If you’ve never tried to use SMS marketing before for your business, it can be pretty daunting—especially if you’re not very tech savvy. But text message marketing is relatively simple to get started with. Of course you won’t be an expert right away but by following these six steps, you’ll be well on your way.
Have a goal in mind
A surprising number of businesses start an SMS marketing campaign because they see other businesses doing it and assume it’s just something they need to do. While it is true that you need an SMS marketing channel in this day and age, it won’t be effective if your only reason for starting it is because everyone else is doing it. You need to have a specific goal or goals in mind. What do you want your SMS campaign to accomplish for your business?
Know your audience
Ideally your audience is everyone since you want your business to grow as large as possible. But your real audience is your loyal customer base who’ve opted in to receive text messages from your company. If you want them to keep receiving and reading your texts, you have to make them relevant. To do that, you’ll need to know everything you can about them. Depending on what products or services you offer, your audience may be more diverse. In that case, you may want to consider dividing your database by demographic so you’re sending the right messages to the right people.
Keep it short
SMS stands for short message service. Texts are meant to be short and customers will quickly lose patience with long-winded texts that their service providers may separate into several smaller texts. Your entire message needs to include a call to action and fit into the body of a single text.
Think about timing
In addition to being relevant, your text needs to be timely. Obviously you don’t want to text too frequently, too late at night or too early in the morning since it will annoy your customers. It’s also important to think about what time of day your audience will be most receptive to that particular message you’re sending. For instance, customers will be craving ice cream the most during the hottest part of the day so it’s the ideal time to send a deal on ice cream.
Whatever your goal was for a particular text message, did you achieve it or get close? If you included a link in your text, what percentage of recipients clicked on it. If you offered a coupon, how many redeemed it. It’s important to look at various metrics to get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t.
This last step never ends. You should never stop working to improve your strategy. As you continue to create and send texts, then study the results, it will be clear which kinds of offers and messages resonate most with customers. Your job is to continually fine tune your strategy so you’re always building your database of phone numbers you can text.