SMS is an old technology, in fact it goes back to the early 90’s and was always thought of as a personal one-to-one communication channel but since the explosion in mobile phone usage big companies have been pushing more of their marketing budget into bulk SMS to catch customers wherever they are in an instant.
The great thing about SMS marketing is that it is still considered a very personal communication channel which means if you’re able to market to people via SMS you are able to enjoy little to no inbox competition, super high open rates, click-throughs and of course conversions.
Getting a new subscriber is challenging but itself, but keeping them should also be a major consideration as well since this is where all of your sales will be made.
In this article, I’ll share my very best tips for not only preserving subscriber numbers but also driving sales conversions.
- Targeted offers
Targeted offers actually help you in at least 2 ways:
- Improves overall sales conversions
- Reduces unsubscribes.
By the way, want to know the definition of SPAM? SPAM is when you send offers to people who:
- Didn’t ask for it
- Have no interest
If you’re using email then sending untargeted offers doesn’t sting that much in term of monetary outlay but SMS is different, each SMS will cost you a few cents and if you have a few thousand recipients this adds up quickly.
The key to sending targeted offers is to segment your subscribers into various groups, this can be as simple as men and women if you’re a clothing retailer, or more advanced, grouping by purchasing behaviour.
Either way you want to make sure that when you send an offer via SMS that you’re sending them something they actually want.
The other reason is for sending targeted offers is that it dramatically reduces unsubscribes.
Personalized messages get higher responses, period. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to use the recipient’s name on every single message but it should be in there more often than not especially on important campaigns or updates.
Just like email SMS uses tags where you can have words automatically inserted. For example, using the ‘name’ tag the platform will pull the name from the contacts list and insert it into the text message.
- Use mobile optimized landing pages
Text messaging has incredibly high open and response rates (82-97%) but if you’re sending those clicks to an unoptimized landing page then you’re likely to un-sell your product or service.
Here are some quick tips:
Above the fold is critical
Place all of your call to actions, value propositions, and other essential elements above the fold. If you’re relying on people to scroll down the page, chances are they won’t.
Single column design
Double column design will mean that the copy and page elements will be too small forcing the user to zoom in – this creates too much friction.
Always use a single column that runs down the page.
Use sticky headers or sticky call to actions that follow people down the page so when they have consumed the information they need they can easily click the button.
Fast load times
Speed is critical in the mobile world so make sure you’re using a fast server, optimized images and reduced code.
- Use to boost other marketing channels
One of the main strengths of text messaging is that everybody opens their text messages. The open rate is SMS messaging’s ‘super power’ so to speak, and just so happens to be the weakness of most every other channel.
Email marketing has an open rate of roughly 20%, PPC ads 2%, Facebook social media posts have a reach of 1%, etc. it’s pathetic.
SMS on the other hand has anywhere from 82-97% open rate and 10-40% click through.
Use SMS to increase the open rates of the other channels, for example if you’ve just sent out an important email campaign send out a text message letting them know that you’ve sent an email and you could include a link to the html version of that email campaign.
Do this and watch your opens skyrocket.
- Track Performance
A lot of marketers especially want to track everything and that’s fine but most business owners I talk to can’t really be bothered with it and when it comes to SMS it’s ok if you don’t want to track.
BUT as your list grows it does become important because guesswork can cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in revenue if you’re not sure what makes your subscribers buy.
My advice is to keep it as simple as possible, the big trap you can fall into is spending half your day pouring over spreadsheets of data – again this is fine but it’s 100% necessary.
You can add a special tracking link to links inside your SMS messages so that you know exactly what channel, what offer, what list, etc. the traffic is coming from inside your analytics software.