EZ texting – Incorporating SMS into your marketing strategy

Although mobile phones have been around for a long time, SMS marketing is a relatively new platform.

Even though the platform is quite simple to use, marketers often overlook it in favor of advertising in other social media.

Despite the disinterest shown by most, marketing through SMS is super effective, because while many people may turn off their email notifications once they leave the workspace, they keep their phones on hand throughout the day.

SMS boasts of an incredible open rate, showing that 97% of text messages are opened while 90% of them are opened and read within three minutes.

Many Chief Marketing Officers plan to increase their budget of mobile marketing by 150% over the next two years.

An additional advantage of the marketing through SMS is that while WiFi coverage may be fairly widespread, it is still lacking in low-income families or low coverage areas.

Texting, on the other hand, is enabled by 92% of US adults, which makes it a much more viable marketing option when compared to emails or online marketing.

However, in order to achieve the best possible results from SMS marketing, you need to make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to achieve optimal results.

Get the most out of your marketing plan:

While marketing via text messages has plenty of merits, which includes the low level of technology, high opening rate, as well as a great return on investment, there still seems to be a lack of information about getting the most out of EZ texting.

#1. Have a dedicated team:

While EZ texting may have low technical know-how as compared to most marketing methods, it does not mean that you can simply do it yourself.

In order to get the most out of your EZ texting campaign, you will definitely require a dedicated team of individuals working on it.

You will require a marketing program expert, a retail expert, on-location signage coordinators, creative digital designers, promotion experts, an ROI, and discount budget analyst, along with a lot of other potential marketing experts.

Ultimately, your team will depend on the level of resources you have on hand, but if you’re a smaller company you may have to do a lot of learning to get the most out of EZ texting.

Once you have determined the number of people in your team, as well as the roles that each of them will play, you will need to ensure that all team members are on the same page.

By establishing a proper framework for SMS marketing, you will be able to optimize your text message marketing campaign and take note of which strategies are yielding the best results.

#2. Segment your market:

Establishing an ongoing rapport with your customers is an essential step to keep them hooked to your products.

While it may be easy to keep track of your customers when you are just starting out, as your business grows, so do the needs of your customers.

Businesses are heavily reliant on consumer feedback and input, and if they are unable to provide a customer with ample online support, then a customer can simply vote with their feet and choose to stop using your product.

Customer Relationship Management is an essential way to keep a track of your consumer base along with their demographic.

A CRM allows you to build a comprehensive personal profile about each of your customers and can include ample information about their history with your business like previous appointments, purchases, as well as personal information like their age, gender, and location.

Making use of a CRM app can lend you a lot of freedom, as automated messages and responses can boost your relationship with your customers.

The above image showcases how a CRM can potentially compile all the relevant information about a customer.

You can also utilize a CRM app to market the right thing to the right person. For instance, if you are a skincare company, but you text a 20-year-old to buy your anti-aging cream, then you can potentially ruffle some feathers.

Also, if you message a resident of Missouri to visit your shop outlet in New York, then you could be barking up the wrong tree.

A CRM app allows you to build a greater one-on-one relationship with your consumers, and being able to provide customers with immediate support can go a long way into retaining them in the long run.

#3. Your Call to Action should be extremely prominent:

What is a marketing campaign without a call to action? If customers wish to buy a product or get a discount but the call to action is super vague, then the offer you extend may go to waste.

EZ texting may be a fairly simplistic marketing tool, yet companies still manage to fall short on the most crucial step: The Call to Action.

Take, for instance, the Pepsi advertisement posted above. In it, there is some confusion with regards to the keyword, and many consumers may have accidentally texted PEPSIMAX along with the quotation marks, which will not actually trigger the campaign.

While this may seem like a fairly obvious mistake, both big and small companies shoot themselves in the foot without properly outlining the Call to Action button.

In order to leave no room for error with regards to your CTA, you should capitalize both the keyword (which in this case is PEPSIMAX) as well as the shortcode (which in this case is 710710).

Other ways you can make your CTA extremely prominent is by using words like “Click here” or “Buy now”.

If you want your customers to avail a discount by visiting an outlet in person, your CTA can simply state “Show this text”, which will allow customers to cash in on a discount by showing the text they received at the store location.

By using CTA’s like “Text-to-win” and “Text-to-vote”, you can improve your customer’s engagement and increase excitement about entering into a lucky draw.

#4. Be clear and concise:

As many marketers will know, a text message has an upper limit of 140 characters and making your messages chock full with information is not always the best mode of action, as it can do more harm than good.

Staying concise yet on message is an art that takes a while to be perfected. Take for instance the Dominos EZ texting plan.

In a campaign that they started in 2015, Dominos enabled people to order pizza from a lot of different digital platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Echo, and most importantly, text messages.

The premise of this texting campaign was that people could simply message a pizza emoji to the Dominos number and order a pizza directly through text.

While the initiative was certainly one of a kind at the time, there remained some room for improvement as customers had to jump through several hoops to opt-in for these text messages.

Nevertheless, this campaign of theirs can be considered quite successful and for people who activated this feature on their mobile, their concise yet informative messages give Dominos a clear edge over other competitors.

While this method of ordering requires only some initial effort, the long-term benefits of this scheme far outweigh the cost and can cater to the needs of the socially anxious person within us.

#5. Timing is everything:

Being able to get your text messages’ timing right can be crucial to get a sale.

Marketers should avoid early hours of the morning as well as late hours of the night to get the best results. Often, text message marketing is done during 1-2 pm which is usually the lunch hour for most working people.

Acceptable hours to text can be from 8 am to 9 pm, a fairly large window for most. These general timings can fit messages that are sent to invite customers to try out new services.

For things like flash sales, however, SMS marketing is more suited to inform individuals than emails are.

For instance, if your sale is tonight, then you should inform people about it in the morning, thus creating a sense of urgency while still giving them time to avail the offer.

A well-known company that utilizes this strategy is Macy’s which regularly has day sales that occur over a single day.

The short-term nature of these day sales makes marketing through text messages more efficient as they hone in on the need for immediate action.

For the example given above, messaging your customer a week in advance would not be as effective as messaging them on the same day, which would reduce the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

You can also find the best time to text an individual based on their past interactions with your messages.

This method of sending time-sensitive text messages is an especially practical solution for customers who may have been potentially interested in a promotion but did not receive a text at the right time.

#6. Promote yourselves everywhere:

In the US, opting into text messages is the only legal avenue for businesses otherwise they can be marked as spam.

A big part of SMS marketing is to follow all legal guidelines to the T.

By taking the appropriate measures, you can really improve your customer’s impression of your business and by following the regulations that are put in place, you can gain more traction in the long run.

For social media like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, you can simply include a link in your bio or add a mobile number into the site’s built in field.

For your website or newsletter, you can simply display your opt-in texting number in a visible place.

If you own a retail outlet or are a small business owner, you can make your employees ask customers if they would like to opt-in for text messages.

If during the point of sale, the customer indicates their interest, you can simply note down their information and inform them about any upcoming promotion or sale via text.

You can also ask people to sign up by sending the message asking them if they would like to opt-in for future texts. Once a consumer gives you the go-ahead, you can start marketing to them via texts.

The main aim of having such a thorough opt-in strategy is that you can slowly build your file of potential consumers.

By legally obtaining this information, you now have access to a much larger consumer base than before, and as such, you can make the most of the situation.

#7. Give frequent customers precedence:

Giving frequent customers special treatment is the oldest trick in the book for a reason: it’s extremely effective.

A frequent customer is one who chooses your product consistently and gets their family and friends to purchase from you as well.

Such consumers are a veritable gold mine for businesses as you can use their knowledge of the company and its products to get answers to in-depth polling questions. 

Such reviews can help you understand what new consumers are more likely to be attracted to and you can use that knowledge to increase consumer retention.

Identifying this inner circle of customers is crucial and after doing so, you can provide them with additional benefits of being a loyal customer.

Besides providing them with frequent customer discounts, you can also promise them coupons if they share a certain product among their family and friends.

Summary:

Mastering the art of creating the best text message marketing scheme can take time and patience.

If, however, the proper level of energy and resources are going into your SMS marketing scheme, then you have very little chance of failing.

Utilizing one of the oldest means of digital communication may seem obvious, yet many businesses tend to overlook them in favor of newer digital platforms.

And while each platform may come with its own benefits, marketing via text messages easily has the cheapest costs coupled with the greatest return on investment.

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