Text message marketing is one of the most powerful tools a small business owner has at his/her disposal. Though people’s televisions or radios might often be turned off, or their email account forgotten for days at a time, a person’s phone is always on and always with them. When a marketer wants to get a message to customers, there’s no better or faster way to do it than through SMS.
Regulation on SMS
SMS is a highly regulated communication channel. While some may view this as a weakness of SMS, this is actually another advantage in disguise. Because regulations are in place that require you to get permission before sending a text, you know that everyone on your texting list wants to receive your texts. That can’t be said of most other marketing channels.
Now that you’re convinced it’s time to launch a text message marketing campaign, here are some tips to keep in mind as you get started:
- Promote across channels. Many first time mobile marketers make the mistake of assuming that by creating an SMS campaign, customers will start signing up. In actuality, most of your customers won’t know that your SMS campaign exists. You need to use all of your existing marketing channels to promote your SMS campaign. You can also use in-store signage and your employees to spread the word to customers who frequent your business.
- Be personal. SMS is an extremely personal channel. People’s phones are sacred to them. They’ve given you permission to communicate with them in a personal way. You can reciprocate that trust by sending them personal messages in return. Don’t send generic messages. Send messages that are in line with their interests. To do this you’ll need to know your audience well.
- Messages don’t have to be offers. Keep in mind that not every text you send has to be a special offer or a sales pitch. A major advantage to text message marketing is that it helps build trust. You can use SMS to send appointment reminders, shipping notifications, and to seek feedback. If you’re only using SMS to drive more sales, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to build relationships with customers.
- Pay attention to frequency. People opt-in to receive your texts because they perceive value in it. If the costs outweigh the benefits, they’ll opt-out. For that reason, it’s important to pay close attention to frequency. Post too much and your customers might become annoyed. Several posts a day, or even one a day is probably too much. Find a good balance that your customers are happy with.
- Have your landing page ready. If you’re planning on using SMs to link customers to your website (and you should) then you need to make sure that your landing page is ready to go. You should have a mobile website so that your customers won’t have problems viewing it on their phones.