How to get started with SMS?

sms
Whatever industry you are in, one thing is for certain you can’t ignore the benefits of text messaging anymore. If you are not using SMS to engage with customers, it’s time you do!
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sms
Despite the popularity of instant messaging and social networks, SMS is not dead. SMS is timeless. And there are plenty of reasons for that. So, before you turn it down, here is a reminder of why SMS is still alive and strong, and a guide into how you can master the medium, fast and easy.

Why is SMS not dead?

The statistics can answer that
  • SMS is the most widely used data application in the world
  • Most effective way to reach users, with more than 90% read rate in minutes (TNW)
  • 23 billion SMS messages are sent each day worldwide
  • 75% of clients want to receive offers via SMS
  • Millennials and Baby Boomers spend about 5-6 hours daily on their mobile phones. (TechJury)
  • 60% of users read texts within 5 minutes after they receive them (TechJury)
  • In 2024, global mobile phone users will reach 7 billion (TechJury)

Tips on getting started with SMS

So if you have been ignoring SMS, now is the time to get started. With the above in mind, it becomes clear that SMS will be a great addition to your omni-channel marketing strategy. Here are some tips that will help you out.

Send with consent

First things first. In order to get started with SMS and send your first campaign, you need to have your recipient’s consent. No one likes receiving texts from strangers. And it’s not only your audience getting annoyed, also regulations such as GDPR and other data protection policies require that you always request consent from your leads before marketing to them. The easiest way to collect SMS consent and phone numbers is through an on-site form, like a popup or a flyout and request email addresses, phone numbers, communication preferences, and other information from your customers. As easy as you make it for customers to opt in to your messages, you have to do the same for the opt-out process. You can do that by including a disclaimer in every text you send, telling recipients how to do so.

Be short and concise

So, once you have their consent, it’s time to get into the jist of it all, the actual message.

Much like Twitter, SMS marketing depends on being very concise and limiting yourself to what is important, using as few words as possible. Start your message with the offer you want to communicate to your audience, so you can immediately grab their attention.

A quick sentence and a call to action or a question can certainly do the job. And an audience will be a lot less sensitive to receiving several of those a week as opposed to receiving several emails.

Don’t be overwhelming

That means be a little careful, don’t send too many messages.

If you start to saturate your audience with your messages, people will opt out as fast as they opted in. Nobody wants their inbox flooded with marketing messages.

It’s important to use SMS marketing wisely and limit the number of messages you are sending to the optimal number. Best practices say you should limit them to four to five per month.

This restriction can help you only send texts when you have something important to say. Rest assured this will ensure your SMS marketing list grows rather than shrink, while It will also produce better results.

The number of texts of course depends on many factors, yet it’s important to remember that too many texts can lead to a strong drop in opt-ins and an increase in opt-outs.

Be clear on what you want them to do

Always include a CTA.

The primary reason you send an SMS message is to encourage recipients to take a certain action. That’s why you have to include a call-to-action (CTA) in every text you send.

As most people use a smartphone these days, recipients can easily click your CTA link and be directed to a landing page where they can claim your offer, stay updated on new products and so on.

And with an all-in-one marketing automation solution, like WayMore, every time someone clicks on your CTA it is tracked in your system, allowing you to measure the performance of your messages.

Get personal

SMS, by its very nature, is very personal. Sending a message adds a personal touch to your communication.

And as we have mentioned again and again, personalized marketing produces higher levels of engagement. With the right tools at your disposal, you can easily personalize your SMS marketing and convert more prospects into customers.

So, it goes without saying that you should take advantage of chances to personalize with your text messages, even through broader demographics, including an audience segment’s pain points, occupation, gender, age, or general location.

Use an SMS shortcode

This four- to six-digit number can replace your full, ten-digit telephone number, and you can get a shortcut to your SMS marketing line.

With a shortcode in place, you make it easier for people to opt into your SMS marketing list, as they only need to enter four, five, or six digits to do so.

Many marketers also use shortcodes for each product they have, allowing people to opt into specific messages about specific products without being flooded by messages concerning products they’re not interested in.

Once you have your shortcode, you should post it wherever possible. On your website with the rest of your contact information, on your social media pages, in the footer of your emails, you name it. As previously mentioned, this is a particularly good way to grow your SMS marketing list.

Send trigger-based texts

Once you set your SMS strategy, you should include trigger-based messages in your plan. Using an all-in-one automation solution with text messaging capabilities, you can set up “triggers” for your texts to be sent. These types of messages can help you deliver the perfect message at just the right time.

Through triggers, you can send messages automatically when someone navigates to specific web pages, opts into your list, or displays other trackable behaviors that are worthy of an SMS message. In this way, you can send the right message at just the right time, no matter what time of day or night.

Use data and analytics wisely

Once you start setting your SMS campaigns, excitement will take over. But be sure to follow and review important metrics regarding your messages and campaigns. It doesn’t have to be daily or weekly, but definitely monthly.

Without metrics, you risk losing touch of the real picture, and continuing with tactics that may not be working to your advantage. Your open or response rates may suffer from that. The only way you can be sure of what is going is by checking into your analytics and making the right adjustments,
Think of how many customers and thus revenue you could lose operating like that. Analytics are your friend, so make good use of them.

Ready to text?

So, let’s be honest, SMS marketing may seem old tech, and somewhat outdated, yet it is still hanging in there.

Whatever industry you are in, one thing is for certain you can’t ignore the benefits of text messaging anymore. If you are not using SMS to engage with customers, it’s time you do!

People are attached to their phones and as you look for ways to target customers on the move, SMS is an essential part of an effective omni-channel marketing strategy. With an incredible open rate, SMS remains strong as one of the most direct, personal, effective and secure channels of communication.

People are attached to their phones and as you look for ways to target customers on the move, SMS is an essential part of an effective omni-channel marketing strategy. With an incredible open rate, SMS remains strong as one of the most direct, personal, effective and secure channels of communication. And if you need someone to guide you through, WayMore will show you the way. It’s a decision you won’t regret.
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