Let’s face it: mobile is the dominant channel for communication. More than 87% of all internet traffic will be mobile by 2023, and nearly 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery.
It’s also the most effective way to reach customers—especially millennials, who have grown up with smartphones in hand. This generation makes more frequent purchases on their phones and prefers brands that respond quickly to their questions and concerns via text.
For these reasons, it’s imperative if you’re a DTC brand to have active and ongoing SMS Marketing Campaigns.
Here are 10 tips to help ensure they convert.
Personalize your messaging.
It’s time to get a little personal. SMS is one of the most powerful mobile marketing channels in existence because it allows you to communicate directly with your customers on their terms. No other channel can offer this level of intimacy. So when you are creating your campaign, make sure that each recipient receives an individualized message tailored specifically to them.
To make a text more personal to the customer you have to add more details that are relatable and directed at them specifically. This doesn’t need to be complicated, either. Small details, such as addressing them by first name, will increase engagement instantly.
Use segmentation data.
Segmentation data is the key ingredient in an effective SMS campaign. When used correctly, segmentation allows marketers to send targeted messages based on things like location, device type, interests, and demographics they already know about their customers or prospects.
This is one of the most important things to remember when setting up your SMS marketing campaign. And it’s your best conversion opportunity. If you want to get the maximum number of responses, then you need to give them something they can use or want in exchange for their information. Think about what your customers are interested in and provide them with helpful information on those topics.
You can include links to exciting challenges, polls, quizzes, or giveaways that enable you to engage with them directly. Creating some FOMO around this - like encouraging rewards for the first 100 respondents - will boost engagement significantly and help drive traffic to your website and even your physical location.
Also, you can send promotional discount codes for products, or incentives for loyalty programs that allow them to share gift cards and exclusive offers to their friends.
Keep it simple.
Brevity is key with SMS marketing. Keep your messages simple and easy for the customer to understand. You want your messages to be clear and concise, using short sentences and familiar, relatable words.
Use a conversational tone in your messages. If you’re marketing to a younger audience, use text shorthand like UR, BRB, etc and keep the tone upbeat and friendly.
Make it interesting.
Experiment with using different templates and formats. Try using different colors, fonts, or even images of people using your products throughout your SMS campaigns. This helps build brand identity with each new message and makes them feel more personal than a generic, plain text template.
And don’t forget about video! This medium is increasingly popular on mobile devices, and is received in a much more personal way by the audience. A personal message from the CEO or some brand-reinforcing UGC can work wonders for conversion. So don’t get too caught up in the element of ‘words’ when it comes to SMS campaigns. Videos count too.
Use creative CTA’s (calls-to-action).
Your CTA should be relevant to the message, easy to understand, and easy to complete. Time sensitive offers tend to work best, especially when coupled with ‘exclusive’ deals for special customers. Asking recipients to reply with their thoughts is often under utilized, as people are happy to be included in the conversation if they feel their voice wants to be heard.
Timing is everything.
Etiquette still matters, even though smartphones are an extension of the human body these days. Best practices for sending SMS campaigns include:
- Don't send texts during dinnertime.
- Don’t send texts too early in the morning.
- Don’t send texts too late in the evening.
Track key metrics.
There’s knowledge in the data! So you must be sure that you’re tracking key metrics. This means number of messages sent, clicked, opt-ins or opt-outs, and of course, CONVERSIONS.
Make it easy to opt in and out.
Making it easy for people to opt in and out of your SMS marketing campaign is crucial.
When someone signs up for your SMS list, let them know they can unsubscribe at any time by texting the word “STOP” to a specified number.
If someone texts “STOP” or unsubscribes from your SMS list, make sure you take them off immediately. If they leave their phone number on file with you but fail to opt-in or out of new campaigns after that point, don't send them any more messages until they respond positively (by opting in again).
Respectable brands don’t spam.
It’s not always about the immediate sale.
Ironic statement, considering this entire article is dedicated to creating winning (and converting) SMS campaigns.
BUT … nurture campaigns work extremely well for SMS. Each text you send doesn’t have to be sales-oriented, it could serve the purpose of simply connecting with your audience.
A simple, ‘hey! we hope your day is as awesome as you are,’ or other inspiring message will be extremely well received - especially if your target audience is millennial or Gen Z.
Brands that show genuine care and concern for their customer base create instant connection.
And the best part? Nobody else is really doing this. So it’s an easy way to stand out and forge brand-building bonds with your customers.
When implemented with the right strategy, SMS marketing is a great way to build relationships with customers and potential customers, and increase revenue.
Ryan Wood is the founder and Chief Strategist at Woodmill Strategy. The team at Woodmill Strategy, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area of Texas, has managed over $100,000,000 + in performance advertising campaigns, and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for businesses both big and small. They offer a multitude of growth and scale services for ecommerce businesses, and are offering free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your marketing goals and needs.