Tons of small business owners are giving SMS marketing a try. In fact, I even used this tactic to promote my recent book launch.
Simply put, SMS marketing isn't just reserved for franchises or even small businesses.
As a marketing consultant, I've experienced tons of success using this simple mobile communication tool.
With that said, failure to execute a campaign correctly could result in poor engagement and high opt-out rates. When composing your first SMS marketing campaign, follow this six-point checklist.
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1. Decide on One, Single Campaign Purpose.
Are you firing out valuable information? Or maybe you're hoping for high offer redemption on an irresistible mobile coupon. Either way, don't overdo it. Don't include two different announcements, an exclusive mobile offer, and then an invitation to connect on Facebook. People have short attention spans, especially when it comes to mobile communication.
2. Steer Clear of Offer Duplication.
You want your SMS marketing messages to remain exclusive. Don't fire out a mobile offer, and then post this same coupon code on Facebook. Doing so actually devalues your message, and will result in a high opt-out rate.
Instead, follow this example below.
- TEXT: Enter code SMS20 at checkout to redeem 20 percent off your online purchase.
- FACEBOOK POST: Text JOIN to 31996 to join our mobile rewards club, and receive a 20 percent off coupon code.
3. Ask Yourself, "Is This Message Qualified?"
Will your SMS marketing subscribers actually find this offer or message valuable? Is your campaign qualified? For example, let's say you own a restaurant and want to send out an exclusive and irresistible offer. Look at the examples below.
- WRONG: Want to win a brand new 60-inch flat screen TV? Reply Y, winner announced on Tuesday, November 17.
- RIGHT: Want to win a $250 store credit? Reply Y, winner announced on Tuesday, November 17.
See the difference? Sure, your subscribers might love to win a flat screen television, but is that really keeping your brand at the forefront? Subscribers opted into your list with the intention of redeeming qualified offers. If you own a restaurant, chances are, they're hoping for meal discounts.
4. Did You Provide All Offer Redemption Details?
So you fire out an irresistible offer, but forget to include redemption instructions. This will completely stunt any kind of engagement as subscribers don't want to jump through hoops to redeem an offer. Make sure all redemption details are clearly stated. Don't overcomplicate the process; all offers should boast a one step redemption process.
Check out the following example.
- WRONG: Show this text to get $5 off your order, TONIGHT ONLY. Also, follow this link to connect with us on Facebook: facebook.com/samplerestaurant
- RIGHT: Show this text to get $5 off your order, TONIGHT ONLY.
Each campaign should have one, clear purpose. Don't cram too many call-to-actions in one message, as this will dilute your intention. If you want to encourage subscribers to connect on Facebook, schedule a separate campaign for this initiative.
5. Most Importantly, Don't Forget to Include a Call to Action.
If you leave out a call to action, you're essentially shooting yourself in the foot. Although you still might observe some sort of offer redemption, it won't be nearly as effective. Make sure you provide a roadmap to redemption. Your call to action should be short, sweet, and clear.
For example, instead of "stop in tonight, go to our hosting station, and show this text", just try "show this text." When your call to action gets right to the point, you leave little to no room for delay or miscommunication.
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6. Schedule Your Campaign.
Never, ever send an off the cuff campaign. Schedule your messages in advance, as this gives you time to review the offer, and make sure it's qualified and valuable.
SMS marketing is an awesome mobile marketing solution. Consultants, small business owners, and marketing professionals nationwide make use of this incredible tool. For more campaign composition techniques, check out the Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing. This basic guide runs through starter SMS marketing tips, such as list growth, offer promotion, etc.
In addition to this simple checklist and the beginner's guidebook, follow the below advice.
- Respect quiet time. Never fire out a text message offer before 9 AM or after 9 PM.
- Remember, never add someone's phone number to your list without expressed permission or consent.
- Finally, make sure all your offers are exclusive. In addition to being high value, the exclusivity will keep subscribers coming back for more.
- Don't forget to promote your SMS marketing list! If no one knows about it, how do you expect to gather opt-ins? Don't rely on word of mouth alone. Post list information on social media, print up in store flyers and fire out an email to your mailing list.
The one thing I can say about SMS marketing? Your success is a reflection of the time you spend combing through educational materials. Take time to learn about SMS marketing, and all this tactic has to offer. Once you understand the ins and outs of SMS marketing, experiencing results will be a breeze.