Is SMS Still Effective And Within Reason To Use For Business Advertising?
It may seem old school, but one trend is the continued reliance on text messaging. SMS, or text messaging, can be an effective way to reach a mobile audience. An estimated 88 million adults in America have cell phones that can receive text messages. Many of these same people do not, in fact, have smartphones that can access the World Wide Web. For this reason, SMS marketing was once viewed as the answer to the mobile marketing platform of choice, one that would revolutionize the world of mobile marketing.
Yet, many marketers failed to embrace this marketing venue. Even after seeing how effective it was for some companies, others were ignoring it in favor of mobile websites and email marketing campaigns. This is a bad idea, because SMS can be effective, when done right. As with all mobile marketing techniques and tricks, you can drive your customers away with constant messages that provide no real value. Here is what you need to know if you are going to jump into the world of mobile marketing.
Let Customers Opt In
The primary problem with SMS campaigns is the fact that users tend to view a text message with less trust than other marketing tactics. However, if you let users opt in, then they will be more prone to trust whatever message you send.
This is fairly simple to do. Instruct your customers to text a code word to your SMS campaign. When they do, add them to your list. When you have a coupon or sale alert to tell them about, they will receive a text alerting them to it. Because they signed up for these texts, they are more prone to open the text and respond.
One of the easiest ways to use SMS marketing is to send coupons to your customers via a text message. When the customer uses the coupon, you will have an instant way to track the success of your campaign. You will also keep your company’s image in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Remind Customers of Appointments
One thing that SMS marketing allows you to do that many other mobile marketing strategies do not allow is reminding your customers of appointments. For example, if you are marketing for a hair salon, you can set up a system to send a text message reminding clients of their appointments. Fewer missed appointments means more money in the company’s pocket. If you run an auto repair shop, you can text customers when their cars are ready to be picked up. Fewer cars in the bay means more room for new customers.
Time Messages Appropriately
You need to send your SMS messages at a time when customers are likely to open and read them. If your target demographic is the type of person who works a nine-to-five job, sending the message during the workday may mean they ignore it or never even see it. However, sending it late at night will only serve to annoy the same demographic, as they are trying to sleep. The late afternoon or evening might be the best time. If you can get the text to the customer right when they get home, they are more prone to read it. Know your target audience, and send messages at a time that works for them.
Direct Your Customers
Sometimes your message will not fit within the limits of the SMS character count. Rather than sending a multi-part message, redirect your customers to your website. If possible, include a link that smartphone users can use to access the site with one simple click. Give them a glimpse of what you are offering, and then send them to your site to learn the details.
Always test your texts before you send them. Test them on a variety of devices. You want to be certain that they will look great not only on a smartphone but also on a traditional phone that does not render images well.
Remember, text messaging may not have been embraced by all marketers, but it is still an effective option when used well. Set up your campaigns carefully, allow your customers to opt in and time your delivery to be as effective as possible, and you will see a good return for your efforts.