I currently work as the Director of Content Management over at SlickText.com, a top SMS marketing provider.
We're always looking for new ways to bridge the gap.
See, SMS marketing clearly exists, and for most, is an effective mobile communication method.
Unfortunately, tons of small business owners are still a bit green on this entire concept.
My main goal at Slick Text? Help connect the dots. I want every single interested business owner to understand the power of this method. With that said, I'd like to speak a little bit more on SMS marketing campaign composition. If your campaigns are written with the subscriber in mind, you'll find success with this method.
Related Article: Text Savvy: 6 Point SMS Marketing Campaign Composition Checklist
But, not so fast. Before blasting off into campaign composition, let's quickly discuss how to grow your SMS marketing list.
Promote Like Crazy
If you're not promoting your list, it simply won't grow. Post in store flyers, tout opt in details on social media, engage in one on one verbal invitations, use table tents, etc. The possibilities really are endless, so don't ever shy away from list promotion. Pick promotional outlets that suit the media habits of your customer.
Offer Irresistible Opt-in Incentives
If you're promoting your list, but your opt-in incentive is garbage, the list won't grow. You want people to take extreme note of your offer. You want their jaws to drop. You want them, ideally, to stop everything they're doing, and opt-in to your SMS marketing list.
Ready to start firing out campaigns?
Follow this simple four step process when drafting up your first SMS marketing message.
State Your Business Name
Listen, this sounds kind of basic. But, if you're using a shared short code, you need to avoid confusion when possible. For example, at Slick Text, our short code is 31996.
Let's say we serve two local businesses, The Wing Shack and Gina's Gyros. Now, if you're a local foodie, you might want to opt in to both of those lists. Even though they have different keywords, the messages will still be coming from the same short code.
What if The Wing Shack sends out a message that reads, Free 32OZ beverage with any lunch purchase, today only!, but forgets to put at The Wing Shack? If you're also on Gina's list, you'll probably get confused. How to avoid this confusion? Simply state your business name.
Is is possible to purchase your own dedicated short code? Yes. But, most business owners choose to go with the shared option, as it is way more affordable and realistic.
Include a Valuable Offer
It goes without saying, your subscribers expect value. They want to receive irresistible and exclusive offers. So, get right to the point. Don't beat around the bush. Don't make subscribers read between the lines. Instead, make your offer and redemption details crystal clear. This is mutually beneficial, as subcribers can get right to redemption, and meanwhile, you reap the benefits.
Clearly State Your Call to Action
When you leave out a call to action, you're essentially shooting yoursef in the foot. If you don't give people clear direction in regards to offer redemption, there's no point in even sending out an offer.
One of the most common SMS marketing call to actions is "show this text." If this one doesn't necessarily apply, "stop in to redeem" will also do the trick. Now, let's say you don't have a brick and mortar location, and only want to take advantage of online offers. Simply include a link in your SMS message, and encourage subscribers to enter a discount code at checkout.
Create a Sense of Urgency With a Limited Redemption Period and Expiration
Never leave your offers open ended. This creates no sense of urgency. With an open ended offer, your subscribers might have every intention of redeeeming, but simply forget or don't get around to it. This is exactly why off the cuff campaigns aren't necessarily ideal. What if you forget to include an expiration date in a campaign of this nature? You just wasted an entire marketing message.
Related Article: The SMB Guide to Mobile Marketing
Pssst. Don't Forget to Have Fun!
Do we advise you send off the cuff SMS marketing campaigns? Absolutely not. At the same time, feel free to speak in your voice. Refrain from sending stuffy messages, as this will poorly represent your brand personality. Follow these general composition rules, and beyond that, have fun. 2016 is the year of authenticity, so let this theme ring true in your marketing campaigns.
Looking for a more detailed explanation? Check out the Beginner's Guide to SMS Marketing, and flip to chapter six. You'll learn more about the actionable steps that make up a great SMS marketing campaign.
With SMS marketing, always prioritize these three components.
- High Value
if you do this, plus follow the four-step process above, you'll easily experience SMS marketing success.