10 Proven Practices for your Business SMS Strategy
Marketers who want to achieve success in 2022 tend to turn their heads towards the most innovative methods. However, you don’t always need to use the most elaborate techniques to get a great result. One of the channels that is often missed is SMS marketing.
Smartphones are owned by the majority of people in the US and EU, so many marketers focus on mobile app marketing. However, even with such a huge market penetration, apps are not the ultimate solution, as 35% of customers cannot be reached by an app. App notifications tend to be just ignored.
SMS on the other hand is still a commonly used communication channel, and a very effective one at that. Over 90% of SMS messages get opened as opposed to 20% of emails. On top of that, 19% of links placed in SMS are opened.
That’s a powerful marketing channel if you use it right. If sending short sales text messages once in a while that get a 90% open rate and a 19% CTR sounds enticing, keep reading - and you’ll learn how to use SMS as a marketing and sales tool.
1. Understand the legal matters
Marketing communications are regulated by TCPA and the CAN-SPAM acts, and breaking the law when messaging your clients can lead to a heavy fine and other uncomfortable consequences. Thankfully, the code here is not hard to follow, and the gist of it is very simple.
When forming an SMS marketing strategy, you need to:
- Always receive unambiguous consent from the receiver
- Preferably have a proof of consent
- Describe the content of messaging clearly
- Provide a way to unsubscribe
When you stick to these four, you’ll be out of trouble’s way when it comes to the legislature. One important thing to note is that CAN-SPAM does not apply for business texting that happens directly after the sale. You can send sales confirmation and follow-ups messages without having to ask for consent.
Now, let’s see how you can use business texting not only legally but successfully.
2. Get consent the right way
The most important thing in an SMS conversation with a client is getting consent. Not only proceeding without it is illegal, it’s ineffective. If you send a message to a customer who doesn’t want to receive messages from you, you’re just alienating them. Nobody likes receiving unsolicited messages, even from a company as great as yours.
So your first task when creating an SMS text campaign strategy is establishing a point of contact and starting your conversation on a positive note. One of the most straightforward ways you can start messaging your clients is by getting their phone number from a form on your website or via email. Alternatively, you can ask them to text a code word to a short number to start receiving texts from you.
Make sure to sell them on the value proposition and keep your word. That is, if you promise to send discount offers twice a month, do that, and nothing more — this way you’ll build trust with the customer.
3. Provide a way to unsubscribe
You don’t want your clients to unsubscribe from text messaging, but giving them a way out is a necessary step. With email, you can include an unsubscribe link in every email. With SMS messages, it’s more complicated. With only 160 characters to work with, adding the unsubscribe message to each text defeats the purpose.
What is often done instead is creating a stop word that a user can text back at you to unsubscribe. Most often, companies that provide text campaign services make this word either STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE. It’s best to communicate that word either when you’re signing up the subscriber or fit it in among the first couple of messages.
The latter is a better option because if you text it to a subscriber, they can quickly find it if they want to unsubscribe.
4. Don’t text too often
It’s your client, not your bestie, so sending updates every day is not the best idea. There’s no magic formula as to how many messages per month is ideal. Start with weekly or biweekly SMS, and increase or decrease the number of communications in marketing SMS service until you reach desired results with open rate conversions.
5. Multiple texts at once are fine
While texting your subscribers eight times a day is a bad idea, it’s okay to break your weekly message up into a couple of SMS is completely fine. Think about how you speak over SMS — you don’t write a long and elaborate text. You talk briefly, and sometimes break up a longer point into a couple of texts.
Do the same thing with SMS marketing. Don’t just write a longer message and arbitrarily break it up, create separate messages as though you’re actually texting someone.
6. Be brief
Brevity is king when it comes to short-form marketing communications like SMS. If your message does get opened, you only have a couple of seconds to interest your subscriber to do an action. So the best sales messages are short and concise.
Get straight to the point and tell your subscriber what they need to do if they want to be a part of your offer.
7. Don’t be boring
SMS marketing messages are not the place to write in overly formal style. Make your communications stylistically simple — don’t use jargon, don’t use passive too much, and don’t write forty-word sentences. You can fit in a joke here and there, and even be a bit personal with your subscribers.
Personalization is a simple thing to implement in automated SMS marketing campaigns, but it can mean a lot. Personalized messages have a higher open rate, and are a great way to build trust with your subscriber and let them know you care.
This can be done quite easily with an SMS system for business like Kixie. You can create multiple SMS templates for sales and still have a means of personalization for each of them.
9. A/B Test
With stylistics handled, you need to think about the strategic part of SMS marketing. People tend to have different habits when it comes to checking and responding to SMS messages, as they do with any communication channel.
You can’t know for sure what they are, but you can experiment with different communication strategies to arrive at the best guess. Most platforms that provide marketing SMS services also provide a wider range of marketing tools and let you segment the recipients of marketing text messages. Start by segmenting your audience by demographic and behavioral factors. This includes age, gender, marital status, as well as purchasing patterns.
With that information in hand, experiment with different sending times and types of messages. Once you A/B test enough strategies, you will have an understanding of how to address each group of your subscribers and whether your groupings were correct.
The important thing is not to stop there and continue testing different approaches — you never know when you come across something that outperforms your previous communication tactics.
10. Pick the right automation tool
One of the most important factors in any SMS marketing campaign is picking the right tool for the job. Not only does a good automation tool allow you to be more effective with messaging and keep track of SMS campaigns, it can help you avoid getting blocked.
On top of PowerCall, Kixie offers a business SMS platform. It offers both automated sales workflow and one-to-one texting. The latter allows a salesperson to send business text messaging from a computer and continue the conversation started during a call with an SMS message from the same number.
SMS marketing is still relevant
Despite being rather old compared to all the new communication channels, SMS is not only viable, but an extremely effective communication channel. Use these tips to supercharge your marketing strategy, but don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the results it brings.
Not all audiences respond to marketing channels in the same way, and depending on your business, you can get great or disappointing results. The main thing is to not think of SMS marketing as a cure-all, but make it a part of your broader strategy and see if it performs well.