As the amount of digital marketing channels continues to expand, mobile marketers are trying their best to upgrade their campaigns to ensure an optimized experience at every turn. One way they are doing this is through bulk SMS messaging, an increasingly popular and powerful tool for customer engagement. In fact, according to a recent report, bulk SMS engagement rates are 6-8 times higher than email marketing.
That being said, it’s one thing to set up a bulk SMS campaign, it’s something else entirely to upgrade your campaign and take your customer engagement to an even higher level. With this article, we hope to help you achieve this ascension with 6 painless steps for upgrading your SMS marketing campaign. Once you complete these steps, you will be well on your way to a better process and a more satisfied customer base. Let’s get started.
Bulk SMS Best Practices
Before we get into the actual steps you will need to take to upgrade your campaign, let’s look at a few bulk SMS best practices. Each of these practices should be employed throughout the entirety of your campaign and are what will separate a good campaign from a great one. These best practices include:
Create a sense of urgency: Bulk SMS messages are almost instantaneous, with over 95% of customers receiving them within 2 minutes. Make sure that your messages match this sense of urgency as much as possible.
Find the right frequency: When it comes to mass text marketing, timing is everything. Try your best to keep timing in mind while making decisions about how best to approach your audience.
Provide value at every turn: Due to the intimate nature of SMS, you should always be providing value to your customers. Before each bulk SMS message, think to yourself “Does this provide immediate value to the customer?” If it doesn’t, it’s not worth sending.
As we now take a look at these 6 steps you will need to take to upgrade your campaign, remember each of these best practices. If nothing else, they will put you on the right track and frame of mind for creating an exceptional customer experience.
How to improve your campaign
Now that you have those best practices in mind, let’s take a look at how best to improve your campaign. As with any sound customer retention marketing plan, each of these steps works best in combination with the others, so keep this in mind as we review them. Without further ado, let’s start with step one.
1. Track everything
The first step in improving your bulk SMS campaign is to track everything you do from day one. Typically, analyzing data is seen as something that comes later, but unless you set up the proper mechanisms for capturing user engagement metrics from the beginning you may get to the end of your first campaign and realize the data you need is missing. Instead, set up adequate feedback tools from the start so you can always be tweaking and upgrading your campaign.
2. Plan out the customer journey
The next part of setting up your campaign is to plan out the customer journey. Depending on the marketing automation capabilities of your bulk SMS platform, you should be able to set up just about everything at the beginning in regards to touchpoints and scheduled messaging. Use SMS short codes to allow customers to trigger different optional campaigns and plan out your automated responses to make sure you are ready for everything.
You may notice that these first 2 steps don’t even involve sending out a bulk SMS message, and for good reason. The planning stage of the campaign needs to address these issues in order to have a more successful campaign. By setting up a flow for your customers will follow as well as metrics to capture their journey, you will continuously improve your performance and the engagement levels of your campaign.
3. Include a call to action, always
Speaking of customer engagement levels, let’s talk about the actual messages of your campaign. Our third step is to include a call to action in every single bulk SMS message you send. Although this might seem excessive, it goes back to our best practices, specifically to provide value at every point. Unless your message can include a clear call to action with a next step customers can take, it probably could work just as well as an email.
4. Segment your audience
Next up on our list of steps: customer segmentation. While you may be able to have one target audience when you first start off your SMS campaign, once you reach a certain level of subscribers you will need to start dividing them into groups. For instance, if you are a fitness club, you wouldn’t want to send the same message to someone who just joined as someone that hasn’t been to the gym in a few weeks.
By segmenting your audience, you are able to send tailored messages that can truly resonate and provide value to your audience. The better that you can reach them with the right messaging in the right place at the right time, the less you will need to worry about customer churn and satisfaction.
5. Be concise
Along with the high-speed nature of SMS messaging, it is also very concise and you would do well to remember this. First of all, bulk SMS messages are limited to only 160 characters, so you need to stay within this character limit to avoid splitting the message in two.
Additionally, we mentioning thinking about timing earlier, and your customers don’t want to receive a ton of text. They want concise, simple updates and calls-to-action, so do your best to provide this for them.
6. Make your intentions clear
Finally, the last step in our painless 6-step guide is make your intentions clear to your audience throughout the process. Customers now care more about their experience engaging with a company than they do the actual products or services provided, so maintaining an open and honest dialogue is key to showing them you care.
This also refers to opt-in best practices, since this is not only a good practice to have in place, but it is actually required by law. Make sure that you are submitting to the correct rules and regulations while always offering subscribers a way out should they need one. By being open about your intentions, how often they will be receiving messages, and how they can opt-in and out of your messages, they will actually be more inclined to engage with you and your brand.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the best way to approach improving your bulk SMS campaign is by walking through each of these steps and then using them in collaboration with each other and SMS best practices. Now that you have the tools that you need, now comes the time to put them into place. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade your own SMS campaign today!
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera