WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SMS MARKETING!
Don’t worry, you’re in good hands. We have an excellent team on board whose years of experience in the SMS industry will help you on the road to success. You are about to discover a whole new way of marketing your products or services. Once you have discovered the ease and profitability of doing business via a text message, we promise you’ll never look back.
A DEFINITION OF SMS MARKETING. As you probably know, it is a way of communicating directly with your customers via text messages or SMSs. Why are they so successful?
SMS MARKETING BASICS
WHY USE SMS MARKETING
WHO USES SMS MARKETING?
HOW DOES SMS MARKETING WORK?
HOW CAN YOU USE SMS MARKETING IN YOUR BUSINESS
SMS marketing offers you a multi-faceted communication tool that allows you to maintain contact with your current customers while attracting new ones through different types of text messages.
These are just some of the ways in which SMSs are used to communicate with customers.
An important feature of an SMS or text message is that it is limited to 160 characters.
There is a great advantage to this: no one wants to read long and rambling SMSs. As long as you can get your message across succinctly, YOU CAN TEXT IT!
NEED SOME INSPIRATION?
We have compiled a list of uses of text messaging! What are you waiting for….click away and start imagining what SMS messaging can do for your business!
PUSH AND PULL
Connecting with Current Customers – Learn how you can use SMSs to communicate and sell to your existing clients.
ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS - Discover how you can use the power of Keyword call-to-action campaigns to attract new customers.
CONNECT WITH CURRENT CUSTOMERS WITH SMS MARKETING
Text messaging is such a great way to maintain an on-going connection with your existing customers.
AND, they have three distinct advantages over traditional forms of advertising: they are CHEAP, EASY TO SEND, AND YOUR CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY READ THEM.
CHANGE THE WAY YOU DO BUSINESS WITH SMS
THE OLD WAY:
Calling your customers to remind them about an appointment is time consuming and can be obtrusive. Rather send them a text message, which they can read at their leisure. A text message also saves you time and money.
THOSE LAST MINUTE MESSAGES:
Suddenly you need to let all your customers know about something at the last minute. Nothing can do this better than an SMS! For example: you own a pub and there is world cricket on, South Africa wins and the country goes wild! You send out a text message telling all your customers that the first 100 customers to arrive at the pub will receive a FREE castle and a FREE starter with every pub meal ordered by way of celebration.
IS YOUR MESSAGE GETTING ACROSS?
You want your customers to actually READ your message. You want them to ‘hear’ you. SMS marketing will get the job done. Sending a mail does not guarantee that your information will be read whereas sending a text does! Email also suffers from a spam problem and you can never be sure if it has been read. If you want to reach your customers wherever they are and whenever you need to, text messaging is the only way to do it! It really is a remarkable tool!
So, how can you use SMS marketing to grow your business?
Learn about using SMS Marketing to grow your business.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS WITH SMS MARKETING
It is a given that marketing is essential to any business but it can also be one of the most expensive running costs of a business. This is why SMS marketing is a great addition to any company or organisation. You can use it on its own or it can be used to enhance your current advertising campaigns.
Let’s take a look at the all-powerful Keyword call-to-action: your objective is to reach as large a base of clients as possible. This is where the keyword call-to-action becomes crucial to your SMS marketing campaign. It really is very simple: all it means is that you establish a keyword for your campaign, for example if you were a paint shop called Rainbow Paints, your keyword could be RAINBOW.
You would be given a short code by us to go with the keyword, for example 45454. Once this has been set up by a company such as ours, potential customers would be able to join or opt out of joining your marketing list. When they opt in, or join, you have another name on your marketing list. You can see how easy it is for yourself by texting the word rainbow to 45454. (This is just a demo so you won’t actually be joined to any list). It’s as easy and simple to execute as this.
Don’t miss an opportunity:
Make your Keyword call-to-action as visible to as many people as possible. If you have a sign up outside your business or even a window, put that keyword-call-to action on it! You can also use mobile coupons as a way of enticing customers to opt in or join your marketing list. The beauty of this marketing tool is that you can pick up customers without them having set foot inside your store or business.
Maximise your print, radio and TV advertising: Add you’re all powerful keyword call-to-action if you’re advertising in print, on the radio or on television. This is a great way to make the most out of your ad spend in these traditional forms of advertising.
Make your website and your social media work for you: you can extend the reach of your keyword call-to-action by using tweets and Facebook to advertise your given keyword. SMS marketing allows you to communicate on multiple digital platforms. If your business has a website it can add sign up widgets which allow visitors to join your marketing list by simply typing in their telephone number.
PUTTING YOUR SMS MARKETING KEYWORD TO WORK IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES!
Once you have set up a good SMS Marketing plan, with the right text messages created and ready to enter the market place, you can keep engaging with your customers and keep them coming back for more!
In today’s world, it would be foolish not to use SMS Marketing to sell your products or services. There are many ways that you can get your keywords and short codes noticed. Here are a few of them
GETTING YOUR KEYWORD AND SHORT CODE INTO THE MARKET PLACE
Hit them where they least expect it! Yes, we mean get your keywords and short codes onto platforms where customers would never expect to find them.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN PRACTICE?
Let’s take a look at items that many businesses use.
Corporate Clothing is an easy one to start with us. Any form of corporate clothing that your company uses should bear the keyword and short code of your company. Be they employee uniforms or caps or t-shirts…make use of them!
Disposable containers or items used in coffee shops and restaurants. If you are in the game, you can print your keyword and short code on absolutely everything from placemats to take away coffee cups to serviettes and even your bill slips/invoices. Printing on disposable items is also inexpensive.
This leads us to paperwork. Yes, your business cards, your letterheads and even your invoices and receipts should carry your keyword and short code. If you ever have a printed promotion in a newspaper or magazine, it has to carry this keyword and short code. Like the name of your business, it needs to be everywhere.
If you are in the kind of business that rents out equipment and you have a truck for your business, then yes, all of these items and your transport short carry the keyword and short code. If you have advertised your business on the back window of your company car or your personal vehicle, yes, it needs to have your keyword and short code on it.
Then there is advertising on items like dustbins or buses or even bus stops. Once again, you know the routine; it is an opportunity for you to get your keyword and short code out there.
INCORPORATING THE USE OF SMS MESSAGING SUCCESSFULLY INTO YOUR MARKETING BUSINESS PLAN.
Fortunately most professional SMS plans include collecting and collating all the information from the SMS responses that you receive. It is essential that you have a system in place to handle what is going to become a big part of your marketing plan. In the beginning you will have to collect names, phone numbers and addresses of clients whom you wish to start communicating with for your first SMS campaign. Once again, a good SMS company will guide you every step of the way.
TWO BIG NONOS IN THE INDUSTRY:
DON’T TEXT TOO OFTEN AND ANNOY YOUR SUBSCRIBERS
DON’T TEXT SO INFREQUENTLY THAT YOU ARE NEVER TOP OF MIND FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS WHEN THEY DO WANT WHAT YOU ARE SELLING
This is why you need to have a clear strategy in place, a strategy which your SMS partner will assist you with. It cannot be a hit or miss affair. You have to sit down and decide on a programme or diary that will suit your specific business needs and will reach your target market at the right time. In other words, you need to create an SMS schedule.
DON’T TRY AND WRITE YOUR TEXT MESSAGES TEN MINUTES BEFORE YOU WISH TO SEND THEM
Make sure that you set aside time to write your text messages. You need to make sure you use the 160 characters of your SMS to maximum effect. Try and write your texts using a blocking system. In other words, write as it would appear in a text message. This way you will experience what the customer does when he/she receives your SMS message.
BE GEARED FOR ACTION WHEN THE RESPONSES COME IN
The most successful SMS marketing messages include a call to action. It is therefore essential that you have a plan in place for responding to that call. You could either have an automated second message ready to send to all subscribers who respond, or if you have a discount on offer in your message, make sure that all your employees are aware of this special offer.
PLANNING IS KEY!
TRACK YOUR SUCCESS
Real time feedback is what it’s all about. This is one of the greatest benefits of using SMS Marketing. Instantly, you know how many people received your message and how many responded to your message. Once again, a professional SMS company will keep track of this important marketing data so that you can continue to improve on your communication with your target market and grow that market.
SOME OF THE PITFALLS OF SMS MARKETING AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
Once you start using SMS marketing you will see that it is really easy to use and is not bound by any major restrictions in terms of infrastructure. You have a cell phone, you write a 160 character text message, and you press send. IT IS AS EASY AS THAT BUT herein lies the danger. Often, what happens is that businesses owners start to ‘abuse’ the simplicity of the system and start churning out message after message at random. THIS IS NEVER AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO USE SMS MESSAGING.
OTHER COMMON MISTAKES THAT USERS MAKE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Not putting a call to action in your text message
The great thing about an SMS is that it can invite a customer to make a decision right there and then. This is why the best SMS messages contain a call to action. ASK THE
CUSTOMERS ON YOUR MARKETING LIST TO BUY SOMETHING OR TO DO SOMETHING.
If you do not then your SMS is just as passive as a billboard on a building.
You need to call for responses in every SMS sent and you need to create a second list of those customers who do respond to all your messages. Make sure that your call to action is clear to your customers. It is always advisable to have someone you trust ‘proof’ your text messages before they are sent into cyberspace.
Getting the timing right
As discussed earlier, good timing is crucial to a good SMS relationship with your customers. Some businesses only send out texts every now and again and this does not really give your client a chance to build a positive relationship with you via SMS. Your SMS campaigns will never really gain momentum if you operate like this. Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum, those businesses who send out way too many text messages that are often of no real value and in the process alienate their subscribers. Timing and the correct frequency is key to being successful.
If you are unsure of how often you should be sending out messages why not start with a basic plan. Set yourself a schedule of sending out one message about 3 times a week. This is just enough to create top of mind awareness but not enough to be annoying.
Don’t send out a text message for the sake of sending out one. A meaningless text message does more harm than good.
INCLUDE OPT OUT CODES IN ALL YOUR MESSAGES. OFTEN CONSUMERS BECOME MORE FORGIVING IF YOU ARE SENDING TOO MANY MESSAGES IF YOU OFFER THEM AN OPT OUT OPTION.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A GOOD TEXT MESSAGE.
CREATING SMS COPY
You may not be a copywriter, but together with your SMS Company they can assist you every step of the way so that eventually writing those text messages will become second nature. Finding the right words to get your message across is vitally important and this is why it is essential that you get assistance in ‘SMS speak’ before sending out your SMS Marketing campaigns.
Some guidelines that may be useful:
Use your imagination! Be on the lookout constantly for happenings, news or events in the world around you to give you some inspiration. An idea can often pop up in the unlikeliest of places!
AND LASTLY…….WE KNOW WE HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE…….TRACK THE KIND OF RESPONSE YOU GET TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF MESSAGES!
There is no use spending money on a marketing campaign, no matter what the platform, if you are unable to measure the success of said campaign. Understanding what your customers want and then delivering it to them is key to the success of any business.
LISTEN to your customers.
This is where monitoring and analysing and then acting upon the data that your SMS campaign creates is essential to its success.
Let’s take a look at some basic guidelines as you get started:
You will be pleasantly surprised if you are operating your SMS campaign effectively.
ARE YOU REACHING YOUR TARGET MARKET?
When you send out an SMS campaign, sending to a large list of people or a short list does not really carry that much of a huge difference in price BUT if you have a lot of inactive subscribers it really doesn’t make much sense does it?
Keep checking your list to make sure that those you send out to are really responsive and engaged customers. Sometimes folk join because that want to take advantage of one particular offer. You get some folk who will unsubscribe straight after that but then there are others who take months to unsubscribe and they may not even be reading your messages.
Make sure that your list is reaching active and interested subscribers.
WHAT ARE RESPONSE CODES?
In the initial message of your campaign, don’t include the special deal or the electronic coupon. Instead, rather let interested recipients respond to you with a code to receive a SECOND text containing the coupon or the special deal. This way, you can truly gauge who are engaged and active recipients.
CONDUCTING A POLL OR COMPETITION:
This is another easy way to gauge who on your marketing list are real supporters of your brand. People who are invested in your brand will want to participate…..they will want to communicate and engage with you and are happy that you are asking for their opinion on their brand AND on ways to improve their brand and so keep you loyal to their product/service.
You can access stats from various organisations so that you can compare the kind of response rate you should expect from SMS campaigns in your particular line of business. This will help you to judge whether or not you are reaching the right people! You don’t want to waste time and money pursuing customers who are not in your target market.
ANALYSING YOUR NUMBERS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF SUCCESSFUL SMS MARKETING.
Creating good 160 character text copy!
Just because you only have 160 characters to work with, do not be lulled in to thinking that any 160 character message is okay when it comes to SMS copywriting. Always
remember that the quality of your SMS message will go a long way towards ensuring that you receive a maximum return hit rate on your message.
IF YOU REALLY HAVE NO IDEA OF WHERE TO BEGIN!
Here are some suggestions that will help you get the ball rolling.
Combine your call to action with an incentive:
For example, instead of just saying “call now” or “act now”, which is a much used phrase, provide a discount or an elite status option for texting a response. You could have a breakfast special which could include a time limit which will then motivate immediate action.
A GOOD EXAMPLE: Text 77889 to try our new delicious milkshake FREE!!
Do not use abbreviations or slang in your text messages. A teenage audience might enjoy text talk so unless your audience consists entirely of youngsters, keep your text professional. This means using the right grammar and of course spelling words in full! A lot of adults don’t even understand “text talk”. Doing this could cost you a client.
If, due to character constraints, you feel that you want to use abbreviations, this is really only permissible if it is something like “a 2 for 1 deal”.
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S HOW YOU SAY IT:
Use words in your text copy that evoke action and emotion. Choose words that sell the “sizzle” and not the ‘steak’. Paint a picture for your customer of what will happen when they respond to your text.
EXAMPLE: Revitalise your whole body with an invigorating body scrub….SMS now if you would like a 50 per cent off coupon.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS:
Text messages that are too general or too vague will do nothing for your business. Make sure that your businesses unique selling points are always at the forefront of your mind when create your text messages. Focus on what makes your company special when you are marketing your brand, shop or even a particular product.
And , if you have customers who visit your restaurant for example, at the same time every day, there is nothing wrong with personalising the text message to let ‘John ‘ know that he will get a free appetiser with his lunch today!
Your opening line must make your subscribers want to read the rest of the message. An exciting benefit or an attractive invitation or even using first names are all good ways to do this. A powerful opening statement is always a must.
HOW CAN A SMALL BUSINESS USE MOBILE MARKETING TO INCREASE SALES?
It is fast becoming apparent that traditional forms of advertising cannot compete with the low cost and real time response of SMS Marketing campaigns. Small businesses are starting to realise the huge potential it has for increasing their bottom line.
Here are a few ideas that you might want to look at to assist you in your SMS marketing plans.
PRODUCT RELATED APPLICATIONS:
You could develop a product related application that customers using smart phones could download for free and every time they used it they would then be reminded of your company. This is a great way to maintain top of mind and brand awareness. For example, a weight loss company could have an application that calculates the calories that you consume in a day.
If your text message is really good it will encourage networking AND if you offer special deals for guests, this will motivate your subscribers to find more subscribers and so your network starts to get bigger.
The only objective when you sent out a mobile marketing campaign is to get a great response. Polls or contests can help you to achieve this and also gives you the opportunity to go back again to those who did respond to you and so you create a line of communication that makes your customers/subscribers feel really valued by your business. The more valued they feel by your business the more they will choose your shop over any other shop or internet site.
SMS MARKETING SUCCESS CAN BE YOURS!
5 SIMPLE POINTS TO GET YOU THERE.
Don’t overdo it!
Sending out too many messages can become an irritation, being inundated with commercial messages on your phone can become annoying. Rather send only a message or two a week and make them count with a great text. Your subscribers will remember you because they value the messages that you send.
When you ask for subscriber information you have to let your ‘potential’ subscriber know that you want the information because you want to keep them updated as to special offers and promotions or new product information. Assure them that you will never give their information out to anyone else.
Analyse those numbers:
When sending out a new message, compare it to a similar message that you might have sent out. What kind of response did you get to that message? If you got a great response then you know that you are on the right track. Always analyse your SMS campaigns…it is essential to successful SMS Marketing.
Is your subscription list a shot in the dark?
It may feel great that you send your messages out to a huge subscription list BUT you have to decide whether you would rather get a one per cent return on a list of 10 000 subscribers , or a 25 per cent return on a list of 1 000? Put like this, you can see that you need to segregate your lists….those subscribers from whom you received their information with their knowledge about what you want to do with it , are the best customers to be targeting…they are your target market audience.
Always include the choice to opt out:
When you reach a subscriber who wants to opt out and does so, you can bet your bottom dollar that they were not your target market anyway. Offering the option to opt out also gives you a clear indication that those who do not opt out are loyal to your business and are loyal subscribers who will respond to your SMS messages.
WHO USES SMS MARKETING CAMPAIGNS?
One should rather ask the question…..who doesn’t use SMS marketing to promote their business! It is a billion dollar industry used the world over by every type of business, small or large as well as the nursery around the corner , the school body, and even charities and churches. You get to connect with your customers/clients while growing your revenue by attracting new customers.
There are some pretty obvious businesses that use the SMS platform.
Small Businesses: For small businesses, SMS marketing is a highly effective and LOW COST way of reaching a large group of people. It’s efficient and it’s immediate!
Restaurants: Restaurant owners get to build customer loyalty, offer loyalty special deals and bring in new customers by offering two for the price of one specials or food and drink specials
Bars and nightclubs: Customers can instantly respond to an invitation for a VIP pass to a function or bar and nightclub owners can also draw in crowds by offering free entry to all ladies before 9 pm…as you can see….the sky is the limit!
Real Estate: It’s an easy way to make sure your clients are up to date on what you have to offer them in their particular area or price range.
Retail: SMS marketing is a huge advantage for the retail industry. You can instantly make your loyal customers aware of a massive 50 per cent price sale AND get new customers in your store as well. You can also send exclusive offers to loyal subscribers; send coupons for say 25 per cent off all underwear. It really is an invaluable tool for anyone in the retail market. You can even run competitions via SMS as well.
Essentially, no matter what your business is, SMS marketing can work for you. Have fun with your campaigns; be creative, even if you sell office stationary!
ARE YOU NEW TO SMS MARKETING?
If yes, then this simple explanation will give you a brief rundown of how SMS MARKETING WORKS.
Basically you just have to know about two concepts…..SHORT CODES AND KEYWORDS.
Short codes: Short codes are five or six digit phone numbers that can send AND receive text messages. A short code works on all major wireless networks
Keywords: A Keywords is a word that consumers text to a short code to join your unique marketing list. Make sure your keyword is not too long or difficult to spell.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE: Keyword + Short Code = Call-To-Action:
TEXT ALGOA TO 41851
Algoa is your keyword and the short code is your number!
BUT LET’S NOT FORGET THAT AN SMS IS NOT ONLY USED TO SELL PRODUCTS OR SERVICES!
There are a whole host of ways to use SMS texting to increase the productivity and efficiency of your business. REMEMBER TO GET CREATIVE! As always, if you have any questions, you only have to ask one of our sales team.
Let’s give you some examples of how you can make the most out of this communication device!
GET CREATIVE WITH SMS
SMS alerts, SMS reminders, Bulk SMS or International SMS – there are so many different ways that you can use SMS messaging to enhance the way you do business! Here are some examples of how SMS messaging can be used to make your communication with your clients/customers immediate and effective. No matter what your business, SMS marketing will be able to benefit you…..that’s a promise.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:
SMS Alerts let your customers, suppliers and employees know about important events or situations. These SMS alerts can be automated for you to use when the need arises.
Use it for:
SMS reminders are hugely popular and are used by Industries, businesses, dentists, the beauty industry, chiropractors etc. the list really is endless.
You can use them for:
Use SMS messages to promote your competition and invite entries using two-way messaging.
Use SMS messages for:
PERSONNALISED PRIORITY MESSAGING
Personalized Priority Messaging, OR PPM, can be used to send the right information to the right person, at the right place and the right time.
Use it for:
EMAIL TO SMS
Use your email database to SMS reminders, health updates and many other types of messages.
Use email to SMS for:
TWO WAY MESSAGING AND SHORT CODES:
These short codes and long codes are often also called two way numbers because they allow consumers to reply to your SMS message. A short code is an easy to remember number between 3 to 7 digits in length which your customers, employees or even suppliers, can use to reply to your message.
You can use it for:
PREMIUM –RATE CAMPAIGNS
Reservations and bookings:
You can use SMSs to make, confirm or change restaurant, hotel or other service reservations bookings. So, use it for:
Use it to let your customers, clients or suppliers know about changes in your organization. You can notify them of many things via SMS. If you are a store you can notify customers that you will closed due to stock taking for example. So, use it for:
As a global organization you can be assured that we can offer you a solution to all your SMS marketing needs. Use our international SMS solutions to send your messages to any business, organization, supplier or conglomeration across the globe. Essentially you can use it for :
Building global partnerships/relationships