So, you’ve done research and discovered that using bulk SMS service is an efficient communication tool. You know you should take advantage of this option when planning your next marketing campaign. But where should you start? With the abundance of information available online, you might get overwhelmed. And if you don’t have any experience in using SMS as a part of your marketing mix, you might be a bit worried for not having a clear road map.
Don’t worry. This post walks you through the most important steps when running an effective SMS campaign.
1. Clear Goal
Before sending out your first text message, it’s crucial that you know your end game. What kind of results do you hope to achieve in this campaign? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Or do you need customers to try a new service?
Having a clear goal will ensure that you reach out to the right customers and get the right message to them.
2. Craft Content
Unlike writing emails, crafting the best text message is a tricky one. First off, you’re limited to 160 characters. Secondly, you want your message to sound exclusive and personal. Mobile phones are a lot more personal compared to email. In fact, it is so personal that according to Pew Internet Research, 44% percent of mobile phone users have kept their phone next to their bed.
So, how do you get the right message to the right people?
Categorize your customers. Roll your sleeves, pull up the spreadsheets, and determine the best way to group your existing customers. Go beyond gender and age. Some factors that you might want to consider:
• Frequency of Transactions
• Spending Level
• Types of Products Customers Bought
Now, craft a compelling text message for each customer segment. Generally, all of your SMS must include clear and concise information, call to action, and a sense of urgency. What do you want your customer to do upon reading the message? When is the offer going to expire?
3. Timing is Everything
The time you send the text messages can make or break your campaign. If you know your customers’ behavior, this step might come to you a lot easier. Generally, you should avoid sending your messages on a Monday. And of course, you don’t want to send your text messages on the wee hours of the morning.
Timing varies wildly depending on your industry and the goal of your direct marketing campaign. For example, if you own a salon, you’re busiest during the weekend. So, if your goal is to increase sales during weekdays, you could send a discount offer to select customers on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
How often you send a text message is just as important. Rule of thumb is that you don’t want to send text messages every day. The most effective way to determine the frequency of sending out SMS is to experiment.
The great thing about using SMS is that you can afford to conduct experiments. You can test which messages appeal to a particular customer segment. You can also test when you should send the message and how often.
On the initial stages of your campaign, craft several messages for each customer segment. Send them out during different times of the day and the week.
So, how do you know the results of your experiment?
Track everything! When you track how customers respond, you’ll have concrete data. You’ll know what works and what doesn’t. You’ll know the best time of the day to send a particular text message.
There are many ways to track bulk SMS service. This is one of the great joys of using SMS as a part of your direct marketing mix. Here are some ways to track your campaign:
Manual tracking. Ask your customers to show the text message when they take advantage of a discount.
Include links. If you have an online store, include the specific web page where they can find the discount offer.
Use coupon codes. Use a unique code allows you to track purchases made from a customer segment.
Crafting the right message and finding the perfect timing is a win-win situation for both your business and customers. You get more out of your campaign. And your customers will appreciate getting personal messages that might help them.
However, it’s crucial that you should give them the option to opt-out of the service. Doing so ensures that you provide a positive experience. More importantly, you are taking legal things into consideration. A very crucial part of any campaign that involves bulk SMS service.