Have you ever thought of using SMS as part of your marketing strategy to parents? Parents are pretty much tied to their phones nowadays so it can be a very effective way to communicate and engage them. Here’s why Mobile Text Marketing should be part of your marketing strategy.
1) People always look at their phones
Parents usually have their phones with them as they need to know they can be contacted by kids, family members, school, creche. It’s the first thing parents grab when they leave home along with car keys and handbag/wallet. So you are highly likely to reach them with your message, whereas emails can go into Junk/Spam folders and adverts can miss being seen.
2) It’s a cost effective way of reaching out to your customers
Text charges for SMS services are very low, you may even have free texts with your business mobile package. There’s no need to spend money on graphic design, so this can be a very cost-effective way to market to your customers.
3) People’s email inboxes are swamped
As digital marketers, we tend to concentrate a lot on email, but it it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out stand out in busy inboxes.
In addition, customers only opt in to SMS updates from companies or organisations that they want to engage with. So you already have a strong platform using mobile text marketing to build your customer relationship on.
You might also find Why Word of Mouth Marketing Amongst Mums Can Be Powerful For Your Business useful
4) You can track results easily
Using a link or discount code on your SMS lets you track results and see what uptake there is.
5) It’s direct one-to-one communication
You know that your message will go direct to the person and that they will see it. You might be happy with a 25% open rate on your email, with SMS you could be achieving 100% open rate! In my experience, I look at every single text I receive in case it is a message from a family member or friend. That means every marketing SMS I received, I see and read.
That doesn’t mean however that companies are doing a good job at what they send! Here are some tips on using SMS for your business marketing:
Set goals, define your KPIs and make a plan
- Ask yourself “What are your goals and expectations from using mobile text marketing?”
- As with any marketing campaign, set the goals to start with and decide how you are going to measure the results.
- Consider which offers or content customers will find valuable. You may need to test these out.
- Decide how often you are going to run SMS campaigns. You might consider using an SMS text management system or platform such as Textmagic.
Make sure you have asked your customer if they wish to opt in for your service.
I have received texts from companies who have my phone number as I transacted with them but they didn’t ask me if I was happy to receive messages from them. This is a no-no. Make sure you always ask permission to add them to your database.
And always give an opt out. It’s best practice to give people a number they can text to unsubscribe from the SMS messages, many of the SMS services out there handle this aspect too. Here’s a good example of a company that includes it at the end of their texts:
Engage your customer
Make sure your texts are engaging for your customer. They should match your Brand Voice. Gather information about your customers, ask them when you meet them face to face about what they are interested in. Make sure you look at their purchase behaviour with you to understand what might be of interest to them.
What’s the point in offering them a discount off Product B if they have never bought Product B and never will? That is not to say that testing isn’t of value, of course it is, but when I see the 16th text appear from the same company continuing to offer me Product B, then I know they haven’t noticed I took no action on the previous 15 texts! (and by the way I usually don’t unsubscribe as I’m always curious to see how companies do their marketing!)
Segment Your Customers
Don’t blanket text all your customers with the same message. This is lazy and it’s not what customers want. The optimum thing to do is to personalise every message and personalise the offer, however that may not always be feasible. So at least segment your customers by groups that make sense for your business. E.g. Lapsed, Active, High Spend. Then send out different messages to each segment.
It amazes me how none of the companies that send me SMS do any form of tailoring. How do I know this?
- If I haven’t shopped at a particular outlet for some time, I don’t ever get a message saying We haven’t seen you for a while, pop in and say hi and here’s a special 10% off code.
- I get SMS offering me products that I have never bought from them (and never will)
- I get SMS addressing the whole audience not Hi Jill
Tie in your SMS campaign with your other marketing channels
Tell customers what they can expect or how to connect with your SMS campaign on your other channels or even in your physical location. Again, none of the companies that I have agreed (or not) to receive SMS have ever done this. They didn’t tell me what to expect, it wasn’t on the form I filled in to e.g. join their loyalty programme, there was no notice up in the location I visited.
Measure, measure, measure
As with any marketing campaign, always measure and check the results of your campaign at the end of it. Look at what worked, so you can tweak if needed or repeat if successful.
You might find Why Measuring Your Marketing ROI Isn’t Just a Should Do but a Must Do useful
Some ideas for SMS Marketing
Use Competitions to Get Numbers
Competitions are a good way to encourage people to opt in to your SMS marketing, you have to ask them for their mobile number in case they win. But make it clear that entry will mean that you can contact them afterwards.
Use SMS to Promote Competitions
Use an SMS campaign to let parents know that you are running a cool giveaway with a link to where they can enter. Vodafone send a text every Friday to encourage entries into their Friday competition.
Offer Sneak Previews
You might use SMS to share advance news of upcoming sales or new products. Home Store + More do this well:
Ask People Things
Are they interested in a new product or service you are thinking of offering? Have they found your service satisfactory? Can they give you ideas for new products or services or content that would be useful for them?
Or you could use the opportunity to link the text to an online survey with an incentive to respond.
Use SMS for Customer Service
Vodafone do this after every customer service call, they send a quick series of texts that you have to either answer Y or N or answer on a scale 1 to 10 to gauge satisfaction:
Marketing to your customers is about building a relationship with that prospect to the point that they trust and like you and are happy to buy from you. This is just as true for mobile text marketing as any other marketing medium. So when you design your next marketing campaign, think how you can incorporate SMS into the campaign and how you can use text marketing to build those relationships.
How is your company using SMS? What benefits have you seen from running SMS campaigns? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.