Once you have gotten your SMS marketing campaign, you may think that you are ready to hit the ground running and start converting more customers. However, simply setting up a campaign is only half the battle. The next part will be crafting the perfect message (or text blast) to reach your customers and engage them well.
Fortunately, as mobile marketing experts, we have what you need to help get started. In this article, we are going to review 8 best practices for creating the perfect text blast. With this knowledge, you will be one step closer to achieving the goals of your SMS and overall marketing campaign. Let’s get started.
Offer incentives for signing up
The first challenge of mass text marketing is building up an active and engaged following. A quick remedy to this is to offer incentives for signing up and opting in to your SMS campaign. Simply by offering something such as a coupon or special offer, you will be able to increase your SMS following and begin to pick up steam.
Once you have the kind of following you are looking for with your campaign, now is when the text blast will come into play. However, it should be said that adding new customers to your SMS list should be a focus throughout the campaign. Be sure to run a monthly campaign for the express purpose of adding new subscribers.
Make it easy
Now that you have begun your SMS campaign in earnest, the next step is to create a text blast to send out to your customers. At this point, due to the opt-in system, your customers will already have agreed to accept your messages, so the first one you send is vital to solidifying your place on their screens.
Our first piece of advice is pretty straightforward: make it easy. The reason customers love business text messaging is due to the simplicity of the channel. As marketers, you need to meet their expectations in this area, if not exceed them. If you have ever heard the expression K.I.S.S. (keep it short and simple), remember it when crafting your text blast.
Offer a clear, valuable solution
Part of keeping it simple is our next best practice: offer a clear, valuable solution. Due to the immediacy of SMS, unless you want your customers to take action within minutes of receiving your blast, you may want to wait before sending it. That being said, when you do include a call-to-action (CTA) in a text blast, which you always should, make it clear what you are asking for.
One good aspect of SMS marketing in a situation like this is being restricted to using only 160 characters. With such little wiggle room, business text messages have to get to the point as fast as possible, then offer a solution with an action that customers can take. If you use this formula for crafting your text blasts, you will be on your way to increased mobile user engagement.
Create a sense of urgency
There are times, however, when being clear and concise won’t be enough to earn a customer’s click or conversion. In these scenarios, it is up to you to create a sense of urgency with your text blast. Phrases such as ‘limited offer’ or ‘before Dec 31st’ are examples of using the right language to get your point across. That point being: act now before it’s too late.
Even though this may seem difficult to do, remember that 98% of customers read SMS messages within 2 minutes of receiving them. This offers SMS an advantage that other channels just simply don’t have when it comes to building urgency, so don’t worry too much about it. As long as you are sticking to these best practices and not boring your customers, you will be fine.
Segment for success
Not everything is about the actual message when it comes to crafting a text blast. In fact, segmentation has nothing to do with the actual wording of your message, but everything to do with the success of your campaign. For example, if you were a gym owner, it would not make sense to send the same message to all of your active members as former members.
In order to do this well, create a few segments based on user engagement metrics to get the right message to the right people. For those who want to get even more detailed, you can create templates with personalized names and information to populate your SMS, giving customers the personal touch.
We don’t, however, recommend writing individual messages to customers. Not only would this be inefficient and time-consuming, but it would not present a good ROI either. Instead, create a few distinct customer segments and personalize when appropriate.
Support other channels
Another use of SMS marketing text blast is to support other channels. While there are times when it is appropriate to highlight the exclusivity of SMS (see next best practice), there are other times when you can support your other marketing channels with SMS.
In fact, according to Smart Insights, when customers received an SMS message after receiving an email, email open rates increased by 20-30%. Although this stat shows that SMS text blasts work to highlight email, you can use it to show off your social media channels or website as well. The channels you support with SMS aren’t important, what is important is that customers know where to find you when they need to, and using SMS here can do that better than most.
Now, while we just said to support other channels, there are times when it pays to be exclusive with SMS. Going back to best practice one, having exclusive offers and incentives only available to your SMS subscribers now only rewards customers for being a part of your audience, but it can grow that audience at the same time.
Something that will be important to remember here is that SMS is not the end-all-be-all of marketing tools. Instead, it is simply a powerful tool that should be used when necessary to get a message to your customers. Avoid bashing other channels for the sake of highlighting SMS when running exclusive campaigns, simply show what you are doing with SMS and move on.
The final best practice for crafting the perfect text blast is to automate support through SMS whenever possible. Most of the first steps in providing support to customers looking for help will be more or less the same, but by setting up each of the options with automatic responses. For instance, including a message that says ‘reply INFO’ to receive more on your services.
The key to SMS marketing and text blasts lies within being simple, but effective. If you can achieve this with your messages, you will no doubt find success in your SMS marketing endeavors. Now, with the right tools at your disposal, what are you waiting for?
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