Walk down a crowded city street on any given day and look at how many people are staring at their phones. That alone should tell you a lot about how effective SMS marketing can be. Users may instinctively scroll past ads in their Facebook feed or not even give the subway billboards a glance, but they’re unlikely to miss a new text notification.
But there’s the right way to handle SMS marketing and a countless number of wrong ways to handle it. Your business’ text-based marketing plan will of course need to be tailored to its own unique demands, but there are a few things everyone should keep in mind when launching an SMS marketing campaign.
Consent is Important
Increased consumer protections against predatory advertisers is a good and necessary thing, but it does mean that you’ll need to be careful about how you target your campaign. That means that before you even launch your marketing campaign, you’ll need to create a streamlined system for developing a list of numbers.
In practice, everyone should be gathering emails of their customers as early as possible. Provide the option to opt-in on your storefront and directly through your app if you have one. Tying enrollment with promotions can provide some exceptional conversion rates and expand your SMS pool.
As is Timing
Timing in marketing used to be about reaching the right demographic. That’s why primetime TV slots on a desirable network cost big bucks. SMS and other modern marketing techniques don’t have to contend with the sort of demographic gatekeeping that comes with traditional TV schedules, but it’s as crucially important as it’s ever been.
Because while the close connection that people have with their phones is a considerable asset for marketers, it’s one that really needs to be leveraged to really use effectively. The average person is overloaded with countless messages over the course of a day, and that’s why it’s important to time your messages with your messaging.
Timing is more than just strategically trying to predict what your customer wants when they want it. It’s about making sure that your messages have pull. If you’re sending customers every hour on the hour, you’ll be lucky to simply find your messages ignored. More likely, you’ll be blocked entirely. Be judicious with your engagement. As an added bonus, it will give you more time to evaluate your strategies more closely.
But You Can’t Get Complacent
Modern marketing tools allow you to plan out your entire campaign and automate the entire process through the use of a planned rollout. But that would mean missing out on some of SMS’ biggest assets. Primarily, SMS is an incredibly effective way of finding actionable data yet nimble enough that you can adjust your campaigns on the fly.
The same modern marketing tools that help you automate your messaging can also help you understand how well it’s functioning. New marketing tech allows you to analyze customer interaction and endpoints more effectively than ever before, and that can help you determine how well your marketing is performing on a moment-to-moment basis.
This is a situation where good timing is especially critical. Sending out dinner promotions for your restaurant during rush hour can deliver an understanding of your campaign’s impact in a tangible way that same night. Many businesses focus so narrowly on their sales numbers that they neglect the inherent value of the information they gather about customer preferences.
SMS marketing can be a huge boon to businesses of any size. A campaign can be launched by just about anyone, but doing it with finesse requirements both commitment and technique. But if you take your time to understand the process, SMS marketing can dramatically boost your business.