No matter what type of business you operate and how big or small it is, it’s vital to spend plenty of time and energy on marketing strategies. After all, you can have the best products or services on the planet, but if no one knows about them or gets reminded to keep buying from you, your venture won’t last long.
These days, an increasingly popular, helpful, and affordable tool is SMS marketing. You can keep in touch with your current and potential target audience through smart texting campaigns that take advantage of the fact that most of us are looking at our smartphones for many hours of the day. Here are some ways to best utilize this marketing technique this year and beyond.
Start By Being Clear About Who You’re Targeting
The first step is to ensure you know exactly who you’re targeting with your messages before you write any of them. Understanding your audience is vital so you can create texts that will interest, entertain, inspire, or motivate them. You should already know your client demographics from working on your business plan and other marketing and operational details. If not, now’s the time to dig deep with this so you can send focused, targeted messages that will help you get the results you’re after.
Do general target market research on your niche and examine your business data for insights about who has been and is most likely to buy from you. You might look at helpful location-based demographics, for instance, as well as the types of leads you get, sales purchase history, and shopping cart abandonment information.
Plus, examine the questions you and your customer service team and other employees get asked repeatedly by potential shoppers. Furthermore, take your customer database and look for effective ways to segment it so you can send targeted messages to different niche groups.
Keep Messages Short and Sweet
Text messages are helpful because most people open and read them ASAP. However, you don’t want to push the friendship by sending content that’s too long. Instead, keep all communications short and sweet so they have more impact and don’t annoy recipients by going on for too long. Stick with one clear point you want to make, such as an offer you have, a new product being released, etc., and use as few words as possible.
Also, avoid using too many abbreviations that only insiders in the industry would know, or other jargon. Steer clear of emoticons, avoid all-caps messages, and use plain, easy-to-understand language. Don’t write open-ended communications that lack an end date or information about availability timings; instead, try to create a sense of urgency and incentivize people to take action immediately.
Plus, look for ways to make messages seem exclusive, so people feel special and are more likely to act. Limit your SMS messages to 200 characters if you can. This will enable you to fit in a brief sentence about the reason for your contact, plus a call to action.
Don’t Forget Good Calls to Action
Speaking of calls to action, these are one of the most valuable pieces of your text messaging campaign strategy. Why bother sending out content if you don’t also encourage your database to take the next step after they’ve finished reading the message? You need these specific suggestions and instructions to increase engagement, give you more data to analyze, and most importantly, improve your return on investment.
There are many ways you can add calls to action in your communications. For example, you might give recipients a code they can use to obtain a discount on your online store or in person at your location. Or, you could use texts to incentivize people to come in and shop around by giving them a voucher for a free product or sample.
You could also add a “click here” section in your text to get people to click through to check out a video, sign up for something, learn more about or book in for an event, fill out a form, and so on. Some companies use texts to advertise competitions or get people to vote in polls or games, too. Think about your goals for the marketing campaign and how you can create calls to action that relate to these.
Other tips for best utilizing SMS marketing include automating functions where possible, setting campaigns up so you can collect and analyze as much data as possible, and using MMS messages to add images or other graphics to texts to make them more engaging. It’s also wise to personalize all your SMSs and consider the timing of your messages. For example, avoid sending communications when you know your target market is likely busy doing something else.
SMS marketing can be one of the best tools out there to increase brand awareness and generate sales. However, you do need to be strategic about how you create messages and use them to get the most value out of your time, energy, and cash spend.
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