Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Utilizing SMS text messaging as part of your marketing plan is one of the best ways to reach consumers. Study after study shows that texting is a highly effective way to connect as it has the highest open rate of any other type of communication, such as phone calls, emails, etc.

In fact, nearly all text messages received are read, 98% of which are read in the first 3-5 minutes further proving that SMS is a highly effective way to connect with loyal and engaged consumers. It is also the most direct as 91% of the world’s population owns a cell phone which is within reach nearly every minute of every day.

Texting gives the sender the ability to customize each message, making the interaction more personal. By adding mobile SMS marketing to your arsenal will ultimately make your entire mobile text marketing campaign more effective. So how do you create personalized mobile SMS marketing strategies that work? Follow these four rules of thumb and you can't go wrong:

Surveys can be as short as five questions that can give you the insight needed to improve customer service and be as relevant as possible. This instant feedback from customers is like free research that could pay dividends, so make the effort to get to know your customers.

  1. Don’t become a nuisance

    Consumers enjoy text marketing because it is less intrusive. By abusing this notion and over-sending text messages, customers will most certainly opt-out of receiving your SMS notifications. Only send information that's appropriate, timely and useful to the receiver. The infamous 3am text sent by Barack Obama's 2008 election team announcing his vice-presidential pick did not go over well. Be cognizant of time zones and texting plans (assume that not everyone has unlimited texting) and map out your mobile text marketing campaign accordingly.

  2. Be organized

    Whether it’s a billing notification or a special offer, keep your opt-in lists organized. Getting information wrong or sending a text to the wrong person is a big no-no and can create unnecessary discord. Getting details right – like an unusual spelling of a common name – is the kind of thing that will set you apart from brands that make the same old mistakes. Never assume, always double check, and offer consumers an easy way to update your records if their details change.

  3. Know your customers

    As a brand, you know what services and products you offer. Take the time to find out personal preferences of your customers so that you can home in on what they like and need with a targeted marketing campaign. Collecting this information can be done in several ways, including:

    • Keyword-based opt-in
    • Surveys
    • Leveraging existing data

  4. Everyone loves free stuff

    Let your customers know how much you appreciate them by giving something away...it’ll come back ten-fold. Time and time again, free content is one of the best ways to get a response. Incentivizing your customers to engage will create good will and increased business in the future. And, the beauty of SMS marketing is that text messages allow the sender to link to websites and other content immediately as most mobile device users have access to the internet.