According to a new report from Silverpop/IBM Marketing Cloud, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent every year on average, including 6 billion per day in the United States alone. Consumers are carrying their mobile devices with them day and night, using them to engage with brands in ways never imagined even a decade ago.
With more than 90% open rates on Short Message Service (SMS,) and engagement rates of up to eight times higher than email, Savvy marketers have picked up on these mobile trends and have started incorporating SMS into their messaging mix to better communicate with customers and prospects.
If all you’re doing, or planning, is sending the same generic text messages to all your mobile subscribers, says the report, you’re barely scratching the surface of what can be done with this dynamic communication channel, and supplements the data with seven suggested ways to use SMS to enhance marketing efforts.
1: Keep it short, sweet and simple. This may be the most important tip to follow if you want your SMS campaign to be successful. A good general rule is that the faster you get to the meat of the message, the better. For example a message, that gets right to the point, offers easy instructions on what to do, and tells the customer that the deal expires soon: 50% off your next order. CLICK HERE. Expires Sunday. Take the time to create text messages your contacts are likely to pursue further.
2: Give contacts the ability to choose the channels through which they receive communications. With endless information at their fingertips and a bevy of social networks a keystroke away, today’s buyers have more control than ever over the customer-business relationship. Consider allowing contacts to choose the types of messages they want to receive through various channels. Some customers prefer to receive certain messages via different channels, such as sales alerts via SMS and monthly newsletters via email.
3: Gather “explicit” data via SMS that you can leverage across other channels. Promote email opt-in via SMS across key touch points, including POS signs, ads throughout stores or in mall locations, or on transaction receipts. Encourage customers to provide other pieces of information via SMS, such as ZIP code, mailing address, and phone number for service assistance.
4: Integrate other channels into your automated email campaigns. Instead of just sending non-responders emails, add an SMS message occasionally to elicit a response.
5: Segment and target individuals based on a person’s cross-channel behaviors. Delivering emails based on a contact’s actions, preferences or demographics delivers more ROI than just sending general broadcast messages. The same principal applies to SMS.
6: Enhance your loyalty program through SMS gamification. Today’s sophisticated marketing technology platforms enable you to take advantage of the advances in mobile and marketing automation to create personalized loyalty programs that build affinity for your brands. If you already have a loyalty program in place that incorporates mobile, it’s a natural progression to use SMS in conjunction with these programs to better connect with customers.
7: Drive dynamic content in your emails and on your website using SMS behaviors. Look for ways to capture behavioral data via SMS and use it to fuel content in email and on your website. Use similar principals to drive SMS opt-ins.
Please visit Silverpop here to see more about SMS opportunities.