Since people have been travelling with their phones, marketers have seen an immense potential to reach a very responsive audience. Indeed, the SMS opening rate is 98%; it’s huge! It would be foolish to do without this way of reaching your users. So many opportunities to connect with the consumer right at our fingertips…literally.
So how can you join in?
In our first article on SMS, we talked about the basic rules for using SMS in your marketing strategy. Today, we will go through the steps to make a success of your first SMS marketing campaign. But first of all, I would like to introduce you to the rich SMS…
Basically, in a normal SMS campaign, there are not many options: it stops at what you normally see, that is, a simple text on a white background, which is quite basic!
Rich SMS goes far beyond that, it allows you to enrich each of your sending with interactive content that will appeal much more to your contacts. You can add a countdown, to create a sense of urgency in your campaigns, add a barcode to facilitate purchases or registrations, in short, you can let your creativity run wild and create very personalized messages according to your needs.
Let’s get back to our business … There are different ways to use SMS for a company, depending on its specific objectives. They can be sent in batches or individually.
Here are some examples of batch sendings:
- Sending promotions or discount coupons
- Invitation to an event
- Invitation to participate in a competition
And examples of unique sendings:
- Reminders and confirmation of events or appointments
- Customer Support
- Purchase or delivery confirmations
- Authentication of access to a platform
The preparation of your SMS marketing campaign, whether it is normal SMS or rich SMS, is extremely important if you want to be successful and optimize your ROI. The following steps are the ones that will help you achieve this. These are the same steps, regardless of the type of SMS used.
1. Define your Campaign Goals
Since an SMS has a very limited number of characters, it is essential to define the framework of your campaign. By clearly defining your main objective and target, you will be able to maximize the 160 characters allowed and optimize your ROI.
Define only one objective per campaign, it can be:
- A promotion
- The announcement of a new feature
- An invitation to an event
- An appointment booking
- An exclusive offer
- A transaction follow-up
- Bring traffic to your points of sale
- Build customer loyalty
And so on!
It is this step that will set the tone for your campaign, because it is on this objective that the next steps will be based. So take the time to choose the best objective for what you want to accomplish and the results you want to achieve in the end.
2. Define your Target Audience
Now determine who your campaign is aimed at based on your objective identified in Step 1. I must warn you that the success of your SMS campaign depends mainly on the relevance of the targeting you will do. It is therefore worth taking the time to analyze our typical clients and create personas with the conclusions you will draw from them.
Of course, your targeting will be totally different depending on your defined objectives. Depending on the stage of the conversion funnel you want to be in, adapt your target accordingly.
For example, if your objective is to promote your brand, your target audience will definitely not be the same as if you are addressing existing customers with the objective of re-engaging them.
In short, analyze your situation carefully and choose the segment that is most relevant to your needs.
3. Write the message
A SMS message must be clear and concise. You must be able to get your message across in just a few lines. That is why each word must be chosen precisely to achieve your objective.
Your messages are generally divided into 5 parts:
The sender: must be easily recognizable to your contacts.
The catchphrase: must be very short and punchy. Considering the number of limit characters, choose only a few words that directly arouses the interest of your contacts.
The offer: It is important, when writing your message, to put yourself in the shoes of your contacts. Spending only a few seconds reading an advertising message by SMS, your contacts do not actually read your message, they do more a quick scan of your content. That is why your offer must be clear and answer the following questions: Who? What? Where? Quickly. Identify your keywords and try to highlight them, either by using capital letters and placing them at the beginning of your message.
Also indicate all the information that is important to understand your message. For example, if you are running a time-limited promotional campaign, include it in your message.
You can also customize your message by adding variables such as name, address, age… In fact, the only limit is the contact information you have.
Also structure your message by skipping a line at strategic points in your message.
A contact link: it can be either a clickable phone number or a clickable link to a page on your website. This is a good way to encourage your customers to take action.
The STOP mention which is required: in the same way as email, SMS are regulated and must be marked STOP. This mention is automatically added to your mailings to give your contacts the option to unsubscribe at any time.
Always check for spelling errors before pressing send. This affects your credibility. The same applies to overly familiar abbreviations, which should be avoided.
4. Determine the time of sending
Normally, when we receive a text message, we read it almost instantly. This is what happens when you send marketing SMS messages. Our customers are reached directly and the reading rate is often very high. Communication is almost in real-time. This is why the choice of date and time of sending is very important.
Choose a time of day when, based on your analysis in Step 2, you think your target audience will be most willing to read your message and click. So, prioritize the times 08h30-09h30, 11h30 -12h30 and 17h30-18h because these are usually the break periods for most people. Of course, these hours may vary depending on your analyses and personas.
5. Analyze results and optimize
Compared to email campaigns where it is easy to track the actions of your contacts, for SMS, it is quite different. Behavioural monitoring is therefore easier to do if you use a SMS marketing platform such as Dialog Insight. This will allow you to directly manage unsubscribe options and obtain some tracking data.
Remember the impressive open rate of text message. A well-designed campaign can hardly fail. So if your campaigns don’t achieve the expected results, ask yourself what you are doing that your audience doesn’t like. Test different types of offers, different sending times or a different frequency. Test until you find out what works for you.
You can measure the success of your SMS campaign by various factors such as the increase in your number of subscribers, the rate of offer complaints and the rate of unsubscribing.
What is a good SMS?
Let’s get down to business. It is all very well to know the steps to do an SMS campaign, but concretely, how to create a relevant message for my target audience? Keep reading to find out!
Spam is irritating. But unwanted text messages are simply unbearable. You reach the customer in a private part of his life. So personalize your messages according to his interests as much as possible. Make sure that your message always contains a value for your contact, otherwise he will not stay a subscriber for long.
If you do not have enough data to make your message highly personalized, at a minimum, write it in such a way that it looks like it is being sent from one human to another. Let the robot style fall by the wayside. SMS is a channel where people are used to have conversations with humans (digitally, but still humans!).
Don’t go to the other extreme either, that is, use jargon and acronyms that only you understand. Always keep a professional tone. Some exceptions may apply if you need to use abbreviations to keep the maximum number of characters to 160. Otherwise, you should use normal language at all times.
Unlike e-mails, SMS messages evoke a sense of urgency. 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes, so pay special attention when sending. For example, if you want to announce your lunch special in the dining room, send it just before lunch to reach customers who are starting to think about a place to eat.
Your message must contain a call to action to indicate to the consumer the next step. And the more it is aligned with your contact’s needs and interests, the more likely you are to take action. If you are asking for an answer to a question, offering predefined choices is a good practice to avoid the chaos of possible answers.
Sending SMS messages may incur costs for the consumer. Indicate this in your message next to the unsubscribe option.
In conclusion, whether you are a small or large company, whether you are in B2B or B2C, SMS represents an opportunity to connect with your contacts and engage them with your brand. It is also an inexpensive solution considering that the ROI is generally high with this channel.
So, if you have not yet tried to use SMS for your campaigns, don’t wait any longer! It is easier to write an SMS message than an email, as you may have seen in this article and the results are almost instantaneous.
We can assist you in setting up your SMS, do not hesitate to contact us!