In the world of mobile marketing, text marketing and SMS are notorious for delivering exceptional results and increased engagement. However, without the proper tools and guidelines, it can be difficult to set up a text marketing campaign that gets the job done. In fact, when customers receive poor messaging from companies, it can have the opposite effect that the campaign aims for.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that happening any longer. In this article, we are going to walk you through how to build out a text marketing campaign with 8 easy steps. Once you have a better understanding of how best to lay out your campaign, you will be ready to take on your customers and take your mobile marketing game to a whole new level. Let’s get started.
1. Lay out your goals
The first step in the process of putting together a text marketing campaign is to lay out your goals. Even though SMS has many applications that can be used across all forms of businesses, your goals for the campaign will ultimately dictate which aspects of the platform you will take advantage of. Since your goals will have such a huge impact on the rest of the campaign, it’s important to have them laid out ahead of time.
For instance, if you are hoping to increase customer engagement for your business, make sure that you have a way of tracking user engagement metrics. This will not only allow you to monitor the success of your campaign from the get-go, but will offer insights into how best to approach your audience.
2. Perform market research
Once you have a good grasp on the goals of your campaign as part of your marketing strategy, the next step is to perform market research in order to find the best path to meet your goals. This step is just as important as laying out your goals, as the market will tell you whether or not your goals are achievable. It will also give you a glimpse of who you will be marketing towards.
Although there are several ways to research your potential customers, you may already have some of the work done. For example, companies with customer loyalty programs have already begun the process of learning about their customers. If you have already started a program, review what you have learned as you begin to craft your campaign.
3. Create a clear call to action
Now that you know who you will be marketing to and what you hope to accomplish by doing so, the time has come to begin creating your first text marketing messages. As a rule of thumb, each message of your SMS campaign should contain a call-to-action or next step your customers should take. This will lead to higher engagement rates and a better customer relationship.
The first call-to-action you will likely send will be an SMS opt-in message. This will confirm with your customers that you will be sending them text marketing messages. Not only is this important to do for establishing your campaign, but it is actually required by law. Once you have this done, you will be ready to start honing your text message campaign.
Additional reading: SMS Opt-in Best Practices
4. Nurture audience through segmentation and personalization
At the beginning, you may be discouraged by low click-through rates and limited interaction, but this is perfectly normal. The next step is to make sure that these first-time blues won’t last for long. As more customers opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, you should segment them into different customer personas by which you can personalize their campaign.
As we mentioned earlier, no two businesses use text marketing the same way. The same logic applies to your customers. By segmenting your audience and personalizing your messages, you are showing them that you care. Not only that, but more tailored messages have a much higher percent chance of making a difference with your customer base.
5. Time your messages well
Now that you are starting to build a rapport with your audience, it becomes your job to ensure that you don’t do anything to put them off. Customers except text marketing campaigns to be helpful and consistent. If you start to do anything that indicates to them this isn’t the case, they will leave.
One of the most common pitfalls first-time SMS marketers find themselves in is not timing their messages correctly. This might simply be due to ignorance, as many don’t realize that 98% of their messages are read within 2 minutes. This kind of speed means you need to be wary of not only what you are sending, but when you are sending your messages.
6. Limit frequency of messages
Along with timing your messages well, customers can easily be turned off by being bombarded with messages. This is why it is important to limit the frequency of your messages, ideally to at most 8 per month. By being consistent and providing value with your messages, customers will look forward to receiving them instead of dreading them.
We should mention that this frequency doesn’t apply when customers reach out to your proactively. Often, SMS calls-to-action will include a short code that customers can text back to receive more information. Since this sort of interaction is the reason for your campaign, it should be encouraged, not limited.
7. Remember the rules
The final way to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted hiccups in your text marketing campaign is to remember and follow the rules of SMS marketing. If you aren’t already familiar with them, you can find a complete list here. However, the basics of these rules are fairly easy to stay within.
For instance, you should always include a way for customers to opt-out of your campaign. While this may seem like by offering the option, more people will opt-out, but the opposite is often the case. Customers like to feel in control and by giving them an out, you are able to do exactly that.
8. Measure, analyze, repeat
Finally, as your text marketing campaign comes to a close, it’s worth taking time to measure the success of your marketing and analyze what could be done better. Mobile user engagement metrics and analytics can tell you just about everything you need to know, especially if you have already segmented your audience.
Then, once you understand how your campaign went, the next step is to repeat the entire process. Truly phenomenal SMS campaigns don’t happen on your first try, but instead come from perfecting your messages and tactics until you find the best possible balance. Although it may seem like you are pushing a boulder up a hill just to have it slide back down, your customers will appreciate you as you continue to grow and provide value.
A few more useful text marketing campaign steps to follow
Here are a few more practical steps you can use in your next text message campaign:
Know your audience
Having a brand campaign is one thing, but a text marketing campaign isn’t as broad and generic. In fact, users who opt-in to receive texts are genuinely interested in your business. SMS is a personal medium, so take time to get to know your audience better.
Once you do, your text messages can be more relevant regarding language, tone, and CTA.
Protect your brand and business
As a business, you will probably use common short codes to text users (e.g., Twitter uses 40404). It’s important to note that these short codes can sometimes be shared across multiple businesses.
Use a credible text marketing platform to ensure you have a unique and dedicated short code. This will ensure your business, brand, and customer data are always protected.
Personalize your message
Today, consumers want tailored experiences from brands. So, personalization should be a big part of your marketing strategy.
Always address messages directly to people. Texts should be short, personal, and to the point.
E.g., “Hi Fred, high 5 for 5 visits to the gym this month! Show this msg and take 10% off any merch at your next visit.”
Pinpoint your content
Your text campaigns should be part of the bigger brand campaign. Treat each campaign as a stepping stone to achieving brand awareness, relationship building, and customer advocacy.
All these things take time – so each content piece must contribute to your overall goals. Don’t rush text message campaigns – you will need to do many before achieving business targets – but they will come.
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