t want to be perceived as text-spammers to their customers. We don’t want that either.
Here are a few tips we’ve found helpful to get teams started with SMS.
- Be Clear: When users opt in to SMS, make it clear that you’re going to be sending them messages, and send some messages immediately to drive the point home. Like adding spice to a dish you’re cooking, a little can go a long way: Make a welcome message, and make it worth the recipients’ time to read it by giving them valuable information, a special offer, or at least something that will make them smile!
- Be Consistent: If users sign up for SMS with you, don’t ghost them. Be sure to use the channel consistently and don’t only show up sporadically. If you can get the user in a rhythm of receiving messages from you, then it won’t be disruptive to their day to see your message—it will be an enhancement. If you don’t offer a sale, offer discovery or something they may not know via SMS that will drive engagement on your site.
- Be Graphical: Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of a Mixed Media Message (MMS, or a text message with a picture), a picture might be worth a thousand dollars (or more!). Leveraging MMS to send a photo along with your text can highlight the benefits of what you’re offering in a way that a certain subset of consumers may respond to differently than just SMS.
- Be Strategic: SMS can create additional opportunities for interaction. Sending out two pieces of communication at the same time is just a repetition of the same thing on different channels. While accompanying your marketing emails with SMS is a good idea, you might consider sending them at different times, especially to users who subscribe to both channels. This way, one message can act as a follow up to the other, thus creating an additional opportunity for interaction.
- Be Confident: You’re not the only one out there sending SMS these days, and consumers are getting more and more accustomed to the idea of receiving SMS from marketers – if they don’t want it, they won’t sign up for it.
Are you SMS-curious? Have you thought about how to integrate this type of marketing with your overall strategy, but had trouble getting started? There’s a lot that goes into a successful program. Get in touch today and let us help.