What is SMS Marketing?
To put simply, SMS Marketing is a marketing channel that you can use to send out your marketing campaigns using your contacts’ mobile number.
SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. SMS is a powerful way to engage with your leads and customers.
And if used sparingly can be a great way to increase conversions and boost sales for your B2B business, online store and even the coaching business.
What types of promos can you run with SMS Marketing?
First off, SMS Messages have high open rates. The open rates for SMS’s can go above 90% as opposed to the email open rates, which can vary between 20-70% depending on the types of campaigns and if there are any segmentations done.
However, you’ll find that not everyone likes to receive SMS messages from businesses when they’re expecting texts from friends and family. To avoid this awkwardness with your contacts, we recommend that you ask your contacts for permission before sending them SMS’s.
Here are some of the marketing promotions you may decide to run for your audience:
- Flash sales – get your audience excited and build urgency for your retail store
- Abandoned carts – remind your audience about the pending items in their shopping cart (and tempt them with a discount)
- Promotions – send special promotions to your VIP customers
- Customer loyalty – build customer loyalty through SMS Marketing
- Send reminders and event booking confirmations – when contacts make bookings and need to be reminded a day or two before the meeting starts. This way you ensure high attendance rate for your events!
What are the Open Rates and Unsubscribe Rates with SMS Marketing?
According to the stats from the SMSBurst blog post, in 2017 the UNSUBSCRIBE RATES were between 3-5% in Australia, 3% in the UK & 2.2% in NZ. This is higher than the email unsubscribe rates that can vary between 1-2%.
Unlike Email Marketing, when running marketing campaigns with SMS, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Now that we know the stats for SMS Marketing, we’d like to share 5 things that you can do to keep your open rates high AND unsubscribe rates low with #SMSMarketing.
#1 Set Expectations Upfront
Before you think about sending any SMS campaigns to your leads and customers you must ask for their phone number. It’s harder to ask someone for their phone number than their email address. We recommend for you to be very clear and upfront with your contacts as to why you’re asking for their phone number. If you’re planning on sending them special promotions, just tell them so. You’ll be surprised how many people would take you up on this, i.e. click on promos!
#2 Use the Right Software
Using the right software allows you to be in control of your SMS marketing. The right software will make it easy to send SMS’s but it will also make it easy for people to OPT OUT when they don’t want to receive any more messages from you. This is important as you don’t want to damage your relationship with existing prospects and customers. Some platforms even allow for images to be sent via the SMS (this is especially good if you’re an eCommerce business and run promos regularly). We like OmniSend Email Marketing Platform which includes the cost of SMS and works perfectly with Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and BigCommerce platforms.
#3 Mind the Frequency
Sending too many SMS’s can be perceived as being too ‘spammy.’ This could damage your brand’s reputation. It’s not just about the frequency, you should also think about WHO should receive your messages. For example, someone who’s downloaded an ebook, an existing customer or someone who has booked an appointment? You can achieve this level of contact segmentation when you’re using the right SMS software coupled with marketing automation. (If you need help with this, please contact us here, we’ll be glad to help!)
#4 Send the Right SMS at the Right Time
Instead of blasting people with generic promotions they may not be interested in, we recommend sending hyper-personalised SMS’s to your contacts based on their ‘likes’ or their ‘browsing behaviour’. Doing it this way, will ensure you have high engagement with your sms’s and open/click-through rates whenever you send out an SMS. And your unsubscribe rates will decrease! Just as an example of a hyper-personalised SMS: when a contact abandons cart send them an Abandoned Cart SMS prompting them to complete their purchase. As an additional perk, you could include a discount code they can use to complete their purchase. Email marketing platforms designed for ecommerce businesses, like OmniSend and Klaviyo have built-in SMS features that help with triggering campaigns based on customer behaviours.
#5 Avoid Slang or Shortened Text
Your audience are most likely busy people! They’re not only busy with their family commitments, but they’re overwhelmed with other promo messages on Social Media from other businesses. As you can appreciate, people who read SMS’s read them on-the-go. Plus not everyone understands slang lingo and abbreviated text! We don’t want to be cryptic with our messages when we communicate with our clients and prospects. Our advice is to be clear and concise. If you need them to visit your website to buy, tell them so. For example, click here to buy.
We recommend being creative about how you write your message AND the type of promotions you’re offering. Keep the text as short as you can without abbreviating it!
People don’t expect to read email-long content on their SHORT MESSAGING SERVICE device aka SMS.
OVER TO YOU
As you can see, there are TWO ways of doing SMS Marketing – the spammy way or the smart way!
Whether you love it or hate it, the SMS Marketing is here to stay. And if done right, your customers will be eager to hear from your brand and read your text messages! If you need help in segmenting your contacts the right way so you could send them hyper-personalised messages and emails (without spamming them!) click here to book a chat with us.
On another note and further to open and click-through rates, we’ve written a post on conversion metrics where we cover important metrics for business owners to follow so they don’t waste time on creating marketing campaigns for channels that don’t work.
If you’d like to read more about Email Marketing you’ll find the below two articles really helpful:
Best Email Conversion Metrics to Monitor
eCommerce Strategist at Bumper Leads
Milena loves helping small business owners grow their business through smart systems and automations.
Milena lives in Adelaide, Australia with her Chileno husband and her best friend Netflix. She suffers from mild email OCD, ie hates small font and cluttered newsletters. Milena is on a mission to make online business a less confusing place for a business owner.
She loves anything podcasting, eCommerce and is honoured to be supporting clients all over the world with her coaching.
You can follow Milena on Twitter (@MilenaTheGreat)