What You Really Need to Know About SMS Marketing

Short message service (SMS) marketing is a fairly new topic for many marketers and anytime you’re in uncharted waters things can get a little stressful. But with the rise of mobile marketing, these are waters you’re going to want to explore.
SMS Marketing
Marketing people used to search for best SMS marketing examples to work? How to do SMS marketing? As well as SMS marketing India or What is SMS marketing campaign? And so on. Forget about the fluffy stuff, let’s talk about what you really need to know when it comes to SMS marketing.
SMS text message marketing is one of the best options for communicating quick information to your customers.
If you’re ready to risk the uncertain waters of the SMS marketing world, keep reading to learn more about:
  • The increase in the use of mobile devices
  • People are interacting with SMS marketing and we have the stats to prove it
  • A clear path to get you started
  • Limitations and roadblocks, you may run into
  • How to stay compliant with regulations
  • Bonus: a few tips and tricks to help boost your engagement

What You Really Need to Know About SMS Marketing
What You Really Need to Know About SMS Marketing
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The Dependence on Mobile Devices

SMS marketing is on the rise, and there is a good reason for it. When considering that people are checking their phones nearly every 12 minutes and around 80 times a day, it’s easy to understand why SMS is taking a lead in the marketing world.

SMS marketing taps into the micro-moments that people experience every day. Micro-moments are defined as the act of reflexively turning to a mobile device to solve the need at hand -- whether that be to learn, do, discover, watch, or buy something.

The attachment people feel for their mobile devices is so strong that most users now experience a level of anxiety when they do not have their device. Now referred to as nomophobia, the fear of being without a mobile phone is real.

What Happens When You Lost Your Phone
How do you feel when you misplace your phone? Most people respond that they panicked or feel desperate without their mobile device handy. Just another statistic proving that people are dependant on their smartphones.
This is why SMS marketing is growing and seeing a spur in engagement and interaction rates. Because we are so reliant on our mobile devices, we often stop what we are doing to check them as soon as we hear that phone buzz.

Why Does Nomophobia Matter in SMS Marketing?

The existence of nomophobia (NOMOPHOBIA = NO MObile PHone PhoBIA) and micro-moments are two of the main reasons we are seeing impressive engagement and conversion rates through mobile users. Think about it this way, we’re always trying to find ways to meet our customers where they are and make it easier to communicate with them -- right?

Well, mobile devices are almost always at an arm's length from their owner. By implementing SMS marketing into your overall digital strategy, you can be reaching your customers where they are at all times -- on their mobile devices.

Just to back up our claims about the impressive stats that come with SMS marketing and proving that mobile is where people want to hear from you, we’re going to let the numbers do the talking. Check out these statistics around the topic of mobile adoption and SMS marketing.
  • 60% of online shoppers use their smartphones to find a product first
  • 23% of eCommerce revenue comes from mobile devices by 2020 it will be 45%
  • Customers who engage in SMS have a 30% higher lifetime value
  • Retailers see an ROI up to 33x for their SMS campaigns
  • SMS opened within 3 minutes 97%
  • 75% of customers prefer offers delivered via SMS

How to Get Started on Your SMS Strategy

At this point, you probably understand why SMS marketing is so important in today’s mobile world. The next question is how to get started.

What does the path to developing an SMS marketing strategy look like? How do you navigate limitations or road bumps you may run into? And how do you stay compliant with strict regulations?

Get ready, because we’re getting back into those choppy and uncharted waters.

Developing Your SMS Marketing Plan

As with any strategy, having a plan in place is the first place to start. Before bombarding your customers with SMS messages, you need to take the time to outline your goals and objectives and have a plan on what and how you’re going to serve your customers.

Here are a few steps you’ll want to take before starting to market to your customers via SMS:
  1. Outline the goals and objectives for the program
    Make sure you have a clear path set from the start. By identifying your goals and objectives, you’ll know exactly how well your strategy is working. Skipping this step will make it hard to measure and validate the hard work going into your SMS marketing.
  2. Determine what content you are going to promote
    What are you planning to use SMS message for? Are you sending customers updates on sales and discounts, new products, events, etc.? Knowing this prior to send a single message will help you stay aligned with the ultimate goal of your plan.
  3. Identify an action plan for building your mobile list
    Once you’ve outlined the basics, now it’s time to start compiling your list of customers and making sure you have the proper opt-in details to send them SMS promotions.
  4. Start sending valuable SMS messages to your customers
    You’ve done it. You’ve outlined your marketing plan, determining what you're going to say and built your list -- now it’s time to send that first message and see how it goes!
Once you’ve launched your first SMS message it can be easy to just keep pushing forward -- but don’t forget to check back in every once in a while. Take a step back and make sure your efforts are performing to your standards and still in line with your end goals and objectives.
SMS Marketing Plan
Getting your SMS marketing strategy in place is the first step to a successful campaign. Keep in mind that 96% of smartphone users use SMS -- you’ll want to make a good impression right away to keep users around.
This also offers the opportunity to tweak what you're doing and look for areas of improvement in your current process. Maybe what you thought would resonate with your customer base isn’t actually what they want to receive -- remember, success is often learned from failure! Keep adjusting as necessary to yield the best results.

Addressing SMS Limitations and Roadblocks

There’s a good chance you’re going to run into a few roadblocks throughout your SMS marketing strategy -- all great plans do. Don’t let these roadblocks discourage you, just think of them as one big wave that you can ride out.

We’re here to help identify and prepare you for some of the common roadblock and limitations you may run into ahead of time.
  • Character limitations: you can only use 160 characters. If a message is longer, it will be broken into multiple messages and this will likely annoy your customers.
  • People are on alert for scams: someone may ignore your message if they think that it looks questionable or could be a scam.
  • Blocking numbers is easier than ever: if someone does not want to continue to receive your messages, it’s just as easy to block them now than reply “stop.”
  • Strict regulatory standards: if you don’t play by the rules, you could be hit with a hefty fine.
As just a few of the most common roadblocks, these are things to keep in mind when building out your SMS strategy.

Staying Compliant with SMS Regulations: Opt-in and Opt-out

SMS marketing is a regulated industry and to stay compliant, you need to be aware of these ahead of time. To keep it simple, we’ll only briefly address two of the most important regulations you’ll want to be aware of. You’ll want to do research based on your specific plan to ensure you are meeting all regulatory requirements.

The first compliance issue we’ll take a look at is related to the opt-in requirements. This means that recipients need to provide written consent before you begin to send them any communication. A few different ways someone can opt-in include a phone number added online, a button on mobile webpages, over the phone through voice recognition technology, or mobile-originated message that contains a keyword.

Staying Compliant with SMS Regulations
Staying Compliant with SMS Regulations
On the other hand, you also need to include an opt-out option so that your customers can choose to opt-out of communications whenever they choose. Whether they decide the value of your offers aren’t enticing enough or you’re simply sending too many messages, they need to be able to easily opt-out of your program.

Tips and Tricks Before We Send You Off

Before you head out into the deep blue sea of SMS marketing, we want to make sure to share a few more tips and tricks to get you going. These tips can be taken and built into your marketing plan and will help you understand what people want when it comes to SMS messaging and what they don’t want.

Reasons people subscribe:
  • Incentive coupons
  • Exclusive content
  • News and events
SMS messages is to receive coupons and promo codes
One of the top reasons people register for SMS messages is to receive coupons and promo codes. Make sure this is part of your strategy and that the incentive is worth them giving you their information and relevant.
Reasons people unsubscribe:
  • Too many messages
  • Offers weren’t good enough
  • Irrelevant messages
What to send subscribers:
  • Flash sale details
  • Transactional order confirmations
  • Reward updates
Reward updates are a great notification to send to customers
Reward updates are a great notification to send to customers. It engages them and gives them a reason to come to your website or store to check out what items they can use their rewards on.
What not to send subscribers:
  • Sales in the future
  • Coupons that can’t be redeemed right away
  • Long messages broken into multiple texts
A few best practices:
  • Consider time zones when sending
  • Avoid sending during holidays
  • Be clear about the intentions of your program

Bottom Line
So there you have it -- now it’s time for you to get out there and start navigating the SMS marketing ocean. With a better understanding of why SMS messaging building out your own plan is in reach.

If you’re still not sure that you can sail on your own, check out this resource to dive even deeper into the world of SMS marketing.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and help us spread the word.

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